• About Allison

    I am a 26-year-old married Michigan gal living in Sarasota, Florida. This blog is a chronicle of my journey toward a healthier lifestyle! I started running in January 2009 and began to change my eating habits in May 2009. Now, I am dedicated to training smart and eating right. Join me as I seek to balance running and eating healthy, local foods with my crazy work life and hilarious home life.

    Contact me: allisonisactive@gmail.com

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Running with Karen

Saturday was a day all about running!  And I day when I forgot to take any pictures!

I met up with my Galloway group at Fleet Feet at 6:45 A.M. for a 4 mile run.

Run Stats:

  • Distance: 4.18 miles (I used Gmaps Pedometer)
  • Time: 50:48
  • Run 2/walk 1

I ate one slice of peanut butter toast before leaving.

While I was running, my friend Karen (who just started running!) was driving here from Orlando.  We met up at my house and got the Husband to watch her dog while we ran the bridge!

Run Stats:

  • Distance:  2 miles
  • Time: 25:00
  • Run 2/walk 1

Even though Karen is a beginning runner, she tackled the Ringling Bridge with style!  I am so proud of her running and the progress she has made so far.  I can’t wait to watch her cross the finish line at Disney’s Royal Family 5k!

The rest of Saturday, Karen and I bummed around Sarasota.  We went out to breakfast (pancakes at Word of Mouth), hit up Fleet Feet so she could get some running gear, and shopped in St. Armand’s Circle.  In the afternoon, we hung out at my house with her dog (Nomar, a Boston terrier) and went to dinner with the Husband.

Today was all about shopping; the Husband needed new jeans and I wanted to start shopping for summer shorts and sandals.  We had success!  He got new jeans and I got a SUPER cute pair of pink shorts.  I even bought a new headband, which is uncharacteristic for me because I never spent money on accessories.

On top of all this, I am still a bit sick.  My strep test turned out negative, but my throat is sore and my glands swollen.  The doctor wrote me an antibiotic prescription I can fill if I don’t kick this in a few days.  According to all my research, I was fine to run and didn’t feel any worse after.

Tonight I am planning to take it easy with a light dinner and maybe a glass of wine.  I have to get up early tomorrow – I am videotaping myself teaching a lesson which I have to turn in to the teacher for my reading endorsement class, so I need to be prepared!

Ooh, and two (I hope) Yoga in January reviews are coming this week to wrap up the month, with a new February theme coming soon.

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Winter Warrior

Happy Monday, everyone!  It’s an especially happy Monday for me because I’m off work today.  Tomorrow is kind of an “off” day, too – I have to be at school, but the kids won’t be there.  It’s a professional development day.  Those are always fun because I get to learn something new and spend time with my teaching team.  Plus, they are very relaxed days.  Yay!

What’s on the list for today?

  • Clean our bathroom, wash sheets and towels, and clean the kitchen counters, walls, and floor.
  • Read!
  • Schedule dentist appointments for spring break
  • Run!

On the running note, I’m going to try something new.  Fleet Feet Sarasota is pairing up with Mizuno for a Winter Warrior Event.

Basically, every time you show up at their store for a run (Mondays and Thursdays at 6 P.M. and Saturday at 7 A.M.) you can earn points.  They are giving out lots of point level prizes, and the two people (male and female) with the highest points at the end of 12 weeks win a FREE pair of Mizuno shoes!

I have never run in Mizuno shoes, but the Mizuno bus will be there to night so we can try on and test their shoes.  I don’t normally run at Fleet Feet during this week, but I can alter my schedule to run outside, meet new people, and win some prizess

Yesterday’s Workout

Sunday is a rest day on my training plan, owing to frequent Saturday long runs.  By dinner time, after sitting around all day reading and then eating salad, steak, and mashed potatoes for dinner, I wanted to get up and out!  So, I talked the husband into walking the bridge with me!

  • Distance:  4.25 miles
  • Time:  1:20 (it was a leisurely walk and we stopped to look at sculptures on the bay front)

Despite our slow pace, I worked up a bit of a sweat and my legs definitely felt it.  I stretched for a long time when we got home, trying to work out some of the pain in my right hip that I’ve been having lately.  (It is definitely time for new shoes.)

