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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Our evening didn't quite go according to plan. Oh well, it's a new year! I hope that 2011 brings you all health, happiness, and your wishes come true. And now that the fireworks have stopped, I'm off to bed!

Starting the New Year off right!

The other day I went to Lululemon(an athletic clothing store) and was browsing the sale rack. They had some cute pants but of course only a 6 and a 10(I wear an 8). So I took both to the dressing room because it was a great deal and I figured one or the other may fit. The 10, which used to be my "fat day" size was waaay too big. *shrug* I figured there's no way I went down enough for a 6 but let's try anyway. I tried and they're PERFECT! Well, minus how long the legs are but that's because I'm vertically challenged. Good thing they offer free hemming! I can't wait to pick them up this weekend! :D

The spare room has been cleaned out, cleaned and set up for guests. I'm on a mission today for new pillow cases. I don't know what I was thinking getting a white bed set. Ick. The house is clean, well, almost. I still have to vacuum and dust. But otherwise ready for guests.

I have LIGHT buffalo chicken dip in the crockpot. I used the same recipe, sort of....I doubled the original recipe and used frozen breasts since I have plenty of time for it to cook.


* 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup fat free sour cream(I swapped this for Greek Yogurt)
* 1/2 cup Franks hot sauce (or whatever hot sauce you like)
* 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese(took this out, icky!)
* 1 tsp white wine vinegar
* 2 cups (2 breasts) cooked shredded chicken

Mix the first 5 ingredients together until smooth. Add the chicken and put this in the crock pot on low for 3-4 hours. Serve warm. Makes 5 1/2 cups.

I plan on getting some celery and pita chips to serve with the dip tonight. You'd never know it's actually pretty healthy for you! ;)

I'm going to try and make my own ranch dressing this weekend. I will post after I make it and see how it turns out! Now I just need to run to the store to get the stuff for it, go for a run, and meet up with the girls for pedicures.

So all in all; down a pant size, clean house, good healthy food prepared, going for a run and some girl time all before ringing in the New Year. Yep, I think 2011 is going to be a good one! Happy New Year y'all!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Have you set your New Year's Resolutions?

Is one of them to get in shape or go to the gym? If so, let's talk about some things.

Those of us who are regular gym goers throughout the year are dreading January because of the HUGE influx of new people. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for people getting healthier and wanting to be more active. But the honest to God truth is that 3/4 of them will drop by the end of February and then another 1/8 or so will drop by the summer. Very few will actually stick to it. So, if you're one of those people who wants to lose 10 lbs, get in better shape, hit the gym X times a week please heed some advice.

*The biggest tip I can give is to go to the gym with a plan. Cut a workout out of a magazine, pick up New Rules of Lifting and start reading now! When you walk around aimlessly or sit on a machine while trying to figure out what to do, you cause traffic and back ups and regulars get irritated. If you're really lost, spend the money and do a few sessions with a personal trainer. Heck most gyms offer a free first time session with one. Got your plan in place? Good, moving on....

*If you're going to try classes, show up early. Most of the people in those classes have been to them for months and know the instructors fairly well. Get in early, chat up the instructor or even a few of the people in your class and ask questions before hand. Don't show up late and cause distractions.

*When using the weight lifting equipment, get on, do your sets, and get off. If you don't know how to use the machine, watch someone else, read the directions quickly, or note what it was so you can research it later and maybe use it the next day. When you sit on a machine you're impeding someone else from doing their sets.

*Work people in. If you're a regular gym goer then you know that most lifting programs will have you rest 60 seconds or so in between sets. A lot of people will let you "work in" Example: I'm using the squat rack but I just finished a set and am doing my rest period. If someone walks up and wants to use the rack they say "Are you done" I say No. They say "Oh, can I work in then?" I say "Sure, I'm on my rest set now so get ahead and get a set in." They throw their weights on, do ONE set, then we switch so they rest and I do a set. Make sense? This also is a good way to meet people since you obviously have a common interest. ;)

*Come to the gym in proper attire. My gym is pretty picky about people with street shoes and such. But if you hop on a treadmill in jeans and boots, please believe someone will say something. You don't have to go out and buy a new wardrobe, but wear at least some workout pants/shorts and a t-shirt. This leads me to another point...

*Ladies, please do not come looking cute and for a date. If you're using the weights just so you can look at yourself in the mirror and check out guys around you, you are dead wrong.

*Guys, similar. Please do not hit on me while I'm lifting weights or running. I know I wear gloves most of the time and if I don't, I don't have my wedding ring on. But honestly even if I wasn't married, being hit on while I'm sweating like a pig and concentrating on what I'm doing is disgusting and aggravating. My headphones are in for a reason.

*Don't blare your music. If you have headphones in and I can hear your music when I walk by, it's too loud. You're going to go deaf.

*I'm going to say it again, if you don't know, ASK. No one will laugh at you, well, ok we may chuckle but we will help. We only chuckle b/c we've been there too. I'd much rather someone ask me about how to do an exercise then watch them do it with terrible form and possibly hurting themselves.

*Wipe off your machine when you're done! I HATE sitting on a sweaty bench b/c the jerk before me didn't have the common decency to wipe it off. Gross.

Lastly, when in the locker room, no one cares if you walk around naked. But for the love of all things holy, put something, ANYTHING on your feet. Socks, flip flops, slippers, paper freaking towels, I don't care. Just something, especially in the shower.

Fellow H&F people if I missed something please feel free to add it! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Why?

Days like today make me scratch my head and ask why. I ask God "Why?" I ask friends, family and mentors "Why?" Some things just don't make any sense to me.

To make a long story short, a dear sweet friend of mine is in a nasty custody battle over her 5 year old son. When she enlisted in the Army, she had to sign over her parental rights because she was a single mother. She thought they had agreed that when she returned from training, she'd regain custody and they would go back to the previously arranged visitation schedule. NOT. He instead got an order of protection against her so she could not see her son and went to court for full custody. And WON! He says that she abandoned her child when in reality she did something to better her life for her family because she previously was making just over minimum wage at Menards. She now works full time for the Army National Guard, makes good money, has healthcare for herself and her children and a stable home. So why is it that the mediator who met with both parents wrote in her review that her son is better suited with his father? This man hasn't held a job since 2007, he lives of welfare, has prior criminal history with drug charges and yet she thinks it's a better idea he stays with him? Are you kidding me?

His lawyer is one of those scumbags you see on TV "know your rights as a father. We'll win, guaranteed." Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a father hater, sometimes it's true the child is best off with their father. But this is just not the case. For a while he wasn't even paying his attorneys and they dropped him for a few months.

I've been with her when she picks him up or drops him off(yeah, she does it b/c he can't drive) and I see the pain she and her son go through. Every time he clings to her arm saying "Mommy I don't want to go back to daddy's" or comes sprinting up to her car b/c he is so excited; it tears me apart. I'm not a mother, I can't imagine the pain she's going through but just seeing the situation from the outside makes me want to walk into the courtroom and shake the mediator really hard. And tell the judge that if he rules in favor of that boys deadbeat dad that he's setting that sweet precious little guy up for failure.

I realize there are 3 sides to every story and I mostly see one. And I could be completely wrong, but I don't think I am. A 5 year old child is not good at hiding emotions and you can often read them like a book. So as I sat there and discussed this with my friend tonight I realized this is exactly what he wants! He WANTS her to be upset so that she isn't thinking straight and is thrown off. So after calming down for a few minutes we had a calm logical discussion. Sometimes logic can be my downfall because some people think I'm just cold hearted but really I know that logic wins out in cases like this. After a long talk and coming up with some new tactics I think she feels a bit better prepared and now has some things to bring up to her attorney next week.

I just hate that I have to watch her go through this. But like I told her "Everything will be ok in the end, if it's not ok, it's not the end."

5:00 is early!

But I made it out of bed and into pilates! I did not get to swim, I forgot how long the class is and had to get ready and head straight to work. I'm debating a run or swim later. The office is pretty slow since most of the guys are on vacation. I feel a headache coming on so I may just go home and take a nap then see how I feel. I did however, find some recipes for snacks at our NYE party. We're not big on crowds and since we're going to Colorado next weekend we didn't want to do anything crazy for NYE. So we're going to a Japenese steak house for dinner then back to our house for some food and fun. I'm going to make home made ranch dressing for dipping veggies and low fat buffalo chicken dip with pita crackers. Yummy and good for you! I might find a low fat dessert to make but haven't decided yet. I'll post recipes after I actually make them and see how they turn out! :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Whew!

So I want to post each day about what my scheduled training was and what actually happens(ha!) So here we go, I'm a day late already!

Yesterday was supposed to be strength and stretch. I stretched at home, it was a long day at work then I had my nephew's birthday party so I just didn't quite make it to the gym. I did at least stretch though.

Today was a 3 mile run. I met up with a girlfriend at the gym and did 2 miles of hills on the TM. I figure the hills kind of make up for the lack of a mile. PLUS we went shopping afterward and I walked another hour or so. I'm beat!

Tomorrow is two mile run or cross. So I will probably(this is the plan) do pilates in in the morning with a friend then swim after. If neither happen, then I will run 2 mi in the afternoon.

