My Favorite Non-Running Related Posts of 2018

blogging

I did not just work out in 2018. I did lots of new things: I took a wilderness survival course, played Dungeons and Dragons, and made my own sourdough bread. I shared some of it here on RSJ, but there are a few that are my favorites.

Winner for the most absurd: Gonna Take Some Time To Do The Things We Never Had, Or Why The Music Video For Toto’s Africa Exemplifies Graduate School. I stand by this sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.

The one where I really got out of my comfort zone: To Build a Fire. I took that wilderness survival class and now I know what I don’t know and know that I would not make it in the wilderness, but I can make a fire.

The one where I admitted I do kind of love my hometown: Thoughts on a Hometown. Still never moving back. Nope. Nope. (Watch it happen.)

Winner for the most accurate: The Dissertation Writing Process. Can you just hear Freddie Mercury and David Bowie singing “Under Pressure” in the background? It worked though. 2019 will see me defended and the little letters P H D after my name. What happens after is TBD.

The one where I explained reality to Joan Didion: In (And Out) of Bed: A Response to Joan Didion. Joan, darling, migraines are gruesome. They are not glamorous. They are gross.

136 blog posts, mostly consistent with some time off in October and November. It has been fun.

See you in 2019!

 

 

 

 

583.5: 2018 Running in Review

crossfit, pregnancy, races, running, swimming, training, triathlon

According to my Strava, I ran 583.5 miles this year. This is not a large number. Nor is it a particularly pretty, nice round number (I mean if I did not take this last week off, I could have at least made it to 600 miles). That is an average of a little over eleven miles a week. In a world where I am in constant admiration of women who call fifty mile weeks low mileage, I know it does not seem like much.

I started this blog with two big goals: run consistently and finish the Serious Series.* The past few years since my first and only marathon were filled with plenty of hopes and goals, but no finished races. Usually my hamstring and hip would act up and I would back off, give up, then start again.

I am not exactly sure what changed this year. My goals were humbler to be sure. I never had a single time goal for any of my races other than to finish. I did just that in April at the Trail Half-Marathon in Pinckney, Michigan. I cried at the finish line.

On the way though, I started new things and as the stress of “can I just make it to the race?” started to diminish, I rediscovered joy.

I started CrossFit — Bruno’s idea, but it did not take me long to love adding it to the schedule, something social to offset to my usually headphones in the ears, solitary running. I did my first Murph a month after starting and survived.

Then out of nowhere, I decided I wanted to try out a triathlon. By fate it seems, I found a beautiful used Trek bike at a shop near my local hometown. I started swimming again. I rode my bike down the same country road and bought a pair of those biker shorts.

And all the time, I kept running usually four times a week, sometimes three. Hills became easier (thanks, CrossFit). I won my age group for an August trail half-marathon. A friend of mine and I decided to run sixteen miles on a random weekday, just to see if we could (we could). I did my first triathlon later that month, deciding that yes, definitely, I would try for a sprint next year 2019 (now, as a pregnant lady, I say — we’ll see, ha!).

After several years of wanting to, I finally went to Run Woodstock in Pinckney. Bruno and I camped out, drank beers, hung out with fellow trail runners, listened to sixties and seventies cover bands, and cheered for ultramarathoners as they made their way through the finish line. I ran a 5k and then a miserable half-marathon, the slowest of my entire year. Little did I know, at the time I was racing for two!

The rest of September, October, and the first half of November, I ran very little, if at all. I found out Baby C was on his or her way and while excited about the pregnancy, I felt horrible. I continued going to CrossFit, which I think helped maintain some fitness, as I didn’t really lose that much speed when I started running again (well, aside for the sudden lack of aerobic capacity that comes with being pregnant — but I’m still faster than what I was at the beginning of the year).

I have been consistently running, along with CrossFit, again for the last six weeks. In those six weeks, I ran a 5k — the first race I knew I was running pregnant. I honestly did not think I would be able to run it under thirty minutes, but managed to do about two minutes better than that (and only around two minutes slower than what I was able to do this summer). While that made me happy, mostly I was and have been just grateful to be outside running again. I’m not kidding. It is cold and Michigan and in six weeks of running, I have ran on the treadmill only once.

So, yes, 585.5 miles might not seem like much, but to me those miles brought me to a lot of places and a lot of joy in 2018. At the beginning of this year, I did not know if I could consider myself a runner anymore. Now, at the very end, I not only consider myself a runner, but a CrossFitter, and a triathlete.

