Goal Setting 2014

2014 Goals - Bacon & Whipped CreamIf there’s one thing I love about January 1st rolling around, its that feeling of a fresh start in a new year.  I do realize its just another day on the calendar, but flipping into a new year always seems like a great time to reevaluate where I’m at and where I want to be.

I’m no stranger to making goals each year; and sometimes I’m actually successful in meeting them.  However after looking over last year’s blog post on goals for the new year, I realized two things:

1.  I failed miserably at meeting my goals.

2.  While part of it is my lack of effort, the bigger part was the actual goals themselves.

For some reason I recently ended up looking up the S.M.A.R.T. acronym for goal setting.  (I couldn’t remember all words for it!)  Here it is if you are unfamiliar with it.  The S.M.A.R.T. method is a way to set achievable goals (I found 2 words for both A & R online, but both are good):

Specific
Measurable
Attainable/Achievable
Realistic/Relevant
Time-Bound

So I decided to go forward this year with more specific goals that had a real plan of action.  For example, last year I simply put:  Run 5 miles.   Sure this is a great goal, but you know what?  Despite training for races, and trying to get out there, I never reached it (I did do 4.5!).  A more specific goal would have set a time frame, as well as had a better laid out plan of HOW I would get there.

A non-fitness goal I had last year was to Start/finish the kids’ digital scrapbooks.  Do you want to know how far i got on these?  Ummm…NOWHERE!  I had no plan of action, breaking down steps of what I’d do in a time-frame.  And the goal was way to broad.  There was really no way I’d finish that many years of digital scrapbooking in a year unless I stopped doing everything else that I do in my spare time. (Ha…spare time…I’m so funny. :)   )

2014 Goals

So here are my (S.M.A.R.T.) goals for 2014 including my basic plan of action for them.  I won’t bore you with the whole plan, but it gives you an idea on how to break your goals down:

Fitness Goals

  1. Run a Half Marathon in spring
    This one is already “in progress” but I have many weeks to go!

    • Set up a training plan and follow it.  Get support from runner friends to keep accountable.
  2. Do ONE Unassisted Chin Up
    This is a big goal of mine.  Its something I’ve wanted to do for so long but is taking slow but steady training so I make sure I don’t re-injure my shoulder at all.

    • Use the assisted pull up machine at the gym 3 times/week, 2 sets of 10 reps until that is easy, then decrease the weight assist until I’m down to nothing!
  3. Do 15 Full Pushups (or more!)
    I feel sad that I can’t do this yet, but again its a shoulder thing.

    • Find a 3 day/week pushup program I can follow to work into my other workout schedule.
  4. Get a New 5K Race PR

    • Half training should help with this, but once I finish that, I will do the Run Less, Run Faster book plan of 5K training for an upcoming 5K race – making sure I get all the workouts in!

Other Goals

  1. Finish a Digital Scrapbook for 2 yrs for Each Child
    • Steps:  Organize and Select photos to include for the years. Choose which vendor I’m going to use to print them.  Spend 1 hour per week working on them.
  2. Finish the Leaf Scarf by Fall
    Ummm…this project I think is going on FOUR years.  I have finished so many projects in between.

    • Work on this scarf for 30 min at least once/week.
  3. Complete my Living Room Remodel by mid-summer
    This project has been on my mind for a really long time and I just haven’t been dedicated with nailing down decisions and saving the $ to do it.

    • Finalize decisions on colors for the curtains & couches.  Decide on a final entertainment system.  Save money regularly in a special fund for this.

I know there must be more things out there, but these are my first big ones that come to mind.  I will plan to keep better tabs on this list throughout the year.  I’m thinking I will plan a 1st of the month check in with where my goals are at.

I plan to print out my list and keep it where I can see it.  I also know I rely a lot on accountability from friends & family to ask me where I’m at.  That’s one of the main things that has kept me so on track with my half marathon training so far.  I have a few runner friends constantly asking me about how its going!

