Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grandparenting.

The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Guest Blogger: JoEllen writes about Relationships

JoEllen Claypool is back for a second guest blog post. JoEllen is the author of The Secrets Behind the Eyes,  A Realist’s Guide to Being a Pastor’s Wife, Realistic Tips to Being a Pastor’s Wife, Are You on the Verge of a Spiritual Heart Attack  and a contributing author of the Eclectic Collage Volumes 2, 3 and 4. She serves in the ministry with her husband who pastors a small country church in Caldwell, Idaho. Understanding the impact that one person can make, JoEllen is eager to reach out and encourage others to make right choices so that lives can be saved.


There is not one area of your life that you can visit where there is not a relationship with someone or something. Yes, they're everywhere! Think about all of the people that you interact with on a daily basis. Chances are, you interact with infants, the elderly and everyone in between. When you are not engaging with people, including your own self, you are having a relationship with inanimate objects: food, the TV, your computer.
Recently, I made a pie chart. The irony of that last statement just dawned on me, as one of the relationships I have is with unhealthy food ... like pie. That's an issue for another day, but I charted every hour of my day and categorized where my time was going focusing on relationships. How much time did I focus on my children? How many hours of my time did my husband get? Am I getting enough me time? How much energy was being spent on other relationships? I did this every day for a week and then combined the week's findings into one big chart. It was interesting and it showed me where I was doing well and where I needed to concentrate more efforts.
The truth is there are only so many hours in the day and they need to be used wisely. Here is another truth. Relationships take time. Your relationships with the TV and the computer take time, time that could be used nurturing human relationships. Ouch. I am speaking to myself right now. You cannot expect to have healthy relationships with people without spending time with them.
It is easier to steal time away from certain areas in your life for the people in your home. The balance comes when building relationships with groups of people outside of your home. You probably have pockets of people who are in your work environment, your church setting and your groups of friends. Keeping these relationships healthy is very important as well, but where do you find the time?

Well, your work hours are set, so utilize that time to "SEE" that group of people. When a church activity is scheduled, make the most of those opportunities. Take the time to truly see behind the masks that so many people wear just to survive the moment before them. Many people have built walls that are hard to break down. Maybe you are the one with the wall. We have to take risks in relationships and may have to be transparent. You have something to offer and there is a reason people are brought across your path. You need to understand that your words and actions within these pockets of people could impact their lives! What great opportunities we have everyday to make someone smile!
Enjoy the moments you are able to sneak in with your friends. The older we get and the busier our lives become, the harder it is to carve out time for people. That was a difficult adjustment for me when I first realized this truth. I have learned that friendship takes on a different role when you are older. I do not have the time to go hang out at the mall, but I can make time for a phone call. There are still ways to reach out and connect.

Be perceptive to the nudgings you get no matter which group of people you are with at the time. Someone in that group may need a kind word, a healing touch, a listening ear. I want to encourage you with this: take the time to look someone in the eye; you never know when they are going to let you see them.

I would love for you to visit my blog, Making the Most of Every Opportunity. You may be interested in my featured post titled "Be Careful With the Bananas" which shares more regarding relationships.

Read JoEllen's previous post

Visit my Guest Blogger page to get to know all my blogging friends.

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running!
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Spudman 2016 Registration. Time to commit!

I received a message this morning asking if I was ready to make a commitment.  It’s time to register for the Spudman 2016 Triathlon and my triathlon buddy wanted to know if I was up for the challenge. We are a team. When we commit, we commit for the team. I did a quick calendar review, a brief head to toe assessment and an internal evaluation before saying, “Yes, let’s do the Spudman!” Let me explain.

Calendar Review –

I know of no babies, blessings or burials scheduled for late July. I’ve reached the point in my life where those are the happenings around which I must work my schedule. Everything else is flexible or not so very important. My calendar is clear.

Head to Toe –

I was committed to Spudman 2015, as were my teammates. However, I was nagged with an injury most of the spring and summer that spoiled my training efforts.  In the end, I was unprepared and unable to participate. The other team members were in much the same predicament.