Have a great Monday, everyone!  I’ll be back tonight with a post about trying on Mizuno shoes and my first Winter Warrior run.

Christmas Fun & Upcoming Race!

Greetings from Wisconsin!  Here’s a quick round-up of our Christmas activities…

Wednesday night, we had a bar night at New Holland Brewing Co. with a bunch of our friends from high school and from Mike’s fraternity.

Clearly, things got a bit crazy as the evning went on.  🙂

Christmas Eve, I spent the afternoon shopping and lunch at Panera with my mom, then wrapping presents with Mike at my parents’ house.  During this time, my dad decided to put a bunch of potato peels down our garbage disposal; it of course clogged up, and he and Mike spent about two hours trying to fix this!  Then end result was having no sink for Christmas.

My parents’ house was perfectly decorated, as always.

These are the “fancy” holiday decorations.  We keep the silly stuff like the Star Trek themed tree in our family room downstairs.  😉

After church on Christmas Eve, we cooked up a storm:

My mom put on quite the spread:

We had a pretty big group for our annual pajama dinner:  myself and Mike, my parents and sister, and Mike’s parents and brother.  We had a big dinner that included turkey, mashed potatoes, broccoli, zucchini with peppers and onions, stuffing, and rolls.  I only took a picture of my dessert:

Haagen Dasz “five” mint ice cream and chocolate syrup in my mom’s pretty holly cups.  (Secret: they came from Arby’s a long time ago!

Christmas day, Mike and I started at my parents’ house.  I put on some festiva holiday garb, which included my jingle bell reindeer antlers.

The stockings, of course, were hung by the fire with care:

My dad’s extended family came over that afternoon, and my mom put on another spread:

She kept it casual for a group of over 20 people:  sloppy joes and leftover turkey subs on buns, toppings, and potato chips.  She also made these snowballs:

I didn’t eat much at this gathering – I had had a huge bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and was saving my stomach for dinner at Mike’s parents’ house.  I did, however, take a snowball with me.  I haven’t eaten it yet, but I’m sure it’ll be yummy.

After Christmas at my house, we drove the five blocks back to Mike’s parents’ house for Christmas with them!  Mike’s mom put on a big Christmas dinner, too.  (No pictures because I was fading fast by this point!)  Dinner with them includedturkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, homemade applesauce, stuffing, and rolls.  By this point in our Christmas-ing, I had eaten way too much and still had Wisconsin Christmas to go!

The day after Christmas, we jumped in the car with Mike’s family (actually, two cars) and headed to Waupun, Wisconsin where his grandparents live.  Another spread of holiday treats awaited!

I snacked most of the afternoon on carrots, broccoli, and ranch dip; rye chips; cheese and crackers; and plenty of sugar and gingerbread cookies.  Then, his grandma served up a huge dinner involving pork loin, homemade applesauce, peas and onions, corn, mashed potatoes, and crescent rolls.  I ate a pretty light meal, given my hevy snacking all afternoon.  The women in our families really are masters of holiday treats, and I need to get some of their recipes!

Whew.  That was a lot of Christmas-ing!  We’re still in Wisconsin, relaxing and hanging out with his family.

Running Update

I never did get in my 11-miler this Saturday because we left for Wisconsin really early.  I am hoping to accomplish it early this week back in Michigan because I hate to miss a long run.  I am planning a short run for Monday night, so maybe the 11-miler will happen on Wednesday.

I got some awesome running related Christmas gifts!  Here’s a quick list:

  • A pink ankle Road ID!  I am so excited about this.  The Husband ordered it for me so I can stay safe while running.
  • A big bag of Clif bars and GU Chomps, also from the Husband. 
  • Some blogging and photography stuff for my running blog: a camera case, new and bigger flash drive, and one of those bendy tripod things.
  • A coupon for a massage after my next run.  This was from Mike’s parents, and I can’t wait to use it this week!

I really am spoiled, especially when it comes to running accessories.  🙂

I have an upcoming race!  I am going to do the New Year’s Eve Run, Walk, and Ramble event in Downtown Holland on New Year’s Eve!  This event is a 5k fun run (meaning that it is untimed) meant to kick off the new year.  It’s at 6:00 P.M., so I can do the run, shower, and get ready to go out for the evening!  I haven’t had luck finding friends or family members to run with me, but hopefully the Husband and my parents will come watch.