So I just got home, it's almost 9 pm, and I'm just about to eat dinner. Work was a little hectic today and we worked through lunch and finally ate around 3 pm. So I wasn't hungry but now after all my fun this evening, I'm starving. I put some cayenne pepper on two boneless skinless chicken breasts and put some quinoa in my rice cooker. Easy peasy. Throw some soy sauce(low sodium, organic and gluten free) on the quinoa and you've got a tasty meal. The second chicken breast I will probably save for dinner tomorrow since the hubbs is out of town until this weekend. But in the process of waiting for my dinner to be done I've also got my breakfast and snacks packed for tomorrow and the coffee pot set and ready to go. Oh wait....the coffee pot is set for 7, if I go to the gym at 5:30...hmm.... Well now I'm off to figure out what to do about the coffee! Gnight!

Monday, December 27, 2010

PSA: Shopping deals!

Nike stuff here

http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/44215/?utm_campaign=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

And these I got at Target....

I'm not too familiar with the Champion DuoDry line but it appears(to me anyway) that they've revamped their stuff a bit. They added reflective stripes and the only other difference I saw was the tags. They added step by step tags telling you which layer it is. The old stuff is on sale.

Wicking jacket w/thumbholes for top or middle layer - $20
Base layer wicking tees - $10
Light fleece for top layer -$10

I'm baaaack!

So down in southeeastern Ohio/no-man's land, there's no internet or cell service. Well, ok, they have dial up and if you stand on the top of the hill with one leg up and tin foil on your head you may get a bar for your cell. So I've been out of the loop, so a belated Merry Christmas to all! I hope you all had a wonderful time with friends and family and got what you'd been wishing for! I got quite the haul!

- Garmin watch(birthday/Christmas)
- A Nike DriFit shirt that says "This is my kick butt shirt" Thanks cousins!
- New crock pot, with a fancy design and everything!
- A ninja blender, juicer, food processor. I'm very excited to use this to start making my own Green Monsters and protein shakes!
- A heavy wicking REI tech shirt with thumb holes
- A Dick's Sporting Goods GC
- A cute black sweater
- Hat/gloves/scarf combo
- Windshield washer fluid(inside joke with my father in law)
- Some cash(to get new boots and some more running gear!)

So, I'm pretty stoked. Today starts my half marathon training. Today is a strength and stretch day so I'm going to try and do a yoga class this afternoon. I also had a slight "a-ha" moment yesterday. After four days of eating junk, sugars, processed foods, greasy foods, etc. I felt like CRAP. It could have been worse, I combated some of it with my own tactics. We took fruits and veggies and left over home made pulled pork on the road with us. I only drank water and coffee and worked out every day except Saturday and Sunday. I only had two cans of pop the entire weekend and a few cookies and a couple pieces of pie. Yesterday on the way home we had some Penn Station subs(meh, not terrible for you) but then stopped at Hooters for dinner. Whenever we stop somewhere new we try to find a Hooters because I collect shirts from each one. So I figured I may as well have my last junk meal and ate half of a cheeseburger and some fried pickles. Started off today with greek yogurt and some fruit and home made coffee. I've also finally weaned myself down to drinking almost black coffee! I can do it black but this morning I wanted a little something so I used n/f french vanilla creamer with no sugar.

These posts are probably going to get very health and fitness related as my training progresses so if that bores you, you may need to find another blog. If not, stick around!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

HELP!

If you have my phone number, shoot me a text. My blackberry DIED. Like completely, so I have a new phone(same model) with no numbers. Thanks!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holy cow!

We leave for Ohio Wednesday! Christmas is Saturday! I start half training on Monday! Time is flying by and 2011 will be here before we know it! Let's talk about goals shall we? I say goals, not resolutions. I feel goals are more attainable because I feel there's less restriction like "AHHHH I HAVE to do it THIS year!"

So far I have

*Run a half marathon
*Run a sub 30 5K
*Keep up on strength training, don't let running take over
*Lose 15 lbs
*Spend more time on me and bettering myself
*Get my green belt in Judo(already have a yellow)
*Keep at least a 3.0
*Pay off debt(Jeep you're lucky I love you)
*Refresh my Spanish
*Find a permanent job/career
*Stay on top of cleaning the house throughout the week instead of a huge cleaning on the weekend
*Cook at home more, eat out only once a week
*FINISH MY ASSOCIATES(the thing is taking forever)
* Make E-6 in the Army
*Meet my bff at the gym at least one a week

That's it so far.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Today history was made

Today, Don't Ask Don't Tell(DADT), the military's policy keeping openly gay members from serving has been repealed. In this article they tell us that the senate voted for the repeal. President Obama is expected to sign the bill next week. The policy will probably not go into effect for several months and this is the point I want to talk about.

To those who aren't really associated with or have any knowledge of the military think "Repeal it! Gays should be able to serve!" And they want it done, like yesterday. And while I understand that and I agree, people don't realize how many things have to change in order for this repeal to happen.

So for all of you who were all about the repeal and wanted it to happen ASAP, I have a question. What's your proposal for the new fraternization policy? How about the barracks, how will those work? Will gays have their own separate barracks or will they still bunk with the same sex? What about training policies? In some classes females aren't accepted, will gays be accepted? How is that fair to females? Same with combat arms MOSes(jobs) females aren't accepted, but will gays be accepted? What about TriCare? Are we going to provide healthcare benefits to the dependents of gay servicemembers? Civil unions are legal in 11 states so there is a possibility that a gay SM may have a spouse. What if they adopted a child? Will they get the same benefits as other dependents?

Just some things to think about for those of you who think things aren't happening fast enough.

My honest opinion is that the biggest issue with implementing it is going to be leadership. Because like when women were first allowed, there are going to be some people who absolutely disagree with the policy and they're going to make it known. Real leaders are going to stand up and do what's right. That's what I intend to do. My Soldiers will be informed of the new policies and know that I will not tolerate any ignorance on the issue.

Changes are coming people, hang on to your britches!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My sweet tooth

Only comes around once in a great while. Tonight, I'd tried to satisfy that craving in a bit of a healthy way. And it WORKED! Instead of giving in and baking some cookies or brownies I went to the fridge. I mixed some greek yogurt with fresh fruit and just a sprinkle(like 10) chocolate chips. Perfection. And the greek yogurt is so filling, my belly now feels content and I'm ready for bed. Gnight!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

That's it!

My eating will get better and I will start working out more. I should not have put on 6 pounds in the last two months. Period. Clean eating, no more eating out, and getting my butt back in the gym. See what happens when I stop training for a race?

On that note, dinner tonight was yummy. I made chili rubbed tilapia, fresh asparagus and quinoa in my new rice cooker! The tilapia was seasoned with some ground chili pepper, ground cayenne pepper(we like spicy!) and a bit of fine sea salt. The asparagus I steamed and threw some garlic in with it for flavor.

For a workout tonight I did NROLFW workout 1A.

2 sets of squats (50 lbs + bar)
2 sets of seated rows (40 lb)
2 sets of push ups (12 ea)
2 sets of step ups (12.5 lb dumbbells in each hand, that's all that was free)
2 sets of prone jack knifes (8 ea)

I was hoping to swim but alas the pool was full and didn't feel like waiting for a lane.

That leads me to my vent: Why is it guys like to stand around, jaw jack, and pretend they're doing something. I get in, do my sets, get out. Done. The squat rack is on the very back wall of the gym. So as soon as I get on the floor, I lock eyes on it to see if anyone is on/next to it and if it's in use. With no one in sight, the whole time, I walk over and get ready to take the weights off when out of nowhere this guys chimes in with "I'm using that." I'm like "what? where were you?" Apparently he left the weights on to go do a set on another machine. Fine, can I at least work in so I can do sets between yours. Oh no, he wants to use it now and moves a bench under it to do another exercise. Ugh. For some reason, I hardly ever see a chick do this. The 3 or 4 other ladies who are in the free weights lifting are the same as me. Claim your spot, do your stuff get out. And I saw so many guys with bad form that I wanted to stop them all and correct them. Oh well, can't win 'em all I suppose.

/end rant.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A good day

Dear Victoria's Secret,
Thank you for the Incredible Racerback Bra. It's so amazingly comfortable and I no longer suffer from uniboob. You made both myself and the hubs very happy.

Love,
A loyal customer

Dear M,
Thank you my dear friend for the gift card for Victoria's Secret so I could get previously mentioned bra for half price.
Love,
Me

Dear husband,
Thank you for taking me to get my new bra, plus the make up I wanted, AND taking me to The Container Store to get the jars I wanted for the pantry. And my new travel containers for breakfast/lunch.
Love,
Your happy wife.

Steps toward progress. I got a couple snack size air tight containers to take veggies and fruit to work. I also got one of those cups that you can put the cereal in the top bowl part and the little bottom cup that attaches to it holds milk. I used it a bit differently. I put some greek yogurt and half a banana in the top and in the bottom some soy milk mixed with green monster. So now I have a good breakfast and snacks. I'll probably still eat out for lunch, it's kind of a daily thing with the guys, I'll just stick to my principles and not eat anything too crazy. Tonight while doing all the above mentioned shopping we stopped into Red Robin. I know, I know, what the heck is there that is even remotely healthy? Here's my answer: The blackened chicken sandwich, minus mayo, and onion. I only took the onion off b/c I don't like them. Ha! I also ordered just the sandwich so I didn't stuff my face with fries and a water.