What are you goals as you enter the new year?  What will keep you motivated to achieve them?  Find some people to keep you accountable.  Its more fun to work through your goals with a friend by your side anyway!

 

image source: 2014 123rf.com

Staying on Track

Well now that I have 4 weeks down of starting to train for a half marathon, I wanted to give a little update on how everything is going. 

I won’t lie; when I started with the idea of doing this, I was not really sure how this would go.  I am certainly not the most dedicated runner.  Yes, I did it, but being a regular runner?  No, not so much.  I was lucky to get in 2 runs/week (or even 1 at times) so I was not sure how I would ever get in enough running to make a half work for me.  Heck there were times I barely thought I should write about being a runner for what I slacker I was.

100_1740

*sigh* warmer days…

But I guess having a real fire lit under myself when presented with an actual goal is the key.  I have done 4 full weeks of half training and I have gotten in my 3 planned runs for each week.  This is unheard of!  Sadly…its my longest “streak” of regular running.  Wow…

I have been feeling so great about it.  In fact, this past Thursday, I went to bed and told my husband that I wished it was Friday because that would mean I got to run in the morning on Saturday. 

I am the queen of exercise excuses!  What? You are?  Well can I at least be the princess?

After 2 weeks of doing well, I decided NO EXCUSES.  The only way I’d be missing a run was if I was injured or really sick.  Even if there’s an ice storm and it comes down to… *gasp* … running on my treadmill.  :(   (boooo!)

Source

Right now my mileage might be a little lame to some hard core runners (9-10 miles/week), but I’m building up an excellent base right now.  In fact, this past Wed I had the best run I’ve ever had, setting a new unofficial 5K PR time of 27:04 (a full 2 min faster than my race in April).  So I’m seeing improvements all around.

This week I sat for 10 minutes, staring at my training chart, trying to figure out when I would get my 3 days in over Christmas break between kids home, holidays, and gatherings.  There is no way I’m missing one run!

I’m also working on a case of winter asthma.  This comes around for me about once/winter in the form of a constant dry cough that is crazy irritating, and some wheezing about half way through a run.  I’ve been on an inhaler for it for a week now, but I can’t wait until its gone!  I’m hoping for more of those zen running moments when my lungs don’t squeak a little when I breathe. :-)   Pray for fast acting meds!

And finally, on the whole streak thingI’m 5 weeks now into (almost) no sugar.  I say almost because I splurged and had a very lightly sweetened mocha on Saturday.  It tasted too sweet…and made me feel “meh”.  I was wishing I had just got a plain old latte.  And in a horrible decision, I ate a piece of (delicious) pizza last night.  It was tasty, but within an hour I had a food baby and spent the night burping it up.

Why?  Why do I do these things! Ah well… Holiday craziness has left me unprepared with meals and my goal for this week is to make up a new menu and get on track with meal prep again.

Have you set any fitness or food goals for over Christmas to keep you on track? 

Images Sources:  Treadmill

Roasted Cauliflower & Bacon

Roasted Cauliflower & Bacon - Bacon & Whipped Cream
You all might know that I love bacon and I love putting it in things I eat (or directly in my mouth).  This recipe is just barely a recipe, but tasted so yummy I had to share. 

I simply love roasted vegetables.  It’s, to me, one of the best ways to eat them.  The natural sugars caramelize a bit and bring out a flavor that you just can’t get by steaming them.  While I always ate it fine, I never loved steamed cauliflower.  This cauliflower, however, I can eat tons of!  Yum!

