Motherhood defined…

To Zoe: 

Motherhood:

I never truly grasped the “Power” of the female body, until I became pregnant with Zoe. Feeling her kicks, her hiccups – she set my soul on fire. 

The way my body totally transformed in order to keep Zoe safe and nourished for over 40 weeks… 

it stretched…

it spread… 

but it left me in complete awe. 

Then finally Labor Day arrived, and once again my body proved its “power,” by birthing Zoe. 

Sleepless nights with my precious newborn left me feeling tired, but once Zoe slept peacefully … I felt even more “powerful.” 

Breastfeeding, bottle feeding, healing from child birth, it all felt chaotic, but I felt “powerful.” 

As the months quickly fly by, I watch a tiny human blossom. I often ask myself, how did I get this lucky to have the “power” to witness her growth. 

As her mother, I have the “power” to help her grow more… 

As a runner, I have always had a desire to share my passion for running with her. It is a desire to deep to ignore – so I embrace it. My daily runs are always accomplished while pushing Zoe in the running stroller – (the way you grow, Zoe, I know our stroller runs won’t last forever, so I cherish them.) Stroller mile after stroller mile makes me physically strong, emotionally and mentally healthy, and even more “powerful.” 

I’m a working mama, with many passions, and each are a strong part of who I am… they define me. Finding balance has made me even more “powerful.” 

Every milestone Zoe reaches, I feel blissfully happy for her, but also “powerful.” Powerful because her little eyes are watching every move I make. She looks to me as her mother, but also her teacher… her guide through this beautiful thing called life. 

This motherhood journey is a ” powerful” one… but I feel the most “powerful” when I simply hear her little voice call me “mommy.” 
Xo, love mommy

Homemade Strawberry Almond Milk

As a child, I hated cow’s milk. I gave up the stuff at a very young age. However, I remember on occasion my sisters and I would squeeze strawberry syrup into our milk glasses, to mask the flavor. As we stirred… it would mix up into a light pink creamy sweet drink. 

Well, now as an adult I know better, that the strawberry syrup I used as a child is artificial and full of sugar. (You won’t see this mom touching that stuff.) But guess what? I have come across a recipe for a healthier alternative – Strawberry Almond Milk. Everything about this is heaven – the texture, the color, the flavor! 

Warning: Once you make your own homemade nut milks, you won’t go back to the store bought kind. 

Here’s what you are going to need!

  • 1 Bowl (to soak almonds in… then used again later to use to strain blended almonds.)
  • High speed blender (Vitamix)
  • Cheese cloth 
  • Pitcher or mason jar (to store nut milk.)

Let’s talk Strawberries! There is nothing better than fresh picked strawberries from the garden. So look for organic local strawberries. I got these vibrant red ones from my local farmer’s market. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Raw organic almonds
  • Filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon or vanilla
  • 10-14 organic strawberries (depends on size) 
  • 2 dates (no pits)

Directions

  1. Soak 1 cup of raw organic almonds (in the refrigerator) overnight in a bowl of filtered water. 
  2. Strain soaked almonds and rinse. 
  3. Place the soaked almonds in a blender with 3-4 cups of filtered water. Blend.
  4. Strain freshly made Almond milk (the stuff in your blender) through a cheese cloth, over a bowl. 
  5. Give blender a quick rinse. Then pour freshly strained Almond milk back to your blender.
  6. Add one teaspoon of vanilla to blender.
  7. Add 2 dates (no pits) to blender. 
  8. Add 10 – 14 fresh organic strawberries. Amount depends on size of strawberries and your taste buds preference.
  9. Blend all ingredients together on high or on liquid setting. 
  10. Strain strawberry Almond milk through cheese cloth one last time, this way it is very smooth. Side note: you have a Vitamix or a very high quality blender you may not need to do this step. 

Store strawberry Almond milk in a mason jar or pitcher in refrigerator. This will make about 3 cups of milk, and will last 5 days in the refrigerator, however, its so delicious I’m sure you will drink it up before that.
You can also use this milk in chia seed putting and smoothies. 

This strawberry Almond milk is very creamy in texture, pink in color, and tastes delicious. Use your taste buds and customize the final product… Do you need more dates to make it sweeter? Do you need more strawberries.  It takes a little time at first to get the hang of making your own nut milks homemade and fresh. However, once you do, you won’t got to bed until you place a bowl of soaking nuts in your refrigerator. 


