Hunting for Apples (A Giveaway)

10 Sep

Good morning all!

Good morning fall!

Good morning cinnamon carrot buckwheat bake and decaf pumpkin spice latte with soy milk.

Good morning grungy old boots with scuffs.  My toes are ready to be covered (read, I’m tired of painting my toe nails.)

Good morning light cardigan, my faithful companion.  I have missed your comforting warmth.

Good morning colorful scarf.  You brighten my outfit and my day.

Good morning perfect running weather.  You motivate me out the door.

I hear that the warm temperatures are to return, but I have truly enjoyed the cooler temperatures of the last week.

Fall is my favorite season, and I am ready for fall and all that it entails…

cinnamon spiced foods

outdoor walks

changing of leaves

The State Fair (19 days!)

Christmas shopping

Honeycrisp apples

I am officially on Honeycrisp apple watch!

I went so far as to call both Central Market and Whole Foods yesterday.

They both agree that the apples will be stocked the last week of September.

 That is also when the fair begins, so I have a lot to look forward to.

BUT! Can I wait that long?

Can you wait that long?

I’m feeling motivated and generous today, so in honor of all that is fall…

LET’S DO A GIVEAWAY!

The first person to tweet me (@danikracht) a picture of the signage for honeycrisp apples at their grocer or farmer’s market will be getting a $5 Starbucks gift card from me in the mail to enjoy their own fall in a cup Pumpkin Spice Latte!  

Here are the rules:

1. The picture must show the actual “Honeycrisp Apple” sign

2. Sorry, but only readers in the continental US are eligible.

3. You must be following me on Twitter to be eligible to win.

So get your camo out and go hunting for some apples!

Happy Hunting!

And, if you are in DFW, we may just need to enjoy a honeycrisp together…)

Struck Gold

9 Sep

 

I have been on a hunt, a journey, a voyage. It has required persistence.  It has required patience. I have been looking, and looking, and looking for Garlic Gold.  I have heard incredible things about this stuff. I have seen it used on many a blog and many a vegetable.

Turns out that I have been looking in the wrong place.  I was looking by the spices, but I found it with the pasta sauces.  I do not completely get the logic, but now that I know where it is, I will always be able to find it again!

Garlic Gold is crunchy garlic nuggets toasted in olive oil to crispy perfection.

When I find a product that I am really excited about, I feel the need to use it immediately!

After sauteeing some vegetables, I made a couple little mini pizzas on Ezekial tortillas, and liberally dashed it with Garlic Gold.

I even sprang for some non-dairy cheese… it was on sale.

Italian nachos… mini pizza… whatever you want to call it, it was good.

Do you use garlic gold?

If so, how do you use it?  I need some suggestions!

The Small Foxes

8 Sep

I have two crazy exciting posts in the works right now… Ok, make that 3.

In the mean time, this is one of those days that starts at 5am and ends at 8pm. I usually have 2-3 of those days a week right now. It’s a season of life.

This season is an adventure. I’m being stretched, pushed, pulled, and prodded in so many ways. It’s healthy for me!

Pressure not only reveals of our character, but it forces us to develop our character.

There is a verse in Proverbs that speaks of the little foxes that spoil the vines.

It is the small things in life that can make an enormous impact.

For example, a smile that can brighten someones day or a harsh word that is like a blow to the spirit.

I have been working on cutting back my portion sizes, becuase I have been eating more than I need. Even the right foods in the wrong quantity can effect our health and weight.

I have been making small changes.

  • Keeping my finger out of the nut butter. (15-20 calories) x7 days = 105-140 cal
  • Using less milk and adding some decaf coffee in a morning smoothie. (30 calories) x 4 = 120 cals
  • Eating lighter meals in the evening. (100-150 calories) x 7 =700-1050 cals
  • Eating more raw vegetables than cooked. (more nutrients, more chew time) x 7 = feeling fuller and more satisfied
  • Leaving coffee black instead of a splash of soy. (10 calories) x 7 = 70 cals
  • Max 3 servings of fruit a day instead of 4. (60-75 calories) x 7 = 420-525 cals

Potential calories cut out in a week = 1,055-1,905

It has not all been cutting back around here though. I have also been doing more.