This Post is Officially Random

Wow, what a Monday!  Between teaching, yearbook stuff, coaching cheerleading at a “dress rehearsal” for tomorrow’s program, and getting to the library, my day has been hectic.  But, it was hectic in a pleasant way!

First of all, I have to rewind to Sunday.  My Sunday was pretty relaxing – I read the paper, did some Christmas shopping, grabbed lunch at Chipotle, relaxed and read for a long time, and hit the road for a five-mile bike ride.

Here’s my sexy night bike riding look, complete with head lamp:

Head lamp story:  The Husband loves to go for night hikes, particularly in the winter and even better if the snow is knee-deep.  He’s had a head lamp forever and it’s always been kind of a joke between us.  So, in December 2006 when he proposed to me, he took me on a night hike (with the head lamp) to a fire on top of the dune that one of his friends had built for us – that where he proposed!  It was wonderful.

Flashback:

We look so young!  I love how the head lamp makes it look like he just mined the diamond.

Anyway, later that evening, he gave me my Christmas present (as if a ring wasn’t enough, right?!) which included my very own head lamp for future night hikes.  🙂  It gets most of its use on night bike rides, however.

Okay, this post has somehow veered from my Sunday activities into a post about my proposal.  This would be a good example of a piece of writing losing focus, which I’m always telling my students not to do!

On Sunday, I also bought this DVD at Target:

I have lately been missing the awesome yoga class I used to go to in Celebration – it was called candlelight yoga and took place late in the evening on Mondays in a dance studio lit only by candles.  It was amaaaaaaazing, and I’m hoping to recreate that experience in my living room!

Anyway, I did two of the workouts yesterday – stress relief yoga and P.M. peak performance yoga.  Both were very relaxing, and made my back and shoulders feel wonderful!  (I have a lot of shoulder pain due to eight years of having people stand on me in cheerleading and also my ample chest.)  I liked the DVD and will be trying an A.M. yoga workout tomorrow!

Okay, so fast forward to Monday – my day began with OATMEAL!

My glorious plastic container of oats that I ate in the car on the way to work, as always, included:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • Coconut and slivered almonds for topping

These oats, plus the fact that I decided to wear my favorite and very comfortable hippie shirt, made my morning excellent.

My dad says this shirt makes me look pregnant.  I think it’s super cute!  I always get compliments on it because it is unique.

My morning snack was a chocolate chip ZBar.  I’ve posted way too many pictures of those, so I’m sure you can imagine it in your mind.  🙂

Lunch = pepperoni pizza leftover from Friday.

My afternoon snacks were two toasted pieces of cinnamon bread and a banana bran muffin, both unpictured because I ate them while teaching or coaching.

After school, I checked my teacher mailbox and discovered a gift from my secret santa:  a Mounds bar!!  Mounds bars are completely my favorite candy ever.  My mom and I like to split them… This bar, however, got completely gobbled up by me right away!

My nail polish is officially raggedy.  Yikes.

How cute is that bow?!  I love my secret santa – clearly, she is a person who understands that even a healthy snack lover like me can use a little dark chocolate on Monday!!  (I say she because I only work with three guys, and none of them wrote this note.)

I got home at 6:00 and immediately hurried to the library on my bike, which is a Monday tradition for Mike and me.  Upon my return, I was super hungry and threw together a repeat of Saturday’s veggie dinner.

  • Roasted red potatoes (leftover)
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Sauteed carrots with sage

This huge plate is proving not to be very filling, so I’m about to go scrounge up some more snacks.

Rereading this post, I am realize how completely random it is.  I hope nobody minds!  We all need some randomness now and then, right?!  🙂

Have a great night, everyone!

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire

Okay, there aren’t actually chestnuts, but we do have an open fire!

I asked the Husband if he wanted to go on a walk tonight, but he just got a fire going in our fireplace after three hours of effort:

Obviously, we can’t leave.  🙂  Oh well.  I will happily spend the evening enjoying a rerun of The Office, some leftover potato cheddar soup, and a book!  Plus, I love having our first fire of the year – the fireplace is my favorite thing about this house!