My head to toe assessment indicated that I am currently healthy, my injury (calf tear) of 2015 has healed and I am more educated as to how to prevent a recurrence. (Read this article about running shoe designs) I began a half marathon training program on January 4 and things are going well – thus far.  The physical assessment is positive.

Internal Evaluation –

In other words, is my head in the game? Often the mental commitment required to participate in an endurance test such as the Spudman Triathlon, a half marathon, or the Grand Teton Relay is greater than the physical commitment. This is what I have learned – My body can handle the physical strains if I prepare, and sometimes even if I don’t fully prepare. The preparation, however, first requires a mental commitment.  Am I willing to devote the time necessary to prepare? Do I have a desire to endure the discomfort associated with the preparation? When an obstacle such as an injury or calendar change occurs, do I have the determination to work around it to achieve my goal? My head is currently in the game.

So, yes, we are doing Spudman 2016. We are committed and we have time to prepare. Call me a crazy old lady, but it’s one of the highlights of my year. 

Read about our previous Spudman races.
Spudman 2012
Happy Running!
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Tuesday's Training Tip: Dress in Layers

Today's training tip discusses what to wear during late winter-early spring outdoor workouts. Chances are you'll be cool and even cold when you begin your run or workout, but you'll want to shed a few layers when the workout and the sun (if there is any) warms you. Here are some head to toe tips to deal with changing temps.

Head - 
A headband is the best option because it will keep your ears warm and allow some of the heat your body generates from the run to escape through your head. When you get too warm, remove it and simply wrap it around your wrist twice. You won't know it's there and you don't need a pocket in which to stash it. 

Sunglasses, always. They will protect your eyes from sun, snow, sleet and the occasional bug!

Torso - 
Layers are the best bet hear. Wear a long sleeve wicking shirt next to your body another layer over it. A hoodie sweatshirt is great for temps in the mid and lower 30's. It can be removed and tied around your waist if you get too warm. A second long sleeve or short sleeve shirt is sufficient when temps climb into the 40's.

Hands - 
Wear a pair of gloves that are easy to discard or shove in a pocket. The $1 knit kind are my favorite. Cut a thumb out for cell phone texts and photo opportunities. They can be stowed in a pocket or easily carried along your route. Better yet, map your route with a loop about two miles into the run. You'll be ready to shed a few items and you can come back and pick up them up on your way home.

Legs - 
Legs can usually bear the cold with only a layer of running tights. The quads and hamstrings are big muscles that warm up quickly and generate a lot of heat.  

Feet - 
Unless it's below 20 degrees, your toes will be fine. Blisters are a bigger concern that cold toes, so make sure you wear socks that fit.  Shoes should be tight enough to prevent slipping and rubbing. Your toes will warm up in a couple miles. Blisters will plague you much longer!

Stop by every Tuesday for more training tips and visit my Training Tips page to find all the tips you may have missed.

Question: Do you have a training tip you would like to share? Post it in the comments below.
Happy Running!
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Fast and Easy Cheese Soup

I thought it was about time to post something savory on Food Friday. This cheese soup recipe is quick, easy, and yummy on a cold winter evening! Serve it up in a bread bowl or with this sourdough focaccia bread. Mm-mmm Good!

Quick and Easy Cheese Soup

  • 2 C water or chicken broth

  • ½ C chopped carrots

  • ½ C chopped celery

  • ¼ C chopped onion

  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  • 2 C mashed potatoes (It’s okay to use instant potato flakes if you don’t have leftover spuds on hand.)

  • ¼ C butter

  • ¼ C flour

  • Dash of salt

  • 2 C milk

  • 2 C shredded cheddar cheese (cubed Velveeta works well, too.)

Simmer vegetables in water or broth with salt and pepper for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile – Prepare a white sauce. Melt butter in large saucepan. Stir in flour and salt and cook until smooth.  Slowly add milk and cook until thickened, stirring often.  Add grated cheese to white sauce and stir until smooth.

Combine mashed potatoes with tender vegetables.  Stir cheese sauce into the vegetables.

Your soup is ready to serve!