But honestly, I think the *biggest* thing that has changed in my eating habits is that I no longer clean my entire plate. I for the longest time had convinced myself that I absolutely had to eat everything on my plate. Now, I have a full glass of water before I eat, eat slowly and when I feel full, I stop. Cleaning up my late lead to so much over eating and extra calories that it was unhealthy. Just something to think about!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Future Reference

Lifting before volleyball is a bad idea. I'm just sayin'.

My husband rocks!

I wanted to go to the store after work today. Mainly for vinegar so I could laundry but I knew we needed milk too. He said he wanted to go so I stopped at home to pick him up. He says he's not ready to come upstairs and we'll leave in a few. Anyone who knows me will understand that it's a HUGE peeve of mine. I'd rather just go by myself than wait, once I have my mind set to something, I want to do it then and there. But he was insistent so I finally went upstairs. And as I walk in the door, we're talking in the entry way, he empties the paper towel roll, throws me the empty thing and asks me to throw it away. And I find....


He put in my pantry shelves! Thanks for the idea Em!He said he wasn't feeling well this morning so he took the day off. He apparently felt well enough to go get the shelving kit and install them while I was at work. The original white shelves we wanted wouldn't fit, but these are perfect! I'm SO excited! He even moved most of the stuff I wanted in there already. Now I need some new jars to put other things like quinoa, flax, etc. in there!

Then we went to Whole Foods and I found myself making some more healthy choices and trying some new things. I switched to soy milk since I've heard that it's good and better for you than regular milk. I got a vanilla flavored one and it's SUPER good! I had some with dinner. I also got some greek yogurt, fresh fruits and veggies to take to work and a bottle of green machine. Yes I got a bottle because it's hard to get apples and stuff this time of year to make it.

Now I'm off to head to the gym to lift and play volleyball!

I have the itch

Not like that you nasty minds! ;)

The itch to RUN! I haven't had a good run outside in DAYS. Our temps have been in the single digits, normally no big deal, but the windchill is -20 and bitter. Damn "windy city." Alas, I have not run outside. I got my new Garmin watch and I want to break it out dang it! And then I see this glorious news for tomorrow


23 degrees, feels like 12 with the windchill.

This means, I will be bringing my running clothes to work to better my chances of going for a run while the sun is high and warm. If I *have* to, I'll run during lunch.

Tonight I'll go lift and then we have volleyball. It's a dreaded late game so we don't start until 9:15. I'm usually in bed about 15 minutes after that so I hate these late games. Oh well, next week is our last one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let's talk about something important.

Guns.
The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Why do I bring this up? Because there is a proposal to bring a concealed carry law to Illinois. This both excites and frightens me. For those who don't know a conceal carry law will allow citizens with the proper permits, to carry a weapon(gun) under their clothing(concealed).

Now the Army/Law Enforcement side of me silently squealed for joy because the thought of me being able to carry all the time is almost a dream come true. But then I started thinking and talking about it with friends/coworkers/family.

So here's my thoughts..... *disclaimer* This is my opinion, it is not that of the Army, all law enforcement officers, my family or friends. Just ME.

Pros

*Crime rates will probably decrease, maybe not a whole lot and maybe not right away, but some decrease is better than none. Criminals are less likely(less, I'm not saying it won't happen) to mug/assault/car jack someone if they suspect the person is carrying a weapon. On this note, I'd prefer an open carry so it's openly obvious that someone is carrying and can/will defend themselves.

*It's a second amendment right.

*People can defend themselves when in a situation that their/or a loved one's life is at risk.



Cons

*People will try to be heroes. Just because you see a guy getting jumped in an alley does not mean it's a good idea to pull out your gun and try to save the day. In the end of the day you are still a private citizen and in no way have the right to do law enforcement's job.

*People who normally may not act violently, might feel a bit more gutsy and may be more likely to act violently. Example, on a DUI stop, if an officer stops someone who may fight a bit then apologize later it's not a *huge* deal. But if they're armed, they may be more likely to shoot an officer even if they wouldn't normally in their right/sober mind.


Problems/Solutions:
How do you decide who get's a concealed carry permit?
Suggestions: No felons, period. In the state of Illinois we have a Firearms Owner Identification Card(FOID) and anyone with a convicted felony/assault/domestic/violent charge is denied a FOID. Same should go for concealed carry and I think the background check should be even more thorough. I'd also be inclined to say that applicants should go through a psychiatric evaluation, polygraph test, and a question/answer board. But I know I'm a bit crazy :D

How will people know when they can use their weapon?
Education, education, education. Every person who applies for a concealed carry permit should be forced to take a class. The class should include fingerprinting of applicants, state/local laws(IE citizens arrest), how to properly shoot/clean/maintain a weapon. There should be scenarios that are given and a test that applicants must pass.


So what are your thoughts on concealed carry? Does your state have it?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

To new traditions!

So the husband and I haven't really had much time home together for the holidays. Ever. Our first year we squeezed in both families at Christmas, then he shipped out to Iraq. Then we decided since our families live so far apart, we would swap families every year. So last year we had Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas was a Florida vacation with my family. This year we spent Thanksgiving day at home, then with my family for the weekend. We'll go to his families for Christmas but we'll have more time at home since he doesn't have to go anywhere until after the holidays. So we wanted to decorate this year. IG has always joked he wanted a Christmas palm tree. Growing up in Hawaii I kept telling him that they don't actually use palm trees as Christmas trees, although they do get decorated. Well I finally convinced him to buy a nice tree, since previously we had a junky little two foot fake tree. Today we went tree shopping and came home with...



All lit up


The topper


We don't have all the ornaments on yet. Just a few of our personal ones.


So, here's to new traditions! Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy birthday to me!(belated)

So today I came home from my class to the husband saying "don't take your shoes off. let's go." I'm all "umm....what? I've been in the car for 3 hours, I want to nap, eat dinner and just relax." But, alas, he drug me out anyway. After driving around for what seemed like forever, I was convinced he was lost and we stopped at a strip mall. I got a little irritated when he pulled up at REI because there's one right by our house. I said "Why did we drive all the way to this REI instead of the one by the house?" He said just go in. We walk in and he navigates us to the watches/GPS/jewelry and pointed. There I saw the Garmin GPS watches. Now I had narrowed it down to two(the 305 and 110) but he didn't want to buy one without me trying them on. Turns out we drove down to that REI because it was the closest one that had the 305 in stock. So after trying them on and looking over features of both ones, I am now the proud owner of the Garmin Forerunner 305 watch.





It's big but I like it that way! ;) No really, my eyes are bad and I rarely run with my glasses on so it's nice to be able to run without them and still see the screen. So I'm going to try my hardest not to stay up all night playing with it and getting it set up.

On the way home, he surprised me(yet again) by taking me to a crab house. I LOVE sea food and am very picky about eating it up here because I'm a firm believer in fresh seafood, typically on the beach, is the best. Joe's Crab Shack is a sham in my eyes. He had researched and this place was amazing! I stuffed my face with some Kind Crab Legs and Sashimi. I also found out that Snow Crab is now endangered and they're no longer allowed to fish it. Makes me kind of sad, hopefully it is able to repopulate itself soon!

So I'm off to play with my new toy! :D

Thursday, December 9, 2010

23 years ago today

I blessed the world with my presence. Ha!

I'm OOT(out of town) for a class for work but my mom came up to take me to dinner since my class is only about an hour from my hometown. And she surprised me with my SISTER! I was so excited. Sissy recently got a job as a CNA and she works crazy hours so it's been months(trying to recall) since I've seen her since she wasn't able to make to Thanksgiving. I was super excited to see her. So we went to Outback and had some food, laughed 'til we cried, and shared my free birthday sundae.

I've been trying to clean up my eating and tonight I realized that the whole clean/healthy eating is starting to work. By work I mean I'm making more healthy choices and really starting to enjoy eating healthy. We had seared ahi tuna for an appetizer. I ordered a 6 oz. steak because I rarely eat red meat and anything bigger would tear my stomach up(Sorry TMI). I also ordered a house salad with vinaigrette(wow Em it is hard to spell!) and for my other side I got the fresh veggies. But what really got me, and I forget where I read this, was that when I ordered them I asked how they were prepared. She said steamed in butter sauce. I asked her to please steam them without the butter since it's a) not the best for you b) high calories c) gross. So, YAY for healthy choices. I also drank coffee black today because at my class they only had Splenda and Sweet-n-low. I can't believe I ever used those artificial sweeteners! They taste sooooo nasty and chemically. NO MORE!

I'm going to attempt to run in the morning but since my hotel is on a highway, I may suck it up and hit a treadmill. Bleh. Plus it's snowing/icing(because it snows every year on my birthday, no joke) and I didn't bring my snow shoes. I'll do something it just may not be outside. And with that, I'm off to bed because I've been up since 4 am!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It works!