Enjoy! 

What’s your favorite nut milk? 

Pickled Turmeric Eggs

I live in the Washington, DC area. It is an urban area that is a vibrant melting pot of culture. I’m within walking distance of plenty to eat and drink – you name it, we’ve got it. And although, I have become quite obsessed with my vegetable garden, it’s far from farm life. Luckily, because we are surrounded by VA, WVA, MD, PA … we do have farmer’s markets. So with that being said… Guess what? It is spring and the farmers are out!

I recently stopped by a farmer’s stand to pick up some fresh farm eggs! They are absolutely gorgeous and taste amazing. 


And lately, I have come across some really fabulous egg recipes. Turmeric Pickled Eggs has been on my mind! The minute I saw the whites of the eggs, yellow from the super spice turmeric, I knew I had to try. 

This recipe is written by Heidi Swanson. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 
  • onion or shallots thinly sliced (I used red onion) 
  • 1 table whole peppercorn 
  • scallions for garnish
  • 6 hard boiled eggs

Directions

  1. In a medium size sauce pan bring water to a boil. 
  2. Slowly and gently drop while eggs in pan with boiling water.
  3. Cook eggs for 6-7 minutes.
  4. Once cooked transfer eggs to an iced water bath, this makes it easier to peel off shells. 
  5. Peel egg shells off.
  6. Now in the sauce pan, add Apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and turmeric. Simmer until sugar dissolves. 
  7. Chop onions/shallots, put them in a mason jar.
  8. Put eggs in mason jar. 
  9. Pour vinegar turmeric mixture in mason jar over eggs.
  10. Let sit in refrigerator. Eggs last up to 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.
  11. Half eggs and eat with chives, sea salt and pepper. You can also devil the eggs, or use them on top of salads. 

Enjoy!!

What is your favorite way to eat eggs?


Wild West Rice Salad

The Wild West Rice salad is found in the cookbook Run Fast Eat Slow. To be completely honest, I have never used a cook book so much. I am quickly making my way through trying most recipes from Run Fast Eat Slow. 

Maybe it’s because there is so much warmth in the air, maybe it’s because all of my favorite veggies are now in season. But, I have been craving salads lately. And it is so much fun trying different types of salads. The combination of fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins are endless. 

I also have been whipping up my own salad dressings. Store bought dressings are not worth the money. In most cases they are packed full of sugar. It’s so much easier and less expensive to make your own. 

So here we go… Wild West Rice Salad. 

Facts: The best part about this Salad is that it is a great recovery meal for vegans. Because of the combination of the wild rice and edamame, this Salad, has all nine essential amino acids. 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • double batch of Creamy Apple Cider Vinaigrette 
  • 6 or more radishes, diced
  • 3 cups of Kale or other greens 
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 6 scallions, skice
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame, cooked
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • (I also included tomatoes, but feel free to add anything you would like, if you are not vegan, add a high quality goat cheese for extra protein.)

DIRSECTIONS

  1. Cook rice, add cooked rice to salad bowl, mix with half of dressing and let cool.
  2. Once rice is cool, add other veggies.
  3. Add more dressing, toss and combine.
  4. Top with goat cheese (if you aren’t vegan) and salt and pepper to taste. 
  5. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1/2 shallot minced, or garlic 
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar and shake. Dressing lasts for 1 week in fridge. 

I know I will be enjoying this Salad for a couple of days! Hope you give it a try. 

Saying Goodbye to Audrey


Audrey is our sweet white fluffy Maltese. I’ve been her mama sense she was 8 weeks old. I still remember the February day in 2006, when I picked her out, and took her home. 

Let’s back track a little…

The hunt for a puppy all began, because our 6 month old Min Pin, desperately needed a bestie. At the time Erik and I both worked in the restaurant industry, and our Min Pin pup was spending too much time home alone. I’m a strong believer that dogs are packed animals and are happier when they are with other dogs. There was no question, finding him a buddy became my top priority. 

I wasn’t having much luck finding any breeders with puppies locally. It seemed that everyone was in PA, West Virginia, or North Carolina. 