Variations – Add chopped ham, steamed broccoli, frozen peas, or grated parmesan for a little sharpness. Garnish with salsa for a southwestern flavor!

Find more of my favorite recipes HERE.

Question: Do you have a recipe to share?  Post your link in the comments below.

Running Granny Green encourages women, especially grandmothers, to gain greater fitness by providing tips and inspiration to insure long years of joyful grand-parenting. The cookie recipes are a bonus!

Happy Running! Carol - aka Running Granny Green
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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Beads, Books and Baubles

I’ve been tapping into a different side of my creativity lately and I am finding joy in it. These beaded bookmarks were originally an attempt to make my Etsy shop more visible. The cyber world is a crazy mathematical place and more items means more opportunity for buyers to find me.  In an attempt to sell more books (I’m not ashamed!) I found a new hobby.

The creative writing/publishing/book selling business is hard work. It’s fulfilling if you, like me, have a drive for communication and teaching through written word. I have discovered, quite by accident, that I also find fulfillment in creating beautiful things with my hands. Some will gasp! Some may call me a turncoat! You see, I have long shunned crafting and I have been quite free with my opinions. I feel pressured when a group activity is accompanied by painting, gluing, or even sewing – I prefer visiting. I especially dislike painting!

I’ll admit, I’m more than surprised. Stringing the beads, focusing on creating an attractive pattern and even taking photos of the finished product seem to relax and clear my mind. It’s like hitting the refresh button on a web page that isn’t responding.

I’m concerned about one thing … might my books get lost amongst the colorful sparkly beaded creations? That could backfire, could it not?

Happy Creating!
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Guest Blogger: Nikki shares her Word of the Year

Guest Blogger, Nikki, is back today with an idea for making your New Year a success.  Nikki is an entrepreneur and owner of Bedhead Designs.  She is a homeschool mom who volunteers in her church and community. She recently helped her husband (and kids) remodel a very old and broken home. Thanks, Nikki, for taking time to share your thoughts with us!

Do you set New Year’s goals? I often set them…and come mid-February, I have forgotten all about them! Last year, I heard about a word of the year, and I thought it was brilliant! I could remember one word all year! Haha!

I hadn’t picked a word yet for this year.  I had all but given up because I hadn’t found one that felt right. Then, I read this amazing article. It’s called A Vow to 'Soften', So Your Loved Ones Can ShineSoften.  It spoke to my very core! Soften seemed to settle right in. When I thought the word, I felt myself letting go, softening.

One of my favorite lines in the article is: “I felt myself being less of a controlling manager and more of a peaceful nurturer. As my inner barriers weakened, my ability to respond more lovingly, more patiently, and more openly grew.” My children are homeschooled.   I love it, but it’s very time consuming, and can be frustrating when you are all things to everyone all the time! I feel this word, soften, is just the inspiration I need to be the mother, the woman, I want to be.  It’s easy to keep one word in the front of my mind. I can see it there, and when I’m interacting throughout the day, it can help guide me. I also plan to think of the things I CAN do. I’m so done with trying to ‘stop’ doing things. It is so hard to STOP, but it’s much easier to DO.  I can soften my tone.  I can take the time.  I can encourage.  I can be there. See how much better that feels? It’s really quite freeing!

This year will be my year to soften my rough edges and to make sure my loved ones know by deed, first, then word, that I love them.  I invite you to try a ‘word of the year’.  I think you will find it a great way to make positive changes in a softer, gentler way. (see, it’s right on the tip of my tongue!)

Follow Nikki @bedheaddesigns on Instagram and visit her Etsy shop!

Read Nikki's previous guest posts
Sharing Traditions
Follow Your Dreams

Visit my Guest Blogger page to get to know all my blogging friends.

Happy Running!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Lesson from the Ski Hill

I'm sharing this snow skiing story today from Milk Cans and Quilt Blocks. It's the season for skiing and it's always the season to learn a life lesson.  Enjoy!

Lucky Friday
An excerpt from Milk Cans and Quilt Blocks

I was only trying to show my niece and her daughters a good time at Bogus Basin Ski Resort.  The mountain I learned to ski upon.  The mountain we frequent a dozen times every year.  My Mountain!

