Another Milestone, Some Updates and a Grocery Haul

Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for your sweet comments on my last posts! All of you (commenters and lurkers ;]) are such a huge part of the reason I blog and I appreciate all of you so much! I’m happy to say that I hit another milestone today when I saw that I gained my 100th follower :)  I’m so happy and honored that you all decided to follow my blog. Thank you all so much!

So I mentioned the other day that I had an appointment with a physical therapist yesterday. After an hour and a half of evaluations, we have pinpointed that there is no shoulder injury at all and my pain, numbness and tingling are in fact caused by a bulging disc in my neck (C6 if you follow that kind of thing ;]). I’m really happy to have figured this out finally because over the last 6 months it has really gotten bad. I probably downplay it a bit but the truth is that my shoulder hurts most of the time, and when I do something to aggravate it I get numbness and pain down my left arm and into my thumb and pinky fingers. One major reason why I hate running is that 9 times out of 10 I will get off of the treadmill with horrible pain, numbness and tingling. The impact must aggravate it because it is terrible. I’m probably really lucky that the disc isn’t herniated given the amount of impact that I put my body through between the running, jumping and fight training that I do.

I’m clearly a stubborn girl because none of this has stopped me in the past. I was advised to put the activities that involve impact on hold for a few weeks and I definitely need to listen. I’m tired of being in pain and struggling through it. I’ve been training probably at 60-75% for the past 6-12 months and it is really sad because I remember all of the things I used to do and want to be able to do them again. So I’m going to have to take it easy for the next month at least. I’m working on figuring out a new workout plan that will help me get back to 100%. I’ll definitely keep you posted on that. I have an idea but I’m going to run it by the physical therapist first. For now I’m replacing running with the elliptical (did 30 minutes of intervals this morning) and doing all strength training with my trainer (45 minutes this evening… omitting overheard presses for a few weeks).

Anyway, I know this seems negative but I’m really happy that after 3 years of searching for answers I finally have one. I’m disappointed that I have to stop my Tough Mudder training for a little while but I know that it is the smartest decision to avoid more serious injury. I’ll have to play it by ear in terms of Tough Mudder. It’s pretty clear to me now that I’m going to avoid all obstacles that may aggravate or worsen the problem. Side note – I told my physical therapist that I was training for it and he said he was doing it to! How funny!

Anyway, sorry for the long update but you’ve all been so supportive throughout the whole thing so I figured I’d keep you in the loop. I may be on the sidelines for a bit but I can definitely still kick ass ;)

So I can’t do a post with no food to show you so I am going to show you my mini grocery haul! I’m working weddings on Saturday and Sunday this week so I didn’t get too much because I won’t be home all that much. Check out the haul!

2 Two Mom’s in the Raw bars (to bring to work as a substantial snack), Goji berries (finally!), organic salsa, stuffed grape leaves (shocking) and some golden sesame tofu.

For produce I got organic blackberries, spring mix, some corn, carrots and some tomatoes on the vine. Yum!
Thank you all for sticking with this long post :) And thank you all for reading, following, supporting me, and inspiring me. You are the best!
I hope all of my Northeast Friends are doing ok in this heat wave. My air condition isn’t doing anything because my room is above ground level and therefore like 120 degrees. I just cleaned out the filter so hopefully that’ll help a little. Wouldn’t you know I locked my keys (and phone) in the car AGAIN today. On the hottest day so far. I’m just good like that ;)
Have a great night friends!

Fun Friday! Stuff I’m Into!

Hey everyone! I hope that you’ve had a great week! I wish I could say that my week is over but sadly I’ll be working through Sunday. At least I only have to go in for a few hours tomorrow.

I wasn’t sure if I should skip fun Friday and keep my cleanse posts going but I kind of feel like the food is pretty much the same. Lots of raw today but it was a smoothie, a mango, a hummus plate and dinner will be a big ol’ salad. See, nothing new.

So, let’s begin Fun Friday!