I finally got my DetermiNation page set up for the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half next August. The button on the right now actually works. :)

Also, we just went to Olive Garden for my birthday(which is actually tomorrow but I'll be out of town). YUM! And the waitress gave me extra chocolate Andes! Woot!

Product reviews:

1) Adidas ClimaCool socks.

I got them in a secret santa exchange from a message board that I frequent. These were kind of "eh" for me. I wore them yesterday to work out and they were great then. I played volleyball after and they got a bit warm. It could also have been the fact that they turned up the heat in the gym so it was hot anyway but I'm not sure. However they are super comfortable, fit well, don't bunch up and are really lightweight. I think they'll make a great everyday/light workout sock.

2) Smart Wool socks. OMG. Love. I am in love. I got two pairs, one for running and one was their kind of everyday sock. Today at work I figured I'd be outisde for a while so I wore my everyday/hiking ones. My toes were warm, even standing out in the snow for an hour. I went for a run after work and it was around 9 degrees. My toes were toasty warm, but not sweaty. They're also super comfortable. The every day socks I got were kind of thick and bulky so I may just wear the running socks all the time. They're soft, warm, don't bunch and are cute. What more could you ask for?

Running socks




Regular socks

Monday, December 6, 2010

Product Reviews

To follow. I invested in my first pair of smart wool running socks. Supposedly the best running socks, especially for winter weather. I will also try to pick up some Nike Dri-fit socks since those were also recommended. I also got a pair of YakTrax Pros. They're things that go over your shoes to give you stability and traction in snow/ice. People actually wear them for winter running. So, look for reviews in the next few days. The socks I'll wear for my run tomorrow. The YakTrax I will probably wait until the next snow(Thurs, b/c it always snows on my birthday) and hopefully I'll get the Nike socks soon.

Not much else going on around the IG household. Super busy week, I have a conference tomorrow, busy day of police work on Wed, then I go out of town for a class Thurs-Fri and drill this weekend. Yep. Busy busy busy. :)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The best weekend

Why? We did NOTHING. We haven't had a weekend where absolutely nothing needed to be done. Ok, I take that back, I took the cat to the vet for the weird scab thing that appeared on his head but other than that. Nada, zip, zilch. We sat around yesterday watching tv, I did some mindless cleaning. Today, slept in, went to lunch with a friend then got our new internet installed and now we're watching the Steeler's play. It's the most relaxing weekend we've had in I can't remember how long.


I don't want to get into full 1/2 marathon training yet. So I'm going to start swimming and biking and doing some strength training to build myself for the next few weeks before I get back into running big time. I'll still run, especially since I've found a new love for winter running, just less mileage and easy paces.

Enough mindless rambling, I'm going to go figure out why I hear pots and the stove going in the kitchen and my husband disappeared. ;)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It hurts to good!

Today I took my first real winter run.

PRE-RUN:
I laid out two outfits. One for running and one for post run.

Running outfit:
Lululemon Alpine tights
Nike dri-fit tank top
Nike dri-fit long sleeve running shirt
Bright orange reflective windbreaker with turtleneck
Socks(nothing special....yet)
Shoes
Hat and gloves

Post run outfit:
Lululemon yoga pants
Ohio State hoodie
Clean and dry socks

Now it may sound like that's not enough layers. I mean it's 31 degrees and snowing. But it was plenty. I still got a sweat, a good sweat. The only thing really exposed was my face. I put some heavy duty lotion on my face before I headed out the door and it seemed to do me just fine. Some people wear balaclavas but I don't know if I'll invest in one yet.

I also made sure before I left to put a mug with water in the microwave and my jar of peppermint cocoa that my friend made on the counter.


RUN:
First, my Ipod wasn't charged, I threw it on the charger for a bit before I left so I had just enough battery to run about 30 minutes. THEN, I broke my stupid headphones on the way out the door. The cord got caught on the door knob which yanked them from my ears AND the little part that plugs into your Ipod, was still in there. The cord had separated but that little metal adapter stuck out like a little middle finger. Ugh. So I pulled it out and decided to run without headphones. I just put my Ipod on loud enough I could hear it but it wouldn't disturb anyone, even though there was no one out, lol.

The cold weather and snow was really exhilarating. The cold air burns as it fills your lungs but feels great as it goes out warm. You can count your breathing by seeing the little puff of steam in front of you when you exhale. Winter has a beautiful calm about it, which I don't think I've ever appreciated until today. Everything has a fresh coat of white, our roads were already plowed so I had a clear, mostly dry path. It was fun to see everyone's holiday decorations; the lights, one house had holiday music, little inflatable characters. It wasn't just a usual stroll through the same neighborhood that I've always run through. It was much more fun and festive.

POST RUN:
As soon as I walked in the house, I hit the button on the microwave to warm the water in my mug. I went and stripped all workout clothes(since everything is wet and cold) and put on my sweats I had laid out. Now I'm curled up in my sweats with my warm peppermint cocoa.

You may ask why I didn't get straight into the shower as most would normally do post run. I've read a lot about winter running and they actually recommend you let your body temp return to normal(time allowing) before jumping in the warm shower. Taking your skin from cold to warm, even though it may not feel too cold, can be kind of painful. Have you ever run cold hands or toes under warm water and you get that "pins and needles" feeling? The pricks, tingles, and itchiness is nothing I really want to deal with so I'll shower here shortly when my temps return to normal.

The cold air is going to take a little getting used to. My lungs hurt a bit and I'm coughing a bit. It's a good burn though!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Big news today

1) My extension has officially been approved. I will be in the Army National Guard until 2014. Woot!

2) Illinois lawmakers today passed legislation approving civil unions for gay couples
. I know it's not "marriage" but it's a step in the right direction!

3) Those of you who've tried to click my Cancer Sucks button or donate to my DetermiNation page for my half marathon. I spoke to a team member from the DetermiNation site and she informed me that I registered and everything on their 2010 website. They pulled it down a couple weeks ago and the new 2011 site will be up in a few days. She said I should be able to log in the same and my info should still be there. She assured me that she'd call and follow up to make sure I'm back up and running. So by late next week you should be able to click the little button thingy that says "Cancer Sucks" and it will take you to my team page!

I'm going out of town next week for a few days for a class. I'm hoping that since it's also my birthday that IG will get and install my pantry shelves while I'm gone. Boy I'd be happy. I ran to the store yesterday to get some canned veggies and stuff and he said "why don't you wait until you get your pantry?" Does that mean it's coming soooon? :D

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I swear I had stuff to blog about

And it all seems to have escaped me. I will be getting a few different types of recommended socks for running and will review those so look for that at a later date. Bear with me if I'm all over the place as I remember things.

Today, I think I figured out why I run. I get hurt playing sports. I don't have the fastest reaction times so I end up twisting, turning, getting hit, whatever. Playing volleyball tonight, the person in front of me(whom I thought had the ball) instead stepped out of the way so I tried to save it. My saving it was a "bump" to which it only hit the ends of my knuckles when it should have hit my forearms. The force of the ball then shoved my hands downward, bending my wrist in the wrong direction. I'm ok, a little sore and swollen, but I shall live. I think.....

I've also decided it's time to go see a doctor. I'm one of those people that will put things off forever and ever until I have a list of about 5 things I need to see them for and unfortunately it's usually different doctors for different things. 1) I need to check up on my thyroid, I'm supposed to do it ever 6-8 weeks, I think it's been about 10. Whoops. 2) I need to get my back fixed. My hips are off center which causes me some lower back pain, typically a quick trip to the chiro helps. 3) Feminine stuff, I won't bore you. ;)

That's all I've got for now, I reserve the right to blog again later. :D

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're not going home until tomorrow so it's just me and IG today. Hanging out at home. Everyone take a moment to reflect on what you have. Remember those who can't be home to visit with their friends and family. All the military who are out fighting for our freedom, the policemen out patrolling our highways to make sure everyone is safe, the fireman who respond to a call when someone catches something on fire with a turkey fryer, and many more. All these people make it possible for us to enjoy our time off at home visiting with those we love.

I'm thanksful for a lot this year. My husband, it's been rough, especially through a year deployment, but we're making it and I'm thankful he puts up with me and my nonsense. We both have somewhat steady jobs and were able to buy a home, even if it is just a 2 bedroom condo. I'm thankful for my family; my newly married aunt, my little cousin excelling in college, my sister just got her CNA and is back in school, and my newly engage mother. I'd be lost without all of them. My in-laws are awesome too, I really wish we could visit more but 8 hours is a long drive! I'm thankful for my friends, there are far to many too list but know that I love each and every one of you. All of the above mentioned are healthy and happy and safely at home, except one, Mikey, come home soon buddy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The weirdest November ever

1st of all, it was 65 degrees today, along with thunderstorms and a tornado that actually touched down by my office. Thanksgiving is in 3 days! I have never, in the over a decade I have lived in Illinois, seen it that warm this late in the year. I have seen snow on Halloween, and of course Thanksgiving. But never this warm. The temperature is already plummeting, as they promised it would. It should be a brisk 30(ish) degrees on Thursday, there is talks of snow, but the ground is still too warm to stick. We have a saying here in IL "If you don't like the weather today, stick around, it'll be different tomorrow." Boy is it true this year.

