Thinking Out Loud #4

We’re back for another edition of Thinking Out Loud! Seriously, these are some of my favorite posts to do. It’s just a massive brain dump. I hope that you guys enjoy them as well! :)

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1) I’m currently supposed to be in Pennsylvania speaking at BoldHer. Sadly, the ticket sales weren’t quite what the needed to bring me there. I’m bummed because I was looking forward to it, but they’ve promised me a keynote spot next year! I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, whatever that reason may be! Here’s to hoping for another speaking engagement soon! I’d love to get into that world!! (Any connections? ;))

2) Last weekend was such a good time! Mr. B & I headed to Indiana to meet up with friends and went on a 3 hour kayak trip! It was a weekend filled with laughs, delicious foods (tofu ruben…enough said), and memories! I wish that we could do it more often! Although, we do have a fun camping trip in the works with one of the couples in October!

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3) Last time I did one of these, my mom was getting ready to have brain surgery. Good news, everything went well with the surgery! Afterwards though she ended up suffering a super small stroke, which was SUPER scary! Thankfully they caught it and if you saw her today, you’d have no idea that she had anything wrong at all. She is doing great and is training for the half-marathon with me like a champ!

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4) My sister’s bridal shower was a couple of weekends ago. We worked so hard to make sure everything came together. I did a TON of crafting and even roped my mom into making tissue paper flowers with me. ;) We had a frozen yogurt bar, I baked delicious cupcakes, and we played great games! I’m SO happy with how it all came together. Best part, my sister had NO IDEA what the theme was and she LOVED it! It is so satisfying when you put a lot of work into something for someone and they love it! Next up in the bachelorette party, which will be easy….booze and things shaped like men’s genitalia. ;)

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5) I’m working hard on redesigning things around here again. I’m not in total love with the look around here and the theme limitations. So, I actually bought a theme that I can totally customize! Now to just figure out all the details. Don’t be alarmed if you see my site under maintenance mode over the weekend! I promise it’ll be worth it! :)

6) I have been playing around a lot with food photography lately. Usually I just snap a quick photo with my phone and put no thought into it. I have discovered that I love styling the foods and taking the time to take a great photo. Here’s one that I took of a granola bar recipe that will be up on the blog next week! What do you think? I’m looking into taking a food photography e-course as well. I have dreams of a food blog. ;)

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7) I’ve also been organizing all the things in our kitchen lately! Our pantry has been grossly ignored and had a few too many outdated items in it! I do a lot of shopping in the bulk bin area of the grocery store and have just been keeping those items in the bags I get at the store. I decided that I wanted to make it much more pretty and put the things in mason jars. I’m sort of it love and would love to have open shelving to display them!

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What’s new with you?
Do you use mason jars? If so, for what?

I’m Doing a Half!

You all know that I am not much of a runner. I try to be, but then it just end badly with too much IT band pain. Running just isn’t for me. Walking on the other hand, TOTALLY my cup of chai tea. ;)

Years ago when I started this journey I couldn’t do much in the way of exercise. I was 327 pounds and at that weight, movement can hurt. So, walking is what I did.

When I could get outside, I would walk around the town I lived in. When getting out wasn’t an option, I would cue up my Leslie Sansone Walk Away The Pounds DVDs. (I even do those from time to time now!)

I would say that walking for exercise and I have quite the history. :)

Now I always thought that to complete a half-marathon I would need to run it. I guess that’s because you don’t often see people saying they walked one. Completing one has always been on my list of things I want to accomplish, but I always stopped myself because I am not a runner.

I decided that it didn’t matter HOW I finished a half, only the fact that I would finish one. I officially made the announcement at the end of the Bowflex Insider webcast last month. And I also pledged to my Weight Watchers meetings a couple of weeks ago that I would be starting training for one and completing one.

Now I’m putting it out there on my blog. I figure if I tell ALL the people, it WILL happen. I’ve coaxed my mom into doing it with me as well! :)

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We have even picked out our race! Originally we were going to do the Quad Cities Half-Marathon, but it just happens to be the day after my sister’s bachelorette party. And well, that just didn’t seem like a good idea! Haha.

So, we did some searching and we are going to be completing the Galena Lead Rush Half-Marathon on November 1st!

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I’m pretty stoked to finally have a half picked out and that I have someone to do it with!

