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Natures Beauty

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Starting my days at 5 AM and I getting  home again around 7 or 8 PM, it seemed all I did was work, eat and sleep.  It had me MIA or a few weeks, finally things are getting back to normal and I am so glad, so is my daughter.

She needed to find an invasive species for her Advanced Placement Environmental Science class, and she needed to have a photo of herself with the species, so she ask me to go along to take the photo.

After doing some research, she found that there was a Mesquite tree, which happens to be an invasive species to this area, at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, which happens to be less than 2 miles from my home. This place is so wonderful for anyone who wants to get out and explore and maybe get in a run, walk or bike ride.

Lucky for us, the day turned out to be absolutely beautiful.

 

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The forecast was for storms, but after some morning rain, it was sunshine and blue sky. Look at how beautiful, I love the color of all the green nature.

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 She found her invasive species.

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A couple of photo’s of her standing next to the species for her instructor.

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Now a few photos of this beautiful place.

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 I will for sure be Marvelous In My Monday, after such a wonderful weekend,thanks to my daughter, I have found a new running spot.

Be Marvelous In Your Monday and visit Katie’s site, Healthy Diva Life for more MIMM.

MiMM

 

 

New Running Shoes and Dallas Diva Dash

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MiMM

Marvelous is getting new running shoes!

You know that excitement a child gets when they get a new toy, that’s how I felt when I got my new running shoes, and it was double the excitement, because I got two for the price of one.  This was my first time purchasing shoes online and I would not recommend purchasing shoes online for someone just getting started with running, I think it is important to be properly fitted by a professional. The first time I was fitted for shoes, I was asked lots of questions and they watched my walking and running stride to get the best shoe for my body. Once you know your shoe and fit, I think it’s ok to purchase online, especially if you can find a great deal. I purchased my new shoes from REI’s online outlet store, and I got a great deal.  I purchased the Pureconnect 2 Road Runner

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and Merrell Minimalist. I had been sized and fitted for this minimalist shoe a few months earlier and decided not to purchase, but when I saw them on sale I purchased them.

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If you’ve never run in minimalist shoes, be warned, it is different from running in regular running shoes. The muscles in the lower leg absorb more of the impact, which will cause pain in your lower leg, ankles and feet, and if your landing technique is heel first you may experience  more pain. The best landing technique is mid-to forefoot, this is how I land and I experienced some pain in my ankles and sides of my feet, pain in my lower calf started at mile three during my four mile run. Several hours after my run I experienced some pain on the back of my heel, just below my ankles.  Click HERE for more info on the pro and cons of minimalist running.

If you use minimalist running shoes, let me know how it’s going, I’d love to know.

Something else Marvelous is the Diva Dash!

Shape’s Diva Dash is coming to Dallas, March 22 and I’ll be there, and I’ll definitely use a pair of old running shoes for this fun event. A 5K Women’s Obstacle Adventure Run, which will test agility, balance, strength and speed. Gather your girl friends and come have some fun.

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Shape’s Diva Dash is scheduled to be in 10 cities.

Dallas  -  3/22/14

Austin  -  4/12/14

Boulder  -  5/10/14

Twin Cities  -  5/31/14

Charlotte  -  6/21/14

Chicago  -  8/2/14

Washington  -  8/16/14

Boston  -  9/6/14

Philadelphia  -  9/13/14

New York  -  10/11/14

  Create a costume or not, just prepare to have some fun.

Save $10 when you register at http://www.divadash.com, using code AXBLOG!

Be Marvelous In Your Monday!

Visit Katie at Healthy Diva Eats and check out more Marvelousness!

Marvelous Hot Chocolate Fun

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The weather here in Dallas has been like a roller-coaster, and three days before the event, we get snow.  It’s also packet pick-up day, and I was the one designated to pick-up all packets.  I was a little bit anxious about driving, so I took Dart, that’s Dallas Metro transit system, and it worked out great. My only problem was I had super frozen toes, I wasn’t prepared for walking in the snow, I should have worn two pairs of socks.