  • Standing at work for at least half of the day. (Keep that metabolism up!)
  • Washing my car by hand, instead of driving through. (Must have burned a couple cals)
  • Adding 30 minutes to my Sunday ride. (200 calories)

Those are all little things. Things that do not seem to matter, in light of the calories required to lose a pound.

1 pound of body fat= 3,500 calories

When you are working toward a goal of being a healthy weight, one pound matters.

When you are trying to run farther and faster, one pound (really) matters.

All monumental change is the result of cumulative smaller changes.

I did not lose 56.4 (if every pound counts, then every ounce does too) over night, or even in one month. It has been 11 months since I began losing weight.

Slowly and steadily my body has changed. Muscles have formed. Fat has diminished. My shape has changed.

While I have drastically changed the way I eat overall, it is the small changes that lead me forward on my weight-loss journey to a healthier me. Every single mile run, minute on the bike, crunch, lunge, well-portioned meal, and moment of self control combines together into a force that creates meaningful change. Change that can impact every day life, and health, and well-being.

What small sacrifices are you making today that have potential to enable greater change in your life?

What change have you made that seemed insignificant at the time, but turned out to be life altering?

Labor Day Living

7 Sep

After 68 days of 100 degree temperatures in Dallas this summer, the heat seems to have finally broken.  I can’t say I am happy about it either.  Only one more day, and we would have tied the 1980 record of 69 days.  Two more days and the record would be OURS!

Saturday was noticeably cooler, but somewhat windy.

Sunday was much nicer and terribly windy.  I road my bike anyway and experienced the grace of a merciful tailwind and the unforgiveness of a hearty headwind.  Even still, I road 16.5 miles, which is the farthest I have ever ridden.

Monday held an unscheduled run, that I dubbed a fun run.  I looked forward to it, knowing there was’t any pressure to accomplish a certain distance or time. I ended up battling the wind for 4.75 miles before calling it a day. It was relaxing.

The rest of the day was spent with family.  I drank coffee on a patio with Christina and Jesse.  I talked with Michele.

Then we all met up for lunch at a restaurant on Joe Pool Lake.

The Oasis is a very American restaurant that burnt down only a couple of years ago, but was rebuilt.

Our goal was to eat outside… the location was not as important.

The only vegetarian options were salads that had cheese on them and dressing… no thanks. I am too good at making salads to pay for a crappy restaurant salad.

I opted for side dishes, and purposely did not ask what they were cooked in, because I really did not want to know.  I got wild rice (pretty sure it was cooked in chicken broth), sauteed squash (butter?), and sweet potatoes (brown sugar).

I left hungry and felt like I wasted money… but I was with my family and that made it worth it.

Our other goal was to take Leila to feed the ducks and fish at the lake.

Her Daddy showed her the boats.

The water at the lake is insanely low.

The water was in no way deep.  Lake water is nasty looking.

Leila was a little more interested in eating the bread than feeding the animals.

This duck even had a mohawk.

Such a sweet girl…

 

How did you spend your labor day?

Did you spend time with friends or family?  

Did you make a special meal?  If so, what did you make?

 

The Effect of Reading Blogs

6 Sep

I have to wonder if there could be a direct correlation between the blogs I read and the food that I choose to make and eat, as well as, the amount I choose to eat.

I began reading food blogs almost a year ago, while still living in Nebraska.  At first I read one or two, then 5, and now I read the ones that I can, when I have time.

I choose to read some blogs because I have an actual relationship with the writer, such as Clare, who recently moved to Dallas.

I read other blogs for their impressive style and design, such as Roost.  This blog emits peace from every photo and every line of text.  It is lovely.

