Category Archives: Getting Started

Has it really been that long…

I can’t believe my last post was July 11th!  How time flies…

Well, since then, I’ve had my beautiful and big baby boy.  And now I’m getting ready to re-start my  healthy, active lifestyle.  I’ve got 20 pounds of baby weight to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 140.  But finding the time to work out is going to be hard.  Really hard.  And  retraining myself to eat right is also going to be hard.  My sweet tooth has hit with a vengeance and I’m struggling.  I’m hoping that this website will be an accountability tool for me since I’ll be posting my progress.

Stay tuned.  The adventure will begin shortly…


Mediterranean Chicken and Saffron Couscous

This is one of my favorite recipes from the Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats cookbook.  It’s a nice and light dish perfect for summer and only takes 30 minutes to cook!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  P.S. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list.  It’s not as complicated as it looks.


4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups chicken broth

1 pinch of saffron

4 garlic cloves, 1 crushed, 3 chopped

1 cup couscous

1 large red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 15-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 cup dry white wine

10 kalamata olives, pitted, cut in half

1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

20 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped


Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the EVOO.  Place the flour in a shallow dish, season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and cayenne, then transfer the chicken to the dish with the flour, toss around in the flour, then shake off the excess.  Add the chicken to the skilled and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.  While the chicken is cooking, make the saffron couscous.

In a sauce pot, bring 2 cups of the chicken broth to a boil with the saffron, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper.  When the stock is at a boil, add the couscous, cover with a lid, and turn the heat off.  Let the couscous stand for 10 minutes.

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and cover with a piece of foil to keep warm.  Return the skilled to the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO.  Add the onions, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes.  Add the artichokes and wine to the pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the grape tomatoes start to burst and the sauce has reduced by half.  Give the sauce a taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.  Add the chicken back to the skillet and warm through.  Add the parsley and basil to the completed dish and stir to distribute the herbs.

To serve, fluff the couscous with a fork, remove and discard the crushed garlic clove, and transfer the couscous to serving plates.  Serve the chicken whole or sliced on top of the saffron couscous.  Top the chicken with some of the sauce and vegetables.

4 servings



Hydrating Throughout the Day

This is an article I found on  It’s geared towards runners, but can be adapted to your workout routine.  Especially if you’re hitting the gym hard.


By Shannon Colavecchio


It’s no secret that for runners, proper hydration and peak performance go hand in hand. Without sufficient fluid intake, muscles and organs are unable to function at their best.

Smart hydration means more than stashing a sports drink in your gym bag. “If you wait until your event to start hydrating, it’s not enough,” says Karen Newcomer, MD, who specializes in sports medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Nutritionists and sports medicine doctors say a strategy of around-the-clock hydration pays off, separating top runners from the rest. The key is to reach for drinks that will give you more bang for your gulp, and provide a nutritional boost while optimizing fluid levels.

Here’s how to plan your beverages throughout the day to feel your best from morning until night.

7 a.m. Pre-Run Breakfast

Your best bet: orange juice mixed with water or a yogurt-based smoothie

Coffee can be great for a wakeup jolt, but runners should be aware that this popular a.m. beverage is a diuretic. Jamie McHaffie, RD, explains that runners must balance the dehydrating effect of caffeine with hydrating liquids: “We can’t only rely on our thirst. We have to make drinking a habit.”

McHaffie recommends pairing a protein-rich morning meal with half a glass of orange juice mixed with water. She explains that since your body goes into a fasting state overnight, orange juice will provide a fast-absorbing source of natural sugars and carbohydrates to give you a pre-run energy lift.

If you have a weak appetite when you first wake up, sip a balanced meal in a glass. A smoothie is a light, easy meal that will fulfill both your caloric and hydration needs before you hit the trail.

8 a.m. Mid-Run Sipping

Your best bet: sports drink or coconut water

If you’re heading out for a short run, hydrating with water beforehand will be sufficient. But any time you plan to run for 40 minutes or more, the American College of Sports and Medicine recommends taking in four to six ounces of an electrolyte-enhanced drink every 20 minutes.

Without the proper electrolyte levels, a runner can quickly become dehydrated, and that fluid loss slows the movement of blood to the muscles, brain and skin. Sports drinks will deliver both electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, as well as the carbohydrates needed for lasting energy.

You can also stock your fuel belt with coconut water, which has more potassium than a banana and roughly 70 calories per serving.

9 a.m. Post-Run Refresher

Your best bet: chocolate milk (or soy milk), chicken soup or protein shake

Hydration after a workout is crucial for recovery. Organs and muscles need fluid to function and recover properly. Dr. Newcomer recommends weighing yourself before and after a tough run. For every pound you’ve lost, ingest two and a half cups of liquid.

In addition to water, after a taxing workout you’ll need a mixture of carbs and protein to refill your glycogen stores and ensure a speedy recovery. Look for a beverage with a mix of both, such as chocolate milk, sweetened soymilk or chicken soup.

12 p.m. Liquid Lunch

Your best bet: homemade or pre-made vegetable juice

Within a few hours of a hard workout, a nutritious lunch is in order. For endurance athletes, the contents of your glass are as important as what’s piled on your plate. The midday meal is the perfect opportunity to take in additional vitamins and minerals needed for replenishment.

Pair an eight-ounce glass of homemade or store-bought vegetable juice with a large salad and lean protein to give your body the energy and hydration it needs. Vegetable juice packs tons of nutrition into minimal calories and makes for the perfect vitamin-dense accompaniment to a filling meal.

