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halloween, spaghetti and meatballs

It was 70° here in Boston on Halloween!  That’s crazy!  I loved getting a touch of summer back though, even if it was only for a day.  It was fabulous to run in shorts and a skirt again!!  My marathon training is quickly coming to an end, so with my last super long run tomorrow, we decided on Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs for dinner.  Here is the delicious recipe my husband whipped together:

Turkey Meatballs

Makes about 12 meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 ounces breadcrumbs, oatbran or oatmeal (we used oatbran)
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
  • splash Worcestershire sauce
  • finely chopped onion to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Uncooked meatballs on wire cooking rack

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
  3. Place a wire rack on a cooking sheet in order for the fat to drip off meatballs while cooking
  4. Form mixture into tablespoon size meatballs and place on cooking rack
  5. Cook meatballs for ~20 minutes, flipping once halfway through
  6. Serve over spaghetti, or pasta of choice, with tomato sauce and crusty french bread!

These meatballs were delicious!  A perfect carb and protein packed meal for before a 20 mile run!

After our delicious dinner we suited up in our Halloween costumes and headed out to a party for the night.  We decided to be a Cop and Robber.

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Cop and Robber

The party was pretty low-key, but there were lots of good costumes – Frankenstein, Carebears, the Office characters, a Chicken, a Subway sandwich!!  I wish I could have taken pictures of all of them.  Definitely a fun night!

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baked apples

Nothing says fall more than a Harvest themed potluck with Baked Apples for dessert!  Our part was dessert tonight, so we picked up some apples and made this delicious treat!

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Fruity & Nutty Baked Apples

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 large apples (I used Empire – I’m sure any would do!)
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla (depending on flavor)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Remove apple core, but leave bottom on apple in order to hold in juices while baking
  3. Combine all ingredients (except apples) in a bowl
  4. Place apples in a baking dish
  5. Fill center of each apple with the mixture (make sure to fill right up to the top!)
  6. Bake 40-50 minutes, depending on size of apples, until tender (but not mushy)
  7. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of maple syrup (optional)
  8. Enjoy!

These apples were a huge hit!  The filling is almost like a delicious granola…YUM!

on the run…

I have spent the last 14.5 weeks of my life training for the Philadelphia Marathon!  I have been running more than I ever have before.  Over three years ago when I first laced up my running shoes, I never could have guessed that I would be running 40+ miles per week.  When I started the program on July 20th, I thought I was crazy!  But, looking back it has been great!  I have incorporated speedwork and recovery runs and pace runs and tempo runs and long runs all into this 18 week program.  I have had my good days and bad days, as everyone does, but overall it has been a very positive experience.

I am virtually training with some friends on dailymile.com since we are in different places and run at different speeds.  We all follow the same plan and each day we log in our runs.  It is so motivating to complete your workout well when you know that you friends are out there doing the same thing!

Today was the day that I realized all of my hard work was paying off!  I ran a 6 mile run at a pace that I thought I never could have acheived!  6 miles in 49 minutes, which makes that about an 8 minute/mile pace.  When I finished my run, I couldn’t believe it – all of my hard work has been worth it!

I am usually tied to my Garmin.  I can’t even imagine doing a run without it!  But, today Mr. Garmin was all screwy with my pace, which made me run by feel, instead of by what my watch said.  This, apparently, was a very good thing!  It feels so nice to just run!

The marathon is less than 4 weeks away, and I couldn’t be more excited!  I finally feel confident that I am going to be able to reach my goal!

 

 

maple almond butter!

I had my all time favorite food for a snack today – peanut almond butter!  My love of all nut butters is kind of crazy.  I will actually go to different grocery stores, just to search for new brands and flavors.  I typically search for the most natural stuff I can find, which doesn’t contain any additives.  You’ll know it is natural, if it has the oils on the top!

Peanut butter is a great, healthy snack to enjoy!  It contains lots of protein, healthy fats and fiber, which will help your body feel full and satisfied for long time.  It is definitely my snack of choice!

My favorite new find is Maple Almond Butter from Justin’s Nut Butter. (and I heard a rumor that they are coming out with chocolate nut butters too – oh my!).  I will eat peanut and/or almond butter on everything, my favorite being on my morning bowl of oats.  I, too, was scared to try it because I was always a brown-sugar-oatmeal lover, but trust me it’s good!  Just a few melty scoops on the top of a hot, steamy bowl of banana oatmeal – what could be better?!

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Today, I enjoyed my almond butter on a simple banana as a snack and it was divine!  There is just a hint of maple in the almond butter, not to sweet at all.  And, the best part about Justins Nut Butter is that they come in individual packets for fuel on the go, or just for portion control…fantastic!

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a brand new day

I can’t believe that I am actually starting a blog!  I never thought this day would come, but I am happy that it has.  I am very excited to start blogging about all of my favorite things!  Hopefully this blog will help me share my thoughts and tips about living a healthy and natural lifestyle (with some fun thrown in!), and help others acheive their goals at the same time!  Make sure to visit my ‘About Me’ page to read about my weight loss and my healthy living transformation!