Thursday, April 28, 2016

Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I have a sweet tooth.  It has gotten me in trouble late at night with snacks like peanut butter cups and bite size chocolates.  However, this time I am using it to actually satisfy my hunger in the morning.

As you all know, I have recently become obsessed with Overnight Oats.  They are quick, easy, and honestly taste delicious.  So I decided to use some fresh Driscoll's Raspberries and my favorite type of chocolate chip to create a breakfast to fill my craving and my stomach.  Here it is!

I have been wanting to try a couple different things in my oats and I gave them a shot for this recipe.  First of all, I have been using honey as my sweetener and wanted to try some 100% maple syrup this time.  I also wanted to try to leave out the vanilla extract as I was beginning to feel that I was tasting it more in some recipes than anything else.  I have listed the recipe below.  Give it a shot.


Wet Ingredients

3/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons 100% Maple Syrup
1/3 cup Fresh Raspberries

Dry Ingredients

1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
2 Tablespoons White Chocolate Chips (1 now, 1 later)

Directions: Mash the 1/3 cup fresh raspberries in the bottom of a bowl.  Combine with almond milk, yogurt, and maple syrup.  Stir with a fork until completely smooth.  Add oats, chia seeds, and 1 Tablespoon white chocolate chips and stir again until mixed completely.  Cover and let sit overnight or at least 4 hours.  In the morning split the bowl into 2 servings, throw on some extra fresh raspberries and the other tablespoon of white chocolate chips and ENJOY!  

As always...if you try this recipe or have one of your own you would like to share leave it in the comment section below.  Until next time...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Take me out to the Ball Game!

This week has been quite active!  It definitely helps that the grass is growing!  I mowed the grass twice this week.  I had forgotten how hard it was to push mow the grass with the powered wheels no longer providing assistance, while still providing weight.  I try to make sure to actually "push it" a little when I am mowing to keep my heart rate up.  All the rain lately has truly greened the grass right up and it looks great when it is freshly mowed.

This weekend the weather was B-E-A-Utiful!  On Saturday, My brother-in-law and I headed down to Franklin College to watch the Grizzlies softball team take part in their conference tournament.  One of his former basketball players plays for the Grizzlies and we went down to watch her play.  It was a fun atmosphere and it definitely helped that they won over Bluffton 2-0.  It was a great day to watch a ball game.  We probably would have stayed around to watch the second game if we didn't already have more plans for the day.

I forgot to mention that last week I was finally able to try my Garmin Forerunner 235 outdoors.  Although it wasn't during a run, since I used it on the Monon during my bike ride, I did get to try a couple features out.  Auto pause worked great, but the feature I was really wondering about was the live tracking function.  With live tracking I can send out a link, and by using the Garmin in conjunction with my phone, anybody with the link can click and find me wherever I happen to be during my workout or race.  I can't wait to use this during the Mini.  That way anybody that is friends with me on Facebook can follow me and track my progress during the race no matter how slow that little dot might be moving.  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation was able to track my progress on my bike last week just by checking her e-mail.  Speaking of e-mail.  Don't forget to subscribe to this blog by putting your email in the box up to the right.  That way you won't miss any of my updates if you don't happen to see it on Facebook or Twitter.

After the ball game we hopped back on the highway and headed straight for Broad Ripple.  Nope, not another bar crawl.  This time we were going for fitness.  Yep, Kreg had decided that he would head out on the Monon Trail with me for a ride.  After finally finding a parking spot we unloaded and headed for the trail head.  I had decided that heading south was a better idea as the views from the trail tend to be a little more interesting.  It's fun to head past some of the murals, the state fairgrounds, and all the way down to 10th street underneath the I-65/I-70 split.  After heading back our trip calculated right at 14 miles.  Not bad for a days ride, especially when we are taking our time and making it more of a scenic ride than a hard workout.  He seemed to enjoy himself and just like earlier, the weather was still great.

Probably not the way this officer wanted to spend his shift.

Last week I introduced my first stand alone recipe post.  I was eager to see if anybody would read it.  According to my stats on blogger, it got about half the views of a regular weekly post of mine. If you read it, and especially if you tried it...let me know what you thought.  You can leave a comment at the bottom!!  Hopefully the rest of you are able to take the time to check these out once I get more of them up and going.  I am also working on a way to add a page to the top of the blog that leads directly to recipes.  So far it hasn't worked out exactly how I wanted it to, but I am working on it.  Trying to find some code to put in that I can adjust just the way I want it.