I finally came across a simple advertisement, with no photos, that stated, “Yorkie and Maltese puppies for sale in North Arlington.” Perfect, I thought… Could they be any closer?! My mom and I causally stopped by to check out the Maltese puppies later that evening.

I remember the breeder bringing out all of the female Maltese pups. Their white fur was gray from laying on newspaper on the long car ride from Kentucky. I picked up the  cutest, most playful, active puppy, and looked at her from head to toe. I immediately fell in love. She was the one! I named her Audrey. 

When I brought her home, she became obsessed with Manny, (our 6 month old min pin), just what I hoped! She followed him around the whole house, and from then on they were companions for life.

Audrey has been our fur baby for 11 years and 4 months. During those 11 years and 4 months Erik and I tried our best to spoil her rotten. 

She spent her nights sleeping in our bed, with us, buried in between a mountain of the softest pillows and comforters. 

She went on daily walks (up until she was diagnosed with heart disease.) When we became home owners, we made sure our home had a fenced in yard, so she could spend time outside off leash – she loved being outside.  

Some people think a dog is just a dog. But once you become a dog owner especially one of multiple dogs, you discover your dog’s unique personality. 

Audrey was a food lover, who would bark to remind us it was dinner time. Her favorite meal was chicken and rice, and I would cook that up for her as a special treat. She would stand by my feet drooling waiting patiently to be served. She also thought eggs were delicious, and could never get enough, of them. Peanut butter was something she ate daily. 

She absolutely loved Christmas! I don’t know if it was the cheerful positive energy that filled the day. But it was absolutely hilarious seeing her excited, barking at presents under the tree. 

Audrey loved toys. She would chew and play with her toys, while my Min Pin could care less. When Zoe started to get stuffed animals as presents, it was hard for Audrey to understand they weren’t for her. Sometimes we gave in, and Audrey would take it as her own.

When we were packing for a trip, Audrey knew I was preparing to leave, so she would hop in my suitcase, hoping to come along. She always wanted to be with us. 

She wasn’t very good on a leash, she would tug and want to lead the way. However, she was very obedient and loyal, and in her last year, I had enough trust in her to follow me or lead the way off leash. (Just outside our house never around other dogs, or busy roads.)


Over the last 11 years and 4 months, she was by our side during many amazing life milestones, including, engagement, marriage, pregnancy, and most importantly meeting Zoe, and adjusting to her, and including her. 

Going from a kid free house, to all of a sudden having a newborn, was hard on Audrey. But eventually, she adjusted, and Zoe and her became great friends. 

Every morning Zoe has been asking, “Where Audrey? And then she runs to her bowl to fill it up with dog food. 

So as you can see, Audrey had her place in our family, and she was very loved. 


It has been an upsetting couple of days. I rushed Audrey to the hospital at 11:30 pm on April 24th, and at 4 am I finally decided after two hours of debate, (my dog has never been crated before), leaving her there.

Side note: Audrey had developed heart disease at 8 years old, which is common in her breed. For the last 3 years her energy levels never changed and the heart was stable by medication.

However, on April 25th, I was on the phone with three different doctors, through out the day – Audrey’s primary vet, her cardiologist, and her emergency vet. And with much discussion about treatment and quality of life, I got honest answers, and finally the right choice was made.

Putting my sweet innocent Maltese to rest was not a decision I took lightly. But at the end there was no other option. It was her time. 

We miss you already, Audrey, the house is so quiet without you. But it is a relief that you are at peace now.

Thank you, so much for being so loving, cute, obedient, loyal, playful, sweet, loud, and bringing us more joy than you’ll ever know. 

 

 love always, your human mama

Beet Smoothie with exotic Dragonfruit. 


I love juicing and making smoothies. And because I am a mother of an 18 month 0ld, smoothies are a way for her to get some fruits and vegetables in her diet, that she otherwise wouldn’t eat because of texture. 

This beet smoothie is sweetened by exotic dragonfruit. It is my new favorite! 

INGREDIENTS

  1. Pitaya/Dragonfruit (frozen packet found in freezer fruit section at Whole Foods.
  2. 1 raw Beet, washed and peeled.
  3. 1 ripe banana (keep bananas on hand in the freezer
  4. 1 handful or cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  5. 1 cup of coconut water
  6. 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  7. 1 handful of ice 

DIRECTIONS

Blend all ingredients in Vitamix or high speed blender. Enjoy right away, or store in refrigerator or freezer. If storing in refrigerator, store in a sealed mason jar, and drink with in 3 days.