Roasted Cauliflower with Bacon
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Head Cauliflower (small-med)
  2. 3 Bacon Strips
  3. Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°
  2. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. While the bacon cooks, chop the cauliflower into small florets and place in a large bowl. Once the bacon is done, drain, and pour the fat into a container to cool slightly (I had about 1.5 T). Once it has cooled a little, pour the fat over the cauliflower and stir to coat.
  3. Spread the cauliflower on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 20-25 min or until tender. Meanwhile, crumble the bacon strips into small pieces. Transfer the cooked cauliflower to a serving bowl, and stir in the bacon pieces. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Enjoy!
Bacon & Whipped Cream http://www.baconandwhippedcream.com/
 

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 3 Update

Week 3 - 21 Day Sugar Detox - Bacon & Whipped Cream

Wow – 21 days sure fly by fast!  And here I am, at the end of the 21 Day Sugar Detox.  So what do you think I’m going to do today?  If you guessed “pig out on candy/chocolate/dessert” you’d be wrong.  I’m actually most excited today about having a clementine orange with my breakfast!

Yes…an orange.

True story…

Week 3 Update

This week went really smoothly.  I expected to feel more “ok let’s be done with this” by mid-week but I really felt pretty great overall.  Here are this week’s recipe notes:

  • The shepherd’s pie is really delicious!  I added garlic powder to the mashed cauliflower on top as well as cheese to help appeal to my kids palates (they aren’t crazy about mashed cauliflower).  It helped a little, but they still weren’t sold on it!
  • The apple donuts are fantastic!  I made them mini size and it made 15-18 (vs. 12).  They are SO tasty.
  • The biscuits make delicious breakfast sandwiches with egg & bacon in them!
  • The bacon burgers are just as awesome as you might think. ;-)
  • Do not hesitate to try the balsamic squash.  I made sure to step out of my normal cooking comfort zone to try different combinations during this and I was so glad I did.  This recipe is fantastic and I will definitely be making it again!

Now let me back up a little here to before I started this detox…. Before I started, I was in a pretty bad habit of the following:

  • Eating a lot more fruit than vegetables both at meals and for snacks
  • Snitching a tiny sweet in the afternoon to curb that “need for sweet” taste
  • Eating a decent sugary treat (and I’m talking real food, natural sweeteners but STILL sugar treat) every night…EVERY NIGHT…whether I was even hungry at all or NOT. (this is sad, I know)

I *love* sweets & dessert…just ask my husband.  He’s seen me eat piles of sour taffy that would leave most people seriously sick to their stomach (though I haven’t done this in a few years! I broke that habit.)  He’s seen me eat 10 roasted marshmallows in a sitting.  He knows my sweet tooth. ;-)

But I think he also knew I would have success at this detox, because if there’s one thing I’m good at, its following an eating plan & sticking with it.

And stick with it I did…and my results are great!  Here are some of the results I experienced from doing the detox…

  • Sleeping Better:  I am getting the same # of hours of sleep at night as before, but not only am I sleeping more soundly, I’m waking up at just after 6 each day feeling refreshed and not groggy.
  • Energy:  I definitely have more energy…I feel less lethargic & foggy.  I have been on top of my exercise, getting in 5 days/week and feeling great.
  • Way Less Cravings:  My sugar cravings or need to have a “sweet something” during the day are just about gone now.  During this last week, especially, I’ve had no issue with wanting to have something sweet.
  • Things Taste Sweeter:  On Saturday I was eating some baby carrots and shared some with my husband.  I mentioned to him how sweet and tasty they were, and didn’t he agree?  He just kind of looked at me and said “they taste like carrots”. :)   But to me they tasted like candy carrots.  I’ve also been enjoying “hot chocolate” made with just whole milk & cocoa powder…yep NO sugar.  It tastes awesome.

And because I know some of you are wondering, here are my weight/measurement results after doing this.  My weight went down, then up, then down, but I ended up with a net loss.  As I mentioned previously, this is not trying to lose anything.  I was eating like crazy…lots of fats & proteins along with my veggies.  Below, I showed inches for 3 basic measurements, but I did measure other areas and they all went DOWN.  I’m mostly glad about the largest part of my stomach that went down 1.25″ just on its own! (yay!)