3 p.m. Mid-Afternoon Snack

Your best bet: cherry juice or hot tea

The hours between lunch and dinner are a common time to crave something sugary. Instead of heading to the vending machine for a candy bar, try sipping on cherry juice to satisfy your sweet tooth. One glass clocks in at roughly 100 calories and provides two servings of fruit.

Recent studies point to cherry juice as the go-to recovery drink for runners. One 2008 British study tracked athletes who drank two cups in the days before, during and after a marathon. These runners experienced less inflammation and muscle damage than the control group. McHaffie explains, “You produce a lot of extra free radicals when you work out, so cherry juice’s antioxidants speed up muscle recovery.”

Those who need a little pick-me-up to combat post-lunch lulls should brew a cup of green or black tea. Hot tea can give you a caffeine boost while suppressing appetite and lending an additional dose of antioxidants.

6 p.m. Drinks With Dinner

Your best bet: water

For the athletes he coaches, David Pleto, assistant strength and conditioning coach at Florida State University, says, “We put water in front of them every chance we get.” He believes that water in moderate amounts is likely all an athlete needs during the last few hours of the day.

However, if you’ve stayed on top of your hydration throughout the morning and afternoon, feel free to indulge in a recreational beverage. Enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner to treat yourself after a long day, while nourishing your body with the cancer-fighting antioxidant, resveratrol.

Hydrate right to be ready for your next race.


Calling in Sick

Tuesday is recipe day…but, I’m sorry to say, I don’t have anything for you today.  After being sick for over 2 weeks, the motivation to get a recipe out is outweighed by the motivation to sleep.  I hope everyone has a blessed day and I will have a delicious new recipe for you next Tuesday.

Our Image = God’s Image

How many times a day do we look in the mirror and subconsciously, or consciously, take note of all the things we could change about our looks.  Our hair isn’t straight enough.  My ear stick out too much.  If only my hips weren’t so big.  I wish I looked like…  Flaws.

The world has really screwed us up, hasn’t it?  All of these airbrushed pictures of “perfection” are such a gateway for Satan to say to us, “Hey, why aren’t you as pretty as she is?” 

“So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

So, if God created us in HIS image, doesn’t that mean we’re perfect?  Unless God made a mistake…  But God can’t make a mistake, can he?  NO!!!  God is perfect!!!  God makes everything perfect, exactly how HE wanted too.  I can’t remember one since verse in the Bible where God goes, “Ooops.”  That would totally contradict who God is.

Think about it: we were made in the image of a perfect Being.  Let me say it again: we were made in the image of a PERFECT Being.  So, if God is perfect and he makes everything perfect, what does that mean for you and me???  WE”RE PERFECT!  We were created just how God wanted us to be created.  Forget about that big nose, or your ears that stick out too much (that one’s for me), your big feet, that unsightly birth mark, you small breasts…  Whatever it is that plagues you (that’s not a healthy issue), don’t worry about.  YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL!  You are as beautiful and perfect as they come.  

Here are two verses to encourage you as you go about your day.  One is for when you wake up and take that first look in the mirror and the other is to help you throughout the day in you struggle with the world.

Psalm 17:15 “And I – in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.”  (This is awesome because it reminds me that every time I look in the mirror I see a glimpse of my Creator!) 

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (In relation to what we’re talking about, don’t let your looks get in the way of your relationship with your Creator because you might miss out on something amazing he has planned for you.)

Now get out there and let the world see God’s image in the perfectly created YOU!!!

Summer Movies

This one is for the Bakersfield, CA locals.  Starting June 7th – August  3rd, Edward’s Theater at the Market Place will be showing movies for $1 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  This is a cheap way to beat some of that summer heat.

Another way to beat the heat is spray parks.  Here is a list of parks you can visit to cool off:

North meadows, Madison Grove, Emerald Cove, Riverview park, San Lauren Park, Sears Park, Standard Park.

Want to get rid of the kids for a few hours?  Check out Vacation Bible School at local churches.  Here are a few churches and the dates they are having their Vacation Bible Schools:

The Bridge Bible Church, June 27th – 30th (

Grace Baptist Church, June 12th – 16th (www.gbcbak.ord)

Valley Baptist Church, June 13th – 17th (

Laurelglen Bible Church, June 20th – 24th (

Riverdale Community Church, June 20th – 24th (

If you know of any other fun events coming up around Bakersfield or in your area, please let me know and I will post them.  Or you can post them as a comment.  I hope everyone has a fun and safe summer!

Posting Schedule

Being someone who likes a schedule, I’ve decided the best way for me to keep up on this website and not run out of material is to have a schedule for what I post and when.  So, here is what I plan on doing:

  • Monday: Scripture/Devotional – We could all use a little encouragement and motivation at the beginning of the week, right?
  • Tuesday: Tips
  • Wednesday: A new recipe (please submit any you would like to share to
  • Thursday: Events or Prayer and Encouragement
  • Friday: Adventures in Running – If I’ve done any running or gone to this gym during the week, I’ll be letting you know what I did.

I won’t have any posts during the weekend.

Thank you to all who are riding along with me on this adventure.  Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you or encourage you more.  In other words, what do YOU want to see on here?  Don’t be afraid to tell me.  If you don’t tell me then I’ll never know and this site will not be what it’s meant to be: help for you.

Have a God blessed day!\