Archives for March 2012

Me Versus The Office Leftovers


Today we have a guest post written by the lovely Ashley from A Healthy, Happier Bear.  She has some great tips and snack ideas for you to help win out over the temptation to eat all the unhealthy things in your office break room. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello, too. She just ran the Rock ‘N Roll DC half marathon!

Each day, I pass our office’s small kitchenette only to be taunted by plates of leftovers. I’m not sure when leftover bagels, cookies, or even pasta salad became attractive. I mean, really, when else would I normally be enticed to eat 8 hour old food?

For me, this was the number one cause of the dreaded 10 pounds I gained during wedding planning. In May 2009, I transitioned from a work-at-home role to an office-based role. Gone were the days of working in sweat pants, making homemade smoothies for breakfast, or taking a break during the day for a quick run or workout class. Instead, my life now included business casual attire, a new-to-me makeup routine, a short commute, hours at a desk, and leftovers.

It wasn’t until I saw my wedding pictures that I realized I had to get my daytime eating under control. I would start the day wonderfully with a healthy breakfast and end the day with a healthy dinner, but between the hours of 10 and 4, there was no telling what might tempt me: office chocolates, leftover bagels, catered meeting cookies, etc.

My plan of attack was very simple: always feel like I have something better in my desk drawer.

Now my bottom desk drawer is dedicated to healthy-but-tasty snacks and meal supplements that I can access at any time. At any one time, you can find an array of my favorites stashed away for a busy day when leaving for lunch isn’t an option, or when I’m having an afternoon sweet craving.

Over the past year, I’ve learned another rule that has made fighting the leftover temptation even easier; make sure that you actually stock things you’ll crave versus “healthy cardboard.”

Here are my favorite office snacks that you can find in my desk drawer today:


Sweet Cravings

  • dried cherries individual packs
  • yogurt covered raisins 100 calorie pack
  • Sokenbicha Replenish Green Tea
  • apples and oranges that I restock each Monday
  • Chobani 0% or 2% yogurts (Okay, so these are in the office fridge, not my desk drawer.)
  • Diet Coke (I never said I was perfect.)


Salty/Crunchy Cravings

  • Laughing Cow French onion cheeses (also in fridge) and Wasa crisps
  • Kashi Go Lean or granola (pre-portioned at home using snack size Ziplock bags)
  • Pre-portioned bags of honey pretzel twists
  • Individual portions of natural popcorn
  • Individual portion of mixed nuts from Trader Joes
  • Individual portion of Baked Lays

I’m sure you caught onto my common theme of individually portioned when you read through the list. I’ll be the first to admit that my ability to manage my portions is still a work in progress and therefore I’m more than willing to pay a few extra dollars for pre-portioned or portion servings out on my own at home before bringing it into the office. If I had a full size bag of pretzels, Baked Lays, or yogurt covered raisins you better believe they’d be gone in a hot second. This way, they last longer and are easy to grab and go when I need to bring a snack to my next meeting.

QOTD: What is your go to office snack?

Disney Princess Weekend: Saturday


If you missed my previous recap on Disney Princess weekend (non race) be sure to check it out first. Saturday morning, me, Karen, and her mom ran the Royal Family 5k. After the race, we went back to the hotel for breakfast, and then we headed back to EPCOT for some fun in the park.


Some of the topiaries were already up for the flower and garden festival, I love this time of year in WDW!




Because of my magical fastpass, we were able to quickly ride soarin and Test Track. I was actually able to get my mom to ride test track….and she still hated it. Oh well!

We walked around the world showcase and decided to eat lunch at Liberty Inn.


My mom and I split a burger…and yes she got ketchup even though I told her we were getting grapes NOT fries. Poor lady.


When we were heading out, this group was out front and we sang “God Bless America” and then said the pledge of allegiance. It made me tear up a little, we are so blessed to live in a country where we can still openly do these things!

We realized the voices of liberty were about to sing, so we stayed and watched.


We finished our walk around World Showcase, and it was time to leave. We had to get back to the hotel for the blogger meet up I was hosting!


After the meet up, we got ready for dinner. I was heading to Via Napoli with the Blogger group I was with for runDisney, and everyone else was headed to Garden Grill. We had a bbiigggg table. Some of the Disney marketing people joined our blogger group for dinner.



Picture of Theodora taking a picture. ha.


Can I just say the Risoto balls were amazing. Theodora and I both got them and raved about these amazing balls. (amaze-balls. bahaha.)


I was stuffed by time my pizza came and barely made a dent in it.