Secondly, how is it Thanksgiving already? I guess time flies when you work, go to school(although I did take this semester off but went the last two), travel for pleasure, travel for training for work and you're busy all the time. So we're scrambling a bit for holiday plans. Up until today we weren't sure if IG would have to work Friday or not, so our plans have changed a dozen times. Now that we have plans nailed down(Thursday at home, Friday at my mom's, Saturday at my aunt's) we can relax a bit. This year will be pretty laid back anyway.

This weekend is also huge for us because it's the Ohio State vs. Michigan game. Did I ever tell you that we had tickets to that game? Those of you who aren't NCAAF fans probably don't care, those of you who know anything about it know that the OSU vs. Michigan game is one of the biggest rivalries in college football. Long story short, we bought some tickets for our anniversary that were OSU vs. Eastern Michigan from a friend who works at OSU. She mistakenly handed us the wrong tickets, actually the tickets for this weekend. Because she is a dear friend and we'd like to keep it that way ;) we called her and switched them back. It was nice to hold those tickets in our hands for a little while though. *sigh*


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tilapia and quinoa....and me complaining

I took out some tilapia for dinner, which is one of my favorite fishes since it's a mild white fish and not super fishy tasting. I also made my first attempt of quinoa which is a wheat free, gluten free alternative to rice, oatmeal, breading, it's very versatile.

For the tilapia,
4 tilapia filets
1 tbsp of Adobo all-season salt
1 tbsp of chili powder
then I squeezed to limes over the fish and cooked in a skillet.

Quinoa, I use the two to one method and used 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 water to boil it like rice. It turned out pretty well. The texture is a bit interesting but it still tasted good. Add a side of asparagus and viola! Yummy meal.

Now for my complaining.

There is nothing that irritates me more than people who spew off at the mouth not really knowing what they're talking about and giving stupid advice. On a message board I frequent, a girl was worried because her husband had not yet received his enlistment bonus(it's only been 6 months).

The advice she received?

1) Call an attorney
2) Contact the military's legal office
3) Call her senator
4) Call the investigative general(IG) who handles issues within a military unit. Like when someone files a complaint against someone in their chain of command.

Now I won't go into all the reasons as to why this is wrong and in so many ways but I will say this. Unless you have been there and done that and know what you're talking about....please stay out of it. If you go and tell your spouse, or worse you yourself, go and do any of the above, it's going to reflect badly upon your service member. If your SM is not sure who to go to, they need to run it up their chain of command. We have the chain for a reason, to solve problems at the lowest level. If my Soldiers come to me with an issue, I do everything within my power to solve it myself, if I can't I enlist help from someone with more rank than me.

So in summary, unless you know what you're talking about, kindly STFU. Kthxbai.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Deer Chili(and some random thoughts)

Those of you who come from a background similar to mine know that it's deer season. And it's this time of year that you switch from the usual ground beef, pot roasts and steaks to ground deer burger, venison, and deer roast. Deer can be a bit tricky to cook since it tastes a little more game-y than regular beef. Easily fixed as long as you know what to do with it. It's not like burger you can just throw on a grill or a steak you broil. It needs to be seasoned and/or mixed with other meats because it is very lean. So I made my first crock pot of deer chili and here's the recipe I used.

1 lb of ground deer
1 packet chili mix
3 tbsp of chili powder
2 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 can of black beans
1 small white onion
1 tbsp of garlic
1 tbsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp os sea salt
and a dash of Worcestershire sauce.

Now, I love my crock pot and I am a firm believer in not having to cook anything before it goes into said crockpot. So I actually started the chili last night. Let it cook on low until this afternoon and it switched to warm(it has a timer). Served tonight and the husband loved it, as did I.

Random thoughts,
My extension got kicked back because it was the wrong format. NBD. It got redone at drill weekend and has been resubmitted. Apparently they're not worried that I'm less than 60 days from my ETS(the day I get out). *insert nervous laugh*

We played volleyball tonight. It was MUCH more fun this week. "All-Star" seems to have quit, as we guessed, along with our "captain" who broke her wrist. We got 3 new girls all of which are super nice, know pretty much what they're doing and our communication vastly improved. I look forward to the rest of the season now.

I think I've convinced IG to turn our hallway closet into a pantry. My friend Em's pantry looks about the size of our closet so I want to mimic hers. That's what I'm asking for for Christmas! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Today is bittersweet

Today is Veteran's Day. Today is a day that we remember those who have served, past and present and thank them for that sacrifices.

This day always puts me in awkward situations. I often get text messages, facebook messages or people who thank me on the street. While I appreciate being thanked, I never really quite know what to say. I love what I do and have since day 1. My deployment sucked, hello it's a desert! But I feel weird saying "you're welcome" because I feel that I was just doing my job. More noble/courageous/brave/whatever than most jobs? Maybe. But to me, my passion and desire to serve is still my job.


I do what I do because I love it so thank you to all of you who thank the veterans in your life and the ones you see on the street.

And to those who don't support the war, protest the troops, think we're fighting in vain,(especially the Westboro Baptist Church) I hope you enjoy your freedom of speech. America is the land of the free because of the brave.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bear with me

As I change some things around. I'm still new to this blogging thing.

How do you like it so far?

Christmas came early

IG had been wanting an Ipad forever. I have been browsing the Apple store for a few months debating back and forth on whether or not to get him one. Then I found a refurbished one, for about 47% cheaper than a brand new one. Sold!

Well, FedEx tried to deliver it yesterday and guess who got home and got the door tag before me? Yep. So he begged and pleaded and whined and I gave in and let him open it(after we went to pick it up.) Needless to say he was happy as a kid on Christmas. So happy, in fact, that he stayed up until 3 am playing on the darn thing. I gave up waiting for him at around 11 pm. So now, he's lying next to me sleeping, at not even 9 pm, to catch up on what he lost last night. Silly boys and their toys.

What's on your Christmas list?

*sidenote*
Happy 235th birthday to the United States Marine Corps. I hope my brothers and sisters in arms have a blast(safely) at their birthday balls.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Why is it

than when someone else is a huge grump ass, you become one too?

A couple weeks ago we signed up for a volleyball league sponsored by our gym. Good way to meet people, it's a sport we like, so on. Tonight was our first game. There's 7 of us, 1 awesome chick who's in it to have fun, 1 super tall Polish guy who's pretty good, 1 Hispanic chick who has never played before, 1 chick who has but didn't know she was our captain and may have broken her wrist first game, me and IG and the all star.

Now, I've played team sports. I used to play mostly softball and I've piddled around in the volleyball world but this guy reminded me why team sports aren't my favorite thing. All star thinks he is high and mighty, as we all get in a circle to warm up, he stand off to the side not speaking to anyone. Then once the game starts, he's a show off. He's all over the court, not subbing out like he's supposed to. Every time he walked over to stand next to me he got a complete side eye from me. Now I'm no means an amazing player but I know the basics and can hold my own, so him being all up in my AO(area of operations) just irritated the life out of me. IG noticed it and thinks all star will quit because he thinks we're beneath him. I hope he's right, otherwise, we may duke it out.

On another note, I'm taking a break from working out. I think I may have pinched a nerve in my back and I have my POWER test next weekend. So I'm going to rest up. The next few weeks are going to be busy; drill, I have a couple classes for my job, IG is in training for some new computer system. So, yeah...I'll be around. :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Umm....I'm running a half marathon


13.1 miles. Holy cow right? I registered for the Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on August 21, 2011. Plenty of time.....right? I'm already looking for a couple 5 and 10K races to run to prepare myself. I'm pretty excited.

Why this race? I picked the Rock 'n' Roll half because it benefits the American Cancer Society. My grandda has kidney cancer, a dear friend's father has colon cancer, another friend lost her mother to breast cancer....my point? I wanted to benefit ALL types of cancer research. Don't get me wrong, Susan G. Komen does great things for breast cancer but I couldn't pick just one to dedicate to. So why not all of them? If you are interested in donating to my cause, you can find my page here. My goal is to raise $1,000 between now and August. Every penny helps!


So I'm having to shuffle around my workout schedule again. Nothing huge but I tried a pilates class for the first time last week and LOVED it. So instead of running MWF and lifting TTHS, I'm flip flopping. I'm going to start sort of incorporating Hal Higdon's half marathon training.

Monday - swim/bike/easy run and NROLFW
Tues - Distance run
Wed - Pilates and swim/bike/easy run
Thurs - Distance run or intervals
Fri - swim/bike/easy run and NROLFW
Sat - distance run

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This is going to be long

HI! I'm alive! I'm so not good at this blogging thing. So, let's catch up shall we?

Work is amazing. I LOVE, absolutely LOVE my job. I mainly do case work for SLANT(state-line anti narcotics team) but also help them with busts. When we do a bust I help them go through all the evidence, look for any ties to other cases/suspects we have and so on. Analyst work. The more I see what they do and the more I work with these guys, the MORE I want to be a cop. I'm trying but with one department laying off 21-35 cops next month and the state not looking to hire until next year, it's kinda tough. So I'm working on improving my scores for testing and being as prepared as I can be. I'm also abusing this job and taking all the training, classes, experience they'll give me. I take my POWER(Police Officer Wellness Evaluation Report) next month which is 1.5 mi run(easy peasy) 1 bench press, 31 sit ups and a sit 'n' reach. Once I finish that I will test with a PD in December and hopefully again in Jan. Someday....

