Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Motivational Monday – Your Gifts, Loving and Serving Others

These days we see so many people getting wrapped up in me, Me, ME!!!  I know I have been there.  Have you?  Our priorities as so easily swayed between all the technology and media we get in our lives in this “modern” age.

One thing I am trying (note: trying) to focus on is serving.  In both my family, my church and my community.  Now that doesn’t mean I have to sign up for every opportunity, show up at every school or church event, or over schedule myself to feel fulfilled.  God doesn’t want us to be constantly overburdened and we certainly don’t need to do good works to earn His love.  For God’s love cannot be earned because it is given to us freely.

Romans 5:5

We’re not ashamed to have this confidence, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
What is does mean is that I need to put God in the forefront of my life.  I need to make Him my priority, by working on my love relationship with him.  In turn I can show his love by serving others with the love of Christ thru my actions (serving), words (caring) and thoughts (praying).    By combining all those things I am loving God first.

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?




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!

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.58.08 AM


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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Sharing a Few Apps I Love – Oh and They are FREE

Yup there’s an app for that!   I am sure you have heard that more than once, I sure know I have.

There are a few apps that I love and use monthly, weekly and even daily.  I thought I would share some with you.  And did I mention they are all FREE 🙂  you’re welcome.  **(please note I am not associated or employed by any of these companies, I just really so use and enjoy their apps)


Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 3.06.54 PM

MyFitnessPal (click to learn more)

A great app for tracking your calories and macros and it’s customizable for your goals.   They have a huge database of  food and a scanning option.  Plus it keeps track of things like your most common and recently added foods.  Plenty more features too, check it out!

 Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 3.14.11 PM

Charity Miles (click to learn more)

Why just run, walk or bike when you can earn money for charity at the same time!  Charity Miles offers a bunch of noteworthy charities you can earn money for every time your headed out.  From Alzheimer’s Association, Wounded Warrior, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Soles for Souls.  OK these are a few of my favorites but there are a bunch more.  Check it out.  This app works outside, but I hear they are beta testing an indoor version….Yippee!

Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 3.15.11 PM

HIIT Interval Training Timer  (click to learn more)

A great interval timer app.  I use it for my treadmill HIIT and Interval training.  You customize the warmup time, work time and rest times.  Also how many rounds you want to go and your cool down time.  So much better than keeping track in your head (yes I have done that)

Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 3.16.24 PM

Photo Grid (click to learn more)

Ever wonder how I make those totally kick butt Instagram and blog pics?  Ok maybe not totally kick butt, however this app is easy to use and fun!  Compatible with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter too!  Just create and link.  Easy and fun!

Screen shot 2014-02-25 at 3.18.00 PM

P Tracker (click to learn more)

OK this one is for the ladies only.  P Tracker (aka period tracker)  Way better than keeping track on a calendar (or forgetting too at all)  and handy to whip out when you visit the doc for a totally unrelated reason and he/she conveniently asks when your last period started.   Ughhh, duhh.  I don’t know about you but I usually don’t keep the date on hand.

This app also features a calendar that shows your most fertile time of the month and ovulation (assuming you have a regular cycle).   Hit the button on the day your friendly “Aunt Flo” shows up and it keeps track of the days and will give you a projected start date for next months visit.   It also keeps a log of your average cycle.  For more features check it out.

Do you have a favorite app you would like to share?  Leave a comment, I love finding new and useful apps!

Like what you learned?  Please feel free to Pin it! Share it! Tweet it!  🙂


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.


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






O.C.M. What is it? Is it for You?

Finding my happy pace in running AND life!

OK so for those who don’t know what the heck O.C.M. is (hey I didn’t until like November) O.C.M. stands for oil cleansing method.  That’s all fine and nice but how about some details Darlena!  Ok, ok.

Late last year, around the end of November, I decided to look into alternative ways to get rid of these darn breakouts I had been having.  No one likes to have breakouts. Slightly embarrassing yes, but more of an annoyance because at my age I should not have to deal with acne and wrinkles!!!  Can I get an AMEN!  One thing at a time please 🙂  Anyway I had tried a bunch of different OTC items, everything seemed to work for a while and then, blah, same old same old.  I went to the doctor once before my hubby got home from deployment to see what he thought.  Not too bad he said but gave me some antibiotics to help clear it up.  A temporary solution for sure.

Anyway after much research I ran into this blog called Crunch Betty (you have food on your face).  Not only is she quite funny (I love that) she also wrote a great article about O.C.M. (you can read it here) .  Actually she wrote a follow-up one too which you can find on her site which is was also very helpful.

Anyway as crazy as it sounds (yes admittedly I was a bit desperate)  I decided to clean my face…with OIL?  What the heck?  Putting oil, on a face with acne?  Girl what in the heck do you think you’re doing?  I know, I know seems a bit odd.  But think about it for a second.  What cuts through oil?  Water?  Um no!  Oil cuts through oil.

I have now been using the oil cleansing method (O.C.M.) for about 2 1/2 months.  After a bit of trial and error I think I have finally found the combination that is right for me.  My skin is clearer, more moisturized and for the first time in a looooong time has a kind of glow to it.  Now I have never nor will ever be known as the girl with the lovely skin, but even I have to admit it’s looking really nice and it feels really healthy and balanced.  Score!

The Basics of O.C.M. :  

-Find the right combination of oils for your skin (again Crunch Betty can give you a good idea of where to start)

-Mix the oils (I mix them nightly right in my hand)  but you can pre-mix if you want.

-Massage the oils in an upward motion into your face for about 2 minutes.  Did you notice I did not mention taking off your makeup?  That’s right, because there is no need.  The oil will do both the removal and the cleaning.

-Wet a wash cloth with as warm of water as you can handle and wring it out.

-Place the wash cloth over your face,  I keep it there for about 30 sec, or until it feels cool, then I repeat 2 or 3 more times.

note:  I will also sometimes put the oil on my face before I shower and leave it there so the shower steam helps it soak in, just keep a wash cloth handy to wet and remove the oil from your face.

– When I am done “steaming” myself (think facial, relaxing, warm) I use the cloth to wipe all the oil off my face.  I rinse the cloth and wipe a few times.  You know you have removed the extra oils when you feel smooth and moisturized, not greasy.

–  I follow-up with a little witch hazel on any ance that appears, but honestly I don’t have very much compared to the almost daily battle before starting O.C.M.

I do this once a day, usually at night.  I still use an eye cream after because hey I’m 40+ (ouch!)  FYI:  at night I use coconut oil as an eye cream 🙂

And there you have it.  O.C.M. the runfyhp way.

Wondering what oils I use?  Here is my oil blend but honestly it’s about trial and error for sure.

I was able to find all these oils at Whole Foods

I was able to find all these
oils at Whole Foods

  • Castor Oil (antibacterial properties, a great base or carrier oil) 45%
  • Jojoba Oil (great for acne/oily skin) 5% – sometimes I skip the Jajoba all together
  • Tamanu Oil (antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties, helps reduce and repair scaring) 45%

When I first started I used just Castor and Jajoba oils but honestly adding the Tamanu oil has made a big difference for me.  I also just ordered some Sea Buckthorn Oil which is suppose to be great for your skin, we will see.

Two quick, yet important notes:

  1. Use organic and do your research on any oil you choose!
  2. It does take a bit of time, in other words it didn’t take overnight (and it took about a month to get the combination of oils for me right, but totally worth it!

Have you ever tried O.C.M.?  What do you think?