Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Greek Pasta

1 lb penne pasta
1 15oz can cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed
1 15oz can diced Italian tomatoes
1 9 oz pkg fresh spinach
4 oz crumbled feta cheese

In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions.  In a large skillet over medium heat, bring tomatoes and beans to a bubble.  Add spinach and cover until wilted.  Stir in the pasta.  Crumble feta over the dish before serving.  Serves four.

I've been making this dish for years.  It's quick and easy, which is a huge plus in my book.  Also, it's very healthy.  I usually buy petite diced tomatoes and season them myself because my husband doesn't like "big" diced tomatoes.  You can make this with any type of pasta, and he actually prefers bowties. 

Friday, July 22, 2011


I thought I'd post about my running adventure thus far, since I'm still plugging away.  I am planning to run the half marathon on October 9th, and my sister is supposed to fly out and run it with me!  She's training in Florida and I'm training here, but we talk about our runs and how things are progressing frequently.  Accountability never hurts!

On June 18th, I ran an 8k race.  It was an exhilerating experience.  I paced myself behind a couple who looked to be in their mid-forties.  I thought to myself, "Surely I can keep up with them!"  And I did!  In fact, at about the 6th kilometer, I passed them!  Towards the end of the race I was quite tired (8k is 4.98 miles), and it felt like I had already been running for an hour at least.  I was pleasantly surprised to cross the finish line in under 52 minutes!  Of course, that is by no means fast, but my mantra for this running experience is, "I run to complete, not to compete!"  There is no way that I will ever be fast.  Athleticism doesn't run in my family... not even a little bit.  And I have zero natural talent in athletics.  I resigned myself to that fact years ago.  However, I CAN finish a race, and that is what I aim to do!

So far, I'm still injury free, and although I get little aches and pains and soreness from time to time, overall my health is magnificent.  No shin splints as of yet, thanks to proper stretching before AND after running.  One day I felt twinges in my shins, so I took a day off from all exercise and that did the trick--- no more pain.  I guess if I just keep going slow and gradual, I can ease into it.  The best thing so far is that my endurance is MUCH improved.  I can run at a moderate pace for a long while and it doesn't take the same toll on me as it used to.  As of this weekend, I will be up to running seven miles straight.

I am enjoying this running experience, but I will say that it hasn't had the weight loss benefits I was hoping for.  I really thought I'd lose some weight running, but so far that hasn't been the case.  It's not that I need to lose weight per se; I lost my "baby weight" months ago.  But we girls are always hoping to lose five pounds and I thought this would do the trick.  Oh, well.  Not a biggie, but just a side note.  I have noticed that my legs are gaining a more toned look, so I'll take that benefit.  : )

As much as I enjoy running, the extreme heat we've been experiencing has forced me to use the treadmill a lot more than I would like.  I detest running on the treadmill.  I don't know why, but it seems harder to run on a treadmill, and I get bored from being in one spot the whole time.  I love the summer and aside from keeping me from running outside as much as I would like, the heat hasn't bothered me one iota.  (I don't like to complain about the weather for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that it could ALWAYS be worse.)  However, (and I never thought I would say this) I have thought recently that it will be nice to run when the weather cools off a bit.  I know, I can't believe I said it, either!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

These days...

Recent conversations in my house go like this:

Me: Can I have a kiss?
C: No! *smiling*mischievously*
Me: Please?
C: No! *smiling*
Me: Momma needs kisses!
C: No!
Me: Please, Bubba?
C: No!
Me: *tickling*
C: *laughing*hysterically*
Me: Can I have a kiss?
C: *puckers*

In the end, I always win. J