If 583.5 miles could bring me to all that, who knows where the miles will bring me in 2019?

xo, Ali

*I had a third goal in mind for this blog: de-stressing from my dissertation. I’m happy (relieved) to say it helped.

Monday Miles : December 17 – 23, 2018 (15-16 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, monday miles, pregnancy, running, training

This will probably be my last consistent week of running for 2018. I’ve never been very good at keeping up with workouts when I travel and so this year, I’m just not going to worry about it and get back in the swing of things when we return to Michigan in a couple of days. It is only about a week off and I think time off can be necessary and maybe even good. By the time January 2019 comes around, I will be very much ready to go. Guaranteed.

This final week of workouts was really good. We had a running interval workout during CrossFit on Wednesday, so it was fun to see where I actually am for my 800s (answer? better than I thought). My mom’s new house is on a country block, so it was the perfect place to run while we were in Ohio. I’m glad because Minster can be a great, flat running town, so I was hoping the new place would have places to run.

I still feel pretty good and grateful to be running. It seems like I am very slowly getting bigger. I feel like I am starting to look pregnant, but I’m sure to the outside world I just look like I indulged on one too many Christmas cookies. The quality of my runs is definitely uneven, but my goal is just to get out there and I’m still doing that, so I’m content.

12 / 17 : Run. 15 minutes. 1.4 miles, 10:40/miles. CrossFit. WOD – 5 rounds for time, 10 pike push-ups, 10 hang power-cleans at 45 lbs., and 10 box step-overs. 9 minutes 40 seconds.

12 / 18 : Run. 30 minutes, 2.6 miles. This felt like a hard run. My legs felt tired so I took a few walk breaks. CrossFit. 7 minutes to thruster one rep max. I just stayed at 55 lbs. and worked on form. WOD – Jackie. Hahahahahahaha. Ow. 1000m row, 50 thrusters at 35 lbs., and 30 jumping pull-ups. This work-out was so hard and so painful, I honestly did not think I would actually be able to finish the thrusters. After ten, I started to have plenty of negative thoughts. But I did finish them. Somehow I did. I have no idea what my time was for sure, but I think in the 11-12 minute range.

12 / 19 : Run. Around 20 minute warm-up, little over ten minute pace. At CrossFit, 5 x 800m repeats with a three minute break. I had one goal — try to stay under four minutes per repeat. I did it and frankly, felt really good during all the intervals. 3:46, 3:47, 3:48, 3:58; 3:52. I’m not “good” at much in CrossFit, so it was nice to follow such a humbling day (see above about “Jackie”) with a day with something I’m actually ok at.

12 / 20 : Rest.

12 / 21 : Rest.

12 / 22 : Run. 1 hour 15 minutes. 7.2 miles, 10:22/mile. This was my first time running around my mom’s new house. One lap around the country block was a little over three miles and it was windy, but flat. There is one side with a lot of traffic, but I’m only on the road for about a half mile. I did two laps and then explored further. This was also the first run with my new watch, a Garmin, but I already forget what type. I’m not sure how accurate the heart rate monitor is, but I like it. I also like I do not need all this extra equipment to check my foot stride. So far, so good.

12 / 23 : Run. 30 minutes. 2.5 miles, 12:02/mile. This was slow, but I was tired. I wanted to get a run in before we left for Connecticut. I tried to stay under 160 bpm for heart rate. Like I said, I have no idea how accurate it actually is, but I wanted to make sure I was actually doing a recovery pace.

Totals : Run. 3 hours, 10 minutes, 18.11 miles. CrossFit. 3 hours. Total: 5 hours, 20 minutes (took off one hour for the CrossFit/run overlap on 12/19).

Onward!

xo, Ali

Favorite Things : December 11 – 21, 2018

favorite things

I’m home in Ohio and about to head South to Dayton for some Dorothy Lane Market cookies and a lunch date with my mom. We leave for Connecticut on Sunday, making an overnight stop in Pennsylvania to break the eleven to twelve hour drive up. It is nice to be home and it is nice to see family, but I miss our place in Michigan and look forward to maybe not traveling for the holidays (maybe post-baby ha!).

I’ll post a few short things next week, but will be radio silent for Christmas. I hope you all enjoy your holidays and hopefully, hopefully make some time to relax and enjoy some eggnog and cookies.

And without further ado, this week’s favorite things:

Tis the season to fall back in love with your dreadmill.err…I mean treadmill.