You didn’t think I’d actually post this fun Friday without mentioning the book though, did you? How could I, it has consumed my week! In the best possible way though. I figured I’d do a first week cleanse wrap up. Overall, I feel really good right now. I hit a few bumps in the road as I documented earlier in the week, especially Day 3. Now that I’ve overcome the hardest part of the detox I have more energy, my appetite seems to have leveled off (I have the tendency of either having zero appetite or being a ravenous beast… now I feel like I have a normal person appetite), my skin is glowing and I’ve dropped a few pounds. I feel a bit more relaxed after my morning meditations as well. Overall, I feel much better on the cleanse this time around. I have a feeling that this will turn into a lifestyle instead of a cleanse. Stay tuned for another week!
As I’ve mentioned, I was in desperate need of a proper pair of running shoes, especially since I’m starting my training for Tough Mudder. I have to be careful with my spending so I was planning on saving up from the weddings I work to buy a good pair. I got an e-mail advertising a 20% Memorial Day online sale from Sports Authority and figured I’d check it out and see if I could find anything. I found these and loved them and the price so I ordered them! I’ve heard great things about New Balance for running so I can’t wait to try them out. The list price was $74.99 and the total price I paid after taxes (I got free shipping too!) was $50. Not bad! Hopefully they are as good as I hear they are :) I had saved up already for a dehydrator (I was going to do a dehydrator then the sneakers) but I just switched up the order a little bit ;)
And on the same note, I’m going to start up my running today! I’m heading over to the gym in a little bit to get some interval running in. Wish me luck! 

I have never actually watched the music video for this song but every time it comes on when I’m in the car I find myself bopping around and doing a little car dance. It’s Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo and it’s called “Let’s Go.” I have a feeling it will find it’s way onto my cooking/baking dance party playlist pretty soon.
I found this workout and have made it a goal. It doesn’t seem that hard but it is. My goal is to make it through without dying.
Finally, I’m so honored that Gabby over at Veggie Nook nominated me for…
the Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling!
Here’s how it works:
1. The nominee should visit the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/) and leave a comment indicating that they have been nominated and by whom. (This step is so important because it’s the only way our judges will know who is being considered for the monthly presentation).
2. The Nominee should thank the person that nominated them by posting & including a link to their blog.
3. Share one random thing about yourself in your blog post.
4. Select at least five other bloggers that you enjoy reading their stories and nominate them for the award.
5. Notify your  nominees by leaving a comment on their blog, including a link to the award site (http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/).
Random Fact: My initials are SAS so my family and our family friends call me “Sassy” or “Sas” as a nickname. They are even teaching my niece to call me “Aunt Sassy.” I think it fits :)
It is so hard to only choose 5 people because I love all of my readers and their blogs! I’m going to try and nominate people I haven’t nominated before to be fair! 
1. Caralyn from GlutenFreeHappyTummy! Such an inspiring story, you are a warrior girl!
2. Allysia from The Real Meal! Beautiful posts with beautiful food :)
3. Ashlae from Oh, ladycakes! You are a rock star! I LOVE your recipes and your stories always make me smile!
4. Ingrid from Ingrid Improves! I always look forward to reading your posts and to “chatting” with you. You are awesome!
5. Sophie from Fresh Air & Fashion! I love reading your food and fitness posts! Inspiration from your impeccable style is a great bonus!
Thanks again Gabby! I always look forward to reading your blog as well, your recipes have inspired me so much! 
That’s all for me today. I am going to get ready for the gym then after I get back I’m going to enjoy a quiet evening watching The Ultimate Fighter Live and the last installment of UFC Primetime. Those Heavyweights are no joke!
Have a great night everyone!

Grocery Haul!!

Hey everyone. Sorry no post yesterday, it was my long day and I haven’t been feeling great lately. I’ve been feeling incredibly exhausted, cloudy and just overall crappy. My appetite has been low, my neck and shoulders have been acting up again. My shoulders are actually hurting me now, among feeling weak, and my neck is stiff so I think I slept wrong. Not good. I decided that I should cancel today’s training session and take it easy. I decided no strength training for the rest of the week and no cardio until at least tomorrow. I figured that the timing is horrible because I just started training for Tough Mudder, but if I take a few days to rest and heal then I will be doing myself a favor rather than making myself more run down or injuring myself.

At least I was finally able to get to the store and buy lots of healthy, yummy eats! Check out the haul!

2 sweet potatoes, 3 zucchinis, carrots, celery, baby spinach, grape tomatoes, organic strawberries (a splurge but they were too gorgeous not to get!), one mango and an avocado.