Some for their simple, yet profound approach to life, such as Heather. (It has been beautiful to see her adjustment into motherhood.)

Jason inspires me to train hard and work hard, while keeping my food standards high.

Anne is becoming a dietician, and sets an incredible example of eating healthy and living active.  I consider her a role model, even though she has never met me. She also inspired me to create my own perch at work.

Other blogs make a me laugh…. Monica and Sarah.

Kath exemplifies portion control and a sense of moderation. (2 of my greatest struggles!!!)

And, of course, one blog has become my own personal breakfast guru.  (What would I do if Ashley had not invented the Buckwheat Bake?  Truth be told, I had never heard of buckwheat at all!)

Still others remind me of where I want to go. 3,2,1 Delish is written by two friends who compete in triathalons, which I am working toward.

Beth has lost major weight and understands the ups and downs of weight loss, maintenance, and learning to be a runner.  I like her honesty.

There are others too that add humor, beauty, creativity, and inspiration to my life.

But, I still have to wonder…

  • What is the effect of reading recipes for delicious food (some I would make, others I would not) day after day?
  • What is the effect of seeing beautifully photographed meals that look as though they were made in the very kitchen of heaven?
  • How does their content impact my hunger cues and cravings?
  • How do their pictures effect my food choices and portion sizes?

In no way am I implying that reading or writing a food blog is unhealthy… lest I condemn my own self.

I am saying that I am considering the effect of this practice on my life and on yours too.

Monica joked today in her post that “reading blogs makes you hungry”, but I dare say it is true.  It is the exact same principle that food advertisers use. When you see pictures of their product, and all of a sudden you feel hunger.

The influence that they healthy living blog community has had on my life has been a very positive one.  In no way am I blaming MY actions or choices on any one else.

It is important to me to live my life in a manner that I can account for my actions and be confident that I did my best to do the right thing.

I hope that each and every day I am able to help you have the tools, resources, knowledge, motivation, and inspiration to live your life in a manner that instills health and wellness into your life and body and relationships.

I take my role seriously, in that I am not naive to think that what I eat, do, and say does not impact others around me. I realize that, just as others have influenced me, I have influence as well.

With that in mind, the wheels of my mind are turning… reading blogs is not bad.  Cooking new recipes, not bad.  BUT…

Maybe there is a limit to how many I should read or when I should read them.

There is a time for most things, but what you do not master will soon master you.

(Oh geez, did I just talk everyone out of reading my blog?It’s been fun while it lasted.)

Just wondering…

Do you read many blog?  How many a day?

What influence do you think that have on your choices?

My Last Meal

5 Sep

If I were, for whatever unimaginable reason, forced to pick a last meal it would be between 2 choices:

Michele’s Sour Cream Yellow Cake with Chocolate Ganache Icing and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (Forget lactose sensitivity, cause this would be my last meal and that implies that life would be over immediately after.)

The only other option would be warm whole wheat toast with (liberal amounts of) Nutella and smashed banana (or the Nutella Banana crepes I had a BuzzBrews for my birthday).

Ok, I guess that is 3 options… You get the idea though.  We are talking dairy, fat, chocolate, banana.

I am a simple girl.  I have simple loves.

I have gotten into a bad habit of having a bite or two of dessert or even a cup of frozen yogurt (with toppings) about once a week.  I have always struggled with eating too much sugar.

If I eat a little, I want a lot.

As a result, my occasional taste of dessert or rare cup of frozen yogurt (what some call moderation) has resulted in my being sugar-crazed.

When I finish a well-balanced meal, it is the first thing I crave.  It’s an awful feeling, and I HATE it.  (See those bold capital letters?  That means I really truly mean it, in case you were wondering the intensity of my hatred.)

I just think about it, and think about it, and think about it.  Wasted thoughts.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas of last year I gave up sugar, and then from January 1-June 24, I ate sugar on 4 occasions. Then it seems that it all fell apart.  I have made exceptions, when a “worthy” dessert was presented.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with moderation, if you can do that sort of thing.