Maybe controversial but still good — worshipping the idols of wellness.

Ultramarathoner Sabrina Little writes a Discourse on Cheating.

For those of you with writing aspirations for 2019.

Ultramarathoner Anna Frost on the coexistence of pregnancy and running.

Why is it so hard for runners to cycle and cyclists to run?

Have a wonderful weekend and Merry Christmas!

xo, Ali

Running & CrossFit While Pregnant : An Update

crossfit, lifting, pregnancy, running, training

As of tomorrow, I will be sixteen weeks pregnant. At times it seems like it is going so slowly (especially when I feel worried). At other times it seems like it is going so quickly. Sometimes I think, I feel like I’ve been pregnant for a long time. And I still got a long way to go.

So what has it been like to run and CrossFit while pregnant?

I’ll begin with CrossFit, because that is what I’ve been able to do the most consistently. Even though it would be a few weeks until my appointment, I told my coaches I was pregnant right away. Initially I only made it two times a week (when before I was making it three times, running three times, biking twice, swimming once a week). As I said, I felt pretty terrible. I used to go to the afternoon work out, but would be so tired by 5:30 that I started going at noon. Now I feel much more energetic and I go around three times a week, but the noon class is the habit at the moment.

When I had my first prenatal appointment, I told him I was still doing CrossFit and I got the go-ahead. I mainly just was told to watch the amount I lifted — don’t do one rep maxes, those sorts of things. I’ve been listening and don’t try to go to failure on anything, but of course, I’m still really new to CrossFit (I started early May) and so I’m in that stage where improving comes probably easier now than it will later. I have still PR’ed on my back squats and other lifts, but I would not squat or lift something if I thought I would not be able to do it. Still — it is nice to be able to see improvements in this area. And even more importantly, what a mood boost. As I also mentioned, I felt really bad emotionally during the first trimester. The biggest thing being able to go work out for me had nothing to do with how fast I went or much I lifted, but just that it made me feel a million times better and, of course, inspired.

It is hard to tell how much pregnancy is affecting what I do, because well, as I said, I’m still newish and it is just hard (in a good way, of course). So it is hard to tell on days when it is difficult because of the work out or hard because of hormones (most likely both). I have nothing really to compare it to. I was asked if I had started accommodating certain work outs and the only thing I have changed is box jumps. We had a work out a month or two ago. I can’t remember, but it featured 3 x 60 box jumps or something like that. Just a lot of box jumps. And I tripped on the last round. I was fine. It really was not a big deal, but I think psychologically my brain was like, “No more box jumps. Box jumps equals scary.” But other than box jumps, nothing else — well, except for all the things I have to normally accommodate like pull-ups and all that fun stuff I will hopefully some day be able to do.

Running has been a different story. It is different, because I do have something to compare it to. Namely, running before. Between September and mid-November I did not run at all. Bruno and I tried to go for a run one day and I puked. There I said it. It gave me a horrible, sloshy, motion sickness feeling that I just could not do it. And frankly, I did not miss it. I think I needed a break. It was nice to do CrossFit alone for a little bit and not worry at all about training. I only had the energy to work on my dissertation and teach and the very few classes I went to a week. It was a rough time.

Inevitably I did start missing running though. I started feeling better mid-November and started running at the exact same time, just short three and four mile runs. I’ve been following the Hal Higdon Winter Plan fairly consistently.

HOWEVER, it has been very different. I have days where I am about where I was prior to being pregnant. And then, I have days where all I am doing is a simple, easy twenty-five minute run and I am huffing and puffing and walking because I’m so completely shot. And unlike with CrossFit I can tell the difference. I know when the type of exhaustion is different, so I just go with it. I will have two days where I have to take a lot of walking breaks and the next day I can do some great (for me) 800m repeats. I also have days where I can tell that if I just get through the first mile I’ll be fine and other days where I’m just am like “we’re going to walk the rest of the time, mmmk?”

I’m happy with this. Those days where I have to walk, it can be kind of hard mentally, but I just try to enjoy the fact I’m outside — even if it is in the freezing Michigan cold. All of my longer-ish runs have gone really well — all of which I’ve negative split. There is nothing like getting into the rhythm of a long run. I would prefer that over a three mile run any day.

