July 25, 2013

AMR Guest Spot

Today at 1:30 pm you can listen live to AMR Radio (Another Mother Radio) to hear some thoughts on nutrition, some great insight from the Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother dynamic duo and you might even hear a conversation from a familiar voice....

If you can't listen at 1:30, no worries. In fact, even better....subscribe to the AMR podcasts on itunes and get some great running tips from the amazing marathon and ironwoman mamas, Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell.

And don't forget to leave them feedback on iTunes!



Has anyone seen my Birkenstocks?  I smell granola.  Not patchouli.

Cliché alert. 

I learned how to make granola at Oberlin

I know.  It is really a rite of passage.  Along with not shaving. Except your head.  *Bzzzt*

Anyway, I learned how to make it,  but I haven't actually made it in (oh, good crikey!) umpteen years. Until about two weeks ago. It was like riding a bicycle.... A fish without a bicycle....oh nevermind. 


The other nice thing about granola, you can experiment and it rarely turns out bad.  Toasted oats and a little sweet.  

Here is how I made it last night.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

8 c. Rolled Oats (We accidentally got 1-minute Quaker oats and these worked very well too.)
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. canola oil (I have used butter instead)
3/4 c. honey or maple syrup (or HFCS infested Aunt Jemima...ya know, if you're *ahem* trying to use it up.)
1/2 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

On medium-high, heat up the oil, honey (or syrup), water and vanilla in a pot until thin.  With a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, flour salt and cinnamon until the oats are coated and look moist.  Yup, *moist* IS a funny word. 

Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet, crumbling the clumps of oats.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes - turning the granola every 10 minutes with a spatula.   During the last 10 minutes, add dried fruit and nuts if you want. or if you are looking for added protein a little powdered milk will do the trick.  

Breakfast these days for me is granola mixed in with fat-free greek yogurt (Chobani honey, peach or strawberry are my favs and here's a tip... stock up by the case when they are $1.00)

Since portion control is an issue for me, I put a 1/2 cup container in with the granola and when I have it with my breakfast, I store it in a little 1/2 cup container.  And yes, the handful walking past the pantry is oh so tempting!  

Oh and seriously, re: Birkenstocks.  I have at least 4 pairs and I can't seem to find them anywhere.  I think they are in a box in David's mom's attic. Maybe. 

NI: Approx. 225cal/15g fat/4g fiber/7g protein per 1/2 cup
Cost: Varies...here Approx. $3.83 for the batch, so $.20 per serving.

April 16, 2013

No words.

Raw. Hurt. Angry. Teary. Shock. Annoyed. Worried. Relieved. Blessed. Angry. Tired. Drained. Angry. Confused. Shocked. Angry. Relieved.

Over and over again yesterday and today, all these emotions were rushing through me. Through so many of us. Yesterday started on a joyful note as I got an email from my dear friend Sarah entitled: "Happy Boston-versary!" saying that me and the Boston Marathon are forever linked in her mind. How much has changed in 48 hours.

Shock as we turned on the TV staring. Confusion as we watched in horror. Boston? on Patriot's Day? Marathon Monday? Why? Relieved as I looked up runners I knew were running and seemed to be safe enough away from the finish line having crossed or not crossed but away from the blasts.

Relief as I viewed fb post after fb post of friends letting friends know through tags and through comments and emails that they were ok. Blessed at the number of people concerned for me and my own family!

Then more anger. Sadness. Anger. This is our town. Our race. Our community.

I don't know what you do when you feel angry, but I turn to someone who has helped me recognize my anger: Thich Nhat Hanh.

"Breathe to take care of your anger" he says. To me this is so fascinating because as a runner, I know when I hit the sweet spot and want to run on and on and on, when my breathing clicks.

He states:

"When the energy of anger, jealousy, or despair manifests in us, we should know how to handle it, otherwise we will be overwhelmed by it and suffer tremendously."

I am going to assume that yesterday's and most if not all of these acts that harm and terrorize are rooted in anger, I refuse to allow my own anger to consume me and fan those flames.

Here are some exercises from TNH.
1. Contemplating a person in anger, I breathe in. Seeing the suffering of that person, I breathe out.
2. Contemplating the damage from anger to self and others, I breathe in. Seeing that anger burns and destroys happiness, I breathe out.
3. Seeing the roots of anger in wrong perceptions and ignorance, breathe in. Smiling to my wrong perceptions and ignorance, I breathe out.
4. Seeing myself burned by the fire of anger, I breathe in. Feeling compassion for myself and others burning with anger, I breathe out.