I did have great conversation though because I was also sitting next to the lovely Kelly Olexa.


We had to wait a LONG time for our table and our food. We had not even ordered dessert yet and I had to go, my mom and friends were waiting for me, plus we had to get up so early for the half the next day, so I told everyone I would see them in the morning and took off walking at a lightning pace towards Future World. My phone battery had died, so I had borrowed Kelly’s phone to tell them I was on my way. But it took me a lot longer than anticipated to walk, so I was going pretty fast! This was my fourth time running through EPCOT that weekend! (Jeff Galloway meet up, running to pasta party since I was so late, and the 5k.)

We made it back to the hotel in time for desserts in the concierge lounge.



and then went to sleep. 2:45 was going to come really early, and we didn’t get to sleep until almost 11:00!

QOTD: What is your favorite thin to do in EPCOT? Never been? What would be your favorite “country” to visit in EPCOT?

St. Patrick’s Day 5k 2012


Saturday, Bobby and I ran the St. Patrick’s Day 5k in Biloxi, MS for the second year in a row. It is a flat course, so I was really looking forward to it this year in hopes for a PR. My hopes were dashed when a few key things went very very wrong.

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First of all, the race didn’t start until 9:30. I had hoped the weather would still be cool enough we would be ok…but no such luck. Seriously, this is south MS, this race should have started no later than 8:00. So we get there at 9:00, thinking thirty minutes early was plenty of time to get our bibs and t-shirts, go put them in the car, warm up and run. We walked to the table and noticed the line for race day registration was really long. Luckily, we didn’t have to stand in it and easily got out bibs. Then, we walked to the t-shirt table and were told that the only sizes left were large and extra large. I was infuriated. So they were giving away t-shirt to people who signed up on race day before the pre-registered people had a chance to get their shirts!! What is the perk of pre-registering then?!? They did agree to “mail us a shirt later” so we will see what happens.

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Them as we are walking back to the car to put our things away, we heard them say over the megaphone that they were pushing back the race start by fifteen minutes. Wwwhhaatt? I was already sweating just standing there, and now they were pushing it back until 9:45 at the earliest? right then I knew I had lost my chances for a PR. The real feel was already 80 degrees and it was humid and sunny.

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The race started about 9:48 by my watch, and we were off and running. I am so glad I had my sunglasses, it was very bright and there was little to no shade. There were almost 500 people on the course, so the beginning was very crowded. It took a couple minutes to get into a place where I could run without tripping on someone’s heels, but once I did I had no problems with room the rest of the race.

Just like last year, I saw the water stop on the way out but decided to wait and stop on the way back I was feeling really good and surprisingly keeping a decent pace despite the heat. I finished mile one in 8:44 and was still feeling good. I kept up my pace, and saw Bobby right before the turn around. Just like last year, I was only about a minute behind him. When I started my heading back, I realized I was having a harder time holding pace, and the heat was really starting to get to me. It was really the sun, it just felt like it was baking my skin, and all I wanted was to run in some shade. I hit the water stop and grabbed two cups. I drank one and pored the other one on my head/back and it felt fabulous. I walked for about twenty seconds to wipe my face, sweat was pouring into my eyes and burning.

When I headed into my third mile, it all fell apart. I had run the second mile in 9:08, and in order to PR I needed to run mile three at a 9:00 mile, and that was not happening in this heat. I felt like I was swimming in the humidity, and all I wanted was some water or Gatorade. I kept saying to myself “just one more mile and you can drink all the water you want, just one more mile.” I had to stop and walk twice more because I got really lightheaded. I hit mile 2.8 and told myself I was going to finish strong and ran it on home. When I realized I wasn’t going to PR, I decided to not kill myself. I ran faster, but I didn’t do the nausea-inducing kick that I usually do at the end of a race. I finished in 28:56 Garmin time. (It wasn’t chip timed and I started middle of the pack).

I handed over the bottom of my bib for race placement, and headed to the nearest water table only to discover…no water. I went to the Gatorade table…no Gatorade. WHAT IN THE WORLD?!? About this time, Bobby found me and told me he finished in 25:10, and when he finished they were out of water even then! I. was. livid. I was literally about to collapse from the heat (and probably dehydration) and there was no water for the finishers. We went to the car and headed home. We usually like to stick around and chat with other runners and wait for the awards but I had no desire to stick around any longer.

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Hands off ladies, he’s mine.

