Lazzzzzzzzy Me

I am not purposefully being a bad blogger.

I’m just really busy with the end of the semester and work and students and grading…

…and it’s CRAZY!

So I’ll be back soon (I hope) possibly blogging about some awesome giveaway I won because, even though I’m busy, I’ve got time to enter contests for free stuff.



In this picture, I look like I’m wearing a flower in my hair.
I’m not. It’s the shower curtain :)

P.S. I never win. Don’t get your hopes up.

Spicy Black Bean… Chili?

This is NOT chili.

Spicy Black Bean Chili SoupThis is a tomato-based chicken soup.

I only slightly modified this recipe, and, instead of chili, I got soup! I even added 1/2 can of tomato paste to thicken it up. Oh, well! Their chili looks like soup, too.

Spicy Black Bean SOUP

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed well
  • 1 can drained corn
  • 6 cups  water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 cloves  garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon  cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon  chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon  dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon  paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 4 cups  vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 14-1/2-ounce  can tomatoes
  • 2 lb. chicken breast, baked and chopped
  • (and 1/2 can of tomato paste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prep chicken: Rinse, remove excess fat and grossness, and then sprinkle with red pepper flakes, garlic powder and black pepper.

Bake in a coated baking dish for 17-20 minutes, until just done.

Spicy Black Bean Chili RecipeIn a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook the onion, peppers and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in the spices, and cook for a moment.

Spicy Black Bean Chili Recipe SOupAdd the beans, vegetable or chicken broth, undrained tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Add chopped up chicken, and simmer until heated through. (If you used dry beans, simmer for 1 1/2 hours.)

Spicy Black Bean Chili Recipe

I added a dash of thyme and basil for a little kick (I should have added more), and I used peppers because… we had these peppers that were about to go bad.

Fresh produce for soup recipeYep.

My judgment: 8 out of 10. More hot sauce would have livened it up, and I am sad it wasn’t chili in the end, but it tasted fine and was super healthy. Look at all those vitamins and minerals!

Spoonful of SoupSpicy Soup RecipeHealthy soup FTW!

(Oh, and I love tomatoes, black beans and corn together. In chili, next time.)

Off to Shocker Fitness! The lovely Ashley is teaching class tonight! :)

What are you cooking for dinner?

Is it chili? ;)

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11: A shoe review

According to the experts, Brooks Adrenaline are running shoes built for the moderate over-pronator who requires a combination of cushioning and enhanced stability.

Oh, Brooks. You know my feet so well.

Women's Running ShoeWhite, silver and biking red (should be called running red).

I bought a pair of Brooks two weeks ago to replace my 2-year-old Nike cross-trainers, which were, let’s face it, done.

women's running shoesI wore these shoes during all my workouts last year – all the anxiety and insanity. They started skinnyshae with me.

I’ll miss them, but I am having a nice time breaking in my Brooks.

For example, on Thanksgiving Thursday, Ivan and I broke in my Brooks during a 15-minute dog-dragging sprint run.

women's running shoeswomens running shoesLook at that calf shoe. The hotness.

The Brooks feel comfortable. The first time I ran in them, I felt like I was running on pillows. I’m a hard heel-striker, but, thankfully, the Brooks provide the cushion where I need it most.

Currently, I still have shin splints. I do not expect them to go away any time soon either. After more time, my shin splints will heal. The shoes have great arch support and ankle control, but until my legs are better, I cannot be honest about the support the shoes provide. When I do lunges, though, I feel much more stable.

Fortunately, after my short exercise hiatus and switching shoes, my shins do not hurt as intensely or consistently as they used to. That’s improvement in my book, and the Brooks just might have something to do with that.

Brooks AdrenalineI feel sexy in these shoes.

I feel sexy running in these shoes.

I love my new shoes :)

What are you running in these days?

Any suggestions for extending the life of my shoes? I cannot replace these Brooks every six months!