Today I ran another 5K. I got a personal record(PR) of 34:47. Which surprised me because it was COLD! I'm talking probably freezing or less, but oh well. I "ran for the athletes" with the Aurora, IL police department. We raised $9,000 for the 2011 IL Special Olympics. The best part was when the last runner crossed the finish, he was a teenage boy with special needs. I had passed him and his mom as she helped him with his inhaler and he gave me a high five. I told him to keep going. 30 minutes or so later, he came around the bend for the last 1/4 of a mile, the police department and fire department ran around and formed a group around him and he started running, they encouraged him the whole way. Every person who was there crowded the finish line; clapping, cheering, whistling and he sprinted. He crossed the finish and threw his hands up in the air in victory. It was amazing. And some race photos.





















Lastly, my spaghetti recipe by request. We like spicy but I wanted to make sure it tasted "italian" so here's the list of what I used.

Jar of generic meat sauce
1 lb of ground beef(browned)
1 bag of pepperonis(chopped)
Now, spices are approximate, I recommend using them to taste.
1 Tbsp basil
1 tbsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp Chili powder
1/2 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic
1/2 white onion(minced)
1/4 C of low fat cream cheese to make it creamy(Thanks Maria for the tip!)

I browned the ground beef then threw everything in the crockpot, put it on low for 4 hours then warm until dinner. It was amazing and it got the husbands seal of approval(which is huge b/c he has no taste buds/sense of smell).

Now I'm off to nap then out with friends later. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One more day

Before I'm back to the grind. Two weddings and a week of training accomplished. I'm off tomorrow for Columbus day then finally start my new job on Tues. Super excited. I swear it's like this day would never come. It kept getting pushed further and further back.

Can someone please tell me why it's 80+ degrees in Chicagoland in OCTOBER? I've been trick-or-treating in my damn snow suit before and today I wore shorts and flip flops. Really? We have a saying in IL "If you don't like the weather today, stick around for tomorrow, it will be completely different."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Grumble Grumble

This post is military related and I will try not to speak in all acronyms.

Basically, I applied for a class that I will need to eventually get promoted. I say eventually because I don't need it for my next rank, but the one after. So I was hoping to get ahead of the game. It's a 3 phase course. Phase 1 is online and 2&3 are at a school house.

I put in for phase 1 in August because it was just the next available class I found that was more than 30 days out. Then a few weeks ago, I found a phase 2&3 that dates worked for me in the spring. 2 started just a few days after I finished phase 1 and I would be done in less time since it's a reserve course. Sweet. Put in my apps for 2&3.

They ALL got denied. Why? Because Monday, they finally got around to my application and said I was within 30 days of the start date of phase 1 and the course was locked out. Since that was denied, it automatically denied me phase 2&3 since obviously you need 1 first. If they had freaking looked at my application when I put it in over a month and a half ago, we wouldn't have this problem.

I'm not going to blame my unit because I know who did the application, when they did it, and that it didn't sit at their level. I know who's level it sat at and I'm going to chat with my old boss to let him know who is sitting around. Chances are, I'm not the only one this has happened to.

Other than that, training is going well. I'm learning all the databases and how procedures work. Now if I could just get to my office and set up and learn my area and the who's who of my zone, I'd be set. Can't wait to get started, we have a HUGE, and I mean HUGE case we're working and I can't wait to get my hands on it and start digging around. Finally, a job I think I will enjoy.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It has begun

Today was my first day with STIC(Statewide Terrorism Intelligence Collection) They're a great set of people and although I'm dealing more with drugs than terrorism, they're great to learn from since the two are often related. There's always the fun in briefings and death by powerpoint. I'm super excited to get my hands on the databases tomorrow and start actually playing around and learning.

This weekend was a blast. My dear friend K was married. Her wedding was beautiful and although I ended up being an unofficial wedding coordinator, things went off without a hitch and everyone had a wonderful time. It was great to reconnect with a lot of military friends from deployment and catch up on the who's what's when's and where's. Man I miss those guys. Although it took me two days to recover from the festivities, I'm back up and running.

On another positive note, my bonus was approved and my re-enlistment/ extension packet was approved. So, I'm in until 2014 and hopefully my bonus will come around soon. The husband is working on finding me a little commuter car to beat up and tack miles on. I will drive my Jeep on snowy/icky days since it's 4x4 but we want a something a bit more gas efficient for the other days. All in all, busy few weeks around our house. And another wedding this weekend.

My oen and only aunt is getting married. I'll be honest(Sorry M!) I never thought I'd see the day. She's just such a strong, independent woman that I wasn't sure she'd ever settle down. I'm really excited and happy for her and her man. I can't wait to watch them be married this weekend. :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Today is an important day


Today, I extended my contract for the next 3 years! In order to keep my new job, I have to stay enlisted, so here's to another 3! I did 3 and not 6 because at the end of this contract I will have 9 years in service. 9 PEOPLE! But that puts me under the half way mark of retirement so I won't feel as bad if I decide to get out. :)

My working out has kind of fallen by the wayside since the husband and I have been sick. I'm hoping for a good run tomorrow but I have a list of stuff to do since I"m leaving for the next week. Eek!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hi! I'm here!

Sorry, I'm not good at this whole blogging thing but this may explain why.
Last weekend we were in Columbus, OH for the OSU vs. EMU game and our two year anniversary. Then we both got sick. And then.....

Tomorrow is the last day of my current job.
Friday I pack and leave for a wedding. IG will join me on Saturday after work.
Sat - wedding
Sun - Helping the bride get packed up and off on her honeymoon. I continue my journey to our state capital.
Mon - Fri I go to the state HQ to learn from my future colleagues.
Fri - head to my hometown for Aunt's rehearsal dinner.
Sat - Aunt's wedding.
Sun- head home....finally.

So, we've been busy. But I'm still here and will come around more when things settle down! Promise.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back to the grind

Well things were busy this last week. I'm trying to start wrapping up loose ends at my job before I leave. Plus we had drill this weekend. I'm exhausted. I didn't get my run in today so I guess tomorrow will be a run and lift day then I will go back to my normal schedule.

Going to check out a gym tomorrow. Right now I work out at my office but since I won't be there much longer, I guess it's time to suck it up and get a gym membership. Ugh. The plus side is I may have already found a workout buddy.

Wish I could enjoy my day off tomorrow but with errands and having to go out and meet my new boss for my new job, that's not happening. And with that, I'm off to bed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I did it!

I did the 5k! I ran my first mile right about 10 minutes, 2nd mile I was at 22 so I figured I'd finish just after 30 mins. Then, my calf cramped. Bad. So I started walking and once I started walking, getting back into my momentum of running was hard. But I finished none the less, with a time of 35:08. Not too shabby for my first 5K!

Went to eat with some friends afterward to celebrate. Hopefully I can dig up some pics soon. Off to bed, I'm beat!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tomorrow is the day!

So today I did Stage 1, Day 2 of NROLFW. And for the record, I don't think I've ever done an actual back workout before. I'm SORE. Already. I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring.

Speaking of tomorrow, my first 5K! I've already decided that I will walk if needed, especially with the back issue now. But we'll see how it goes!

Today, a friend of mine revealed some great news. First a little back story: my friend M that I've known since elementary school was pregnant. Her placenta erupted(the bag that keeps the baby safe) and she had an emergency c-section. She was 26 weeks pregnant. For those of you not familiar with pregnancy terms, it's 40 weeks total. Once you hit 28 weeks, they consider your child to be viable, as in, if something happens baby has a better chance of survival without complications. Anyway,

So my friend M's little girl has gone through so much. Feeding tubes, surgeries, IVs, breathing tube, so on and so forth. She got to move into her big girl crib in her own room now! The doctors are hoping to send her home in about two weeks. She's still only about 3.1 lbs and has a long way to go but it's miraculous that she's made such progress, she's an amazing little fighter just like her mommy! I hope she comes home soon, mommy has to drive an hour one way to see her little girl everyday. I really pray for those two every single night. Such an amazing story.

Anyway, that's about it! I'm off to rest up for the race tomorrow!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I can do this! Right?

So my friend J was supposed to run a 5K with her mom on Thursday. Her mom can't go anymore so she asked if I wanted to take her place. Umm...I'm only in week 6 of C25K, I still have 3 to go. And the furthest I've ran is 2.8. So why did I say yes?

I can do this. I may walk a little bit but it's not much further that what I normally do. I can do this. I'm going to have to keep repeating that.


On another note.....all inprocessed for the new job. Should go out next week to see my office and meet the people I'll be working with. Super excited! It was also fun to catch up with old friends while I was down at the HQ. I miss my battle buddies.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Here we go!

Today I completed Week 6 Day 1 of Couch to 5K. I did about 2.8 miles so I'm getting closer to the 3.2 that I need next month. Eek! Next month!