Spring skiing is so great!  The weather is enjoyable.  Nobody cries to go indoors because they are freezing.  You can get a suntan.

Never mind there was a plane to catch.  Never mind there was a track meet to attend.  Never mind the snow was rapidly turning to slush.  It was Spring!  Spring skiing is so great!

Never mind I’m pushing fifty.  Never mind I decided to take an alternate route and six-year-old Shyan decided to go with me.  Never mind my cell phone was losing its charge.

Never mind I misjudged my location!  Never mind my brother-in-law is Director of Mountain Operations and would kill me if he had to send search and rescue!  Never mind, never mind, never mind!

But mind I did when I realized we had two choices.  We could take the path of least resistance and slide down into a gully that must come out somewhere.  I minded that I had seen others in that gully and I knew I didn’t want to be stuck in there.  Or … we could climb ever so slightly and come out on my favorite run.  Or so I thought!

Never mind my favorite run was two crests away!  Those crests were separated by ravines.

So up we climbed up … and down.  Then up … and down.  Shyan was beginning to show signs of panic.  This apparent from the ascent up the music scale and increase in volume of her cries of “Aunt Carol, where are we?” and “Aunt Carol, are we lost?”

“No Shyan, we aren’t lost.  We’re at Bogus Basin!”  That was all I was certain of – we were at Bogus Basin and Shyan had a plane to catch to visit her father in Seattle.  Oh, and I was also certain I didn’t know how I had led her to the place I had, nor how I would lead her out!  I hoped Shyan couldn’t hear the panic rising in my own voice.

When things seem really bad, they usually find a way to get just a little bit worse.  That’s how it was when I triggered a mini avalanche sliding fifteen feet down an extremely steep slope.  I had been attempting to lead Shyan to safety, coaxing her to sing “Do as I’m Doing, Follow, Follow Me!” an old Sunday School song, in an attempt to keep her panic at a manageable level. 

The effort required to climb while lugging six-foot-long skis and ski boots on my feet was beginning to exhaust me.  I was hot, so I opened the zipper to my jacket, removed my gloves and hat, and made a fruitless attempt to use my cell phone.  It probably would not have found a signal if the battery had been charged.  We shall never know. 

After my unfortunate slide, I could not see Shyan for she was positioned above me and behind a tree.  My legs began to tremble and I feared that I was exhausted.  Shyan was crying that her leg hurt.  I did not know if she was safe or injured.  I began to panic.  We were alone in an area other skiers were unlikely to venture and I had no way to signal our location.

I could not call for help, and yet I did.  I cried out loud, “Father!  Help me!”  There was no need to explain my predicament, for HE surely knew!  Calmness came over me and my thoughts were clear.  I knew what to do.  I removed my skis and used them much as one would a tree limb hanging over a river bank.  I jammed one into the side of the mountain and then the other pulling myself up and jamming the toes of my boots into the snow with each step – a little higher - slowly climbing to safety.  I slipped a time or two, but never so far back as I had begun and I continued to progress. 

When I arrived at the origination of my decent, I rested a moment, still unsure as to where we should go.  We were lost at Bogus Basin.  I continued to assure Shyan that we were inside Bogus and we couldn’t be lost because Uncle Steve would find us as long as we were still inside Bogus.  I dreaded the moment I faced Uncle Steve!

As I stepped into my skis – a monumental task considering the degree of my fatigue – Shyan pointed to a small rise and asked “Aunt Carol, can we go up there?”  There was a large outcropping of rock on a small knoll.  It looked as good a place as any.  I still had no idea how to get to the safety of the ski lift at the bottom of the hill.  Only one problem, it required a little more climbing!  The snow was very loose and the going precarious but we carefully made our way to the top of the knoll.  I stopped to rest.  My trembling legs welcomed the reprieve.

“Lucky Friday!”  Shyan shouted.

“Huh?”  I panted.  I think it was a Thursday.

“Lucky Friday!” she repeated.