Lastly, when I ran Boston 2 years ago, I ran for life,for saving lives through the work that Dana-Farber does here in Boston. I have a reverence for life, and I take this vow:

Reverence for Life
"Aware of the suffering caused and the destruction of life, I vow to cultivate compassion and learn ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to condone any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life."

I run for the joy that it brings. For life. And I will keep running tomorrow for all those that can't.
Boston Joy.

April 13, 2013

The Closest To Us

My daughter is something special. I know everyone says that about their children, and they should, and my daughter is definitely something special.

Tonight after a fantastic day, a decent enough bedtime, she was feeling frustrated and used a naughty word. She could tell it pushed my buttons, so she used it 3 more times. Rrrrrrrrrrrr.....

I walked out of the room. Partly to show I wouldn't stand for being pushed around, but in prt because I needed a cooling off period. Tearfully, she came out to get me, I was stern and I tucked her back into her bed and she let go of some emotions that had been bugging her at school. (Lots of transitions, teacher starting maternity leave, 5 yr olds learning how to be kind to one another, etc.)

Iz: xxxx was mean to me at school.
Me: oh?
Iz: yeah.
Me: maybe xxxx is lonely and isn't sure how to say it? Do you feel lonely sometimes? Are you always kind? (Hindsight, I should have paused & listened more)
Iz: I'm always kind at school.
Me: what about to your brother?
Iz: no, but it's a long time to be with the same person.

(Yes, she really did say that.)

Me: Did you hear that somewhere?
Iz: No, it was just in my head.

And then she fell fast asleep.

Me, after picking my jaw up off the floor, realize just how true that is. Aren't we the meanest to the people closest to us? And the meanest to the person really closest to us....ourselves?

Before all this went downhill and then back on track, we spent some time at the Loving-kindness spa. LKS is the part two of our bedtime routine after she picks an age where I tell her a story from that time in my life. (Tonight she picked 8 for me. Also her brother's age).

Anyway, at the Loving Kindness Spa, Rose (aka me) is our stylist/ticklebacker/relaxation/whisper specialist. (I'm not surprised Iz picked that name for our specialist, since it is the name of someone special in her life.) At LKS we say kind things about ourselves, our friends and role play positive behaviors while pretending to get our hair done (it helps me get her tangles out....win!), get massages (we massage out the icky and not so great moments of the day) and whisper positive loving feelings while at LKS.

I really think that it was the LKS that made her feel comfortable enough to test the waters and talk about the icky things that were going on and the way to transition to that was to push my buttons after we were done at the LKS.

Maybe all of us need time at LKS and the best way to get though the mean feelings we feel toward ourselves (or others) and to get out of coping with food or booze or ______fill in the blank_____, is to book an appointment with Rose at the Loving-Kindness Spa.

I promise LKS is always open.

April 08, 2013


My daughter and I started to play this game at bed time where she picks a number between zero and thirty-seven, (my current age) and I tell her a little bit of history from my life. I told her about the time when I was 9 and was in 4-H and trained a seeing eye dog for a year; 31 and met her for the first time; 0 and spent my first Thanksgiving making her Gramma think I was ready to be born only to make her wait another week; 11 and played Abigail Adams in my 5th grade school play (we had a great political discussion that night and she told me she voted at school....in a race "between the football player and Barack Obama." She said Barack Obama won. She couldn't remember the other guy....."PoopEye?" she asked.

Tonight she picked 22.

I told her about my time as a dog-walker, walking beagles and border collies and terriers and golden retrievers and yellow labs. I told her that I work with someone now that I was friends with at 22!

I didn't tell her I was 60 pounds overweight and sad and anxious and quit school for a year. I didn't tell her that walking dogs was what got me it of bed in the morning. I didn't tell her I was miserable in my skin and felt huge all the time, avoiding mirrors and beaches and hid cookies in my bedroom and ate Ben and Jerry's pints at a time and smoked Marlboro Reds.

Instead I told her the things that I know we have in common. I told her I read lots and lots of books and I read lots and lots of comics.

She lit up and hopped out of bed.

"Close your eyes"
She puts three books in my hand.
Her brand new issues of Spider girl.
(Only she calls her SpiderWoman. I love that!)
"Can we sort comics tomorrow?"
"I'd love to."

My weight, no matter what it was....no matter what it is....it does not define me. It doesn't define any of us. Our experiences do.

Be resilient. Reframe.

How do YOU reframe?

April 05, 2013

W2.D5 The Wrappers.

I'm on the train and I'm hungry. My mental check list is going .....

protein? can of tuna in my salad. check.
veggies? spinach salad. check.
good carbs? yep, granola. check.
water? ummmmm..... 2 coffees and one 11oz bottle according to my tracking.