You may have noticed I haven't included any runs in my posts these past two weeks.  I plan on remedying that this evening.  After my last long run on the treadmill I have been wanting to do my runs outside as 10 miles on the treadmill was torture.  I have done a couple treadmill runs since then, but I have been having the itch to head back out.  I really need to do some training runs with my Garmin to get it acclimated to my stride as well.  That way I know it will be as accurate as it can for the Mini.

Speaking of the Mini.  I received my confirmation e-mail this week.  I will be starting in Corral U for the race at approximately 8:15.  For the seeded corrals I am next to last for runners...yep, I'm slow.  I'm cool with that though.  Here's the way I look at it, every person I pass during the race is a victory. My GOAL is to finish and every person that I finish in front of is just icing on the cake for me.  If you haven't should download the IndyMini app.  You will be able to enter my Bib number (33227) and follow me based on when I cross at certain points during the race (5K, Yard of Bricks, 11 mile, and finish line) if you don't want to follow me via my Garmin live tracking (or in case my battery runs out).  I seriously hope that if you are the least bit interested in reading this blog that you will be interested in how I finish on May 7th.  I also took May 6th off from school because I want to be able to go down and completely enjoy the Mini Marathon Expo without feeling rushed while also allowing me to get enough sleep the night before and still get up to make it down around closed streets and traffic.

So how did the scale treat me this morning?  Well, I stepped on and it said 264.3 lbs.  EXACTLY the same as last week!  At least it didn't go up.  I feel better than I did last week and I have been constantly on the move.  Who knows?  But, I didn't gain and that is good enough for me.  I am done with yo-yoing like I have been pretty much doing since November.  Be on the lookout for another recipe this week.  I haven't decided whether I am going to share another overnight oats recipe or a dinner recipe.  Let me know what you think.  Until next time...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Overnight Banana NutellOats!

I have been talking a lot about overnight oats.  I have recently become a huge fan of this wonderful breakfast.  It's filling. It's tasty.  It's easy to prepare.  Best of all...It's ready to go in the morning with zero preparation!  It's even easier than pouring a bowl of cereal.

Having shared a couple recipes recently from Fit Foodie Finds, I thought that I would share my reaction to them as well as show how I updated one of them for a flavor that I really enjoy.  One of the flavors I mentioned recently was a Blueberry Muffin flavoring.  It was pretty easy to make and involved FRESH blueberries and some lemon zest.  I do have to say though, this was probably my least favorite of the kinds I have tried.  I think the citrus from the zest overpowered the blueberries and made it kind of tart when I took a spoonful.  If you like to pucker when you eat, you could give it a try.  I think I will make a switch in the sweetener next time and try to make them taste like blueberry pancakes.  I'll share the recipe if I end up making them.

The next flavor I tried was Chocolate Chia.  This was fantastic.  It tasted like a bowl full of chocolate milk with just enough texture to make it filling.  The oats and the chia seeds definitely help in the filling department.  I recently learned that chia seeds expand to 8 times their original size when you eat them.  How's that for filling your stomach?!

Mrs. Re-Dan-imation even decided she was going to make some for me one night this week.  She looked up a peanut butter chocolate chip recipe.  Let me tell you.  This one was excellent and tasted pretty much like a Reese's Cup.  It came out pretty thick in the morning, but just adding a splash of almond milk made it good to go.

So, after trying a few recipes I decided to switch one up a bit for a flavor that I absolutely love.  One of my favorite things to eat is Nutella.  When I saw a recipe for Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats, I knew what my first recipe of my now was going to be.  It's time for "Overnight Banana NutellOats!" That's right.  I even came up with a clever name although Mrs. Re-Dan-imation doesn't like it.  HeHe.  If you have never mixed these two flavors, you need to try it NOW.  Take a spoonful of Nutella and spread it on a banana.  So how do you make it?  Grab the following ingredients and follow the steps below.

Overnight Banana NutellOats

Wet Ingredients
Banana- 1/2 for mix 1/2 for topping
Almond Milk- Unsweetened- 3/4 cup (I use Silk)
Greek Yogurt- Vanilla or plain- 1/4 cup
Vanilla Extract- 1 teaspoon
Nutella- 2 Tablespoons
Honey- 1 Tablespoon

Dry Ingredients
Rolled Oats (Old Fashioned)- 1 cup
Chia Seeds- 1 Tablespoon

Directions: Begin my mashing half of a banana in a bowl.  Then mix the rest of the wet ingredients with a fork until they are smooth.  Make sure to mix it until everything has been  completely mixed.  You don't want a clump of honey and chia seeds sitting in the bottom of the bowl.  Then pour in the dry ingredients and mix again until smooth.  Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge.  Overnight Oats need to sit at least 4 hours, but I ALWAYS leave them overnight.  In the morning, slice the other half of the banana and place it on top of the oats with an extra tablespoon of Nutella in the middle.  The toppings definitely help top off the flavors.  This recipe makes 2 servings so split if with someone or save the rest for the next morning like I do.