I followed the direction of her outstretched arm and beheld a black ski run sign that read “Lucky Friday.”

“Aunt Carol, can we go there?”   This time she pleaded!

laughed, relieved that we were indeed still at Bogus Basin and we had actually discovered a marked run.  It was a run I dreaded because I knew its location, the black double diamond marker, and the condition of the snow combined to create a challenge I would not welcome even if my legs were fresh, but it was a marked run and it would eventually lead us to safety.

I could not keep up with Shyan as she sped as quickly as her short skis could carry her through the trees to where she knew her mother was surely waiting.  I picked my way through the maze stopping often to rest and make a very ugly, very novice-like turn to avoid a tree.

Much laughter ensued when we emerged from the trees at the bottom of the hill.  It was the nervous laughter of relief, followed by a few tears.  Uncle Steve was nowhere to be seen, for which I was extremely grateful.  The search and rescue had not yet been activated.  I would live!  My nephew, Nathan, Uncle Steve’s boy who grew up on the mountain asked, “Did you see Castle Greyskull?”  Castle Greyskull was the name he and his brother had dubbed the outcropping of rock that Shyan had determined we should follow. 

“Yeah, I guess we did.  And we came out on Lucky Friday!”  I added.

“Did you actually see the Lucky Friday marker?” he asked a little amazed.

“Yeah, we did,” I panted.  “I didn’t know there was a run called Lucky Friday.”

Nathan shook his head and quietly stated, “I’ve never seen the Lucky Friday marker.”

How often do events occur that prove both comical and very earthshaking at the same time?  The family had a lot of laughs about Aunt Carol getting Shyan lost at Bogus Basin.  It is a story that will be told for years amongst the skiing and non-skiing relatives alike.  What a joke!  Carol got lost at Bogus and Shyan had to find the way out!  Yes, we all make light of it.  But for me, it was sobering.  How quickly did I turn the wrong way when I felt certain I knew what I was doing?  How scared did I get before I turned to the only source that could help me?  And even after that, I continued to slip, never so far down as the first time, but it took increased effort and many attempts before I reached my goal.  And what of the child?  In the Book of Mormon it states, “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”  (2 Nephi 21:6)  How often does one overlook the faith, optimism, and humility of youth?  I was fortunate.  On that “Lucky Friday,” or Thursday, I was reminded of several lessons, most especially to remember to exercise the humility of a child.
If you enjoyed this post, you can find more essays like it in Milk Cans and Quilt Blocks and Gold Pans and Irons Skillets, available in my Etsy shop and on Amazon.
Happy Running!
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Friday, January 15, 2016

Food Friday: Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s Food Friday! Today I am sharing this essay about Chocolate Chip Cookies from my first book, Gold Pans and Iron Skillets. Not to worry – my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe is posted at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!

Can a Cookie Cure a Cold?

In this day of natural health, homeopathic healing, and low-fat everything, it is refreshing to note that a good old chocolate chip cookie is not only a very effective, but often, immediate cure for many ailments. You disagree?
My three-year-old son skinned his knee. He came wailing to find me. Naturally, I was in the kitchen. Tears pouring from his eyes he cried, "I need a cookie!" I leapt to the refrigerator, jerked a zipper bag from the icebox, and produced the miraculous item. He took one bite and promptly announced, “I’m all better now." Amazing, the healing power of the cookie! Not convinced?

My husband of twenty years prefers cookies and milk for breakfast. I’ve tried to convert him to cold cereal. It has more natural and low-fat attributes. He tried some brand of wheat flakes for a few days. We couldn’t stand him! He was a grouch. So I baked and life was better.

While expecting our last child I was counseled to watch my carbohydrate intake. This was traumatic. "Doctor," I complained, "if I have cookies in the house my family is emotionally stable!" While one might discount the power of the chocolate chip cookie to heal open wounds, there is no denying its effect on our mental health.
"Pshaw,” you say? Consider: Offering of food shows love. We give gifts of food to those we love at Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. If someone gets married, we feed everyone. If a young man wishes to propose or even seduce, he offers chocolates to sweeten his beloved. We show love to newborns by offering mother's milk. We feed our cats.