Not good.

Fast forward 2 hours later, my dinner was bigger than normal and I totally failed the FLAB test and reached for the left over Easter candy. This time it was the F'n F. Kids wild before bed and bam. Wrappers everywhere!

But in trying to look on the positive side and how to handle these inevitable situations here is something we can do. While abstinence is best, sometime candy is too tempting. If you find yourself going for the candy, try this: leave the wrappers out so you can see how much you've eaten. Not as a punishment, but to track and move on.

On the bright side....

[imagine sounds of elephants running and lions fighting above our head]
Me: I'm self soothing with chocolate.
David: where did you find those?
Me: the bottom of the Easter basket. Want some?
David: No, but I had I know those were there earlier, they'd be gone.

Good deed for the day: I ate all the candy before anyone else did. :-/

April 03, 2013

Food Review.

We are starting a new segment on TheOuterAisle.

 Food reviews.

W2.D4. Is your why bigger than your but(t)?

Yesterday, I talked about my why. Why it is that I want to continue on this sometime arduous, sometimes rewarding journey. Love and Gratitude is the short answer, but it took some time to get there and I encourage you to find your short answer but really dig and get there the long way around.

Anyway, love and gratitude is great, but (butt) it doesn't shed the weight or cut my marathon time.

So, dear Christy, what does cut the weight or shed time off my PR?


What is ONE thing, just ONE thing that you will commit to tomorrow, just tomorrow?

Here are some ideas:
Drink half your weight in ounces of water.
Take your lunch to work.
Eat the lunch you took to work.
Go to the gym.
Track your food for the day.
Dance with your kids and get all the sillies out.
Bring your sneakers to work, or put them by the door.
Use them.

Just pick one.

A colleague of mine used to say "if everything is important than nothing is." So for real, all you overachievers out there.....You are only to pick ONE!

April 02, 2013

W2.D3. My Why.

Yesterday I said I would share my "why" so here goes.

I don't ever want my children to hate their bodies like I hated my own.

I thought I wanted to lose weight so I could fit in my wedding dress. And I did, but I gained it back and then some with my first pregnancy. Then I wanted to fit back in my clothes so I lost weight again. But I gained even more back with pregnancy number 2, weighing 210 at my first weight watchers meeting AFTER my sweet baby girl was born.

Finally enough was enough.

I decided to lose weight (and keep it off) because I didn't want to suffer any more. I started this blog for me and for others so that they don't have to suffer in silence anymore either.

I hope one day if my children ever chose to read this blog/journal that they know that I love them with all my heart and I will do anything to keep them from suffering in this way. Don't get me wrong, they will suffer, everyone does, and I can't always protect them from suffering, but I hope it is not in this way. I hope they never hate themselves or their bodies.

Yet, while we all suffer, we all survive the same. And I want to SHOW them how to survive.

Survival = Love + Gratitude.

Survival starts with loving oneself. I want to show them that I love myself. That I love my body. That I am grateful for the body God gave me. To show my love and gratitude, I honor and treat my body with respect by feeding it good food, moving it, and letting it rest when it needs rest.

My why is because I want to show my children how to survive with love and gratitude.

What is yours?

Quick dinner idea.

Protein, check.
Greens, check.
Good carbs, check.

Chopped spinach, chopped apples, chopped left over pork (thank you David!), dried cranberries, light raspberry vinaigrette.

Sweet potato (6 minutes in a low power microwave)


April 01, 2013

W2. Day 2. What is the Why?

Today, the Women's Networking Group at my place of work invited a speaker to talk to us about the importance if balance and healthy living. Yes, of course we all know that it is important, but this gentleman (yes, it was a man....I never understand why the featured speakers at many women's networking groups are men.....but whatever.) preached no processed foods, get enough sleep, move.

All these things we know. I know them. You know them, but change is hard.

The most important thing that Chris Johnson from On Target Living said, in my opinion was "make sure your WHY is bigger than your butt."

Here is the thing, all of us want to look and feel good, but is that what gets us to change? Many of us want more energy, to get off medications, to live longer, but that STILL doesn't answer WHY we want to break habits and make a new change.

So our task for today is to really think about WHY we want to make a change. And ask yourself, is that WHY big enough to actually do it?

What is your why? I'll tell you mine tomorrow..... Stay tuned. Until then,


W2 Day 1. The weigh in.

The scale and I have a love hate relationship. On the one hand, I am a total data girl, I love tracking information, and if you think about it, our bodies are like machines producing lots and lots of information. Hook us up to a counter/ tracker/scale and we will deliver. I've tracked distance, steps, pounds, heart rate, mood, repetitions, calories, points, weight...my height stays the same for now and I will take calcium every night to keep it that way! It isn't just about tracking, but then analyzing what we tracked.

