Starting slow with Herbs

I’m starting slow with herbs, since I’m not familiar with planting anything!  I figured I could turn it into a decorative piece for my deck.  I have this cute little bicycle planter that I used to actually keep fake flowers in.  Anyhow, I grabbed cilantro and basil to start with because they are my favorite. I basically add them to everything!  I’ve got some other ideas I’m planning on trying.  I like the idea of using decorative planters rather than an actual herb garden.  

  • What do you prefer planters or a garden?
  • What are your favorite herbs?

Tick Borne Illness – Dr. Aixa Toledo-Garcia

Since it is Lyme Disease season I thought it appropriate to share a wonderful interview my friend Dr. Aixa Toledo-Garcia did for  Claire Hugh’s of the Times Union, Albany NY a couple of years ago. 

What precautions have you taken with family and pets to keep ticks away?  




Delete the word “Diet”….

Delete the word diet

The word “diet” should not be part of our vocabulary.  Portion control and choosing the right types of food to me are what’s important.  Easier said than done, right?  Become familiar with what food actually tastes like.  I find that American cuisine is too often masked with melted cheese, tons of salt, and of course sugar! Pay attention to your kids taste buds.  For example, when kids are small, they haven’t been introduced to extra flavor (salt, sugar, gravy, etc…). They eat food in its natural form.  My kids love steamed broccoli, salad without dressing, raw veggies & every kind of fruit.  Everyone’s going to be exposed to the junk on occasion.  But, we can control what’s available at home. 

In terms of portion control, not so much measuring specific amounts, but slowing down, chewing, enjoying the taste and stopping when you feel full.  I’ve been guilty of not doing any of that!  When my husband and I first started dating, I remember hanging out at my apartment eating pizza.  He commented that, “he’d never witness anyone eat a slice of pizza so fast”.  I still have to concentrate on slowing down when I’m eating.  It’s tough not always being in a rush.  Especially during a meal. Breakfast, get out the door school, work, etc… Lunch, working lunch (stinks but reality for too many of us) and Dinner, hurry up we’ve got to get to practice / game! Unfortunately one of the biggest mistakes we all make is grabbing the prepackaged,unhealthy, fast food option for all of our meals.  I will be sharing some tips and recipe’s that have worked for me and my family soon.  Stay tuned…  

Lastly, about that nasty word “diet”.  Get it out of your mind!  Like everything, eating clean is a choice.  But it’s a choice you can make without making your life miserable!  A “diet” never lasts.  Another thing, eating clean will not break the bank.  You’ll be surprised how much $ you’ll actually save when you cut back or eliminate the junk and replace it with fresh / natural items.  

Where have you made some positive changes in your eating habits? 

Getting active with your kids

When my son got home from school today, we went for a 30 min. bike ride.  Sometimes we run around the neighborhood, shoot hoops, play catch, kickball etc…  If you can’t figure out how to get a workout in, play with your kids.  They are a great source of exercise!  They are always full of energy, and it’s a way for you to spend time with them doing something fun.  Even if you have an infant, taking them for a walk is great.  You can even move it up a notch and build your strength with the stroller.  When my kids were stroller age, I used to do forward lunges.  The stroller helped me keep my balance.  You can always come up with  excuses on “why” or “not” to exercise, including “the kids take up all of my time”.  I know, I’ve been there!  I’ve probably used every excuse in the book at some point. The best thing you can provide for your family, is “being healthy”.  Believe me, once you decide to make the necessary changes, you’ll never go back.    

What are some fun activities you do with your kids?  

What a rush….

Run #1
run #2

I did it!  I participated and finished my first Duathlon this morning!  2 mile run; 10 mile bike; 2 mile run.  I felt and feel great.  The only thing I wasn’t prepared for was the run, which was mostly trail.  That’s my own fault, I never check out the course or read the description before any race.  I guess I’m wild like that!  Overall, what a great time.  I’m ready to add swimming and try triathlons this summer.  If you’re considering trying a Duathlon, do it!  You don’t need fancy equipment.  I rode my husbands hybrid bike, and was absolutely fine.  Challenge yourself!  You can accomplish anything!  I almost forgot, shout out to my friend/neighbor Jen.  She placed 2nd in her age group.  She was not aware of the trail run either!  She rocked it! 