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Unfortunately, Bobby came home with a fun souvenir, a sunburn. He had on a green shirt for the race, but before we started he realized how hot it was going to be and decided to run without it….so he obviously didn’t have sunscreen on, hence the burn.

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I know you can’t really tell but the poor boys’ back and shoulders were red as a lobster.

In the races defense, they had a lot more people than they were expecting. This could have easily been avoided, but the price for pre registering is only a couple bucks cheaper than the price to register on race day, so there really isn’t an incentive. Also, as soon as they saw how many people were waiting in line to register that morning, they should have immediately sent a volunteer to get more water. I also will not do this race again unless they move the time back to at least 8:30. Running at 9:30 (almost ten this year!) is just not fun in south Mississippi in mid March.

I had an A goal and a B goal going into this race. Of course my A goal was to PR, and my B goal was to run faster than I ran this race last year, which I did, so I am happy about that at least.

I had a great time last year, so we were disappointed this year with the way it all went down. I hope the Gulf Coast running club will make some changes for next year!

QOTD: Have you ever run a race that ended up being a disaster?

Please don’t forget to vote for me for the Fitness Magazine blogger awards!

Weekly Recap: March Week 3


Hi friends. This weekend has been fun and so beautiful so far. Yesterday morning we ran the St. Patrick’s Day 5k and well….It will get it’s own recap probably tomorrow, let’s just say that. Anyway, after the race we came home and Bobby worked in the yard while I did some cleaning and laundry. We also spend a good deal of time sitting on the front porch chatting. It was blissful.


Today is church and Bobby has to do some work, and I get to start packing! That’s right folks, I am going out of town again soon. Didn’t I just get home?!? has it already been almost a month since Princess?!?

Here is a run down of this past week’s workouts for you:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 10 minutes elliptical and upper body weights. Was supposed to go to yoga but my back was still hurting pretty good from falling down the stairs.

Tuesday: ran 3 miles, did upper body weights, and 20 minutes elliptical

Wednesday: one hour yoga class, upper body and leg weights

Thursday: Ran 3 miles, upper body and ab’s workout

Friday: rest (for the 5k)

Saturday: St. Patrick’s day 5k


Running: 3 x’s for 9 miles. We were supposed to long run after the 5k but it was so hot we decided not to.

cross training: 2 x’s

weights: 4 x’s

yoga: 1 one hour class

My back is still bothering me a little, but I will hopefully be ok for more yoga this week. I know I ran short distances this week, but I ran them at a fast pace, trying to work on my speed. I finally feel like I am leaning out a little and have dropped a pound or two (not that I was trying but I can definitely tell a difference in my arms and hips).

Sneak peek picture from the 5k:

2012-03-17 10.19.11

QOTD: How has the weather been this weekend where you live?

RWS Features #16


Happy St. Patrick’s day! Did you know I am part Irish? (my mom’s maiden name is Richardson). This morning Bobby and I are running the St. Patrick’s Day 5k. Then we are adding some miles to make it our long run along the beach before heading back home. I will write a full recap for next week.

Today, I want to introduce you to Lindsay. She blogs at In Sweetness and in Health. Having an out of control sweet tooth, I love her cute blog! She is in grad school right now and still somehow finds time to blog. be sure to go over and say hello!


1.) How/Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because after reading healthy living blogs for a couple of years and loving them, I decided I wanted to create my own! I realized that I really wanted to blog because it combined two things that I love: writing and health/fitness. It took me a bit to actually start one because I was nervous and didn’t know what to do, but then I finally got up the courage and did it! I’m so glad I did :).

2.) Sum up your blog in a couple sentences

In Sweetness and In Health is essentially a blog where I can share my passion for healthy living. However, it’s not limited to the standard “healthy living” ideas. I think living a healthy life is about more than eating well and exercising. It’s about enjoying life, experiencing wonderful relationships, and doing things that you love. I try to show that in my blog.

3.)What do you wish to accomplish/achieve by blogging?

Honestly, I just want to have a place where I can do something that I love and share my experiences with others. Sure, it would be amazing to become well-known and write for big publications, but if it doesn’t happen that’s fine! I enjoy having a creative outlet and challenging myself in new ways!

4.)What is your biggest healthy living accomplishment?

I don’t really know haha. But I do always feel accomplished whenever I can help others see that living a healthy life will make you feel amazing and that it can be fun!!/SweetNHealthy

QOTD: Any big St Patty’s day plans? Who is racing this weekend?

You Know You


Now that Disney Princess is over, as well as RnR New Orleans, it’s time to think about my “spring” training plan. I use the term loosely because it has been spring around here for a long time. Our grass is green already, bees are out, flowers have bloomed.