So today, after a long Easter weekend with lots of Easter events, some I tracked and some I lazily tracked ( in my head till I lost count) which really isn't tracking, I am not surprised at the scale.

I had a gain this week.

But the scale is not me. It is not my mood. It is what it is and I will not let it dictate my mood.


So today's Easter morning task is to drink plenty of water and going on a mini-detox, getting rid of all the salt, sugar and build ups from this weekend and keep moving onward.

Detox the brain of negative thoughts. Detox the body of the Easter abundance. That is a resurrection in of itself.


Water + light = Resurection.
*by Izzy B. via Paper on Easter Sunday

March 30, 2013

Day 7. Ugh.

I'm not sure how this happens, but somewhere along the last week, the home stretch, I get lazy in my tracking.

Sure it doesn't help that it is a holiday weekend, but any given weekend there is something going on that involves decadent food.

Today, I wasn't completely proud of the choices I made....why did I sit in front of the bowl of jelly beans, pastel malted milk ball, chocolate m&m and plate of coconut bunny cake and Cadbury cream egg brownies? Sigh.

Maybe it was too big of a goal to try to start again before Easter? Or maybe it was a good thing since a almost full week of good choices maybe made up for an Easter weekend. Maybe looking at the big picture is better.

I guess we will see with the next weigh in.....

When you fall off the wagon, how do you get back on?

And with that, I leave you with this:

March 29, 2013

Day 6. The Kitchen is Closed.

My good friend Sarah declares the kitchen is closed after 7 pm. She does it to help fend off the late night cravings.

My best weapon against late night cravings....

Day 5. Weekend Weakness

For many of us, the weekends, while lovely and a nice time off, are scary when it comes to sticking with a new habit.

At work or during the week there is a certain routine. Whether it is sending our kids off to school or heading out ourselves to work, there is a structure that we make for ourselves and food just naturally falls into place.

How many times have you said to yourself that you can stick to good choices doing the week, but the weekends are hard?

*raising hand*

We started with the basics this week, just writing everything we eat down, no matter what it is. So we are going to continue to do that this weekend, this long weekend, this holiday weekend.

Here are some tips we can do to help us continue that practice:

- Leave your notebook, tracker, tracking device in a visible place, like on the counter, kitchen, or dining room table so you are sure to track.
- Write down what you plan to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the day (or whole weekend) and then check them off as you go.
- if you "cheat" don't beat yourself up, but STILL write it down.
- get sleep. Try not to stay up late just because it is the weekend. We tend to make poorer food choices when we are tired.
- MOVE! If you are bored, get out of the house and find something else to do away from the fridge. And if you go out, bring a healthy snack. If you decide to go to a restaurant, reference yesterday's post. :-)

This has been my weekends of yesteryear.... The trick is to figure it why all the snacking?

Frustrated? Walk it out.
Lonely? Call a friend.
Angry? Talking it out.
Bored? Go out.
Or hungry? Then eat.

March 26, 2013

Day 4. The Restaurant.

It was bound to happen sooner or later. The time when you are invited out for a meal. Whether it is with your family or your friends, you will be going to a restaurant.

The important thing to remember here is that living is important. This is not a DIEt, but a way of life. Which means that after reaching goal, you still have to live. So why not make the good habits now while we are in losing mode so that during maintaining we don't just go hog wild thinking we an eat whatever we darn well please.

Like yesterday, the key here is to plan. Try to find out the restaurant before you go and see if you an fin energy menu online. If you are already prepared with your meal selection than it will be easier to stick with that choice after the first glass of wine.

Yes, regarding wine. Wine is delicious and helps us relax, but it also lowers our inhibitions making good food choices harder to make. My suggestion, if you go for the wine, also order a water and sip both the whole time. Try to make the glass last.

Other suggestions:
Steer clear of bread and cheese before the meal. If you can, see if they have raw veggies as an appetizer. The chef may gladly make you some. Avoid cream and butter and ask how the meal is prepared. You are the customer and they want you to be happy!

If you are at a heavy portion sized place, ask for a take home container to come with the meal. I've split a burger in half, put one half in the doggie bag and ate the rest. I didn't feel over stuffed, but just right. And I had another decent meal the next day.

Most of all, enjoy yourself and remember this is just one day. If you fall of the wagon, no harm, don't beat yourself up, just get right back on in the morning.


So I wrote all of the above before going out to dinner. I did go online and look up the menu before hand and decided on the broiled scallops. However, I got to the place and did get tempted....