Moreover, I am not sure long any of this will last. I see on Instagram and blogs women who are able to run and work out until the day they pop. Others have to stop earlier. I’ve been trying to not get my hopes up and go with the flow. I’m not signing up for any races for just in case. I am just taking it week by week. And if I need a break, like today – I slept terribly last night, I just take one. I’m grateful to be able to do this.

What have been your experiences running and working out while pregnant?

xo, Ali

 

Favorite Reads of 2018

books, reading

We are heading South to Ohio today and will be gone for the next two weeks. Translation? I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get the house ready to be empty — cleaning out the fridge, doing some last minute laundry, packing, and cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning. It seems to never end.

I did plenty of reading this year, although I always wish I read more. I like a wide variety of things from nonfiction to history to memoir. Some of my books on my favorite list this year are shared by a lot of people this year, like Jordan Peterson, but others are new discoveries for myself. For example, I never read Patti Smith before.

Anyway, here are the new favorites that I look forward to re-reading again and again in the coming years. Written in the order I read them this year.

This is a Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett. This collection of essays is near-perfection. I already have a few (the one on writing in particular) I have returned to again and again this year.

The Call of the Wild and White Fang by Jack London. Two for one! Never in my life would I ever expected to love books written from the point of view of dogs, but I love the question of civilization and nature of these books. I love the character of Alaska and its brutal and killing cold.

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot. This was my favorite memoir of the year. Liptrot’s tale of recover in the Orkneys is so vivid in description. I wanted to go and live there in isolation too, bake bread, take cold swims in the sea, and write. I read this book twice and I’m sure next year I will read it again.

M Train by Patti Smith. I loved this ode to a life and love of art and beauty. It is a quiet book, good over a cup of coffee. I think Smith captures well the way certain artists, writers, and musicians touch our lives in such a way that we feel we know them. I think she captures the devotion to art that so many try to live.

How Bad Do You Want It by Matt Fitzgerald. I am not a competitive runner at all. But I think the mental strength and endurance required for competing is similar to that required for graduate school and getting your Ph.D. When I read this book, there was so much I took for just writing my dissertation and handling failure in that realm that I think it is appealing for athletes and non-athletes alike.

Deep Work by Cal Newport. This book is a slap on the face reminder that you probably waste more time on shallow, superficial tasks like messing around on the internet than committing yourself to the deep work necessary to be successful. I’ve changed the way I’ve worked thanks to this book, working my “deep work muscle” when working on my dissertation without distractions for increasing lengths of time. It works. It helps.

Chasing Excellence by Ben Bergeron. Would I be in CrossFit if I did not post this book? This book is great for the same reason Fitzgerald’s is. It seems like it is just for athletes, but you can apply it to so much more.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson. My controversial pick! I loved this book. I took it out from the library, but will buy my own copy soon. Finally, remember the lobster.

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided Over Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. I recommend this book to anyone who talks about politics, who posts on facebook about politics, who thinks about politics — basically everyone, because we are all political animals, right? But seriously, I strongly believe in humility when it comes to political thought. Haidt makes a strong case for it.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. We started in Alaska and ended there too. I loved the exploration of why people are drawn to the wild. I loved the stories of explorers and adventurers. Like London’s novels, Alaska is also a merciless character. I will not be taking a walk into the Alaskan wilderness anytime soon, if at all.

What books were your favorites this year?

xo, Ali

What I’m Loving Lately IV

books, daily life, food, music, reading

Tomorrow we begin our annual holiday tour. We leave Michigan for Ohio and then will leave Ohio for Connecticut on Sunday. So today I’m finishing up grading, packing, cleaning — all that fun stuff, because after tomorrow it will probably be two weeks before we are home again. I dislike being gone for so long, but it is the best way to get seeing everyone in.

So it is a bit of a full day, but I figured I would share something I’m loving lately.

Watching: It is an old show, but we’ve been watching a lot of Pushing Daisies lately. I like the whimsical fairy tale-mystery-crime of the week vibe. Plus, the lines are so good. We’ve mainly been sticking to comedy shows, because I have not been able to tolerate anything too serious — just stress, you know? Anyway, tis the season for Christmas movies and I had a few firsts. One — I finally watched It’s a Wonderful Life and cried my eyes out at the end. I was so afraid it would not be as good as everyone said it was and it really is that great. Two — I watched Die Hard. Not as good at IAWL, but good in its own way. I’m not usually one for action films, but I liked this one. And finally, we watched the Christmas Chronicles on Netflix and thought it was hilarious. Kurt Russell should always play Santa Claus.