I didn’t get any pictures today, because my day at school was full of grading.  Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Breakfast:  Oatmeal with maple syrup, brown sugar, and apple cinnamon granola
  • Morning snack:  Nonexistent
  • Lunch:  Whole wheat spaghetti with broccoli, sugar snap peas, asparagus, green onions, red pepper, and Newman’s Own alfredo sauce; four Hershey Kisses
  • Afternoon snack at home:  Carrots and ranch (I had a weird carrot craving on the way home from work); two pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter; chamomile tea and two sugar cookies (I was starving after work!)

This might be on my to-do list today or tomorrow, too:

We watched this one over the last two nights:

I love Christmas movies!!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas…

Hi guys!  Sorry I haven’t been around since my flooded five-miler on Saturday.  Remember the big fat list of stuff I had to do around the house on Saturday?  I was accomplishing that until mid-afternoon!  The goal was to make the house look nice and keep myself busy until the Husband came back from Gainesville on Saturday night.  The cleaning definitely took care of keeping me busy!  I also talked to my parents on the phone and took a long, hot bath to warm up after my chilly run.  (I know you should do this after a run, but I was freezing.)

Around 3:00, I decided to bake some Christmas cookies!  This kept me occupied until early evening.  Especially when, during the hour that the dough needed to chill in the fridge, I discovered that while I have like 25 Halloween cookie cutters, I only had two Christmas cookie cutters!  So, I ran out to Williams-Sonoma to grab a candy cane and a stocking cookie cutter to add to my tree and gingerbread man.  🙂

To make my cookies, I used this Basic Sugar Cookie Dough recipe from Real Simple.  I was feeling too lazy to make royal icing, which I usually do because it looks pretty.  I used frosting from a jar… It tasted much better than royal icing, in my opinion!

By 7:00 on Saturday night, the Husband wouldn’t be home for another hour, so I got bundled up and walked a couple blocks to watch the Sarasota Holiday Parade by myself!  🙂

I like parades, but I’m kind of a harsh parade critic because I grew up in Holland, Michigan, where our Tulip Time parades are pretty awesome.  I thought the Sarasota parade was cute; there were a lot of community groups involved, and I saw several of my students walking with their various church groups or dance studios or whatever.

By the time I got home, the Husband was here!  I was pretty happy to see him, since he’d been in Gainesville for almost a week!

On Sunday, I was extremely lazy.  The Husband was too.  We slept in very late, made pancakes, read, and watched football.  We did take some time to put up Christmas decorations, though!

I love our decorations!  We have no tree this year due to space (and the fact that we’ll be gone for two weeks at Christmas) buy all my decorations are still nicely coordinated.  Here’s what it looked last year when we had a tree:

No tree this year, though.  😦  Oh well.  At least we both get to spend Christmas in Michigan and enjoy the SNOW!  That’s why I can live without a tree.

I better get going – I’m headed to school early because I have a LOT to do for this week!

Stir Fry

The Husband whipped up a tasty stir-fry for dinner last night!

It began with chopping a lot of vegetables and chicken.  This is fine by him, because chopping his his favorite kitchen activity.

Onions and red pepper:

Ginger:

Carrots:

Broccoli and sugar snap peas:

Then it all went into the wok with some chicken!

The Husband also made stir fry sauce, which included chili garlic oil, honey, and say sauce.

Now, I meant to serve this with brown rice, but the organic brown rice I picked up wasn’t instant!  So, the rice wasn’t ready when I was ready to eat – I ended up with my chicken and vegetable mixture, sans stir fry sauce, on top of whole wheat penne pasta with Newman’s Own alfredo sauce.

This worked out just fine, and it made for a great dinner.  However, I’m excited that my lunch today involves the stir-fry mix, sauce, and brown rice.  Yay!

After dinner, I had a bowl of ice cream out of the fridge.  I jazzed up my Blue Bell vanilla ice cream with Hershey’s syrup and sprinkles.  🙂

I know what you’re thinking – and the answer is, yes, those are sprinkles in the shape and colors of tropical fish!  I got a bunch of different containers of sprinkles at my bridal shower last year.  The fish ones usually go on sundaes because I save the seasonal ones for holiday cookies!

After this delicious dinner and dessert, I was stuffed and happy to veg out on the couch all evening with a copy of The Last Olympian, which is the last book in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.  It was the perfect evening!