I have a rule that I will not race in the south between the months of June and September. If I race, it will be a destination race. With the heat and humidity, it’s a death wish. This means I have 2.5 months left to do any type of racing locally.

As far as things I have already signed up for, I will be running a 5k on Saturday, and a half marathon in Pensacola on April 15. I have been focusing on that half since RnR NOLA. I really want to PR, but I also have to be realistic because mid April at the beach around here means it’s most likely going to be hot and humid. I am going to pretend like I am training for any other half, and just hope for the best.


This is how I am tackling the next month. (My half is a month from today!)

Sunday: Rest

Monday: Tempo workout 3-6 miles, weights

Tuesday: easy run 2-4 miles, weights

Wednesday: cross training, yoga, weights

Thursday: Run (maybe hills or sprints) 2-4 miles

Friday: cross train and weights

Saturday: Long run 8-12 miles

I plan to LOOSELY follow this pattern up until the week before, where I will back off of everything a bit, and will do more cross training and easy running than anything. Also, I will be out of town for a week, so it will be interesting to see how I can handle working out on my trip. not going to lie, the long run Saturday may not happen, but hopefully everything else will.


Where did I come up with this plan? Wwweelll I just kind of made it up. I used previous knowledge from a hodge-podge of training plans, and came up with a plan that works FOR ME. Guys, this is the key. When you have been running for awhile, you start learning what works best for your own body. Like I know that if I un more than four days a week I will get an overuse injury. I also know if I don’t go to yoga I will stay really tight, potentially causing injury. I also know weight lifting has gotten me stronger and leaner and I need to do it at least four times a week. These are all things that if you would have asked me a year ago to create a training plan, I would have laughed….and never included yoga or weight lifting.


I have come so far and learned so much about myself since I started running, and being more healthy overall. The “old me” would never spend so much time in a gym, or buying things around the outer edges of the grocery store.

I guess my takeaway for all of you from this, is a meal plan, a training plan, any kind of plan, isn’t a one size fits all thing. Just because your favorite blogger or celebrity is doing something “healthy” does not mean it is in your best interest to follow suit. Please don’t think I am saying it is wrong to use a pre-made training plan, I am just saying sometimes they don’t always suit my needs exactly. Find out what works to help you achieve your personal goals. If you have to make your own training plan, or mix a few together, so be it, but BE YOURSELF, and do what is best for you. After all, who knows you better than you?

Do you come up with your own training plans or use pre-made ones?

Custom Orthotics: Foot Dynamics


Awhile back, I was given the opportunity to review a pair of custom foot orthotics for my running shoes. This was ideal for me, as I have had several issues and injuries over the past couple of years that maybe orthotics could correct. (IT band issues, tight/rotated hips, leg length issues, back pain, etc.) The great folks at Foot Dynamics were so accommodating and helpful through the whole process.


I was sent an impression kit in the mail along with very good, easy to follow instructions on how to get the correct impression of my feet. It was kind of cool actually! You put the foot molds in the oven for a few minutes to make them pliable so they will mold exactly to your foot to get a perfect, custom fit.

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Then you step onto this squishy wedge with the mold under your foot.

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A sheet was also included for me to fill out about any injuries or issues I have had or have currently that they may want to know about when creating my insoles. I made sure to give as much information as I could, and then shipped the kit back.

When you get your orthotics in the mail, they come with instructions on care, use and cleaning. Just like anything else, they need to be broken in before you start running long distances in them. I started by just putting them in my cross training shoes and walking around the house in them before taking them on a run. I will admit, it felt weird at first having something molded so closely underneath the arch of my foot, but I quickly got used to it and am happy to report so far I haven’t had any issues or running related injuries!


I am very happy wit the product, as well as the customer service and highly recommend them if you are looking to have orthotics made. I think they are a great investment for a runner, especially if you deal with injuries, pronation, back pain, etc. What a lifesaver! Be sure to check out their Facebook Fan page as well and be sure to Follow them on Twitter.

Foot Dynamics is such a great company, they are offering RWS readers a $20 discount on custom orthotics! Just use the code RWS12 when you check out.

QOTD: Do you use orthotics? Have you ever thought about it? What injuries do you have that you think could benefit from orthotics?

Please don’t forget to vote for me! It only takes a minute and would mean a lot to me!

Disney Princess Weekend: Friday


I know I have already told you about my royal welcome ThursdayJeff Galloway Meet Up, the Expo, the 5k and the half marathon, and my blogger meet up, but there were a lot of other fun times during my trip as well that I wanted to share with you.