Organic (no sugar added) ketchup (for those sweet potatoes!!), organic amond milk, 2 vega protein bars. I got the protein bars for a quick protein boost after a workout or if I’m on the go. I also got some Daiya mozzarella because I found an amazing looking recipe that I wanted to try. I figured if Kris Carr uses it in Crazy Sexy Diet it can’t be too horrible to use on occasion ;) I also figured I’d use it at this beginning part of my training before I get knee deep. After I read Thrive by Brendan Brazier again this weekend I’m sure I’ll be changing my eating habits to complement my training! I was thinking about trying the 21 day Crazy Sexy Diet Cleanse again too.  Maybe I’ll do it mid training when I’m ready to push it to the next level? I’ll see. I’m so not used to training for an actual event, it’s throwing me through a loop!
OK, sorry for the short post, I’ll be back with food tomorrow :) Including that recipe with the Daiya. It is so simple but looks so good! I’ll move my things I’m into post to Saturday for this week.
Have a great night everyone. I’m planning on resting!

Things Are Changing!

Hey everyone! I hope you are all well. So, as of last night I’m officially signed up for Tough Mudder.

See, I got my badge and all ;) I won’t lie, I had a mini panic attack when I clicked the submit button. I’m so not ready for this. But I’m determined to be ready for it in 160 days. That means more running, more strength training and eating for fuel. I am planning on starting off running on the rebounder, going to the treadmill, then hitting the streets and adding hills. For strength training I need to definitely just strengthen everywhere, but especially by upper body and shoulders. I have Brendan Brazier’s book Thrive which I plan to read again this weekend so I can try and figure out how to properly fuel my body for increased training. I didn’t waste any time and started with a 90 minute workout this morning :)
For my workout I did two routines from this Beach Babe DVD from the ladies at Tone It Up. I love their workouts so decided to get the DVD and definitely have not been disappointed! These workouts are tough!! I did the 20 minute HIIT the Beach workout (high intensity interval training workout) and the 40 minute Bikini Sculpt workout (full body toning) followed by 30 minutes of running on my rebounder. It was really tough on my shoulder and I’m really uncomfortable now so I’ll have to figure out how to adjust but it felt good to get a great workout in to start the day!

I hydrated myself during the workout with this Vita Coco pineapple coconut water. This is the only brand of coconut water that I like so I grabbed a few when they were on sale.
After my workout I had a Blueberry Muffin Smoothie with protein powder.

My late morning snack was some of the best watermelon I’ve had in a long time! So sweet, yum!
For lunch I enjoyed some unfried rice. This one has peas and carrots, 1/2 cup brown rice, zucchini, onions and tofu. It is simply seasoned with a little tamari. It is SO delicious. It’s even better than the first one I made because I got to eat it fresh which is always better than having to bring it with me and eat it room temp. So good!

My afternoon snack will be one of the raw cookies I got from One Lucky Duck! Can’t wait to try this!
For dinner I’m going to pick up a chopped salad. I have VERY limited produce in my fridge, not even enough for a salad and can’t get to the store until Thursday so I’m scraping things together until then. I’m planning on having some greens, carrots, cucumber, portobello mushrooms, sundried tomato and chickpeas in the salad :)
Working til nine tonight and I’m sure I’ll be exhausted when I get home. I hope that you all have a great day today! 

Fun Friday – What I’m Into!

Hey everyone! Happy Friday! It is the return of “Fun Friday” where I show you all the fun stuff I’m into this week. Today has been a very hectic day… after work I ran around for a few hours and then I came home and finished up my mom’s Mother’s Day gift. Check out the final result!

I distressed the edges a little bit which I think looks pretty good and not as “clean” which I really like :) Not too bad! I think she’ll like it.
This should be no surprise but Tough Mudder has taken up a great deal of my thoughts these past few days. Since I verbally committed to it (I’m waiting to sign up to make sure I do it correctly and sign up with the team – should be done by tomorrow hopefully, just waiting for an email back) I have felt a lot of fear and a bit of excitement ;) The next 164 days are going to be devoted to training so I survive this thing. Yikes!
I LOVE the Fighter Girls website/store. They have amazing gear and clothing for women. I have a t-shirt (the “Shut Up or I’ll Punch You in the Liver” shirt) and a sweathshirt (Queen of the Cage MMA Hoodie), both of which I got as gifts because lets face it, their stuff is expensive. However, I decided that after the Tough Mudder, I’m going to slurge on one thing as a present to myself for kicking ass :) I have my eye on either a pair of board shorts or this awesome gym bag pictured above.
I am currently obsessed with dehydrators. I don’t have one. This makes me so sad I can’t even deal. It is on the top of my list of things to get. I see veggie and fruit chips, raw crackers and breads, fruit leather, and raw granola in my future! Eventually.
How cute are these DIY glass magnets!? I found them on Pinterest, naturally. It is actually a suggested wedding favor but that’s not happening so I think just making cute refrigerator magnets would be fun :) Maybe using some pretty vegan treats?!
That’s it for this week! I have a wedding tomorrow and I’m basically trying to figure out what to bring with me other than a huge bottle of Smart Water. I am sure one of the Artisana packets will come with me but I’m trying to figure out what else to bring. Any suggestions are appreciated!
Hope you all had a great week! Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend! I definitely won’t be posting tomorrow since I have such a long day but I should hopefully be back to post about Mother’s Day festivities :) Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there (fur child mommies included!), and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Ready for the Weekend

