Thursday, October 16, 2014

I'm not a vegetarian. PLUS, Super-Easy Chili Recipe :)

My family and I are NOT vegetarian or vegan, so we do occasionally enjoy EGGS (danger of eggs), among other animal-foods, as a treat. However, we eat those things because they taste good; NOT for the potential nutritional benefits. Exception: kefir and plain yogurt :)

Check out 5 Big Reasons to Make Your Meat Portions Small! and Plant-Based Diets are Powerful!

Super-Easy Vegetarian Chili

2 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes (I use the enormous 100 oz can from Costco)
1-2 lb frozen corn (Costco has a cheap price on organic)
1-2 lb frozen peppers and onions (I buy from Dollar Tree or Trader Joe's)
4-5 cans (15.5 oz) kidney beans (OR more!; any type of beans work great!)
Consider using DRIED BEANS
Chili powder, to taste, add generously because of large food volume

Combine all ingredients (except avocado) and bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes up to several hours...the longer it cooks, the richer the flavor! Serve with avocado slices as an alternative to cheese and sour cream on top (if you love sour cream, try substituting with Greek or plain yogurt, I bet NO ONE will even notice!)

COMMENTS: What would you like to see on the blog? More recipes? More informative posts? More about running or other fitness or lifestyle tips and tricks? I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading ;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

4-Ingredient Banana Breakfast Cookies

These nut-free delights are so simple to make, and you'll never again have to throw away an overripe banana!

Nut-Free Banana Breakfast Cookies

6 small bananas (or 4-5 large bananas)
2 c rolled oats
3/4 c ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp cinnamon
Optional: semi-sweet chocolate chips (cookies in this pic were a treat for a family weekend away to the Chicago Marathon!...though only a few were left by the time we drove off!)

Mash bananas and combine all ingredients. Scoop onto baking sheet and cook at 350 degree for about 20 minutes, until cookies are golden.

These are great for a snack any time of day, and certainly fitting for breakfast! Here is a crunchy peanut butter version :)

Watch Flaxseed and Breast Cancer to learn about why these breakfast cookies, specifically the ground flaxseed they contain, may REDUCE tumor growth in patients with breast cancer AS WELL AS currently used breast cancer drugs.

Ground flaxseed is a nutritionally-awesome and effective baking substitution for EGGS! Why substitute eggs? Unfortunately, they do us more harm than good. While there are lots of reasons for this, let's just take a look at Dr Michael Greger's article: Why the Egg-Cancer Link? ( For more on Greger see This Dude is Awesome!)

Enjoy, and have a great week, everybody!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

3-Ingredient Pecan Pie Bites!

I have now made these Snickerdoodle Laraballs (or No-Bake Cinnamon Pecan Pie Bites) several times in the last week or so. I just can't get enough, which is ok since they are super-healthy! I hope you LOVE them too!


1/2 c DATES (10 pieces)
1 tsp water (maybe)
I usually TRIPLE this recipe!

Blend everything in your food processor for a few minutes, until the dough begins to fall away from the outside walls. You may add a splash of water (not a lot!) to help bind the dough. Form dough into balls (or bars or whatever shape you like) and viola! I always put my dough into a large plastic bag and form balls from the outside of the bag (I don't like food hands!).

This mixture is super tasty in my Cheerios and almond milk breakfast! It's like the Apple Cinnamon Cheerios I ate as a kid, or just like when I added cinnamon sugar to cereal, back in the day. Only this mixture is so much healthier, adding vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, and best of all, yumminess!

As with all Laraballs (lots of yummy flavors at bottom of this link), there is no gluten, dairy, sugar, butter, or oil, so they are truly a guilt-free pleasure. I don't think anyone should ever feel GUILT about food, and, most of the time, I enjoy practicing what I preach about this :).

After I made them, I remembered a delicious recipe I made, and loved, from Melissa's My Whole Food Life, No-Bake Snickerdoodles. Her recipe is similar, and also very tasty!

COMMENTS: What healthy options do you make that remind you of something you ate when you were a kid? And who else likes (or ever liked) Apple Cinnamon Cheerios? Happy Lunar Eclipse! Did anybody see it? My family tried, but I guess it was too cloudy :(

Friday, September 26, 2014

Mesothelioma Awareness Day!

This beautiful woman is Heather Von St James, and her daughter. Heather approached me about sharing her story and helping her with her mission. She was pregnant, given 15 months to live, and eventually SURVIVED!

Mesothelioma is a rare and preventable cancer caused only by asbestos exposure. Heather Von St James survived this terrible disease and has now taken on as her life mission to spread the word and perhaps even eventually eliminate this disease! She has a wonderful website with loads of helpful information, as well as loving support! Read more here: Mesothelioma and pass it on because knowledge is power!

Also see this one-page handout with ASBESTOS Facts and MESOTHELIOMA Facts.

God bless you, Heather! I love your beautiful attitude and smile! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone, and I wish you will find the miracles in your own life :)

For another great attitude and smile, check out this Apollos Hester! Texas High School Football Player, Apollos Hester, Gives Epic Motivational Speech

Friday, September 12, 2014

Wish Others Well :)

Today I'm sharing a simple concept: Wish others well!

