Monday, July 12, 2010

Thai Shrimp and Snow Peas

Sorry I have been gone for so long. I hope that this yummy recipe will make it up to you.

This was really good. It was light, easy to make, and had a good flavor. Serve it over brown rice for a well balanced meal. It is 304 calories, not including rice.

12 ounces fresh or frozen deveined medium shrimp
8 ounces snow peas, trimmed (about 2 cups)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grate fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbl cooking oil
1/2 C unsweetened coconut milk (find it in the ethnic section)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp finely shredded lime peel
2 cups hot cooked rice

Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Rinse shrimp; pat dry. Cook snow peas in a covered saucepan in a small amount of boiling salted water for 2-4 minutes or until crisp tender. Drain; set aside.

In a large skillet, cook and stir garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper in hot oil over medium high heat for 15 seconds. Add shrimp; cook and stir about 2 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Stir in coconut milk, salt, and lime peel; cook and stir until heated through. Stir in snow peas. Serve over rice.

*From Better Homes and Gardens Dieters Cookbook

Let me know how you like it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

You're Never Alone

This is so motivating and encouraging. Boston is such an elite marathon. To qualify is an accomplishment in its own. Its so great to see how even the greatest of them all still count on a Higher Source.

They did it again!

Dixie, her husband Cole, and her mother Ana ran the Race for the Cure 5k yesterday. That is two 5ks in two weeks! Way to go guys! And this was for a good cause too! PLUS- she improved her time by 5 minutes!!!!!

She wrote me this story that I wish to post. I promise I had no doing. She did this of her own free will and choice.

If you have similar stories, inspirations, and pictures you would like to share to motivate others, I welcome them. In fact, I plead you to do so!

Finding inspiration once again

I have to admit that after having Sadee and Aidan I had forgotten how important my mental, spiritual and physical well-being has been to me. In my experience (as I’m sure it happens to many moms), as soon as I became a mom it wasn’t about me any more. It was about loving another person more than myself. All my time and energy was given to my new baby and as she got older it did not get any easier. Very soon after I had to not only be a mom and wife but a provider too. With all this it is inevitable to have stress in your life that at times can become overwhelming. Stress can have many effects on you physically and emotionally. I remember not being happy with myself and even my appearance. But I never did anything about my feelings. Most of my friends know that I don’t open up very easily. I usually don’t speak my mind unless I feel it’s necessary and even then I sometime don’t.

Doorly and I have been very lucky to become great friends at a time where the both of us needed guidance in our lives. Back home in New York, we were very blessed to be part of a very special Mormon community. Doorly and I went to the same Catholic school and even this was a blessing. We were able to be there for each other and when tempted, we were able to encourage each other to be better. We would really have been lost without each other. I always felt so blessed to have her as a friend because she was the most confident person I knew. She would always help me with my confidence. And when there were times that I struggled with my self-esteem she would say, “ Dixie, you are so beautiful. You must be if you are hanging out with me!” That always made me laugh and feel better.

When I visited Doorly in Florida and had the privilege of supporting her on the marathon, I was able to learn a very valuable lesson from her. As she approached the finish line and I saw the tears in her eyes, I wanted to feel that too. I was so proud of her. I remembered all those times when we had the motivation to jog the GW Bridge. How I missed being proud of myself! How I missed having motivation and loving myself enough to take the time to take care of myself. Why shouldn’t I? I realized that all this time I just had excuses that held me from being healthier and wanting to do something that makes me happy. As moms, we sometimes feel guilty when we spend time doing something that makes us happy because that time could have been spent with the hubby or children. But the truth is, a home is what it is because of the mom in the home. She is what holds it together. If mom is not happy… no one is happy. This was so important for me to realize because I learned that my family is the most important thing in the world to me. I also realized that I am worth so much to them. I want for them to look at me and be proud to be their mom.

As soon I got home from that trip to Florida, I had a good talk with my husband, Cole. I wanted for the both of us to live a healthier life in every way. No more fast food,. No more sitting on our butts and watching shows for hours as our excuse of spending time together. Now we go on walks as a family. We take the kids to the park more often. Cole tries his best to run every other day. We are looking forward to taking advantage of what Utah has to offer and go hiking quite a bit this summer. I do Yoga and Zumba regularly and love it! This, along with massage therapy, has improved my scoliosis (The spine curves away from the middle or sideways). This is exciting to me because I was in so much pain everyday. We have become closer as a family. My husband and I look forward to running together. My mom and I have become best friends. We hope to also influence the rest of our family to do the same.

To make a long story short, it only took one person’s example to make me realize the happiness and sense of accomplishment that can come from running and exercising. Remember, I am by no means a great runner as of right now but I hope that one day I can be. I LOVE my life!

Long Runs

Saturday. Oh Saturday. Its a day to sleep in. Do chores early, play with the family later. Its date night, concerts, anything your heart desires. Well, its my day to run and run long. Many choose Sundays as their long run days. For religious purposes, I have chosen Saturdays. I am out of the house by 6 and back by 8 or 9 or 10 depending on the week and how far into training I am in. The best part, is coming home to a house of fed and clothed children, a warm bath, breakfast, and a family waiting to have fun with their mom. The reward is worth the effort.

If you have to skip a day of training, make it a short mileage day. Don't skip out on your long runs. Long runs help you strengthen your legs and develop your breathing patterns. It helps you get to know your body better, what it can or cannot do. You will learn how to breathe, when you need food, when to hydrate. You will learn what pace to keep comfortably.