Listening: When I was not running in September and October, I kind of took a break from podcasts. Now, I’m back to them, catching up on Ultrarunner Podcast, Work, Play, Love, and Rich Roll‘s podcast. It feels good to have these voices back in my ears while going for runs. I find that I miss everyone when it has been awhile. I’m kind of in a music rut. I want something new that does not sound new — if that makes any sense. Like, I want to discover an old album or song that I have not listened to in years.

Reading: I’m reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Every year between Thanksgiving and New Year I re-read the whole series. It has been pretty slow-going this year, but I’m sure it will pick up once we get to Connecticut. I tell you what, I still have the same reactions to those books as I did when I was a teen. I cannot put them down. I will sit on the couch all day to get through one of those tomes. I’m still trying to finish the Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and reading Atomic Habits by James Cleary.

Eating: Well, you can see some of what I’ve been eating lately here. I’ve been trying to add more snacks to my daily routine (frankly, it is not working. I’m still hungry). I’ve forgotten how good something simple like hard boiled eggs sprinkled with salt can taste, like amazingly good. Another frequent staple is Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce (I’m addicted). I made this crockpot baked ziti on Sunday and it is so good and easy and has so much potential (like I would add a ton of veggies to it).

What are you loving lately?

xo, Ali

Monday Miles : December 10 – 16, 2018 (14-15 Weeks Pregnant)

crossfit, lifting, monday miles, running, training

Here it is: another week of consistent running. I felt great this week. My energy levels are almost back to normal. My paces are basically where they are pre-pregnancy. I know eventually this will decline, but it feels good. As I mentioned last week, the only major thing is that all my runs feature bathroom pitstops.

One thing I have been concerned about lately is not eating enough. I was planning on going to CrossFit three days this week, but I went on my pre-work out run and just felt famished, so I opted not to go and eat instead. I actually dropped two pounds this week. I gained quite a bit during the first trimester, so I’m not too freaked out about it, just you know, a normal amount of worry. I started tracking my food in MyFitnessPal again just to make sure I’m eating enough. I’m adding snack times in the morning and the afternoon.

12 – 10 : Rest, rest, rest, rest.

12 – 11 : Run. 20 minutes, 1.78 miles. 11:14/mile. This run felt fine, but I’ll admit I am tired of being cold and have several more months of it. CrossFit. WOD – AMRAP 20:00 minutes, 10 burpee jumping pull-ups, 200 meter run. I made it six rounds with four burpee jumping pull-ups. This was hard. I am not exactly sure if I did the jumping pull-ups correctly, but I dreaded every time I finished my run and got back to that bar.

12 – 12 : Run/walk. 60 minutes, 4.86 miles. 12:21/miles. This was the run where I figured out I was hungry and opted against going to CrossFit. I took it easy and took plenty of walking breaks. I probably could have ran it all, but did not exactly feel like it and did not want to push it.

12 – 13 : Run. 30 minutes, 2.82 miles. 10:38/miles. Legs felt tired on this run, but I did run the entire time.

12 – 14 : Run. 30 minutes, 3.06 miles. 9:48/mile. Some runs are painful and some I feel like I can go forever. This was one of those. Of course, it was cut off for CrossFit. Strength: Every 3:00 minutes for 3 sets of 5 overhead squats. 1 – 45 lbs., 2 – 50 lbs., 3 – 55 lbs. *PR – I’ve only been using a bar for the OHS the last two times I’ve done them. I am proud that my form is getting a little better! WOD – 3 rounds for time: 10 OHS (35 lbs.), 50 single-unders with five double under attempts. 4 minutes 27 seconds. I liked this work out! I even succeeded on a few of my double under attempts!

12 – 15 : REST DAY.

12 – 16 : Run. 60 minutes, 5.91 miles. 10:10/mile. Started at around a 10:44/mile pace and ended at 9:29/mile. I have consistently felt good on these Sunday longer runs. I’m grateful for that too!

Totals: Run – 18.4 miles, 3 hours 20 minutes. CrossFit – 2 hours. Total: 5 hours, 20 minutes.

Onward!

xo, Ali

 

Favorite Things : December 8 – 14, 2018

favorite things

I’m about ready to do a quick thirty minute run before heading to CrossFit for the day. This week was good — I felt like I had much more consistency in dissertating than I have in a long time since becoming pregnant. I’m hoping to turn the whole thing in when the spring semester starts in January and hopefully, hopefully defend in February. Doing a little bit every single day has been working for me.