Obviously, you cannot just go do a half-marathon without no experience whatsoever. That would just be silly! Luckily there are some training plans to get you all ready for walking one!

After some research, I found Hal Higdon’s training plans. They have everything from the walking plan, novice running plans, and even advanced running. We of course will be doing the walking training plan for our race.

We picked this one because it’s a longer training plan and because it has the long walk on Sundays. This is perfect for my mom and I because we can get together on Sunday to do them. Since the half is actually 11 weeks away, we will be skipping the first week of training. We decided on this because we both have been walking consistently already and because week 1 and week 2 are the exact same. I, of course wouldn’t recommend doing that to someone who is totally new to walking long distances!

Half training won’t be the only activity I will be doing throughout the next few months. I know that it is important to cross train, plus for me be at my healthy weight, I need to do more than just walk. I figure I will add in some of my favorite workout DVDs along with bike riding and kayaking in there as well. Mondays will be dedicated to yoga for sure as I think that’ll be a great way to recover from the longer walks we do on Sundays!

I must say I’m pretty excited to be training for something. I really haven’t trained for anything before, so it’ll be something new for me!

Be sure to follow along throughout the training! I will be posting updates on here as well as my social media accounts. I’ll share tips along the way and maybe will even get Mama B to make a blog appearance!

Have you walked a half-marathon before?

Any tips?

Spicy Black Bean Egg Muffins

I love me some MorningStar Farms products. I have a wide variety of them in our freezer and use the for quick grab and go lunches or dinners when I just don’t want to give it much thought. I’ve used the crumbles as part of my taco tater, the Mediterranean Chickpea Burger on top of salads, and the sausage patties for breakfast many times. Most of the times I just use them in their regular form without getting too creative.

I decided to change that and get creative in the kitchen with the Spicy Black Bean Burgers from MorningStar Farms.

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These are one of my favorites, especially on a bun with some salsa and sour cream. Yum! Those can get a bit redundant though and I wanted a way to enjoy these burgers another way.

Enter egg muffins! I’ve actually never made any form of these before, but see them all over the place. So, when I was thinking of a great way to use the burgers, the egg muffins seems like a perfect fit! And boy, were they ever! With the addition of some extra veggies, these are great for a quick grab and go breakfast!

You can even freeze them, which is awesome! You could make up a big batch of them on the weekend and have them throughout the week for breakfast, or even a quick protein pick me up. One single burger has 10g of protein!

 

Spicy Black Bean Egg Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Muffin Ingredients

Ingredients:

1/2 medium onion, chopped
6 mini peppers (or 1-2 bell peppers), chopped
2 Spicy Black Bean Burger patties, cooked & chopped
8 eggs, beaten (I threw mine in the blender to beat them)

Instructions:

1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick spray or use cupcake liners.
2) In a small pan over med-high heat, cook your onions and peppers until onion become translucent (about 5-7mins). Divide veggie mixture evenly in the muffin pan cups.
3) Cook your burgers in the same pan for about 3 mins per side. Chop burgers into small chunks and evenly divide into the muffin pan.
4) Pour beaten eggs into each cup, about 3/4 full
5) Cook 20 mins, or until middle of muffins are set. Note: they will shrink as they cool
6) Top with avocado, salsa, sour cream, or anything else of your choosing!

To Freeze: Let muffins cool completely. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and put into a freezer safe container or baggie. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel, and microwave for 1-2 minutes.

These are super PointsPlus friendly as well, coming in at only 2 PointsPlus per muffin! Considering how protein packed these are, you could have a couple with some fruit, and have a great filling breakfast!

Also, how great would these be for a brunch get together with friends or family? Much easier than whipping up a batch of scrambled eggs and you can serve them with a variety of toppings. Fun and simple!

Obviously this is only one way of using one of the MorningStar Farms products. They have over 30 different products and 600 recipes on their site for you to check out and get creative with. I have some of the Roasted Garlic & Quinoa Burgers in my freezer right now and think these stuffed mushrooms look amaze balls!

I could honestly go on about how much I love MorningStar Farms products, but I just suggest checking them out yourself!

Are you a MorningStar Farms fan? If so, what product do you love?

Egg muffins, have you made them? Is there an awesome combo you care to share?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own. You can read more about my policies and why I chose to review what I do, here.

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