Trail Mix Honey Balls

Husband and I are skipping Thanksgiving celebrations to spend the day relaxing.

Because of the holiday, both work (for me) and school are cancelled! Hallelujah! For the first time in weeks, I slept in. I pulled myself out of bed at 9:30 a.m.

I woke up to a hungry puppy and a sleepy husband. One got breakfast, the other went to bed. They’re both adorable.

Last night, I planned for a long run in the late morning. I would have plenty of time and the weather was supposed to be gorgeous. I could run for hours in my new shoes.

(Shoe review coming soon, I promise!)

After breakfast, coffee and the 7-Minute Warmup, I prepared for my run. Then, I decided to take my dog.

My dog. The 110 lb. German Shepherd with four legs and a lot of dragging power.

German Shepherd DogOur run lasted just 15 minutes.

When I run or walk with Ivan, I do not go at my pace. I go at his, and he’s fast, especially when squirrels are about. I felt like we spent the entire run sprinting. His gait was quite relaxed and gentle.

So much for my endurance run.

Work out with your dogYesterday, at work, I noticed that I… work in an office… with a vending machine. The vending machine happens to have inexpensive salty sweet snacks from heaven.

This is a problem.

I am a grown-up lady. I do not need to eat Snickers. I do not want to eat Snickers, but I do want to eat salty sweet snacks. I have to snack or I will gorge myself at dinner.

I know.

I’ve seen me do it.

I’m snacking on dried cherries right now.

How can we make this happen, folks?

Enter Super Snacks – healthy munchies to curb cravings!

  • When you crave salt, eat popcorn.
  • When you crave sweets, eat dark chocolate. (See below.)
  • When you crave something crunchy, eat roasted peanuts.
  • When you crave a cold drink, drink tart cherry juice.
  • When you crave something filling, eat cereal and milk.

In my unhealthy opinion, popcorn is only good covered in melted butter. I love dark chocolate and peanuts. Cereal and milk… I’m craving some right now.

However, I came up with my own snack ;)

I bought some trail mix at Dillon’s a while back. In the mix: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, whole almonds, dried cranberries, dried papaya (or mango?), dried pineapple and dehydrated bananas.

I picked out and ate all the sweet dried fruits.

I had handfuls of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a few almonds. What am I supposed to do with these? Not as awesome without the fruit!

While staring mournfully at the loss of my sweet-fruited trail mix, I got an idea. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are small. I have slivered almonds and Chex in my cupboard.

If I were to mix them together with some sort of sticky substance, such as (oh, I don’t know) honey, perhaps the leftover trail mix could become…

Trail Mix Honey Balls

  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • slivered almonds
  • Wheat Chex
  • honey
  • dash cinnamon and sugar
  • pinches sea salt
  • bits of whatever was left in the original trail mix

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix all ingredients, except sea salt, together with as much honey as necessary, until its saturated.

Cook in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the honey is all melty and all the parts are sticking together.

Let cool so you can handle the mixture. Spoon into small piles on a parchment-covered baking sheet, or roll into awkwardly shaped balls. Top each with a pinch of sea salt.

Bake for 10 minutes or more based on how many you make. Keep a close eye. That honey will run if you bake them too long.

trail mix recipetrail mix recipeI made 12 little piles of trail mix . I would have made balls, but this is a first time recipe and the balls didn’t hold. Ergo, piles. Next time I have leftover trail mix, I will also have in my kitchen parchment cupcake paper.

trail mix recipetrail mix recipeSalty, sweet, crunchy, happy.

I also went grocery shopping and worked on my project on my day of relaxation. I bought dried fruit, more trail mix and dark chocolate so I still feel relaxed.

Dove dark chocolate… You know what that means!

Dazzle your sense of flavor.
So. Dazzled.

Indulge your sense of amusement.
I sense a theme.

Renew your sense of discovery.
I knew it!