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well :) Business as usual here, worked then had a training session. I decided that I’m going to do the Tough Mudder run. I’m scared as hell but I think it’ll be a really amazing experience and a huge confidence booster. I spoke to my trainer and starting at the end of May we are going to devote one of my sessions each week to running and strength training. I’ll keep doing my fight training the other day. This will be great because I will work on increasing my strength and stamina, AND it’ll be a good way to rest my shoulder from the impact of hitting the heavy bag or pads. I’ll also obviously be running and doing strength training on my own to try and get ready for this beast of a challenge. I’m really excited and will be taking my training very seriously these next 165 days (but who’s counting!).

I took photos at the beginning of the day but somehow missed out on photographing lunch. If you are interested please check out my Mediterranean Bento Box from yesterday’s post. It was the exact same thing!

Breakfast was a “banana split” with all natural peanut butter, raisins and cinnamon.

My mangoes are finally ripe! Late morning snack!
As I mentioned, lunch was a Mediterranean Bento box.

After my workout I had half of this Chocolate Coconut Water. It is a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth. This is the only flavor of Zico that I actually enjoy, it tastes like chocolate milk with no guilt!
No dinner yet but I’ll probably have quinoa with veggies.
I am almost finished making my mom’s Mother’s Day gift. I wanted to show you all and get your opinion before I adhere the photo to the wood plaques. Do you think I should distress the edges a bit or leave them? 

This is one of my favorite photos of Delilah :)

And here’s the one of me.
I also made one of my bro and sister in law but didn’t know how they’d feel about it being on here so I decided to leave it off. The plaque for theirs is actually painted white and the photo is in color because it is one of their wedding photos on the beach so it was bright and pretty blue and it would be silly to make it black and white. I figured theirs would go in the middle. So anyway, what do you think, distressed the edges or no?
Hope you are all well. Glad it is Friday tomorrow but I have my first wedding of the season on Saturday so I have another long day before my day off. Oh well, at least my day off will be spent with my family having a nice time for Mother’s Day :)
Have a great night and a Happy Friday tomorrow!

Updates

Hey everyone! I had totally planned on getting back to my full day of eats posting today but I got called in for a last minute appointment with the spine dr. to go over the MRI so I was rushing around like a crazy lady :) But there’s a few new things happening so I figured I’d update you.

First, the MRI came up mostly clean which is partially good but partially annoying because now we are almost back to square one. There is one disc that is slightly protruding and possibly irritating the nerve… but he didn’t seem really convinced that it was the source of all of my symptoms since it was so slight. He suggested I try 4-6 weeks of physical therapy to see if it helps correct it at all and alleviate the symptoms and we will take it from there. If we rule that out I’m not sure what the next step is. Maybe checking my shoulder?

So the other thing that has come up was brought up to me at the gym yesterday. Apparently my gym is rounding up a “team” to do the Tough Mudder course in October. The trainer that is rallying the troops asked me if I wanted to run it with them. I checked it out and it actually seems like a lot of fun. He swore to me that it wouldn’t be like running 10 miles (which scares the shit out of me!) because of all of the obstacles. I actually really want to do it but I’m concerned that I won’t be able to do a bunch of the obstacles (and it’s ok if you skip some, they just want you to do your best) because of the weakness in my shoulder. On the other hand, I’d have 5 months to train for it. I’m completely torn!

Check out this video if you want to know more about it:

My favorite part is the girl that said “I’m really mad that you talked me into this.” LOL that’s hilarious and probably exactly what I’ll be saying if I do it. 
What do you guys think? Is 5 months enough time to train for this so I don’t die? Those electric wires looks like they SUCK!
OK I’ll stop rambling. That’s what is happening in my life. Food tomorrow, I promise. My boss is out of town so we are going to close up a bit early so I’m going to run to the gym for bonus cardio which is pretty awesome :)
Have a great night everyone!