So, now that my PT test is accomplished, I can start my new lifting program. Tomorrow will be Stage 1, day 1 of New Rules of Lifting for Women(NROLFW). I'm excited to start this program to improve my body shape, strength, endurance and my PT score!

***** WARNING PICS OF ME IN MY SPORTS BRA!!!! ********


So in true Before and after fashion, here are my before pictures. I plan on taking pics about once a month to document my progress. Just since starting C25K I've lost about 5 lbs and my legs are starting to get more tone. Now to tighten up all over! So, *deep breath* here's the pics. I will measure myself tomorrow and post those as well.






Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ha! Two posts in one day!

But I have to talk about my ice bath experience.

So after my PT test yesterday, I'm sore. Like really sore. I'm not sure why, since my workouts are usually harder but maybe it's because I pushed myself to run a much faster pace for my 2 miles. Anyway, I read on runnersworld.com that an ice bath can be helpful to speed up the recovery process of muscles.

To me.....a bath equals warm water, relaxing music, maybe a book. Not freezing my toosh off in some ice. But alas, I gave it a shot.

It was weird. There's the initial shock as your skin hits the freezing water, then you sit still so you get used it and it doesn't feel as cold. But then you move slightly and HOLY COW! The cold sensation is back all over again. And in full force.

So I settled in to my freezing tub with a book, hoping to distract myself from the cold. The article said they recommend anywhere from 10-20 minutes. I made it 18 whole minutes! I jumped out, dried off and went straight into sweat pants and a hoodie.

I think it really did help, I don't feel nearly as sore, or didn't once I stopped shaking and got my feeling back. Ha! Guess this is something that will become almost habit if I keep running. A lot of marathoners use this technique after a "long run." Oh boy.

Where were you when the world stopped turning?

9 years ago today, we were attacked on our own soil. That hadn't happened since Pearl Harbor. We watched in horror as the Twin Towers were hit and burned to the ground. We watched as the Pentagon came under attack. And we rejoiced for the plane that landed in a field in the middle of PA, sparing thousands of lives.

Where was I? I was in high school, my freshman year actually. I walked into my English class and the TV was on, I was a bit confused. Then I watched as the second plane hit. I was horrified. I have an aunt and uncle that live outside NYC and that work downtown. We got a hold of my uncle, he was fine, my aunt however was trapped in the subway system. The train before hers had been hit and they couldn't move. It took us hours to get word that she was ok.

This day was a landmark in my life. I decided that day that I wanted to enlist. I wasn't sure what branch or what options I had but damn it I had to stop these people from ever doing this again. And 3 years later, I did just that. I enlisted in the Army National Guard and have been in almost 6 years now. It's crazy to me how one day can change your entire life. But as sad as this day was 9 years ago, it was truly a start to the wonderful life I live serving today.

Never Forget. 9-11-2001.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm still here!

Wow, I'm not good at this blogging thing! LOL.

Where to begin....took my annual PT test for the Army today. Apparently I've been so focused on my running that my push ups and sit ups now need improvement but my run time was awesome. So that brings me to my new workout plan. I frequent a board on thenest.com called Health & Fitness and they recommended a book called New Rules of Lifting for Women. AMAZING book! So informative and it comes with a workout plan, score! So this week will be

Sunday - Week 6 Day 1 of C25K
Monday - Stage 1 workout A of NROLFW
Tuesday - Week 6 Day 2 of C25k
Wednesday - Stage 1 workout B of NROLFW
Thursday - Week 6 Day 3 of C25K
Friday - Stage 1 workout A of NROLFW
Sat - Rest
Sunday start the next week.

I'm really excited to be upping my workout routines. I feel like I've kind of hit a plateau and need something to really step up my game.

While we're talking about my workout regiment, a friend, J that is running my 5K with me on Nov 6th, also talked me into a 5K for Halloween! So now I need to find a running friendly costume! Ha!

I go down to Springfield Monday to start inprocessing for my new job. I can't wait!

Now, I have a couple product raves:

Nike Pro Compression Shorts - super comfortable and great to run in
Bondi bands - best head band I have EVER used. It's the only one that doesn't fall off my head and it actually absorbs sweat! Perfect.
Road ID - it's a bracelet that I wear that has my basic info, name, husbands cell number and my medical allergies so that if something were to happen while I'm out running, I can easily be identified. Love it!

That's all for now! I'll be back later to catch up on some recipes!

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm going to document my goals

So maybe there's a bit of motivation behind my goals and I can go back and revisit them, we'll say....monthly. To keep myself in check, so here we go.

1) I will finish C25K, when I got "sick" we'll call it, I was on week 5 out of 9. I'm hoping tomorrow to pick up on week 5, where I left off, and finish the end of Sept.

2) Finish my 5K in Nov, preferably with little to no walking.

3) I will rejoin my old gym(when money allows) and start a good workout regiment. More than just running.

4) I will lose 15 lbs

5) I will run a 10K either in the winter or the spring. Maybe both.

6) The big one. I will run the Chicago, Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.

So there they are! And so it begins!

Friday, August 27, 2010

YAY Weekend!

Today I went back to work and it was ROUGH. Between the pain and working while I was medicated out of my mind, it was the longest day ever.

So I look forward to sleeping in, doing some housework, catching up on reading and maybe having a date night with IG. We're getting together with some friends for football and free food on Sunday! YAY!

I have a follow up at the doctor on Monday to make sure my body is going back to normal on it's own. Some good thoughts and prayers would be greatly appreciated. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I've been slacking

With my running updates. I've been trying to get the occasional run in but for the life of me just felt like crap. The last couple of days I had a horrible stomach pain, thought maybe it was something I ate and tried to play it off. Well....that didn't work so well. Yesterday it was so bad that I couldn't stand up straight and it hurt to walk. My boss convinced me to go leave and try to get in at the dr. As soon as I started driving, the bumps hurt so bad I almost got sick. I made it about 1.1 miles to the hospital by my office before crawling into the ER. Some EMTs were are the doorway and saw my crawling out of my Jeep and helped carry me in(sweet guys).

(TMI Alert)

So after 7 hours in the hospital and multiple tests, the doctor determined I had a hemorrhaging cyst on my right ovary. My ovary is swollen from the rupture and there's a bit of fluid built up around it that isn't helping the pain(at all.) Because it's hemorrhaging, it's basically spasaming and releasing blood a little at a time. She said that it's not large enough that she suspects any issues, it only released a small amount of blood. She gave me some pain killers and anti-biotics just in case. My white blood cell count was elevated so she thinks my body is already protecting itself and I should be fine. I have strict orders to follow up with my GYN today.

So I guess my body knew something was up and maybe that's why I've been so blah feeling and tired? Anyway, hopefully this thing goes away and I can get back to my normal self and get back into the swing of things soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Busy busy busy busy

Things have been super busy, sorry for the lack of posting. So what's going on...

My extension packet is still on hold. No change there. I got dates to go down to Springfield and inprocess for my new job! YAY! So in two weeks I will be one step closer to starting! Ummm.....I'm taking this semester off school, I hate to be set back but at the same time I need a break and until I know how the hours of the new job are going to work, I think it's best to put it on the back burner. I'm 8 classes away from finishing my AAS so hopefully I won't be set too far back.

This last weekend was my good friends bachelorette party, we spent the day/night in downtown Chicago. I really should go visit downtown more often. This coming weekend I have my Aunt's bridal shower back in my hometown, then holy heck it's labor day! We're pretty sure we're gong to visit family for labor day weekend. Then after that I start the inprocessing for my new job! YAY!(I'm really excited, can you tell?)

I found someone to run my 5K with me! My friend J will be running with me and she's going to help me start training for a half marathon sometime next year. Guess I need to get back on the wagon. Luckily, she's hardcore and will keep me in check.

I'm dealing with a couple of medical issues that I'm not sure I'm ready to share yet but rest assured I am seeking the treatment I need. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Quick update before the weekend!

So yesterday we found out that my extension packet is on hold. *le sigh* Right now I work as a temporary technician, so I get paid as a civilian. I may be temporary but because I have had the job more than 6 months, I am considered permanent and not eligible for a bonus. So we have to wait until I come off technician status which is 30 Sept. The trick is that my packet has to be complete, signed, and I have to be sworn in no less than 90 days from my ETS date, that would be 5 Oct. So, we're in for a tight fit but the people in my unit have assured me that it will happen. My packet is ready and the day I come off technician status, we sign, date and send it in. Keep your fingers crossed.

We're heading out for a road trip weekend! Thanks goodness since Chicago has an excessive heat warning AND an air quality warning. I feel like we're turning into California! We're going to Columbus to visit some family and friends tonight, then the four of us(Me, I.G. his cousin and his wife) are going to pack up and head to Pittsburgh tomorrow morning. We got preseason Steelers tickets for tomorrow! We will also be celebrating our friend Ron's birthday at a yummy place called Bucca Del Peppo. Heading home sometime Sunday. Busy...but fun weekend!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just another day in paradise

That's one of my favorite responses when someone asks me "How's it going?" at work. I often get a laugh out of them and a chuckle myself.

