Thursday, October 31, 2013

Meal Plan Monday (on Thursday)

I have been wanting to post my meal plan for this week since Monday, but just never quite had the chance. Here's what we've had so far, and what we will have for the remainder of the week:


Cinnamon Raisin Flax Bread with peanut butter


Don't remember
Chicken- kale gumbo from my friend, Sara

Wednesday: (Rush's birthday)

Waffles (per Rush's request) with peanut butter
Out for pizza (Rush's choice) :)


Kashi Cinnamon Harvest Cereal (You must try it!)
Leftover gumbo/ fall festival food at church


Oatmeal with blackberries and walnuts
Salmon with sautéed asparagus, potatoes, mushrooms, and onions


Blueberry banana wraps (recipe coming)
Rachael Ray's buffalo chicken chili mac (as we cheer on the  vols!)


Yogurt & granola

By the way... did you check out my clam chowder recipe yet?

A Thankful Heart

I LOVE Thanksgiving! It's so wonderful to reflect on all that God has granted us. I am most thankful for His forgiveness. I have recently been reminded of the amazing gift of God's adoption of me as His daughter. My heart is just bubbling over with joy over this concept of which I was already aware, but I have a new appreciation for!

Speaking of adopting, please visit my dear friend, Brittany's blog to see their adoption story. Soon, she and her husband will become parents, and I know that they will be amazing, fun, and Godly parents to the child that is chosen by God for them.

Speaking of being Godly parents, I love any excuse to do a daily Bible activity with my kids. (I love it even more when someone else comes up with the idea and lays it our for me.) This time, though, I created my own. It's a 28-day devotional-type activity that can be done by one person or a huge family. You simply read the verse together, discuss what it means to each person in an age-appropriate manner, and then write what you are most thankful for that day. You may want to relate whatever you are thankful for to the verse for that day, but of course, that is not necessarily the way the Holy Spirit works.

  (All verses are NLT unless otherwise noted.)

We will also be doing a thankful tree, which we did last year. It is just another great reminder of the bounty of God's blessings in our lives!

I am looking forward to reading these verses and making our tree with my kids through the next month. Let me know in the comments if you would like a copy for your family.

Happy Thanksgiving season!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mmm mmm Clam Chowder

This has been a staple in our home every fall and winter since we were married. My mother-in-law made this for Ben a lot before he left home, and she gave me the recipe. I love pulling out the hand-written recipe card. It makes it even more special.
In case you want to copy & paste the recipe, here you go:
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
28 oz. chicken broth
approx. 4 cups diced potatoes ( or 1 package refrigerated diced potatoes and onions)
2 cups milk
1 cup half and half
4 slices bacon crisp-cooked and crumbled (optional)
2 small cans each tiny shrimp, clams, crab meat, all drained and rinsed
1 cup carrots, chopped (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
Start by sautéing the chopped celery in 2 Tbsp of melted butter in a large soup pot. 

Cook the celery for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle on the 2 Tbsp flour and stir. 

Once combined, continue stirring and pour in the 28 oz. of chicken broth (I prefer low-sodium). Turn up the heat, and bring to a boil. 

Toss in the diced potatoes and carrots and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until veggies are soft to your liking (I soften ours quite a bit for my kiddos).

Slightly mash the potatoes with a wooden spoon (or the amazing Pampered Chef Mix n Chop) to thicken the chowder. (Sorry, no picture of this step!)

Stir in the milk, half & half, bacon (if using), and the rinsed and drained cans of seafood. 

Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches or warm crusty bread, and enjoy! You'll have enough leftovers for another cold fall night!
Note: This is a great recipe to double and freeze for later. ;)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

We are home from the marathon, and back to real life. Here's the plan for the week.
I am not posting any "plans" for lunch because I hardly ever seem to actually eat what I plan for that meal.
We've been out of town, so the cupboards are empty... going to Cracker Barrel! :)
Breakfast: Oatmeal with blackberries and walnuts
Dinner: Balsamic Roast Beef Sandwiches with steamed broccoli
Breakfast: Cinnamon raisin bread with peanut butter
Diner: Chicken crescents with roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach/kale mix
Breakfast: Pumpkin chocolate chip waffles
Dinner: Turkey Tomatillo Burritos (double batch for freezing)
Breakfast: Spinach artichoke omelets
Dinner: Clam chowder (possible take-out)
Breakfast: Pumpkin waffles & bacon
Dinner: open (clam chowder if not Friday)
Breakfast: Yogurt & granola
Dinner: leftovers

Monday, October 14, 2013

Meal Plan Monday aka Marathon Meal Plan

So, really, nothing is drastically different about our family's meal plan for the week, except that on Thursday and Friday, I will be intentionally increasing our carbs. I always try to have a good balance of protein, carbs and fat with lots of veggies and a good amount of fruit. 