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Friday was cold and windy, I was oh so hoping that we would not have the wind Saturday morning. It was forecast to be a bit warmer Saturday morning, and it was, I was so happy, and there was very little wind.  We arrived at 6:30 am, one hour before the event was to start.

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Here we are at the start line, left to right, Adrianne, Kara,Myself and Pamela. Unfortunately Pamela couldn’t stay for the hot chocolate, she had a busy day planned with her children.

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It was cloudy and just a bit of mist in the air, and the temperature was good, not too cold.

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We were all ready for hot chocolate after our run. I’m not sure if our excitement kept us warm before the run or if the temperature dropped after, but Oh My Gosh, it was so cold. We all felt so much colder after the run, my poor fingers went from being numb to down right painful.

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We couldn’t resist, we had to take a picture in front of the Hot Chocolate sign.

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On our walk back to the car we were given info for the Wicked Wine Run on March 29th, here in the DFW area and April 19th in Austin, TX.

I could run for some wine.

 Thanks you Katie for hosting the  Marvelous In My Monday link-up.  Check out more MIMM at Healthy Diva Eats.

Be Marvelous In Your Monday!

On The Run Again

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Marvelous was weather this weekend, 60′s and 70′s, after some very cold days during the work week in the 20′s and 30′s.  Great running weather, and I needed to run.

I have to admit that I have let my busy schedule and the cold weather get in the way of my regular running routine. Let’s face it, when it’s cold and the bed is warm and cozy, it’s harder to get up for a run workout, even if it’s inside on the treadmill.  So I registered for Hot Chocolate Dallas, I picked an event that wasn’t too far in the future, so there would be a greater sense of urgency to get back on my regular running routine.  I also encouraged some friends to do it with me to add the accountability factor. Running this weekend was Marvelous for my body and my mind.

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The Hot Chocolate is in two weeks, so no matter how cold it gets, I will get up to do my training runs in the mornings on the treadmill, because after a long day of work it’s unlikely that a workout will happen, because my day’s end at 7:00 pm.

Another plus is this event has great swag, a hoodie and an awesome finisher’s mug.

Hot Chocolate Swag

My Raw Food Challenge is over, but I’ve decided to give raw fennel a try.  I like cooked fennel because it doesn’t have a strong licorice-like flavor like raw fennel, but the health benefits are greater when eaten raw, because the nutrients haven’t been reduced through the cooking process.

Some of the benefits of raw fennel are:

  • Heart Health – Antioxidants can help prevent heart disease by inhibiting free radicals that damage cardiovascular tissue.
  • Bone Health – A high intake of potassium and manganese aids in the prevention of osteoporosis.
  • Digestive Health – Soluble and insoluble fiber aids in healthy digestive functions.
  • Neurological Health - Vitamin B-9 supports the nervous system health.

I searched Pinterest, and there were so many great recipes, but I decided to pair the fennel with a simple flavor, like green apple and the strong pungent flavor of blue cheese.  What a Marvelous salad, the crisp flavors of the apple and fennel mixed with the smooth creamy gorgonzola was absolutely wonderful, there wasn’t a strong licorice flavor, and that was marvelous.

So simple to put together, sliced fennel, thinly sliced apple, (Granny Smith), a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, crumbled gorgonzola and chopped walnuts.

Fennel and Apple

Be Marvelous In Your Monday and have a Wonderful Week. Stop by Healthy Diva Eats and check out Katie and more MIMM’s.

Marvelous Raw Dessert

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MiMM

Marvelous is eating so many nutrient dense foods, and having loads of energy, however, I don’t think I could be fully raw forever, but  this weekend I the most Marvelous raw dessert.

Marvelous is raw coconut butter and all the wonderful things you can do with it.  I love Artisana Raw Coconut Butter, but I don’t love the $11.99 price.