Seriously GOOD!!

I hope you enjoy this recipe of mine.  I know this is something new for the blog, but I thought maybe you guys would like to try something that I find is really helping me.  If you have tried these before or try them with this recipe let me know in the comments.  I would love to hear your reaction to this recipe.  Also, don't forget to subscribe to the blog by putting your email in the box above and to the right.  If you have a favorite overnight oats recipe feel free to share that as well.  Until next time...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat!

Monday, April 18, 2016

The GREAT Outdoors!

Finally, the weather has broken!!  We have been waiting for some weather like this for a while now.  The winter was rather warm, but early spring has been relatively miserable with low temps, rain, and driving winds.  This week we were lucky enough to enjoy some warmer temperatures, little rain, and a calm wind.  That means I was finally able to get back outside.  I may not have gone on an outdoor run, but I still got my workouts in other ways.

I have also been enjoying many more overnight oat recipes and even altered one of them to make my own style.  I'll share that with you later.  What I have discovered about these overnight oats is that I am not overeating on cereal in the morning because the amount I make is only for two servings so I know exactly how much to eat without measuring.  Also, I haven't been hungry before lunch one time since I started eating them.  It's great to know I am getting some good nutrition and not going overboard on calories.

Obligatory Selfie
The warm weather in the winter also caused a benefit in another way.  The scheduled snow make-up days in our school calendar were not used so I was lucky to have a 3-day weekend this week.  What a great weekend for this to happen!  It gave me even more time to be outside soaking in that Vitamin D.  I used that day to play a round of golf on Friday.  Let's just say I am glad the weather was nice because my game was horrible.  It was my first round of the season, so hopefully I will get a little better as the weeks and months go on.  It was great to hang out with friends, joke around, and occasionally even make a good shot or two.  It was also good to hear one of my friends say "I may not have a blog about it, but I am down 11 pounds."  Whether or not he blogs about it is cool with me, but maybe reading about my struggles and victories has helped him a little.

On Saturday, I decided that the Monon Trail was where I wanted to be. I took a solo trip down as Mrs. Re-Dan-imation was already planning on watching some family friends play soccer in Lafayette.  This is one of my favorite places.  I really enjoy spending time here.  

I like to start in Broad Ripple as the area is really eclectic, always provides something interesting to watch, and provides a friendly crowd on the trail.  You could tell a ton of other people had the same idea as me.  I didn't mind the was just a bunch of other people out trying to be fit just like I was.  I rode for about 12 miles and could have probably done some more, but I had decided to complete a loop and didn't want to retrace my "steps" again.  I thought getting home for dinner would be a better idea anyway.

Like I said...something interesting.
While I was away riding on the Monon I received a picture from Mrs. Re-Dan-imation.  It was a packet and inside was the finisher's medal, bib, and t-shirt for completing the Miler series of training runs for the Indy 500 Festival Mini Marathon.  I was pretty pumped to receive this as I have put in quite a bit of work towards this feat.  The next event I will be running in is the actual Mini.  I will go more into my preparation in the coming weeks, but I think I am going to actually finish, which is my goal for the year.

Sunday was yet another opportunity to get outside.  Mrs. Re-Dan-imation and I thought a little yard work would be a good way to spend the afternoon.  We bought a couple plants and put them in the ground, cleaned up a flower bed or two and piled up the sticks from our trees.  It may not sound like a lot, but we were definitely getting our sweat on.  We still have a ton of work to do, but with the weather looking great for many more days this week I think we will have plenty of time to get a jump on it.

I could definitely feel my spirits going up this week.  I think it helped with my weight as well.  My calories have to have been better during breakfast and there haven't been very many late night snacks.  When I stepped on the scale this morning it showed 264.3 lbs.  That's a one week loss of 2.0 lbs.  I am finally back down to an official total loss of 30 pounds since I began.  I'm sure that not going on a bar crawl this week may have helped a little too!  I expect to spend more time outside this week and maybe even make another trip down to the Monon again next weekend.  Keep an eye out for the Overnight Oats recipe later in the week.  Maybe it is something you would actually like to try.  Until next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Best to be Busy

This past week has been pretty busy.  To begin the month, we had the Spaghetti Run 5K/10K!  The event went great and everybody was happy with the results.  We managed to make enough money from sponsors and registrations to help fund some other projects during the year for the Frankfort Jaycees.  We love to give back to our community and this is just one more way that helps us do that.