Total Weight Loss:  -2.9 lbs
Total Inches Lost:  -3.25″  (between my waist, hips & thighs)

And finally I want to take a minute to answer a few questions that I kept hearing throughout the detox from friends and blog followers…

Q:  Don’t you miss ________ ? (fruit, chocolate, sugar, etc…)
A:   Well…not really!  The first few days I did long for my normal night time pile of sweet junk to eat, but I had prepped ahead of time with some 21DSD friendly snacks & “treats” so I had something to wean me over this time.  Near the end I did start thinking about fruit a lot more.  Like one day when I was serving up peaches to my girls and those peaches looked SO good.  And the above mentioned clementines have been calling my name for 2 days while I finished up the detox!  But once I got past Day 4-5, my sweets craving just about disappeared.

Q:  Did you experience any headaches, flu-like symptoms, or other withdrawal type issues?
A: 
I did not; and at first this surprised me, but about half way through I think I figured out why.  I started a Paleo diet back in June.  This means that by the start of this, I already had over 4 months where I had been off of all grains and eating a much lower carb diet than the standard American (I eat about 100-150 g per day).  I think this helped a LOT with not having a drastic carb reduction that comes with doing the 21DSD.  That said, do not let the thought of withdrawal keep you from trying the detox.  These symptoms only last a day or 2 and after you will feel so much better than before! Trust me – its worth it!

Q:  WHY are you doing this?  I don’t want to NOT want dessert…I love dessert!
A: 
I get it, I really do.  But not craving dessert and being a slave to blood sugar ups & downs does not mean that you never eat dessert again.  I did the detox to get control over my body; to get control over that blood sugar roller coaster.  Do I still like dessert – ummm….YES!  Will I still eat dessert – YES.  But do I get cravings every day for sweets now… NO.  And besides curbing those cravings and leveling out the blood sugar, things like better sleep & more energy are a tremendous benefit.  In addition I was “lucky” enough to experience my “womanly cycle” during the 2nd week and guess what?  I had NO PMS cravings and while I generally have 1 day of pretty bad cramps that require meds, this cycle I had barely any and they were never bad enough to even consider taking anything.  We’re talking HORMONE control here!

Q:   What are you going to do now?
A:    Good question!  I plan to keep my sugar at a minimum for sure.  I plan to add in fruit here and there, but not in large quantities and as much as I used to.  I want to keep my habit of having very low sugar snacks in the evening and I’d like to save sweet treats for special times and way less frequently than I used to.  I am going to add in more sweet potato again – especially on the days I exercise.  I did find the lower carb diet was draining me a bit near the end of the detox on my runs – but that was partly my fault for not being consistent with eating some dense carbs after all my workouts.

So there you have it!  21 Days done!  I’d love to hear your comments and questions, so ask away! :)   I know so many people who have told me (or are even now thinking) that they could NEVER do this.  All I can say is – never say never, you can do anything if you put your mind to it and try.  Most times the reasons we don’t try things like this is because its out of our comfort zone and we really don’t want to change.  Change can be SO good!  Don’t let fear keep you from feeling the best you can.

More about the 21 Day Sugar Detox:

Previous Posts:
Beating Sugar – Doing the Detox
21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 1 Update
21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 2 Update

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Book

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Site

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 2 Update

21 Day Sugar Detox - Week 2 - Bacon and Whipped Cream

Well a busy November schedule sure has the days flying by for this sugar detox.  I feel like I just wrote up the Week 1 update and now here I am at the end of Week 2!

Week 2 Update

Overall Week 2 went really well.  I was still expecting at some point to suddenly get huge cravings for sweets, but it didn’t happen.  Any digestive issues I had from last week were gone by the start of this week and I feel like I’m sleeping better each night.  I’ve been waking up feeling so well rested!

I did notice that I felt wiped out during my Fit Camp class this week.  I wasn’t sure whether to attribute it to not working out much in the 2 prior weeks due to a pulled muscle, or because I haven’t been good with adding in dense carbs to make up for the exercise as the book instructs.  So I’m going to be better about that this next week and make sure I add in some sweet potato after long workouts.  In addition, I also weighed in this morning and saw a gained a few pounds back – which I’m fine with.  I have been trying to make sure I get enough to eat and I also wonder if my lack of refueling after exercise had anything to do with that.  The body is a mystery sometimes!