For me, it just makes me miserable, because I have to choose whether or not I will eat it.  Then if I do have some, I have to choose NOT to have more that day or days in the future.

So, I am ready to commit again to cutting sugar out, from now until Fair Day.  That is only a month, but it should be long enough to help me get control over the sugar cravings once again.

I do not anticipate that it will be easy. Craving are always tough to break and ignore.

I must remember that …

Sugar and desserts are not disappearing from the earth.

 There will be another chance to eat desserts.

 Most desserts are repeatable.  

Those that aren’t should be enjoyed. 

If you had to choose a final meal, what would you choose?

Do you have a hard time knowing when to eat dessert and how much to eat?

 

Familiar

4 Sep

Every time I take a night off from blogging I think, “What if they all forget about me because I did not post tonight?  What if they assume I just died and never come back to read again?  What if they think I am a flake and that they can’t count on me, so it’s not even worth reading?”

Then I remember that people probably did not even notice that I took a night off.  I’m not saying that people don’t care, just that it is not THAT big of a deal!  I enjoyed my Saturday of no blogging. It always makes me look forward to writing again!  I love blogging.  I love living more. 🙂

As usual, Saturday = long run

I generally sleep at Chrisina’s house if I am going to run or bike in the morning, but I decided to stay home on Friday night.

Little did I know that I would be awoken an hour after I went to sleep and that I would not be able to fall back asleep for 2 hours.  That sounds a little familiar. I run better if I sleep well, and I did not sleep well.

When I started my run I immediately felt that something was off.  My feet felt heavy.  I did not have to reign myself in from taking off too fast.  I had 0 energy.

I made it through the first 2.5 miles of dragging myself along when a major case of stomach cramps hit.  I felt like my stomach was in a knot. That sounds a little familiar.

It immediately occurred to me that I did try eating something new before I ran… mistake.

I started to throw a little tantrum in my head… what a waste of a beautiful morning!

Then I remembered that I forgot my phone at home, so I was going to have to suck it up, because I was 3 miles from home. There was no way to call anyone. I  had to get back, and I had to do it myself.

So, I ran when I could and I walked when I could run no longer.  I finished the 6 mile loop. I literally had no choice.

Since my run had already been shot, I tried to make use of the time and quiet by doing some thinking.

I was looking through some photos the other night on Facebook of myself from 2010

My first 5k in February 2010. I walked the entire race, and felt like I'd been hit by a truck after.

3 Weeks in Europe in July. Very tired feet all of the time.

Trip to Lubbock in September.  

I could not help but feel shocked as I looked at the pictures.  I had 0 perspective of my actual size when I was 215 pounds.  I had 0 perspective of what that weight did to my self esteem and wellbeing – emotional, physical, social.

As I viewed the pictures I experienced a lot of varied emotions… sadness, regret, pride, embarrassment…

And I realized, I needed to forgive myself.

For missed opportunities. For wasted time.  For poor decisions.

I realized how much disappointment I felt toward myself for allowing myself to be overweight and stay overweight for so long.

The picture from Lubbock was taken only a week before I returned to Nebraska and changed EVERYTHING about the way I eat.

Today I am the same person, but I live in a totally new way.

I walk run in a new way.  I speak in a new way.  I think in a new way.  I cook in a new way.  I approach life in a new way.

One year later. Now, that is better...

Not for a single second would I tell you that it has been easy.

But, I would tell you all day, every day, that it has been worth it.

 I can continue to change… and change is worth the effort.

I genuinely believe that you, too, can change your life.

That is an idea that I want to become very familiar.

So, as I ran.  I began to forgive myself.  I can do nothing about the past. I choose how I will live today.  And though my run wasn’t that great, I can say it was still productive. I made progress, in a very worthy way.

 

Change is not immediate, it is the sum total of many decisions made over time.  

 

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