Throughout the week, I have been reestablishing my love of looking at the blogs of others.  I really enjoy the recipes I find on the blog Fit Foodie Finds.  They are easy to make and almost always taste great.  I have also been researching how well she does for herself in writing her blog.  I never expect to get to her level with this blog.  However, I am going to learn some tips about making this blog better.  I need to work on the photography that I put on here.  I think looking at better photos will make me more excited to write this every week.  I also think it might entice you guys to read it a little more than simply seeing a treadmill snapshot on Facebook.  I've got to get my DSLR back out and get back into the phase or retraining myself not just how to use it, but how to use it well.  I miss taking as many pictures as I used to.  All it takes is getting the camera out of the bag and putting it to work.

Last Friday, the Frankfort Jaycees helped another local organization, the Frankfort Rotary, to hold the Italian Buffet (the original namesake for the Spaghetti Run).  We were able to help cook, serve, and make an overall great experience for the people that attended.  I spent my night baking breadsticks and had a pretty good time.  Our hard work paid off and we were all rewarded with a free dinner as payment.  After all the cooking it was nice to be able to sit down and have a nice dinner with Mrs. Re-Dan-imation.  If you are from Frankfort, or the surrounding areas, and have not attended this meal in the past you should definitely mark it down on your calendar for next year.  If for nothing else, you get to see a lot of people from town you don't get to see everyday.  Don't forget to say "Hi" to me when you stop by.

This past weekend, I participated in an event in Broad Ripple called the Crawl for Cancer.  This bar crawl lead groups through town to 5 bars and then culminates with an after party at The Vogue.  Let me just say...this is the second time I have taken part in this event and this year turned out MUCH better for me than the last time.  I didn't have to stay at a friends house and was the designated driver for everyone.  I am so excited to say that I am part of a team that ALWAYS has a theme for the event.  This year we planned a Hawaiian theme (little did we know it was only going to be 40 degrees on the day of the crawl).  In the past we have gone as TEAM USA and last year was an 80s theme.  Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the USA" is considered our group theme song and we have it played every year at The Vogue during the after party.  The year we went as TEAM USA we played it immediately in every bar we walked in to.  If you are old enough (and enjoy beer), you should totally look into participating in future years.

Look at that healthy stuff!!
 Speaking of Fit Foodie Finds, I decided that overnight oats was something I wanted to try.  Last week she celebrated overnight oats week and put up a new recipe every day for seven days.  I figured that blueberry muffin was the one I wanted to try, since the chocolate chia recipe hadn't been released yet when I made my choice. I purchased the ingredients which are all healthy obviously.  Check out the picture or the recipe I attached earlier.  I was interested to try the almond milk and the chia seeds, neither of which I had included in a recipe before.  When I tried them this morning I decided I had added a bit too much lemon zest, but they were good enough to eat the rest tomorrow morning and get excited about making the chocolate chia recipe next time.  You should give them a try.  Your brain may be expecting warm oats, so you have to get over that, but I wasn't remotely hungry before lunch today and I only ate the recommended amount.

With the crawl taking place this weekend, I had a bad feeling about my weight going into this morning.  I was right and I tipped the scale at 266.3 lbs.  That's an increase of 1.3 lbs for the week.  I'm not too mad at that.  I managed to get in my three runs last week and even got to mow the grass on one of the few days that it wasn't raining.  It REALLY needed it!!  I am totally looking forward to the weather this week finally breaking a little.  Maybe we will get to see of that sunshine stuff and feel some warmer temps.  I can't wait to get back outside again.  Until next week. Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Happy Re-Dan-iversary

Just under 1 year ago I wrote the first post in this still developing blog.  That day, I wrote what I considered to be the most honest piece of writing I have every put into words.  I was upfront with challenges and happy times.  I was blunt and I truly feel like it was actually well written.  Tonight, I went back to read that post again just to see what was going through my mind over the last 52 weeks.  I feel like I was little naive regarding the difficulty of this process.  I was by no means anticipating this to be easy, but I did expect to be a little further along than I am now.

I started out excited to be writing this blog.  I wanted to share things I was learning, recipes I had found, adventures I had been on.  What it has turned into recently is a few paragraphs about what I did or didn't do for the week that caused me to be pretty much the same weight as I was the week before.  I was so excited about learning to become more fit that I replied to an article on Runner's World and asked editor Amby Burfoot to use a phrase as my own personal motto.  I asked him permission to put it on a shirt.  That shirt design made it into this blog a couple times, but that is all it is, a design.  I never took orders, never made the actual shirt, and just left it sitting there.