Don’t settle for a spark… light a fire instead.
But be careful with those deep-fried turkeys.

Calories only exist if you count them.
No. I’m pretty sure they exist regardless…

Happy Thanksgiving!

How are you celebrating? Turkey, stuffing, creamed corn? We’re having Spicy Black Bean Chili! (Yes. I’m trying to cook chili.)

I am thankful for my husband, my dog, dark chocolate and warm autumn weather. And I am thankful for this day of relaxation.

Happy Birthday to Me! I’m 1.

It’s my birthday!

Well, not my birthday, but it is skinnyshae’s birthday. My blog is 1-year-old today!

I feel like skinnyshae and I have grown a lot in the past year. Cooking, (not) dieting, hating exercise, loving exercise, hating exercise again… it’s been a real whirlwind, folks.

In the beginning, there was darkness…

I wanted to learn to like my body. After some time together, learning how to live with each other, I thought I might like-like my body, and then, possibly, move on to a more mature, less high school type relationship.

My body is currently going through some ance breakouts skin issues that are not helping our relationship. Of course, it’s all my fault. The Acne Treatment therapy classes seem to be helping. We’re working through our issues one tube of Clearasil at a time.

Proactiv Face MaskBaby steps.

Then, through the darkness, I saw light.

Before I could enter said light, I had to make a few changes… For example, while my personality is chaotic and slightly crazy and pretty weird, the blog needed direction.

Nerf Machine GunPlus, I cannot walk around with a rapid fire dart gun. (Unfortunately.)

In attempt to be less odd, I wrote a few weight-loss show review blogs. MTV and A&E told the stories better than I could, though.

Finding my own blogger style did not change the fact that I was still mad at my fat.

After struggling with Insanity – both the mental and physical kinds – and facing some anxiety issues, I finally reached my turning point.

I found a regimen that worked with my schedule and a great workout buddy.

My tag line: “Diet, fitness, beauty, and how much it all sucks” became less depressing.

One day, I decided I would be a cook.

(Sometimes) I am a good cook.

Occasionally, I mess up recipes. I do that often. A lot, actually. But cooking real food still brings me so much joy.

Baking can totally go die…

One day, I fell in love with running.

No. I am not lying. I love it. I love every second of it.

So much so that I bought new shoes.

Here are my retirees…

Now that I have a big girl job, I put more effort into making myself look presentable. Makeup, clothing, hair… It’s this whole new world.

And you get to be a part of it, my friends.

Lucky ducks.

Because of skinnyshae, my friends (IRL and non-IRL) and my stellar husband, my attitude toward my body has changed significantly.

I cook real food. I love running. I lost 10 pounds. I feel pretty in glasses (bright red ones) – accomplishments in my book.

Now, instead of wallowing in self-pity about how ugly I thought I was, I pay attention to the parts of me and my life that are awesome, such as my awesomeness.

skinnyshae ready to workout to Insanity DVDNo humility needed. I am super cool.

Through the workout FAILs and FTWs, through the stress eating and not dieting, through the eyebrow-plucking and world-ending journey that is skinnyshae…

Well, let’s just hope next year is awesome, too.

(Nudgenudgewinkwink: I think it will be.)

How should I celebrate this most amazing day? Cake. It is my birthday, after all. Birthday… giveaway? Dana, can I steal an idea from you… again?

A Project: Measuring My Sister

I maybe be a busy kid, but I try to make time for my super great kid brother.

Super great when he’s not being loud and irritating.

He’s a boy.

He’s 8.

I never win.

The poor kid is sent home from school with some of the most ridiculous homework I have ever seen. When I was in grade school, I never had homework. I remember doing reading assignments. All I did was read, and then my mother, grandparent or babysitter of the day would sign it. I didn’t have “homework” until 4th or 5th grade.

OK, so, yeah, that is grade school.  And maybe those reading assignments were homework, but all I had to do was read.

Not complicated.

