Elf4Health: Round 1 Recap

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Round 1 of Elf4Health is already over! I cannot believe it. I had a great elf, Helen, of Hevil’s Special Delights. We chatted and kept in touch with each other with ideas about how to accomplish each of the individual challenges.

Week 1:

Week 1 challenges included Meatless Monday, sending a handwritten note to a friend, trying a new workout, spending 15 minutes meditating, eating the rainbow, and donating clothes/shoes to charity.

I successfully completed all of these, except the donation – I just recently moved and had already cleaned out my clothes and shoes and did a big donation then.



Meatless Monday!

For the handwritten note, I wrote a thank you card to one of my roommates because he had gone about and beyond for me the previous week.

Wednesday I did a leg workout with a coworker that left me sore for two days!

Eddie Leg Workout

Thursday I woke up and tried very hard to meditate, but there was road work going on outside my house and it was all I could hear! Other elves suggested I try in the shower – so I got into the shower, and sure enough was able to clear my head.

Friday I ate the rainbow by eating leftovers of my homemade Spanish rice which had orange and yellow peppers, red kidney beans, tomatoes, and celery in it.

Week 2:

During week 2 we tracked our fiber intake for a day, made homemade salad dressing (which I did not do, because I didn’t have the ingredients, but I shared this recipe), pack a healthy snack and share with a friend (I shared veggies and hummus with my downstairs neighbor!), Thursday was supposed to be weight lifting day but I did yoga instead, and Friday was go makeup free.

I wasn’t as successful during week 2 as I was during week 1 – I only completed two of the challenges. I don’t go makeup free normally, and I had to work so I really didn’t go makeup free. Working with the public I have to look as good as possible all the time!

I’m looking forward to working with my new elf, Autumn. She contacted me right away yesterday, and again already today!

Are you participating in Elf4Health? There’s one more round after this, it’s not too late to sign up!


OXO Salad Dressing Shaker: Review & Giveaway

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Is there a better way to start Friday than with a giveaway? I didn’t think so…

A while back OXO sent me a salad dressing shaker to try out. It’s like they know me or something? I eat salad almost every single day.

Dressing Shaker 1

It took me a while to finally bust this baby out of the box, but now that I have it’s going to be put to great use.

The OXO Salad dressing shaker has three uses:




Oh and another use they don’t list on the label:


Dressing Shaker 2

I went straight to work concocting a dressing to have with a dinner of grilled mahi mahi and grilled sweet potatoes.

Apple Cider Lime Vinaigrette


1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup lime juice

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp cilantro

Combine all ingredients in your shaker bottle and shake until well combined!

The only problem with this dressing is the lack of thickness. My brother told me to use xanthan gum, so I guess I’ll have to invest in some of that!

Here’s what I like about this bottle:

  • The lid screws on – so as long as you screw it on properly you don’t have to worry about messes
  • You can measure, mix, pour, store – without dirtying multiple dishes
  • The lid has a flip up top for easy pouring, and when you flip it back down it seals nicely, so your dressing won’t go bad sitting in the fridge.

Now here’s the fun part – would you like to win one of these for yourself?! Here’s your chance.

Please leave one comment per entry.

(Required) Follow OXO on Twitter

(Required) Follow me on Twitter

(Optional) Tweet about this giveaway: @runcupcake is giving away an @oxo salad dressing shaker bottle, enter for your chance to win one here: http://wp.me/p25oLf-P5

Entries will be accepted until 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 21st. Good luck to you!




*DISCLAIMER: OXO provided me with these salad dressing shakers at no cost to me, in exchange for a fair and honest review.*

Food, Food, and More Food

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I’ll admit, when I set off on this “cleaner eating” mission a couple of weeks ago, I was skeptical. I mean, I really thought I ate right. These past couple of weeks have been eye opening – and now, more than ever, I crave the foods I need, rather than the foods I think I want. Here’s a sneak peak into what’s been going into my belly the past two weeks:

Honest AdeHonest Ade 2



Honest Ade – 100 calories per bottle, 100% organic, 100 % freakin delicious.