It was my goal to share a new food item I found every week or two to give you an insight into what actually tastes good or not and how it made me feel.  I forgot about that part of my blog completely.  At least I kept using the motto in the blog even if it wasn't how I was truly living the week.  Food. Feet. Water. Repeat. Is a lot harder than it may seem.  When I write this blog every week now, I am hoping that you all don't think of me as a phony.

The point of writing a blog about yourself if to be reflective about your practices.  As a teacher we are taught to reflect about our lessons.  While working on school work the other day, I realized I hadn't written anything down in my notebook devoted to this blog since I jotted down that t-shirt design.  How can I keep my new ideas ready to share with all of you if I don't write anything down?  Here's the thing.  I know some of you are tired of reading the same thing over and over and I am sick of writing it each week as well.  I want to get back to being excited about this journey!  I am hoping that I am on my way to that.

I still have good things to share...but I need to regain focus on my research and sharing of this ideas.  I am going to be completely truthful that this process is much easier for me during the summer when I have time to not only complete that research, but also to get in my workouts and still enjoy myself as well.  I also hope that in the near future that you will notice I am trying to get this blog back to what it was in the beginning.

Don't think that I have given up on this process.  I have learned a lot about myself over this past year. I have learned that I am quick to revert back to old habits.  I have learned that milk and cookies/chocolate are my true weakness.  I have learned that there are more people that are interested in reading this blog than I thought (even though the number has dropped recently).  I have also learned that I appreciate health a lot more.  I am stronger and in better shape than I have ever been in my life.  My stamina in cardio activities has surpassed even my own expectations.  I have learned that I can be more dedicated to achieving certain goals that I have been in the past.  I have learned that people can once again notice me and that they truly care about me and my progress.

In regards to not giving up, let's talk about my workouts this past week.  That's right.  We are getting to the actual events of the week.  This week I completed one disappointing workout and another that truly surprised me.  My first workout I only ran for 20 out of 30 minutes.  I got off the treadmill upset with myself and a bit grumpy ( I was trying out a new pair of shoes and they weren't working out).  Yesterday was a different story.  Next weekend is the final training run for the Indy Mini and that run is a 10 miler.  Well, I am going to be busy that day freezing my butt off in Broad Ripple, and seeing as I am running this series of training events virtually anyway, I ran that training run yesterday.  That's right folks I completed a full 10 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  I spent 2 hours and 26 minutes on the treadmill!  And, I only had to walk a total of 1.35 miles of the ten including my quarter mile warmup.  I didn't take my first break until 7.3 miles in when I thought my legs were going to turn to mush and give out on me.  I was a BIT proud of myself.  However, if you ever want to endure pure misery, try staying moving on a treadmill for that long.  It can be mind-numbing even when you are watching TV.

I have also been playing around with my nutrition during a run as I will definitely have to eat during the mini.  I have tried a few things like CLIF Blocks, Honey Stinger Waffles, and GU Energy Gels.  Some of these things are great for before the activity like the waffles.  I actually like the texture of them and they come in some pretty tasty flavors like salted caramel or chocolate.  The CLIF blocks have been my go to for the shorter training runs I have been doing as they give me a little something to chew on for a few minutes like I am keeping a treat in my mouth.  But, moving on to the gels was a bit of an experience as they are an interesting texture.  During my run yesterday, I ate a half pack of CLIF blocks and two GU Energy gels (The vanilla bean is disgusting but the strawberry banana was pretty good).  The gels seem to have provided the right amount of energy and I didn't end up with any gut issues which is what I was worried about.  I have learned that the body can only take in a certain amount of carbs (65 grams) during an hour and I didn't exceed that.  I also managed to empty a complete 24 ounce bottle of water.  I probably could have drank a bit more water. One piece of advice I can give you is not to put off your nutrition training because learning what works for your body the best as well as what you enjoy is something to know well ahead of time.

I weighed in this morning at 265 lbs even.  That puts me at a loss this week of 0.4 lbs.  Again, not the most, and considering a 10 mile run yesterday, it probably could have been a gain.  But I will take it.  I won't complain about it.  I will look forward to this week.  I will anticipate having fun with friends next weekend in Broad Ripple.  I will look forward to eventually getting back out on the bike as well as being on my feet.  And most of all, I will look forward to becoming a better Dan. Until next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.