Friday after I met my mom, Karen and her mom at the expo, we went to Animal Kingdom Lodge and picked up my luggage. We then headed to the Grand Floridian where we would be staying on the concierge level of the main building for four nights, with a Magic Kingdom view!




We had just enough time to change clothes and freshen up before appetizers were being served in the lounge.


We relaxed and ate, then headed over to EPCOT for the pasta in the park party. I was given a free ticket though my fun blogging weekend, and my group was able to buy tickets even though it was sold out! The party was in the wonders of life pavilion, somewhere I had never been before.




It was open seating, and they had little buffet stations (of the same food) set up all around the place. We found my FitFluential friends, grabbed some plates, and chowed down.


There were a couple difference kinds of pasta, chicken, bread, salad, and dessert.



One of the employees in charge of the logistics of the runDisney races came over and chatted with our group. Did you know Princess had about 600 port o potties?!?


After we ate, everyone had pretty much cleared out. One thing I did NOT like about this event is the music was playing SO LOUD you couldn’t talk to anyone at your table! Come on Disney, music is nice, but lower the volume please!

We took advantage of everyone leaving and went to take some pictures with the princesses.



It was time to go, so we made our way out and did a little shopping before Illuminataions. Oh, we also had special wristbands that got us into a VIP seating area for the show. It was nice to sit on the ground without people crowding all around us.




We actually left a couple of minutes before it was over. I have been to this rodeo, and I know there is a mad dash for the monorail afterwards. We were able to get on the second one and head back to the lounge just in time for dessert.


When we got back to the room, we realized Wishes was about to start, so we watched that from the balcony.



After being all firework-ed out, we headed to bed. After all, we had a 5k in the morning!!!

My take on the Pasta party: I am glad I went to experience it, but I don’t think I would go again for the price. it was almost $50, and the variety of food wasn’t there, and the whole tone just wasn’t as excited and amped up as I thought it would be. The food was really good though! It was LOUD in there, and everyone just ate and left, maybe it just wasn’t what I was expecting? I can see how if you had a whole group you could make it really fun…but I think Disney could make it even better!

QOTD: What do you eat the night before a race?

*Don’t forget to vote for me for the blogger awards on Fitness magazine’s website!

Good Change


One year ago this week, we moved from a place we loved for my husbands work, and moved into our newly built home in south Mississippi. Where has this year gone? I am not going to lie, where we now live still doesn’t feel like “home” (as in the city not the house.) We have encountered a few pretty serious personal struggles since moving, and it’s one of those situations I would love to leave in the past.


One year ago this week, we ran out first race in our new hometown, the St. Patrick’s Day 5k. It was fun to run somewhere new, but it was sad not to recognize anyone in the crowd like I did at our “old” local races.


One year ago this week, I was honored to be on the cover of New Orleans FIT magazine. It had been in the works since the end of December, and it was so cool to finally see.


One year ago this month, I begged you, my readers, not to “leave me” as I transitioned in my move and had no internet for many many days in the new house.


and now……..

-Now we are looking at some personal changes in our little family’s path.

-Now we are about to run the same 5k a year later, hopefully with a faster time.

-Now I am honored to be a nominee for a Fitterati by Fitness magazine (please vote!)

-Now my readership has grown by over 30% in one year and I still love sharing my life with you guys.

If you have been reading RWS for awhile you know how much I love looking back on my life and seeing growth and change. Sometimes it’s small monthly things, and sometimes things have totally not turned out how I “planned.”

Let’s just say life doesn’t always turn out the way you plan is a big understatement. Sometimes in a negative way, but sometimes in an amazingly great positive way. Not gonna lie, 2011 was tough. I don’t talk about all of it on the blog for several reasons, respecting other people’s privacy being a big one…but so far 2012 has turned out to be kind of amazing. I really hope this trend continues of God’s amazing blessings, and I really hope I am able to share very very soon exactly what I am talking about.

QOTD: Are you doing what you thought you would be doing a year ago?

On a Boat


Wow the weekend sure did fly by. I am, however, loving this extra hour of daylight. It officially feels like spring around here now. I hope you had a good weekend, be sure to catch up on the posts you missed!

Disney Princess Blogger Meet Up Recap

RWS Features #15

Weekly Recap: March week 3

Also, don’t forget to vote for me for best running blog! Courtesy of Fitness magazine. I would so very much appreciate it. I am only one blog away from being on page one!