I also want to take a moment to say how accurate the book has been for me with predicting where I’m at in the journey.  In the book, she goes day by day on what you may be experiencing.  I chose not to read through this ahead of time, but read them after I completed the days.  I didn’t want to have any suggestive feelings based on what she said.  When I read about the days I had just passed, I was often surprised on how spot on the book was with how I was feeling.  In fact yesterday’s note started with “Not only falling asleep faster, but also sleeping better through the night and waking up feeling more well rested.”  I laughed when I read it because just that morning I had thought about how quickly I had fallen asleep the night before.  I’d be thinking of something and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the middle of the night to turn over. :)

As I did last week, here are some recipe notes from this week…

  • If there’s one recipe you’ll for sure have as a keeper, its the spaghetti squash bolognese.  This recipe is a carry over from her Practical Paleo book and was one of my favorites in that book.  SO YUMMY!
  • The root vegetable hash is so yummy.  I prepped this by cooking up the bacon and shredding it all the night before and it took minutes to cook up the next morning.
  • My husband and I just loved the brussels sprouts and cabbage side dish.  The cinnamon was unexpected but went wonderful with the flavors.  I’m so uncreative when it comes to this kind of seasoning while cooking!
  • The carrot muffins are delicious with any meal or for a snack.  They took a little prep but they are worth it.  I love quick, on-the-go breakfast options like this.

And now just one more week to go.  While this week did bring a few temptations right in my face (hello caramel apple dip and dinner rolls!), I felt good that I didn’t have a big urge at all to eat them and I was fine without it.  I’m feeling great and that trumps eating “off plan”.  I want to do it right and make it through the 21 days without a cheat.

More about the 21 Day Sugar Detox:

Previous Posts:
Beating Sugar – Doing the Detox
21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 1 Update

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Book

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Site

21 Day Sugar Detox – Week 1 Update

21 Day Sugar Detox - Week 1 ~ Bacon & Whipped Cream

Today marks Day 8 of my 21 Day Sugar Detox - the beginning of Week 2!  I have gotten some questions about the detox and how it’s going so I will be sharing a weekly update on this.  Here’s Week 1!

Week 1 Update

I’m going to back up and say that going into this, I wasn’t sure how hard this was going to be.  As I mentioned in my previous post about starting the detox, I already ate a lot of the way that Level 2 calls for.  The main changes were cutting out potatoes & sweet potatoes, cutting out fruit, and of course, cutting out the sugars.  I think because I was already eating Paleo, I didn’t have a severe withdrawal from sugars.  Of course I’m quite happy about that!

The first half of the week went really smoothly.  At one point I ate a saltier lunch and craved that taste of sweet to balance it out but I did resist!  By day 4 I found I was hungrier, but I just kept eating the good healthy foods, and I felt a little crabby.

By day 6 I noticed I was sleeping better.  I actually woke up at 6 am on Saturday morning feeling completely rested (despite only getting 7 hrs of sleep that night).  This NEVER happens on a Sat morning (my sleep in day)! On day 7 (yesterday) I did have a little bit of digestive issues; which crazy enough, the book says you may experience on day 7…weird.  But that’s all better today.

But here are is a summary of the main things I’m surprised about from Week 1:

  • I found I can drink coffee with only half & half (no sweetener) and still love & enjoy it!
  • If I’m motivated enough, I can make better lunches for myself rather than gathering randomness to eat.
  • Despite eating as much as I wanted of the “Yes” foods and never letting myself feel hungry ever, I lost 2.9 lbs this week!!

