THAT’S RIGHT! I SAID IT’S TIME FOR MY FIRST GIVEAWAY!! It’s not because I have 1000 subscribers or 2000 likes or anything like that, because I am not all that popular in the blogosphere. It’s just for my own fun because this is my 201st post! I was going to announce it on my 200th post, but I just reblogged something from a fellow Naval Academy graduate which ended up being the 200th post, and I didn’t feel that was the place to announce it. First, though, the recap of my Sugar Detox, the Cooper River Bridge Run 10K, and two recipes. You must bear with me to see 1) what you need to do to qualify for the giveaway [hint: it's going to be a joint effort], and 2) what I will be giving away.
I’ll tell you right upfront: both recipes are straight off Chocolate Covered Katie‘s blog with no alterations (astonishing, I know), so they’re really just “trials” of her recipes – in which I made them for research purposes (hahahaha I crack myself up.) One recipe can be found here – the Sugar-Free Coffee Ice Cream to which I added her “Chocolate Lace Cookies” (in quotes because I posted my version of them last time as “chocolate balls.”)
The other will show up in my summary from the challenge to leave sugar and refined foods behind this week as I recap my eats of late; it is the best recipe on her blog and would make me love her forever even if she never posted another recipe.
No working out Thursday due to the rain (lame excuse, I know) and a trip out for a bit of Goodwill/Target shopping with my Greer, so I was able to have a pretty simple protein shake to start the day.
Protein shake: almond milk, ice, cocoa powder, peppermint extract, vanilla stevia, one scoop (instead of the normal two) protein powder, decaf coffee
Snacks while out: handful of hot wings almonds, leftover soft-baked pretzel, Starbucks decaf soy sugar-free Hazlenut Macchiato (yes, there is some fake sweetener in that, but I had left my stevia at home, and this was the best I could do )
Lunch: Crispy homemade pretzel with clotted cream/cinnamon/stevia dip, spinach salad with roasted salmon, walnuts, and feta
Snack: cinnamon hot tea
Dinner: sandwich with “salmon salad,” homemade bread, and melted cheese (Greer was sharing the sandwich – I used the roasted salmon from Costco all chunked up with a fork, celery, and a small amount of organic mayo [the two non-organic mayos in the fridge had sugar in them!] – and exclaimed with delight after her first few bites: “It’s salmon!”)
Snack: handful of popcorn with salt (kids were watching The Hobbit, so I made popcorn) and one grapefruit
Breakfast: 1/2 homemade bagel with butter
I got in a quick mile barefoot on the cul-de-sac track before Greer threw a fit which required some discipline from me. When John got home early from work, I threw together a quick Protein shake, then we were off and running to the Race Expo for the Cooper River Bridge Run/Walk 10K at the Charleston Convention Center. We needed to pick up our Bib Numbers and Goodie Bags as well as a few groceries for the weekend at the Commissary.
Protein Shake: Almond milk, ice, vanilla stevia, cocoa powder, protein powder, unsweetened coconut, almond extract
Snack: popcorn at Expo
Late (5pm?) lunch: Sandwich – fresh bread, sliced ham, melted cheddar, sweet tomatoes, lettuce, spicy brown mustard
GOTTA KEEP READING TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY!
Dessert: No-Sugar-Added Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie with Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips, cup of decaf coffee with half-and-half and stevia
This took about an hour to make. Way too long for instant gratification, but totally worth it. You MUST use your food processor in small amounts to make it as smooth as possible before baking it.
Pre-race breakfast: banana, protein shake with just almond milk and protein powder, red bell pepper
Quick detour for the race recap – absolutely packed (make sure to line up at the very FRONT of your corral if you ever do this race for time) which didn’t matter because we were running it slow enough to enjoy ourselves. We did the first mile at around 10:25 pace, and the rest you can see here. John told me to leave him a wee bit past the 5 mile point, so I took off for the finish line.