Have you ever wanted to stop judging others (or yourself!), be less of a complainer, or be less negative?

This is a simple thought you can think of about others, seems to make it impossible to feel these negative emotions! Try it today :)

It's like the modern goodbye greeting some people use today "Best", or as one friend always signs off  her emails "Be well".

Julian Treasure gave an interesting TED Talk entitled "How to Talk So People Will Listen". Julian suggests this way, WISH OTHERS WELL, will help us avoid some gossiping, judging, negativity, complaining, excuses, exaggeration (lying), dogmatism (bombard others with opinions as if they are true).

I really love this simple concept, and love the opportunity to give this simple gift of WISHING OTHERS WELL all day long :) Happy weekend everybody!

Also, for some weekend smiles, a few quick videos:

Back to School: Family Gives Sir Mix-a-Lot a Back-to-School Twist with 'Baby Got Class' (I've watched this several times for many laughs :)

My ALS Challenge:


If you haven't done it yet, consider yourself challenged, and go for it! I love the power of this creative idea :)

Last is a video that still gives a great picture of Girls on the Run:

Girls on the Run is an awesome organization that I am about to begin a program with, on Monday, for 11 excited girls! I am also raising money for this group, running the Cleveland Classic Half Marathon in November. Any amount you can share would be greatly appreciated!! THANK YOU!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Awesome Running Fuel from Costco!

50 days until the Chicago Marathon, baby!

SO I'm sharing a product that's been my staple fuel during my long runs all summer, as well as another awesome product that I also often bring along, and enjoy.

Nature's Finest: Mandarin Dried Fruit and Mamma Chia: Chia Squeeze Vitality Snack
These dried oranges are wonderful! Coated in sugar (long distance running is the perfect time to indulge in sugar!), they are a perfect combination of sweet and tangy! They are almost like a traditional sport gel inside the white flesh of the orange pieces, only without causing belly aches or unnatural aftertaste. Note: I eat plenty of fiber; if you do not, this or the next item may not be the best running fuel choices for you.

The other product is like other fruit squeezers I've suggested before, except this one wisely added CHIA seeds to it's mixture! Brilliant! Chia is perfect for such a mixture! Chia is perfect for fueling modern day long distance runners just like it does for the Tarahumara Indians.

Tarahumara Indians from deep in the mountains of Mexico
The Tarahumara love CHIA and BAREFOOT RUNNING, and so do I. Born to Run, by Chris McDoughall, is a fascinating book that convinced me to try both!

P.S. I buy the oranges and the squeezers from COSTCO. I HEART Costco.

Happy weekend (and maybe long run) to ya!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

tiny magical goals :)

Tiny magical goals

When my dentist cheered "Your gums look really good!", I wanted share with you all how it happened! I learned about changing tiny habits from this fabulous TEDx talk by BJ Fogg, a social scientist from Stanford University:


He says we can very easily make very small changes that will stick. Small changes add up to large changes. Just like every body of water starts with just one drop! It reminds me of some effective workout goals: dress in your workout clothes, or step outside to your sidewalk or drive to the gym. The rest of the workout happens without much notice!

So, here is one of BJ's first examples. I tried it and with very little effort, I had amazing results! Begin flossing just one tooth each time you brush your teeth. After you do it, you must celebrate. The positive emotion will help your brain remember.

BJ shares another personal example about pushups. BJ wanted to start doing push-ups throughout the day. So he began doing two push-ups each time he peed. After a while, he added another pushup, then another until, he was doing around seven push-ups per pee. Now BJ does quite a lot of push-ups each day, with very little effort. I will try this next!


The way I see it, you need a TRIGGER, a SIMPLE habit, and a CELEBRATION.

1.     A "trigger" is something that you ALREADY do (pee, brush teeth, etc.) which will remind you to do your NEW SIMPLE HABIT.

2.     The SIMPLE HABIT needs to be TINY, as in one tooth or one minute or one pushup.*   Here are many examples of tiny habits you may want to try!

3.     Finally, you must CELEBRATE! This need not be extravagant. An audible "Awesome!", a fist in the air, or a "Yessss!" will all work. Plus, some great ways to celebrate from BJ Fogg!

Years ago, I abandoned regular floss for the ease of a REACH flosser. By BJ’s FOGG Method, within a week or two, I accomplished regular flossing without even consciously deciding to make it a goal! Suddenly, I am flossing the old fashioned way, TWICE a day!, and it is no burden at all! 

Next up for me are push-ups, and the possibilities are ENDLESS!

BJ offers a FREE 5-day program EVERY WEEK to anyone interested: the Tiny Habits Program to make the process even easier! Sign up by June 6, to begin on Monday, June 9, to get email updates and advice as you quickly engrain awesome new habits!

*BJ also discusses the importance of choosing the best tiny habit by considering MOTIVATION (your reasons for doing your habit) and ABILITY (for example, if you want to do pushups, but you cannot physically do one yet, success is unlikely). One other important factor BJ suggests is to get SPECIFIC...always important with SMART goal setting!


What are you going to try? How will you celebrate? I absolutely love this idea, process, that a program is offered to help, and how well it works!


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