Offering service shows love. It is an act of service to prepare a meal or a chocolate chip cookie. We work to make a living to buy food to prepare for those we love. Then we prepare it. Then we share it. Then we clean the kitchen! It is true that the simple and few complex carbohydrates in a chocolate chip cookie have a physical effect that produces a quick sense of comfort and well-being. They raise blood sugar levels and taste delicious! But the emotional effect is far greater. A chocolate chip cookie says, "Someone loves me. Someone took an hour and baked this cookie just for me. Someone cares enough about me to know how much I love chocolate!" And love makes all things a little better. Can a cookie cure a cold? Probably not. But hey, it's worth a shot!

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Did you like this post? You can read more like it in Gold Pans and Iron Skillets.

Find more of my favorite recipes HERE.

Happy Running!
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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Guest Blogger: Karli's Top 3 Tips for Fitness

Karli is a stay-at-home mom and Health Coach with Take Shape for Life. She is currently expecting baby boy number four! I'm glad to have her back for her second Guest Blogger visit.Read her Top 3 Tips for getting and staying healthy!

The TOP THREE things I think are essential to be successful while getting and staying healthy are:

Preparation.  First, it's important that you're properly prepared.  I suggest starting with a list of goals. This is not something to take lightly. The best goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. Write them down and put them somewhere you can see often.  Take pictures and measurements, clean out cupboards, get rid of anything tempting, and tell the people closest to you what you're trying to accomplish.  After you've started, be prepared by taking meals with you and be intentional about deciding what you’ll do before you get to an event so you’re not caught off guard. Be prepared.

Accountability.  Answering to someone helps us make better choices, keeps us more conscious and aware of the things that we are doing, and encourages us to be honest with ourselves and the person we are reporting to. Another thing accountability helps us do is take responsibility for our actions.  When I was in high school and college, I used to blame my weight issues on anything or anyone I could.  It definitely wasn't my fault I was overweight.  It was my situation, my circumstances, the world, etc.  Blah, blah, blah. Seriously. Someone should have slapped me in the face! I finally learned and recognized the importance in taking responsibility for the things that were in my control.  I was overweight because I ate too much.  I was overweight because I loathed exercise and didn't want to get off my butt and move. It was MY fault. This thought may depress some, but for me it was a huge wake up call.  If it was my fault, it was in my control. If I had caused it, I could undo it! I had the power to choose to change. I made the choice and have kept myself accountable to it ever since. Now, when I choose to make unhealthy choices for my body, I own them and realize I must also be willing to also take the consequences that come along with them. Be accountable.

Consistency.  This one is vital.  It doesn't just mean be consistent once, or until we reach our goals, its long term, pretty much fooorreevveerr.  {sandlot reference}.  I read something recently that said change is the combination of effort and time. {elna baker} This spoke to me because it's been my tendency in the past to be consistent until I get the thing I desire and then once the goal has been achieved, the consistency becomes less and less til suddenly, it's a rarity.  For lasting change, we have to be consistent in our efforts over time.  That might mean saying no to junk food more often than not. Maybe it’s choosing to exercise 5-6 days a week til it becomes a habit so tightly woven that we can't imagine not fitting it in. Or choosing sleep over an extra hour of Netflix because we value how great we feel when well rested.  Being aware of the things we put into and do to our bodies because we recognize and realize its inherent beauty and value.  I know that making these choices consistently over time will enable me to reach my fundamental goal, which is simply Freedom.  Freedom from sickness and disease.  Freedom from being controlled by food.  Freedom to spend time with the people I love most.  Be consistent.
Before and After Baby #3
If you're truly interested in attaining your goals and are ready to take the plunge and do these three things listed above, let me know.

You can find me here:
Text: 541.216.2018

Read Karli's first Guest Blogger post about Knowledge

Visit my Guest Blogger page to get to know all my blogging friends.

Happy Running!
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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tuesday’s Training Tip: Cut 100 Calories

Last Tuesday we talked about making small changes that add up. Today’s training tip is the flip side of that.  Let’s look at ways to cut 100 calories. If you really want to make that extra burn count, pair it with some wise food choices.