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Marvelous is making homemade coconut butter. It has got to be one of the simplest things to make ever. Just put raw full fat coconut flakes in a food processor and process for about 10 minutes, after 5 minutes stop processor and scrap down sides of the processor bowl, and proceed to process. I just set the timer for 5 minutes, scrap down sides and set the timer for 5 more minutes.  When complete I had myself some smooth creamy coconut butter.

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I processed equal amounts of dates and turkish figs, (about 15 each), in food processor until it came together in a ball.

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Press into a 6 inch pie dish. I sweetened the coconut butter with a bit of agave nectar and spread it on top of the first layer, place in freezer to set.

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I processed more of the date/fig mixture with some water and lemon juice to make a creamy sauce, spread on top of the coconut butter, sprinkled on some almonds and coconut flakes and I had a delicious raw food dessert.

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Be Marvelous in your Monday and visit Katie and the other MIMM’s at Healthy Diva Eats.

Week 2 of Raw Food Challenge

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It’s my second week of eating raw, and I am eating loads of nutrient dense low-calorie foods to meet my daily calorie intake.  Eating raw requires one to count calories to assure you are eating enough to fuel your day. However, with all the foods I am eating, there have been so many times when all I wanted was a big slice of bread or bowl of fries.

I’m also spending a lot of time in the lady’s room and waking up at least once if not twice during the night to visit the bathroom, all those water filled foods.  Absolutely no dehydration possible eating this way, and that’s a good thing.

Another good thing I’ve experienced is no headaches, except for the one I had the first three days because I wasn’t drinking coffee. Big time caffeine withdrawal.

I started the day with lemon water and a 20 oz. green smoothie I made using my DIY Protein Powder. I used two large ripe bananas, 1/2 cup raw almond milk, 1/2 cup filtered water, 1 cup of kale and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of agave nectar.

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Throughout the morning I snacked on a bowl of sliced grapefruit and oranges from my desk.

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I sliced and marinated some portabella mushrooms in raw coconut aminos, ( I use this because it’s raw and it’s not salty at all, purchased at Whole Foods), crushed garlic, and sesame oil the night before. I also made a dipping sauce of 2 tablespoons, organic sesame tahini, 1 tablespoon raw coconut aminos, 1 1/2 sesame oil and just a touch of agave nectar. When I was ready for lunch I rolled the portabellas, carrots and sprouts in collard leaves, and lunch was on.

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I snacked on more fruit and nuts during the afternoon.

Dinner was the rest of the portabellas with sliced onions, red and green peppers, served on top of a simple cauliflower mash I made by processing raw cauliflower until very fine, mixed in nutritional yeast, poultry  seasoning, and herb de Provence, and salad, such a hearty meal.

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Have a great Wednesday and check out Jenn and the others at Peas and Crayons for some great WIAW.

DIY Protein Powder

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A few weeks ago I purchased a raw protein powder that was on sale, unfortunately, my stomach and the powder did not agree.  After returning the powder, I cruised the protein powder aisle for a replacement, most of them that weren’t raw were milk based, which upsets my tummy, or they had ingredients that were unknown to me. To get the benefits of the powder I would have to use almost half the package,  bottom line is I just couldn’t justify spending $20, $50 or $60.

My solution was to make my own. I tried o keep all the ingredients raw, since I’m in the second week of my Raw Food Challenge.

Protein Smoothie with Bananas

  • Raw Hemp Seeds – Complete source of protein and good source of calcium and iron.
  • Raw Sesame Seeds – Rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid which helps to lower LDL the bad cholesterol and increases HDL the good cholesterol, great source of protein, b-vitamins and minerals
  • Chia Seeds – A super food great for protein and fiber
  • Ground Flaxseed – High in omega-3, protein and fiber
  • Spirulina – Great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • Vanilla Extract Powder – Adds flavor

For some flavor options you can add raw cocoa powder, cinnamon any fruit or vegetable of your choice.

You can find the recipe at The Whole Serving. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

MiMM

Be Marvelous and check out Katie and all the other MIMM”s over at Healthy Diva Eats.

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