What’s your favorite smoothie or juice? Have you tried Pitaya or Acia?


My first experience at a Oiselle Group Run!

Hey… it’s been a while… but I’ve still been running! 

Of course winter is not my favorite time to run. And because it is my off season, I have been running casually, which had been so enjoyable. 

And as you know, I am one to log stroller miles with my daughter, or solo to have some me time. Running with a group, is normally not my cup of tea. 

But on Saturday, I ran my second time ever with a group, and it was awesome. Details below.

In early 2016, after Zoe was born I joined Oiselle Volée. I love Oiselle, and what the Volée team stands for. One of my favorite things about running, is the community, and joining a group like Volée keeps me involved. 

At first, I started to connect with the oiselle girls by following their training through social media. I was training for Marine Corps Marathon, and so were a lot of other birds. 

Once MCM came and went, I was eager to go on a group run, or attend one of the Oiselle Volée meet ups, but my schedule just didn’t work accordingly. 

Finally, I was able to… this past Saturday, was my first time officially meeting up with the group. It was awesome!

I got to run in a new part of DC, that I had never run before. 

It ended up being a really fun get together. All of the girls were super nice, and we got to eat brunch afterwards! I can’t wait to get more involved with this group, and I see myself definitely meeting up to run with them plenty of times in the near future. 

Do you run with a group?

Baby, it’s F*cking Cold outside! 

It is cold here, in DC. We had our first snow, just a dusting, but it still brought wind and temperatures in the teens. 

I will admit the cold weather has me very unmotivated to run. I really want to accomplish a run streak for 2017, (New Years Resolution) but I keep missing a day, because I’m too cold. (Excuses.)
I’m already missing summer. When the days were longer, and I would wake up super early and hit the trail with Zoe. 

This summer I trained for my fall marathon, in record breaking heat. On race day, it was very warm and officials advised us to dress for hot conditions. And although, it was difficult to train in 90 degrees, I always got out there because the sun was shining. On race day, I set a new PR. It’s obvious that I prefer warmer conditions.

These winter days are not only cold, but the sun is covered by clouds. I look in my closet and my running shorts still hang from the top bar. (Again missing the days where I would run in a tank top and shorts. The more minimal the better.) As I look through my wardrobe I question… Where is all of my winter running gear? Turns out I don’t really have any. No wonder I’m not enjoying my winter runs. 

They say that in the middle of this week, freezing rain will make an appearance, ugh…but then it should warm up to 50s and even 60s. Thank goodness!!! Maybe I will not have to wait until summer to get to wear my running shorts again.

But in the meantime I have begun my search for the perfect winter running gear. Layering is key. Time to experiment and see what works. Plus, I’ll be doing tons of stroller miles… I have my 16 month old who I’m running with. She stays really cozy warm in her L.L. Bean Snow Bunting, …once I start moving my body warms up pretty quick but my hands  not do much. They were numb while pushing the stroller because I didn’t have the proper gloves. 

I’ll up date you on this experiment, and share what winter gear I find. 

Happy Running!

Now let’s RUN all the winter MILES!

Do you prefer running in the cold or the heat?

What is you favorite winter gear!? 

New Years Resolution time!


New Years Resolutions…

Some hate them.

Some love them.

Some set them and easily reach them, while others struggle. 

Some bullet journal.

Some set a resolution/goal for each month.

Some set resolution/goal for each part of their lives. 

I have written about New Years Resolutions before on this blog. You know… I am pretty big on goal setting.

I normally set a detailed goal with a plan of action. That way I have a strategy of how I’m going to reach the goal and by when. 

This year, I want to do the opposite. 

People don’t set Resolutions because they assume they won’t ever keep them. Well guess what?! You don’t have to reach every goal. 

This year, I’m going to set a crazy, dreamy, big goal, that is almost unreachable. I want to see where this goal will take me, and what amazing things I will learn and discover along the way. This goal isn’t about reaching the goal, it’s about he journey. 

Happy 2017! 

Do you set New Year Resolutions?

copyright 2017 sweat1xdaily 

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