Post-race free food: small container of Dole mandarin oranges sweetened only with fruit juice, Johnsonville Bratwurst, no bun, with spicy brown mustard (probably corn syrup in the brat, but compared to the processed white-flour-and-sugar bagels and muffins, they were a better option. The lines for the “natural” products like Vita-biscuits or nuts were super long, and I didn’t really know what was in those either so I figured I’d go for the best protein to get me through to later – but I sure did want one of those bagels!)
KEEP ON READING – ALMOST TO THE GIVEAWAY!
Lunch: Starbucks decaf iced coffee with half & half and sugar-free vanilla syrup (icky, but I can’t drink it without sweetener), Oyster Bisque
Dinner: a few corn tortilla chips with homemade refried beans and grated cheddar
Dessert: piece of No-Sugar-Added Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie with Sugar-Free Chocolate chips
I felt sick most of the day after the Oyster Bisque – a poor choice when I’ve been on rather lighter fare all week. Eventually I was able to make it out of bed (after a lovely nap), and off the couch (after a few hours fearing I would be seeing my bisque again), and upstairs to bathe a few children, ending the evening in the bathtub myself. By Sunday morning, I felt much better, and John and I swiftly straightened the house before heading to church and then leading a group of unknowing church friends back to our house to have them fix us a Mexican feast for lunch including homemade guacamole, homemade salsa, homemade refried beans (notice a trend yet?), and homemade margaritas. These things were all from scratch (some made by me and some brought by new friend Olivia), but we also enjoyed the Lemon Poundcake brought by fellow-bridge-runner Linda (she will have to comment to let me know how “homemade” it was, but we certainly can attest to how “delicious” it was!) None of the guests realized they’d be steaming the tortillas, chopping the onions, tomatoes, olives, and lettuce, stirring the meat and beans, or shredding the cheese, but they didn’t seem to mind since it all ended well – with a table covered in little bowls of taco fillings, chips, and dips. We momentarily contemplated allowing the 10 children to continue entertaining themselves outside amongst the gnats and neighborhood kids, but, upon reflection, decided to call them in before commencing the feast.
We enjoyed a lovely afternoon eating, chatting, and laughing, and have had an equally chill evening involving more bathing and a few haircuts. And some chocolates, now that my “challenge” has been completed.
You MADE IT TO THE GIVEAWAY!!!
I WILL DO A RANDOM DRAWING from amongst the people who participate. IF we make it to 200 shares before I reach 210 blog posts, THEN I will draw for a winner, but we must all band together to get there! You can pick ANY post from my blog and share it on Facebook or somewhere else in a way that is verified (any time someone shares one of my posts it shows up on the blog details for me), and then COMMENT on that post as well to tell me that you’ve shared it. Just my “normal” readers sharing it won’t get us to 200, but if you share it with someone else who will share it, then we can make it! I will update the share totals each day on the blog to let you know how it’s going! I’m only doing this to “celebrate” sticking with “blogging” for this long (I just started at the end of last May), to hopefully have one helpful post – a recipe, a running tip, infant potty training, pictures of a levitating Yoda in Edinburgh [those could be helpful to someone, right?] – shared with a person who might find it useful, and to say “Thank You!” to everyone who shares our lives reading this blog. Makes me feel “affirmed” a bit on days when my little army of minions is lacking a bit in the “positive feedback” category and insists on giving me a run for my money.
WHAT AM I GIVING AWAY? Well, that depends on where you live. LOCALS: 1st place will receive three things from me in the way of baked goods or meals – just take your pick from things I’ve mentioned on my “Recipes” page. I’ll work hard before the day comes (if we get 200 shares) to update the page so all my recipes are represented. 2nd place will receive a baked good or two of my choice. NON-LOCALS: I don’t want to give you something better than the LOCALS (because what if it made them sad to hear I was giving you a Starbucks card or something?!!?) so I’m thinking it should be some sort of healthy food item. Depending on where you’re based, I will figure out how to get you a gift card to either a store like Whole Foods or a restaurant like Great Harvest Bread Company. We’ll wait to find out if there is even a winner, and then where the winner resides to finalize that. It would be $20 for first place and $10 for second in that case, to an aforementioned healthy joint. Expect to see this same “summary” of the GIVEAWAY every day this week. All for now -