As your training begins, you will notice that it will taper. For example, one week you will do 7 miles than, 8, than 4, than 8. This is not me playing with your minds. This is to help you avoid over training and injury. Plus everybody needs a break.

Make sure you take with you a sports drink and or water. I purchased a Camelback and drank from it every 2 miles whether I was thirsty or not. Others use water bottle belts or whatever is most comfortable for you. You will be exerting yourself for several hours so you need to stay hydrated. I did a sports drink because it gave me carbs and electrolytes. If you are taking a camelback and are doing double digit miles, consider taking a banana or a gel that you can eat or squeeze in your mouth. I will try to get you some good recommendations on those.

Focus on your time, not miles. When it got tough, I would say, "OK today I am running for 3 hours." Whatever I accomplished at that time was a thrill to me. Once you become more practiced, you can focus on miles, but just go out there and run and don't worry.

I would love to hear about different experiences whether spiritual or nature driven that you have had during a long run. Comment below.

A massage is not only for luxurious purposes

Dixie gave me a massage after the marathon. It was heavenly and I was able to go to a Disney theme park a couple hours after. I think it really helped my recovery and has helped me alleviate stress during training. Here is what she has to say.

"As a massage therapist I have learned so many great things about the body. I’ve been able to work on so many people with structural problems and it has been so great to see how massage therapy can help. The benefits of it are so great that I can’t help but to encourage everyone to take some time at least once a month or every other month (especially if you are getting into a routine where you are using your muscles and being more physically active) to give your body the maintenance it needs and deserves."- Dixie Meldrum

The Benefits Of Massage

What exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments? Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
Ease medication dependence.
Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system.
Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin.
Increase joint flexibility.
Lessen depression and anxiety.
Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
Reduce spasms and cramping.
Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller.
Relieve migraine pain.

A Powerful Ally
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.

Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. This translates into:
Decreased anxiety.
Enhanced sleep quality.
Greater energy.
Improved concentration.
Increased circulation.
Reduced fatigue.
Furthermore, clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.

Profound Effects
In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects. Research shows that with massage:
Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain.
Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow.
Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety.
High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping.
Preterm infants have improved weight gain.
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch—which range from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles. Consequently, the medical community is actively embracing bodywork, and massage is becoming an integral part of hospice care and neonatal intensive care units. Many hospitals are also incorporating on-site massage practitioners and even spas to treat postsurgery or pain patients as part of the recovery process.

Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.

Speed Work / Tempo Runs

I look forward to Wednesdays. Wednesdays is middle of the week meaning that a fun weekend lies a ahead. There are no late night shows (Biggest Loser, 24, Grey's, etc) that I watch so I have a free night. It is also the day that I work on my different running paces. It is the day that I do either a speed workout at the local high school track or a tempo run that is closer to my race pace.

Our 1/2 marathon training for September begins May 17 so these posts are pretty much running 101 to get us ready for the training plans so that you are not looking at the training plans, feeling discouraged because you have no idea what I am talking about, and quiting before you start.


This run is as close as you will come to simulating competitive conditioning. It is also called lactate threshold or anaerobic threshold runs (oxygen is used up more quickly than the body is able to replenish it).

This is a quote from Complete Book of Women's Running by Dagny Scott. It explains it much better than if I were to try it.

"If you've ever suffered the dreaded "leaden legs" or "bear on the back" feeling after starting out too fast on a run, you know what it means to surpass your anaerobic threshold. By running just under that threshold, your body develops its ability to process lactic acid more efficiently, which essentially raises your threshold and allows you to run harder...Tempo runs also help you develop a sense of pacing as well as a confidence in your ability to maintain a strenuous pace for longer duration."

So... my goal for the 1/2 marathon in September is 11:49 minute mile. When I do a tempo run, it looks like this : Distance 6 miles, including warm up; 4 miles at 11:51 pace; and a cool down. So I will warm up and cool down at comfortable paces and pick up the pace in between.


5:30 am, Kathleen and I would meet at the local high school, we would hop the fence, pre- stretch, do our track work, watch the sun rise, wave at the janitor shaking his head unlocking the fence, do our final stretch, and go home. It was a productive morning already and it was only 6:30 am.

"Fartleks" let you pick up the pace whenever you feel like it, run as fast as you wish, and recover for as long as you want. They also build your fitness by helping you build stamina for sustained efforts. Don't be afraid to feel your heart rate rise. Embrace it, welcome it. Your pace will improve, your stamina will improve, your breathing will improve. You will be grateful you scratched your leg hopping that fence.

4x around a track is 1 mile. One time is 400 meters, 2x is 800 meters, 3x is 1200 meters, 4x is 1600 meters. I am not ashamed to admit that I need things explained in lamen terms so if I do that, its not to insult your intelligence. Its just how I understand it.

Example: Distance is 5 miles including warm up; 2 x 1600 in 11:12 with 800 jogs; cool down. So you run one mile in 11:12, recover for 800 (2 laps) as slow as you need to, than do it again and cool down.

I hope this helps you better understand these terms. Running at times can be boring. I admit it. I have felt it. These are great ways to not only become a better runner, but to also spice things up a bit. Do these once or twice a week. Let me know how it goes.

Friday, May 7, 2010


I am sorry I haven't updated the blog with the Wednesday and Friday topics. I am in Yuma and the internet connection where we are staying is super slow. I will be home tonight and will update it tomorrow. Check in by Sunday. Thanks for your patience.