My poor little brother… He was sent home with an assignment to measure stuff.

His assignment was to measure an object with four standard measurements and two non-standard measurements. Standard measurements are easy: yards, feet, inches, pounds. What are non-standard measurements?

Apparently, a non-standard measurement is just something that you would have to measure in order for it to measure anything in return, such as a toy sword or a toothbrush.

Enter the sister.

(That brown fuzzy lump is my mom’s dog Lady. She likes to help.)

You will be excited to know that I am 11 toothbrushes long from finger to toe and 2 1/2 toy swords long from finger to toe.

I am also a number of inches, feet and yards I do not remember, and I am thankfully still 130 pounds. No weight gain documentation for my brother’s grade school class to judge me.

Six measurements. One sister. Grade: A+.

I would like to tell you how this post connects with diet, fitness and health.

I would like to.

It doesn’t.

Oh, yeah, and skinnyshae’s birthday is tomorrow. How should I celebrate?

A reduced routine for a busy schedule

The semester ends in three weeks.

I have to pack my final law project, theory paper and public health presentation as well as two final exams in to these three weeks.

I can totally do that. However, I must dedicate all of my spare time to the aforementioned projects and papers.

What does that mean for my workouts?

One. Big. Bummer.

I have to leave for work or school at 7 a.m. every day. I do not have afternoon breaks, except on Tuesdays (for two hours), but I spend that time studying and eating lunch at my desk. I work and teach all day and I have classes all night. In between all of that I have time to study and work on my papers and projects.

My week days, half my Saturdays and all of Sunday are packed full of stuff that I have to do like school work and laundry. And, unfortunately, my workout does not make that list. I do not have to work out…

However, I figure if I wake up 30 minutes earlier on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I will have the opportunity to get in a 20-minute workout.


I found suggestions for possible 20-minute workouts courtesy Jeff Galloway via Runner’s World.

Of course.

Build Strength
Equipment: Nearby hill

Jog for 5 minutes, and then run up the hill. At the top, walk 30-60 seconds, and then run back down. At the bottom, walk for 1-2 minutes.

Repeat the sequence 2-3 times, and perform the workout once a week.

This hill workout is not feasible for me because the nearest hill in my neighborhood is not steep, and it’s a 10-minute run away.

Build Speed
Equipment: Local track or trail with distance markers. Luckily, city blocks in Wichita are one mile each.

Jog for 5 minutes. Run at an easy pace for one-eighth of a mile, and then walk the remainder. Continue walking for two minutes.

Repeat the sequence 2-4 times, running faster each lap. Do the workout once a week.

I am excited about this workout! I love speed work :)

Build Endurance
Equipment: None!

Stringing together several 20-minute runs in a single day boosts stamina. In order to do this workout, I would need to run again in the evening. I couldn’t do more than that.

Run for 20 minutes at a pace 3 minutes slower than your usual mile. For me, this would mean I run a 13-minute mile (if I’m feeling good that day).

Spend the next 30-90 minutes doing whatever you have to do that day, and then head out again for another run.

Do up to three endurance runs every 7-14 days.

Build Whole-Body Fitness
Equipment: A house

Walk (or run) stairs for one minute. (No stairs? Do high knees or something.) Do push-ups for 15 seconds, walk for one minute, do crunches for 30 seconds, walk for one minute, lift hand weight for 30 seconds, and then walk for one minute. Repeat as time allows.

You can find all sorts of workout programs like this in Women’s Health Magazine, or on their website.

The article didn’t provide a weekly schedule for this one. I suggest doing this workout on days you wake up late. So I will be doing this one often.

The next three weeks are going to be exhausting and stressful – more so than the rest of the semester. I hope I can work out for 20-40 minutes three or four times each week.

I also hope I do not stuff my face with stress food :)

How do you get your workout in during a busy day/week/month?

What is your favorite workout equipment? Me? I like the track ;)