The server at Durgin Park told me about the baked sea scallops with a crab breaking that was just too good to pass up. So I splurged. Sometimes you just have to. I also stuck with one glass of wine and 1/2 of a slice of the most amazing key lime pie. I did not finish all the scallops, but ate till I was full but not overstuffed. The mile walk to the train and the mile walk home helped too. All and all, I would say this was a successful night out. We'll just have to see what the scale says at weigh in next week.....

Day 3. More food.

When I start a new habit (or restart), I often want ideas to help me along the way. Original thinking comes certainly happens, but collaboration is tried and true. Instead of reinventing the wheel, go with something that maybe worked for someone else.

I just ask, that if you do use these ideas or like them, pass them on!

Here is one of my go to easy peaty tasty staples that I eat on salad, with chips or even as a meal itself. And it is really, really easy to make and you only need to get two fresh things from the store and the rest can come from the pantry.

So I would love to say that I ALWAYS eat from the outer aisle, but sometimes that is just not feasible. And sometimes halfway is good enough.

Here are the fresh ingredients you need:

1 small red onion
1 bunch of cilantro

And here are the pantry items:
1 can of black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of corn
Newman's own lite lime dressing

Drain the beans and rinse them, drain the corn, drain the tomatoes, chop the onion, chop the cilantro, splash the dressing to taste, (I do a couple tablespoons) dump everything in a container preferably with a lid and shake it up.

That's it.

Smells heavenly, right?

All this of course can be done with fresh ingredients, I like TJ's fresh salsa for example, or real lime and olive oil, but this is the quick and dirty way. Try it and let me know what you think!

Pura vida!

PS. How is the tracking going, you are still tracking with me right? I know Cindy is!

March 25, 2013

Day 2. The Whiching Hour.

We are about to enter the whiching hour. You know that awful hour when you ask.....

Which should I eat?
Raw peppers or a handful of lucky charms?
Salad, or pb&j?
Water or wine?

For me, after work, when the chaos of post-dinner, pre-bedtime stress happens, good decisions are sooooooo hard to make. When my energy is low, or I'm frustrated and tired, it is hard to make the good food choices. Whiching is a bitch.

So here is my plan. Have a plan.

I am going to make sure I have good choices ready for me in those whiching hour times.

Little snack packs of veggies, bright colored peppers, little baggies of carrots, apples, pears, clementines. That takes care of the snacking, but what about dinner.

The best dinner nights have been when I have prepared meals in advance or I know exactly what is going to be made fresh. And i like to have a meal in my back pocket so the whiching decision isn't ...well....a witch.

My go to meal is trader joe's chicken apple sausage. Stir fry the sausage with apples and onions, add a sweet potato, heated up in the microwave or brown rice or quinoa and you have an instant easy   healthy meal.

Day 1. Bite it, write it.

I started this new job, which is AWESOME, thanks for asking, but in the process of change, transition, yadda yadda, running has taken a detour (not for long with Beach to Beacon on the horizon), eating has been meh (darn you Easter Reese's Eggs!) and there seems to be food around every corner in every kitchen (And there are a lot of kitchens). It would be easier if it wasn't such good food..... wait, why am I complaining????

Anyway, I've added a couple, ok, a few, ok....10lbs I would really like to get back before 10 becomes 15, becomes 20....becomes 70.

AND I have a whole new motivation. I gave some lovely ladies at work a link to TheOuterAisle and after the shock of "OMG I can't imagine you 70 lbs heavier!" (60 at this point, but who is counting but me....) we agreed to keep each other accountable. Accountability is so key. Plus one of the lovelies lets me practice my Spanish with her, so total win-win!

So I'll be emailing them with day one advice, which is simple:

Start small. Write everything down. we eat. I say we because I am totally on this bandwagon.

We bite it, we write it.
We drink it, we ink it.

I don't care how you track.... online, apps, excel, calories, points, pencil and paper. It doesn't matter, just write it down. One day. Write it all down. Don't worry, we'll add more later, but one day, one NEW item today.  And we'll see you back here tomorrow to see how we did.

Pura Vida!

I don't need an app or an appetizer, just a utensil, a writing utensil. 

January 08, 2013

You Are WHY You Eat

Here is a great video to help us understand WHY we eat.

I love her idea of the Apple and FLAB test!

Are you hungry? If an Apple doesn't do it, then go to the FLAB test. If an apple (or your favorite fruit) won't satisfy you then are you feeling.....


These are the four main reasons people eat when we are not really hungry. And if we are feeling these things, then we need to find another way, not food, to acknowledge, feel and work with these feelings in a more productive way. Food isn't the answer.

Good advice from from Dr. Ramani Durvasula

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