I do not have much for weekend plans. I have small group at church tomorrow morning. We’re discussing this book, which I love so far. We have a few Christmas parties we may or may not go to, depending on if I feel up to it. Other than that nothing too exciting!

Without further ado, here are this week’s favorite things:

When you are making little habits, remember these are all seeds for future you.

How being outdoors makes your kids smarter.

How to know if you are in a real bookstore.

Blogs > Social Media.

I have a foam roller, but have no idea what to do with it or how to use it. This article helps.

What to do instead of spending money.

An ode to the blue collar runner:

“The idea that someone could love something so much and pursue it with such tenacity and sacrifice in the name of personal satisfaction inspires the imagination. It forces fans and competitors alike to ask themselves — what am I really capable of? What do I really want?”

Courtney Dauwalter is a rock star.

What are your plans for the weekend?

xo, Ali

What I’ve Been Eating Lately

food, pregnancy

First, a disclaimer: I am not at all what you would describe as a “healthy eater.” I follow no prescribed diet. I still eat white flour and sugar. I would like to be better, but in the past couple of months nothing has sounded good to me to eat except for McDonald’s, Ben and Jerry’s, and Mexican food. I’ve felt good enough in the past couple of weeks to start to avoid those things again, but I am still having days where I’m just like “nope, need a fried chicken sandwich.” I’m not proud, but that is where I’m at right now. It is also probably why I gained more than the recommended amount in my first trimester. I’m trying not to care, because I am active, but still I care. I can’t help it.

This past week Sunday, I told Bruno that my big goal was to not go out to eat or get fast food for the next two weeks. I told him I did not care how bad the food I was making at home was (bad for you), but I wanted to do whatever it took just to prevent myself from ordering a pizza or eating Ben and Jerry’s from dinner. I figured even if everything I ate was smothered in cheese, even if I ate Eckrich farm sausage (I know it is disgusting and really bad for you, but it tastes so damn good), as long as I was not eating out that was good enough for me. It is Thursday, so, so far, so good. But the weekend is coming.

Anyway — here is a little bit of what I’ve been eating the past few weeks, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

48331220_292665531366630_3988442528125812736_n

I’ve been craving buffalo sauce on everything, so I figured I would give this buffalo chicken casserole a try. It was good, but almost too much tomato, not enough buffalo. Also, for whatever reason quinoa has not tasted good to me at all. I blame pregnancy, not the recipe.

breakfast

Here’s a standard breakfast – kale, coconut, yogurt smoothie (from the Eat Slow, Run Fast cookbook), with homemade banana bread with butter and coffee. Frankly, this has not been enough. Within two hours, I am starving. Breakfast is something I need to figure out.

47381917_2015149781907828_1706118051155410944_n

This soup was a big hit in our house. The only thing I think I would change is I would not cook the noodles in the soup and add them later (making it no longer a one-pot meal, but still pretty easy). The surplus of leftovers was amazing and delicious, but the noodles were so soggy by the end. Still. I will make this again.

48168197_355052821921511_8855001737077981184_n

Another breakfast: yogurt smothered with granola and maple syrup.

48375446_2038799459513693_3609674584971804672_n

When Bruno cooks: ground beef, veggies, and potatoes. Nuun water on the side. I’m having a hard time with ground beef still. I used to love it, as in, I love cheeseburgers especially with bacon. This has been one of our throw together meals for a long time.

48266590_355339005243016_2574672098966372352_n

Sausage, kale, sweet potato, and ricotta cheese. I threw this together after grocery shopping on Sunday. It was delicious. Probably not the best for you (hello sodium and sulfites), but still delicious. I love sausage, but I cannot find any “healthy” brands from our local Kroger, or maybe I’m just not aware of it. I would like to think the kale made up for it. Ha!

48390409_260749687953172_7505162488824987648_n

Lunch this week — bbq chicken made with Montgomery Inn bbq sauce (because, Ohio!), salad with all the good veggies and all the bad salad dressing (see above about trying really hard to not go out to eat), and homemade sour dough bread with butter.

Not pictured: pizza from a local pizza place, Ruben sandwich from a local restaurant, buffalo chicken sandwich from a local pizza place, McDonald’s fried chicken sandwich, fries, and holiday pie (what is this deliciousness?), and pizza from another local pizza establishment.

I’m trying, people. Trying. And don’t give me that Yoda stuff, I’m pregnant.

xo, Ali