The obvious choices.

Give up those little extras that really add up. Swap out creamy ranch dressing for balsamic vinaigrette.  You’ll save about 70 calories for 2 tablespoons.  It’s tangy so you are likely to use less.

Switch to Fat Free milk.  Ounce for ounce you’ll get more protein and save about 30 calories per cup.  Haven’t made the switch? You can step it down to 1% if you don’t want to dive right in!

Mayo vs. salad dressing. Or should I say, Mayo Lovers vs. Salad Dressing Lovers? Is it worth an extra 50 calories per tablespoon to have your mayo? If you can’t make the switch, just forego the goo and use mustard. It packs a whopping ZERO calories!

Some creative ideas.

Whole wheat spaghetti will save about 55 calories per serving over traditional spaghetti noodles. Be sure to cook it long enough and don’t attempt to hide the whole wheat with extra sauce!

Plain yogurt is a better option than sour cream as a garnish – if you must garnish! You’ll save 35 calories on a 2 oz. serving and gain much needed live cultures for digestive health.

Lettuce wraps!  Wrap everything from taco fixings and egg roll stuffs to grilled hamburger patties and other sandwich items.

It’s not as difficult as it sounds to cut a few calories. Not sure if your food choice is wise?  Use a calorie counter like this one until you become more familiar with the good, the bad, and the oh-so-naughty things you eat.

Are you a visual learner?  This article gives you a picture of What 200 Calories Worth Of Different Foods Looks Like. You might be amazed at the different portion sizes!

What calorie cutting tips will you use in 2016?

Tune in every Tuesday for more training tips and visit my Training Tips page to find all the tips you may have missed.

Question: Do you have a training tip you would like to share? Post it in the comments below.
Happy Running!
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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Guest Blogger: Jane writes about her best daily practice

Meet Jane Freund, an author, speaker and book coach based in Boise, Idaho. Previously, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University.

My Best Daily Practice

One of the best things I've done for myself is to take perfection off my table of expectations! One of the benefits of doing so is admitting that I am a human being who makes unintentional and intentional mistakes. Furthermore, I interact with other humans who do the same. Such errors can be in my personal life when I miss a crucial date, say something I shouldn't or otherwise screw up. In terms of my professional life, I can forget a meeting, blow off a deadline or do something that I should not. Of course, others are guilty of making similar or other mistakes that affect me. So what am I to do?

At the end of the day, I have a choice: unpack my bag of mistakes and deal with them OR carry them into the next day. Simply put, am I going to forgive or hang onto the offenses on the road to building a first-class grudge? I have found that the best thing to do at the end of each day is to forgive and to move on. Please note that I did NOT say stuff your feelings but rather acknowledge and deal with them. Facing the feelings is at the core of forgiveness. The feelings may be small and more easily dealt with bigger ones that have likely hit old nerves.

I define forgiving as "A premeditated decision (NOT a feeling) to let go of negative feelings toward someone who has hurt you." If I wait until I FEEL like forgiving, I may never get around to it (particularly if the offense hits an old nerve). Rather, I CHOOSE to forgive so that I will feel better. Hanging onto the negative feelings takes energy I would rather expend in more positive ways.

Think of forgiving as making a healthy choice for YOU! When I made the choice to start forgiving on a daily (if not more frequent) basis, I began feeling better physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Oh and if you are waiting for the other person to forgive first, then I have a question for you: Why are you giving YOUR power to somebody else? You have the capacity to feel better without somebody else's involvement. That's a much easier route to take!

Most importantly, forgive yourself because then you will feel better about yourself and in turn, about others as well.

Jane Freund is an author, encourager, speaker and book coach who has written 17 books and helped over 70 people achieve their publishing dreams. Her latest book is "Fascinated by Forgiveness - A Practical Guide for Forgiving & Being Forgiven". In addition, Jane taught Communication for ten years at Boise State University. Her books can be found at,, and Smashwords. You can find her on Facebook at

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