Regarding that last one…I was already at my “good” weight and I had no intention of losing anything.  I mean, yeah, I’d love to lose some body fat, but I definitely didn’t need to lose pounds.  I seriously ate nice sized, healthy meals, and snacked whenever I got hungry.  I ate when I was hungry, regardless of the time on the clock.  While this sugar detox is NOT meant to be a weight loss diet, it often turns out that way, due to getting healthier food in your body, and the reduction of carbs in your diet.  I have a friend who’s also doing it and has lost over 6 lbs in her first week and she’s been eating healthy fats like crazy.

Its like a triple win if you want to break that sugar habit, get healthier and shed a few pounds in the process!

A few recipe notes from Week 1…

Here are a few notes about the recipes we tried:

  • The mayo was super easy to make, but I used EVOO and it was a bit strong in flavor.  Definitely will do something milder next time.  I also added salt to it.
  • The salmon salad was really, really good!  Not something i would have typically made in the past, but I loved it.
  • I baked the buffalo chicken egg muffins for 30 min instead of 40 and they were STILL a bit overdone (dark brown).  I would recommend starting at 20-25 min and checking them.  They tasted awesome though!
  • The mexican meatloaf is fantastic in flavor but came back REALLY hard for me with heartburn later.  Note to self:  Do NOT eat this prior to going for a run.  Oh the burn! :)
  • The side dishes of broccoli balsamic salad, cauliflower mashed potatoes, and cauliflower rice were all SO delicious!
  • I have to rave about the mustard glazed chicken thighs.  We’ve been using this recipe since I got her Practical Paleo book in May and it is, hands down, one of our favorite ones to make.

So now I’m on to Week 2!  I’m curious to see where it leads me.  If you are doing the detox, leave a comment or send me a message to tell me how its going.

More about the 21 Day Sugar Detox:

Previous Posts:
Beating Sugar – Doing the Detox

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Book

Check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox Site

Beating Sugar – Doing the Detox

21 Day Sugar Detox - Bacon & Whipped CreamI think that if you’re a typical person, you love your sweets.  I know I do.  I’m a big chocolate fan, and I absolutely love baking and creating sweet treats.  Heck I contribute daily to a Paleo Desserts board over on Facebook (check it out and be ready to get hungry :) )

Now I love eating sweet treats, but here’s what I don’t like:

  • Feeling like I NEED sweets (craving that sugar)
  • The calories & blood sugar ups/downs that come with eating them
  • The extra carbs that come with eating them
  • The nagging feeling that I can improve my health if I greatly reduce them

I’ve been feeling this way for awhile, and wondering what kind of improvements I might see by giving them up for a bit and, in the end, greatly reducing my intake.  See I have things like eczema/dermatitis that comes and goes on my face that I’m almost certain is tied to my diet somehow.  I secretly hoped that giving up grains when I went Paleo/Primal would do the trick, but no dice.  I will say that I think it has helped some, but not completely.  I also have issues with storing extra fat, especially in my abdomen.  And I know that reducing carbs/sugars can help with that since extra carbs are stored as fat.  Stress is also a factor; and not just stress in my life, but stress to my body.  When you eat things that your body either doesn’t recognize as food, or has troubles digesting (intolerance, phytic acid that it can’t break down, etc), this can cause stress in your body which = fat storage.

When I started doing Paleo in June, you may remember me mentioning the great book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites.  I LOVE that book and recommend it to everyone who wants to work towards a healthier body, including, but not limited to: weight loss, more energy, and reversing/preventing disease/illness.  Anyway, Diane also has been running the 21 Day Sugar Detox through her site for quite awhile with an ebook version.  Last month her print version of the 21 Day Sugar Detox book, including over 90 recipes came out!  I got it and read it within 2 days.  Once again, an awesome book!

So on Monday, November 4th I began Day 1 of my sugar detox!

For those of you out there familiar with the program, I’m doing Level 2.  I wasn’t ready to strictly cut out my dairy as I love it.  Most of Level 2 is what I do already, except, of course, I normally eat sweets with my natural sweeteners and I eat potatoes & sweet potatoes.  I love that there are 3 levels to the detox so you can pick a starting point that eases you into it.