Here it is:

Cinnamon raisin bagel
Turkey & avocado on whole wheat bread
Meatloaf with spinach risotto 

Old fashioned oats with blackberries and walnuts
Salad (whatever veggies i have on-hand) with tuna on top
Crab cakes with spinach salad and cheese ravioli

Yogurt and granola


Turkey & avocado on whole wheat bread

Pumpkin Waffles
Chicken tacos with black beans and brown rice

Pumpkin waffles or oatmeal
Out (plan extra carbs)
Out (lots of carbs)

Marathon Training Log #11

8 miles. 6:00 a.m.  Last Saturday run before the marathon. We had a busy day planned, so I ran early with Chris, and Ben ran after lunch alone. It worked out well for Ben because he got to sleep in since the kids slept until after 7:00! {Cue Napoleon Dynamite voice} Lucky! ~sigh~ 

I had my usual cinnamon raisin bagel with a little peanut butter for breakfast, plus coffee and water. I started drinking Spark on the way to our meeting spot, which is about 10 minutes from my house. 

I wore my belt, but took no extra nutrition in the pouch for during the run since it was only 8 miles. This run went pretty well. Our pace was right on target with our goal for the marathon. 

I love the route that we ran because it is exactly where Chris and I went on our first-ever run together last October 19th. It is crazy to think that one year after that first run, we will have completed three half marathons and a full!

This week I am truly looking forward to taking it "easy."  Here's my plan for the week:
Monday: off
Tuesday: 3-4 easy
Wednesday: 2-3 easy
Thursday: 2-3 easy
Friday: walk

Side note: This will be my third week of posting my "Meal Plan Monday," so be sure and check that out as well, especially if you're curious to see what someone running a marathon might be eating. ;)

Let me just say, in my opinion, running is never easy, but the hardest part is those first few steps. I never thought that I would run a marathon. 

When I started the training, I prayed for God to use the process as a way to bring glory to Himself. I'm not sure how he's going to do that, but I hope that I am sensitive enough to know when I see (or feel) it. 

I am definitely a mixed bag of emotions right now. Part of me keeps doubting that I can even do this. Another part of me is saying, "There's no way you can't do this! Trust your training." And a third dimension is telling me to just get it over with, no matter what it looks like. I could definitely use some prayer. And I know that Ben and Chris would love to know that they're being prayed over too. 

We are heading down to Chattanooga on Saturday morning. We hope to scope out the course and get familiar with our surroundings to help calm our nerves. 

I will certainly write a post after the race is over to record how it all goes. I am especially nervous to see how my stomach does after the race. If you've been reading my training logs, thanks for sticking around!
The finisher medal. I stole this pic from the race Facebook page. :)

D you have any advice or words of encouragement? Please leave it in the comments section below.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Meal Plan Monday

Breakfast: at Beth's
Lunch: leftover shredded chicken whole wheat wraps with spinach (and whatever else)
Supper: leftover quiche and/or chicken and dumplings

Breakfast: oatmeal with blackberries and walnuts
Lunch: black bean and spinach quesadillas 
Supper: baked salmon with whole wheat gnocchi and garlic chips with spinach

Breakfast: morning glory muffins
Lunch: out?
Supper: BBQ slow cooker chicken with stuffed sweet potato skins

Breakfast: spinach artichoke omelettes
Lunch: leftovers
Supper: turkey tenderloin with goat cheese and walnut linguine

Breakfast: morning glory muffins
Lunch: peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat
Supper: open

Breakfast: waffles with yogurt and berries
Supper: out

Breakfast: chocolate hazelnut oatmeal
Lunch: lunch get-together at church
Supper: slow-cooker meal from freezer

Marathon Training Log #10

Taper week! Wahoo!

I have been doing this Marathon training thing pretty blindly, I guess. I have only just realized this because I recently started reading a lot of running blogs and book reviews, and I know nothing! I don't even really have a goal finish-time for the race. I just want to finish! 

This past weekend, our plan was 12 miles. After running 20 the previous weekend, I thought that 12 would feel easy... I was wrong. We started later than what was optimal, and it was hot! 

For breakfast, I had whole wheat toast with a thin layer of peanut butter and coffee. I did not drink a Spark before the run because I had extra coffee and thought that it might make me a little crazy! (Second mistake.)

I took one non-caffeine Power Gel in my belt (third mistake), one water and one sport drink, plus powder to mix in when I refilled. 

I felt fine the first half of the run--- not great, but fine. We stopped at the usual park to refill at 5.75 miles. I ate/drank (what are you actually doing to those things?!) the gel with at least 8 oz. of water. The rest of the run, my legs felt heavy and tired. While I was running I tried to think of what I had done differently to make me feel that way, and here are the three things I came up with: 

1. I ate pizza for dinner the night before (first mistake). 
2. I did not drink my Spark. 
3. I had run 20 miles for the previous long run, not to mention 100 miles over the last month. That is definitely a record for me! 

Ben finished well ahead of me and Chris, so he came walking toward us on our last half mile. They both had to practically drag me to the finish. How was 20 so awesome and 12 so awful?!

Had a huge sport drink and a pack of peanut butter crackers soon after we finished. My stomach was A-OK after the run! Yay!

2 weeks until the race! 8 miles this Saturday!

Lottie and I got our first Toms. Just a random tidbit for you. :)