What races / activities have you done that are new and outside your comfort zone?  

Curbside Treasures

On my way home from running errands yesterday morning, I stumbled upon an array of items left in front of a house that was just sold.  So, naturally, I had to stop and take a look.  I can’t believe the items I found!  I can’t wait to post before and after photos!  The items are a solid cherry wood dresser (heavy and in tact), an old and sturdy sewing table (that’s what I think it is?), a small wooden book shelf and an old wooden step-ladder in excellent condition. Seriously, there are so many possibilities when it comes to giving furniture a face lift and making them one of a kind items!  You can do it!  A big thank you to my neighbor Erika and her dog Vega for helping me get the dresser out of my van!  It’s amazing  how I managed to get it in the van to begin with! Anything’s possible when you really want it! 

Do you have items at home that you just don’t know what to do with?  What curbside treasures have you found and transformed  to fit your personal style?  

Running partners

What does TGIF mean to you?  For me, it certainly does not mean relaxation!  The weekends are crazy.  Full of activities! Kid’s activities; baseball, drama, swimming… you name it!  Plus getting stuff done around the house; yard work, cleaning… Trying to have fun time with family; hiking, biking, cook outs, etc….  

What starts my weekends off is my Friday morning run with my friends!  We have a saying “what’s discussed during the run, stays on the run”.  For us distance runners, running with friends is important.  it helps those miles breeze by.  Plus it allows you to challenge yourself in many ways.  Keeping up with the pace, slowing down to build endurance.  Most of all you’re able to clear your head, meet people who are on the same time schedule and most of all develop a bond like no other.  For my group (referred to as “The Band”) we love the early morning, I’m  talking 4:30 – 5:00am start times! That’s what works for us, so we’re sticking with it!  

What time do you run?  Do you prefer alone or with friends?  Does it help jump start your busy weekend / day?  

Gardening goal

I’m all about approaching things outside your comfort zone.  That’s how we set goals and hopefully accomplish them, right?  Anyhow, my goal this spring, summer is to experiment with gardening.  I really don’t know what I’m doing!  My grandfather and father had green thumbs.  I certainly did not inherit such a talent.  Anyhow, there was nothing better than fresh veggies from our garden.  I really want that for my family.  I love the farmers markets and local farm stands, but I would love to go to my backyard and pick my own tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, herbs etc…  I’m going to start with herbs like, basil, cilantro, parsley… Supposedly, deer and rabbits stay away from them.  The actual vegetable garden is going to be tricky and I’m guessing a lot of trial and error will take place.  The biggest concern is, how to keep the deer away!  I don’t want to use chemicals and I’m going to have to build a fence.  

For all the gardeners out there, any suggestions on how to naturally “deer proof” a  garden?  I need all the help I can get!  Also, I need to rabbit proof too, suggestions please….

Muffins passed the taste test!

After a lot of configuration, I think I nailed this batch of muffins!  Every time I make them, I seem to take a slightly different approach.  So the goal is to make them as healthy as possible, but of course, still taste great!  My tasters (husband, Mother in law) gave them a big thumbs up!  Very happy about that.  My Thursday morning running partner (Rachael) will try them tomorrow! Fingers crossed she loves them. 

As mentioned yesterday, the muffins are Vegan & Gluten free.  I also use no white sugar.  This batch was sweetened with bananas, granny smith apple, carrots, molasses and raisins.  I used brown rice flour and I make a flax seed egg.  Anyhow, I will post the actual recipe and variations further down the line.  I find these to be great after an intense work out, like a long run or bike ride.  I put fresh ground nut butter on top for extra protein to help my muscles recover.  

What’s your health inspired sweet treat recipe?