So today I’m on Day 4 – so far so good!  I wasn’t sure how much of a withdrawal from my sugar cravings I would have.  I have had a few times when I wanted something sweet, but otherwise no drastic headaches and such.  Maybe its yet to come? or maybe I’ll get lucky. ;-)    I’ll keep you all posted as I go along this journey.  I’m anxious to see where  it leads me health wise.  While I don’t want to lose weight, I would love to lose some body fat so I’m making sure to eat enough to maintain where I’m at.  However I think that most people eating a Standard American Diet heavy on bread/pasta/rice/sugars would see weight loss doing this for 3 weeks.

Anyone want to join me on the journey?  Have you ever done the 21 Day Sugar Detox?  I’d love to hear about your experiences!  If you want to try it, check out the book and get started!

Here We Go…Let The Training Begin!

Training Time - Bacon & Whipped Cream

Sometimes new challenges sneak up on you when you are just traveling through everyday life.  Let me start by saying that I’ve long toyed with the idea of running a race further than a 5K…but the “excuses” always stopped me from committing.

Enter my D&B Runner friends.  I got hooked up with this awesome group on Facebook a few months ago via Jon Acuff’s Start Experiment.  There were several sub-groups and obviously I gravitated towards a few health & fitness related ones.

Join the group I thought…why not?

Well, while I expected to share stories of races, good & bad run days, injuries, and accomplishments, I never expected to be as motivated, encouraged, and inspired as I have been by this group of people.  I almost daily see stories of triumph; of people breaking down that wall of “I can’t” and proving they CAN….

…start running even though they never have run before.
…run their first 5K.
…train for & run their first half marathon.
lose over 200 lbs and run a marathon!

So where does that leave me?  Completely inspired and motivated to try more!  And now finally through some (positive) peer pressure (or as I like to say, encouragement ;-)   ), I’ve decided to commit to training for my first half marathon!

True story…

I’ve gone back and forth on this idea for the last few years.  I’d think about it, then dismiss it. There is fear of failure…fear of injury…fear of it being hard… But now it is time to step past fear and “just do it”. :)   I even had a fellow group member offer to cyber-train along with me as she trains for her 12th half in late March. Mine will be in mid April.  And I’ve already told a bunch of people – and now you all – so I’m even more committed! ;-)

So – wish me luck (and prayers for no injuries – truly my biggest fear as I seem to be injury prone)!

Have you ever trained for a half or full marathon?  or other big event (mud run, tri, etc)?  What kept you motivated?  Any tips on training?

November Giveaway: KitchenAid 5 Qt Mixer – $375 value!

 A winner has been chosen for the mixer giveaway.  The winner was Monique M.  Thank you all for your entries!

KitchenAid 5 Qt Mixer Giveaway - Bacon And Whipped Cream

This month, one lucky reader will win a KitchenAid 5 Qt. Mixer, valued at $375! How awesome is that?  I’ve partnered with some other great bloggers to offer you this awesome prize shipped straight to your front door!

I just LOVE my KitchenAid mixer.  I use it multiple times during the week for both meals and baking.  It’s such a valuable tool to have in your kitchen!

Enter to win your own KitchenAid Mixer!

Follow These Four Easy Steps to WIN!

  1. Click to take a closer look at the KitchenAid 5 Qt Mixer and check out the terrific features!  (After reading about it come back here to complete steps 2 & 3.)
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  2. Subscribe to the Bacon & Whipped Cream Newsletter to receive the latest updates on posts and health & fitness information from my site!

    You are free to unsubscribe at any time after this giveaway has ended. Bacon & Whipped Cream will not share your email address with a third party. Your email address is solely used for our newsletter and updates from Bacon & Whipped Cream.
    (If your already a subscriber just continue to step 3…)

  3. Complete the mandatory skill question.
    (Don’t worry, it’s easy!)
    .
  4. Leave a comment letting us know what you would make first with a KitchenAid Mixer!