Homemade Greek salad!Homemade Greek Salad

Balsamic chicken with lemony green beans & mushrooms (Recipe compliments of Clean Eating Magazine)Green BeansChicken & Green Beans

Who doesn’t love fruit salad?Fruit Salad

Larabars are by far my favorite go to “convenience snack”LarabarOrange

Who says Z Bars are just for kids? No high fructose corn syrup? Count me in! And it’s chocolate!Z Bar

Tomato Basil Quinoa with Lemon in Salad

Quinoa SaladApples, Almonds, and Nuun – a perfect afternoon snack!Apples & Almonds

Obviously this is all a fraction of what I’ve eaten in two weeks. I’ve also eaten a lot of oatmeal, which I’ve been CRAVING lately (Thanks Jess, Thanks Jo – I swear this is your fault).

Water, lemon water, and coconut water are my best friends, as well as Nuun. You can’t go wrong with Nuun – I hydrate during and after every workout with it.

And I did eat demolish Chinese food on Monday. Cravings. What can I say?

Oh, and wine. Less than usual, but I’m certainly not going without (I did have two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc last night – I was stressed, and had a headache).

The point of this is – I am seeing and feeling a difference. I’m glad to have finally taken the 99.9% plunge into clean eating/intuitive eating. It sure does make a difference!


What I Ate Wednesday: Round 2

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I loved What I Ate Wednesday so much, I’m back for Round 2! This time it’s actually an entire days worth of eats, and not just a bunch of random pictures dumped off  of my phone. I’m really getting the hang of photographing most of my snacks and meals! Here’s what I had:

Pineapple Green Smoothie

Breakfast – Pineapple Green Smoothie

Apple Cinnamon Chobani

Mid-Morning Snack – My new FAVORITE Chobani Flavor


Lunch – Mixed baby greens with zucchini, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, goat cheese, and chia seeds with a whole wheat ciabatta roll on the side. And my new salad dressing obsession – Annie’s Goddess Dressing

Mini Triscuits & Applesauce

Mid afternoon – Mini Triscuits and Applesauce – A strangely delicious snack!

Take Out Sushi

Dinner – Need I say more?

Go visit Jenn at Peas and Crayons for ALL of the What I Ate Wednesday Love!!!!


A 2.15 Mile Lesson

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What should a runner not eat for lunch, just a few short hours before a planned intense speed session?

Give up?

How about a salad that included lettuce, tomato, carrots, celery, green pepper, green onions, goat cheese, and…


Yeah, about that. It was delicious. It satisfied me for a few hours.

It did not sit well when I cranked the treadmill up to 7.0 MPH and started working on my speed session.

I tried to ignore it. I did my best for 5 minutes, and cranked again to 7.2 MPH (more on this workout at another time – perhaps after I actually tackle it, since I haven’t done it since last winter).

The pain in my stomach was excruciating. So I stopped the treadmill – 15 minutes, 1.69 miles. And I did what any self respecting runner just getting back into marathon training would do.

I cleaned my treadmill off and walked back to the locker room (bathroom).

Without getting into detail – not much happened, well at least not what I wanted to happen. But I thought my stomach was better.

So I walked back out, got back on the treadmill, and started running again. I made it another 0.46 before the pain stopped me again.

I threw in the towel. I wasn’t about to embarrass myself and I honestly couldn’t tell what was going to happen next. At one point I thought I may vomit…at another point, well…that would just be TMI now wouldn’t it?

The moral of this story is two-fold.

  1. I need to plan my pre-meals better. PBJ on whole wheat with a banana, some crackers, or carrots, or something to the extent would’ve been much better than a four pound salad.
  2. I am running long on Saturday this week, and you guys know how I always talk about my eating habits two-days before races and long runs. Nice job on the pre-planning Samantha, nice job.

Well, I got a couple miles in, and I learned a very valuable lesson about advanced planning. No harm, no foul.

Tomorrow’s another day! And it’s Friday!