Nothing too crazy went on today. Myself and my NCOIC rearranged our office. Did a little PT, didn't quite get a run in since it was 103 today. We have an excessive heat warning for the next two days too. Awesome.

Uh, my infomration is officially "in" for an extension for the next 3 years. We're waiting to hear back about my bonus before I actually sign and swear in. Hopefully I will sign the next 3 years of my life away and pledge my allegiance sometime next week.

Talked to my soon-to-be boss and he hopes to have dates for me next week as to when I can go down to the state HQ and start my inprocessing. WOOHOO!

Oh and we're going to watch the first preseason game of the Steelers this weekend in Pittsburgh. SO EXCITED!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hello all!

I've toyed around with the idea of starting a blog for a while now. So here it is. It's a work in progress and you will see it change a bit as I play with the backgrounds and layouts and such.

Back story: Inspector Gadget(my husband) and I(GI Jane) are both enlisted in the Army National Guard. We live outside Chicago with our dog and cat. He's been in for almost 9 years and works on the civilian side as a contractor working on computers. I work full time for our national guard unit until Oct. In Oct I will begin my new position as a counter drug intelligence analyst. I'm in the process of extending for another 3 years(I hit 6 years in Jan 2011).

After a brutal knee injury resulting in surgery and physical therapy, I've decided to train for a 5K. This story will have a lot of updates of my progress in the Couch to 5K program(C25K) and my weight loss journey using Weight Watchers.

I hope this blog will give me a way to channel my thoughts, share my experiences, and mostly, keep me in check with the progress I have made! My first 5K will be the "Run for the athletes" in Aurora, IL. The Aurora PD put together this event to raise money to fund the Illinois Special Olympics. Both things are near and dear to my heart and I can't wait to run in it!

Anyway, I think that's enough rambling!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Menu for the week!

When I make our menu for the week, I don't actually assign things for the days of the week. I got the idea from a dear friend KD. She makes a list of things to make and each day(or night before) her and her husband decide what sounds good for that day or the next. They cross it off the list. That way it's not an argument of "Well I don't want that." "Too bad because I already have all the stuff thawed." It's more of a menu, here's the options, which do we want, by the end of the week, we know what's left. So enough blabbering.

WW friendly broiled tilapia oreganata


Spaghetti and spinach meatballs from skinnytaste.com

Orange Chicken in the crockpot

And probably a night out since we have drill this weekend and will be forced to eat Army food. :P If not, I will probably just do some easy burgers or grilled chicken.

Turkey Crockpot Chili!

Chili in the summer is kind of weird, but still fabulously delicious. After the following conversation, the husband admitted my chili was good. This is a huge accomplishment for two reasons. 1) He almost always makes the chili. 2) He rarely tells me anything is good. The normal response is "It's ok." because he has lost about 80-90% of his sense of taste and smell. So for him to say "It's pretty good!" Is like winning an award. The convo we had was....

Husband: Well it looks like chili
Me: Smells like chili
Husband: But it can't be chili
Me: Why? Because I made it?
Husband: No. But you used that ground turkey stuff instead of hamburger.

So, I completely winged this recipe but it turned out really well. Should be fairly low points since I kinda went off a WW recipe found on www.skinnytaste.com

First I browned some ground turkey.
Then in the crock pot I added...

1 can of whole kernel corn(undrained)
1 can of whole tomatoes(undrained)
1 can of tomato paste
1 can of pinto beans(undrained)
1 can of black beans(undrained)
1 small can of mushrooms
1/2 C of fresh chopped cilantro
1 ea. chopped red, green, yellow and orange bell peppers

Then I added the meat. Stirred everything together and added the spices. Now when it comes to spices, I know how we like things(spicy and lots of flavor) so I go off the taste but here are my approximate measurements.

1 tbsp Adobo salt
2 tbsp taco seasoning
2 tbsp Chili powder
1 tbsp of ground cayenne pepper
1 tbsp of black pepper

Cook in crock pot on low for 8-10 hours then switch to warm. Or high for 6 hours.

My theory is as long as you know your audience, you can pretty much throw anything together. Start off with a little bit of spices then as it cooks, take a taste. A little bland? Add a bit more. It's all about your personal taste and experimentation. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Do you Adobo?

So I recently friended a girl named Claudia. Claudia is Mexican and man she COOKS like a Mexican. Her food is amazing and we're always swapping recipes. I noticed she uses this stuff called Adobo seasoning in almost everything. Guacamole, meats, salsa, whatever. So I grabbed some. Tonight I made tacos, simple but with the right seasonings, amazing.

1 lb ground turkey(way better than beef in my opinion)
1 packet taco seasoning
2 Tbsp of Adobo seasoning
1 tbsp of chili powder

Fry in a skillet, add your favorite toppings. Viola! Oh and we use whole wheat taco shells since they're better for you. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Asian Glazed Chicken

Well, it wasn't so glazed. LOL. I think I used to much water and didn't wait long enough for it to reduce down to a "glaze" per say. I did however put some of the left over "sauce" in a small bowl and just dunked the chicken in it. Even without that, there was plenty of flavor in the chicken. I got the original recipe here

I used breasts instead of drumsticks since that's what I had on had so my nutrition facts may not match hers.

* 4 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
* EVOO
* 1 cup water
* 2 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/2 cup soy sauce(I use Gluten Free soy sauce)
* 4 tsp Sugar
* 3 cloves garlic


In a heavy large saucepan(make sure you have one big enough!!!), brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with EVOO. I put the following ingredients in a bowl while the chicken browned then added it all at once (water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce.) Add to the pan and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8 minutes until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top or add "sauce" to a small bowl if you're like me and have issues with the glaze, lol.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm back! With a menu!

So, I'm out of school for the next few weeks, I'm getting back into cooking and cooking low cal meals! For those of you who didn't know, I recently started weight watchers in an attempt to get my eating back under control. So far it's gone well, I've already lost 4 lbs, put 2 lb back on. But now I know what I can and can't get away with. So, a lot of my new recipes will be either WW, South Beach, or just low cal. I'm also training for my first 5K(Nov 2nd), I've been doing Couch to 5K(C25K) for 3 weeks now and I'm making progress. So, anyway, enough blabbing. Menu for the week!

One of my new favorite blogs is by a gal named Gina. Her blog is skinnytaste.com You can find her on my roll up. I'm going to make her

Asian Glazed Chicken

Turkey and Black Bean Enchiladas

From my friend Kristan's blog, Stuffed Bell Peppers which I've made before and they're amazing!

Salsa Chicken in the crock pot.

And I'm still searching for a good fish recipe. I may let the hubs make his yummy swordfish in a clam juice marinade. It sounds gross but I swear it's amazing!

Here's to a healthier week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MMMM.....BBQ Pulled Pork!

Ok, I know, I know, it's been, like, forever. But, in my defense I work 0700-1630 then go to school from 1830-2000 or later, so I haven't been cooking anything fabulous lately. But I had a craving for BBQ Pulled Pork. So I found a crock pot recipe and it. was. amazing.

I sort of winged it/went off the McCormick recipe but here's mine.

6 lb pork shoulder
1/2 C Brown Sugar
2 packets of McCormick BBQ pulled pork spices
1/2 C. Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 C. White distilled Vinegar
1/2 C. Ketchup

Put everything in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. High for 4-6. I cooked it over night and let it sit on warm all day. It's amazing. Seriously. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I. Hate. Salmon.

So I've been searching for a recipe that made it taste less salmon-y. LOL. So I did some research of recipes and made my own.

In a bag with salmon fillets I put
1/2 soy sauce
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp honey

Measurements are approximate since I'm terrible at measuring things. Let it sit for an hour then baked it at 350 for 25 minutes. Pretty good, I impressed myself, lol. Give it a whirl!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sorry it's been a couple days

I've been super busy, but I have a few recipes for ya!

I've been getting tired of mexican flavored dishes(which I never thought was possible) I am in love with the website www.sparkrecipes.com. It's where I got my last two recipes.

Chicken Parmesan
It was ok. I'm not a huge chicken parm fan anyway. Next time I will add more Parmesan for more flavor. But it was super easy and tasted good.

Ingredients

1 Egg white
3 Tb Parmesan Cheese
1 1/2 c Cornflakes, crushed
1/4 tsp ea Salt & Black Pepper
1 tsp dried Thyme
4 bnls/skls Chicken Breasts



Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Beat egg white until frothy. In another bowl mix Parmesan cheese, cornflakes, salt, pepper, and Thyme. Dip each chicken piece in the egg white and then dip into the cornflakes mixture, patting well to ensure the mixture adheres to the chicken. Place the chicken on a lightly oil sprayed pan. Bake about 25 mins or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

For a side I made these asparagus. I loooooove fresh asparagus so I always look for a new way to spice it up.

1 lb. fresh asparagus (medium width)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges, as garnish



Directions
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Rinse asparagus and break off tough ends.

2. In shallow roasting pan, place asparagus and coat with oil. Sprinkle with garlic and salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Roast uncovered for 6-8 minutes (depending on width of spears), shaking pan occasionally. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings (approx 4 medium spears each.)

Printed with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on diet and cancer and educates the public about the results.

Enjoy!