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to confirm these entries and unlock more!

You can earn extra entries by following the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget.

For more ways to win, be sure to visit and subscribe to all the blogs responsible for this giveaway!

The Paleo Mama
Nourishing Herbalist
Nourishing Time
Oh, The Things We’ll Make!
Ever Growing Farm
Small Footprint Family
The Dabblist
The Urban Ecolife
Life Sanity

Note: If you cannot see the Rafflecopter widget below, click here to see the widget and enter now.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will end November 18th at 11:59pm.  A winner will be chosen via random.org. We will announce the lucky winner on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013. The winner will have 48 hours to contact with his/her full name, address, and phone number. There is no purchase necessary to win. This giveaway is open to everyone, but the KitchenAid Mixer will only be shipped to U.S. or Canadian residents. Winners who live outside of these areas will receive an Amazon gift card in the amount of the item sale price on Amazon.

Good Luck!

Disclosure:  This giveaway is being done with a group of bloggers and I am not being paid to endorse or give away this product.  However this post does include affiliate links that provide some revenue for purchases made.  That said ~ all opinions I give on my blog are mine and I will never recommend a product I wouldn’t buy myself!

Fall Into Health Autumn Bundle Sale!

Fall Into Health Bundle ~ Bacon & Whipped Cream

Fall is here and Village Green Network is offering a fantastic new bundle geared towards real food and healthy living!  This great bundle is on sale from November 1st – 7th and offers a huge variety of ebooks, online classes, coupons, podcasts, meal plans, and more!

Its a $2000+ value and you can get it
through Nov 7th for only $39!

Here is a look at what the Fall Into Health Bundle is offering:

  • 47 Ebooks
  • 15 Exclusive Podcasts
  • 3 Online Video Classes
  • 2 Meal Plans
  • 21 Discount Coupons
  • 2 Magazines

I have had the privilege of reading a bunch of the fantastic books included in this bundle and they are filled with tons of great information about real food, healthy living, homesteading, and of course RECIPES!  I’ll be highlighting some of them through blog posts and on the Bacon & Whipped Cream Facebook page over the next week.

Here is a list of some of the great books included in this bundle:

  • Real Food for Real Life by Emily Benfit of Butter Believer
  • Have Your Cake and Lose Weight Too by DaNelle Wolford of Weed ‘Em and Reap
  • Natural Homestead: 40+ Recipes for Natural Critters and Crops by Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead
  • Your Custom Homestead: Awakening a Fresh Vision of Homesteading by Jill Winger of The Prairie Homestead
  • The Nourished Metabolism: The Balanced Guide to How Diet, Exercise and Stress Impact Your Metabolic Health by Elizabeth Walling of The Nourished Life
  • Grain-free Breads, Snacks & Desserts by Jill Tieman of Real Food Forager
  • Paleo Treats: Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Nut-free by Suzanne Perazzini of Strands of My Life
  • Real Food Nutrition FOR KIDS! by Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade
  • The Paleo Survival Guide by Sylvie McCracken of Hollywood Homestead
  • Real Food Ingredient Guide by Kelly the Kitchen Kop
  • And LOTS more!
Fall Into Health Bundle ~ Bacon & Whipped Cream

sale_largeYou can order until November 7th and save a ton and get a huge amount of resources to help you with your real food & healthy journey.

As a VGN Premium Member, you can get this great Fall Bundle for only $29! VGN Premium members will save on all our VGN E-Book Bundle sales, which happen 4 times a year as well as have access to lots of other resources and discounts! Click here to learn more.

Remember — this special Fall Into Health E-book Bundle only lasts 7 days — the sale ends on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at midnight Pacific. Don’t miss out on this amazing offer!

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Disclosure: Bacon & Whipped Cream may receive monetary compensation or other types of payment for endorsements, recommendations, and/or links to any products or services from this website. As always, my opinions are always my own and I never recommend products that I would not use/purchase myself!