Friday, September 6, 2013

Health & Fitness Friday: Mac & Cheese, Mustache 5Ks & Some Chicken Soup for the Soul

It's FRIDAY!!!!! I appreciate weekends so much more during the school year, don't you?

I am so excited to kick off the first week of Health & Fitness Friday with our NEW game plan, which, for those of you who missed last week's post, looks something like this:

So let's get started, shall we?


My most favorite thing to do, besides drink coffee :-) And now that September is here, it's time for warm comfort foods that simmer on the stove or in the crockpot all day. Eric and I are big comfort-food-lovers so one of my goals for meal planning this month was to try some new comfort food recipes that are on the lighter side. Because mac & cheese is the one meal I can ALWAYS count on the whole family to eat, I knew this was the perfect place to start. 

My favorite healthy(er) mac & cheese recipe of all time comes from Real Simple.

Macaroni and Cheese With Cauliflower

I've made this countless times and it always turns out perfect, although Eric tells me that it tastes "too healthy" when I use the whole wheat pasta and bread crumbs. Ha! But I know I can sell him on this new mac recipe because it has BACON in it!!!

Bacon, Ranch, and Chicken Mac and Cheese Comfort Food Recipe

Looks delicious, doesn't it? I am really excited to try it and since it has TWO types of meat in it, Eric can't complain that it is just a side. And really...nothing with bacon in it can taste THAT healthy :-)


I don't know if it was the pressure of starting half marathon training when I wasn't feeling it, the chaos of back-to-school, the grief I felt for two dear friends who lost loved ones last month or the simple need for a break...but I haven't done anything more than yoga in over 2 weeks. Not a single run, not a single Jillian Michael's workout, nothing. Just yoga at home when the mood strikes me. I feel like I need a total re-do on my Operation L.G.N. 30 Day Challenge. Ha! But even though I fell apart at the end, the rest of the group did SO GREAT!!!! Congrats to all of my peeps that got out there every day and worked hard. You are all an inspiration to me :-)

But enough with the excuses! I can totally tell a difference in my mood the last few weeks and even though I have been getting more sleep than usual {which is a plus} I feel more drained somehow. running shoes miss me and I miss them. I think we just needed to break up for a couple weeks so that I could realize just how much I need them in my life :-) 

So it's time to get back out there and now that the weather is FINALLY cooling off, I can enjoy everything this season has to offer. There are so many AWESOME 5Ks taking place this fall in Chicago and I am so excited to get back out there with my running buddies.

My BF Tara just sent me a link to the Ditka Dash 5K in November and I couldn't possibly be more on board. Beer and mustaches? SOLD!!! 


There is so much that can be put into this category, but this week I want to talk about something I struggle with every single day of my life.


Sometimes my worry is small. Will my alarm go off in the morning? Are my Thanksgiving Turkey cookies cute enough for the school party? Should I switch to organic eggs?

Sometimes my worry is a little bigger. Will Blake do well on his first day of preschool? Should I get that new mole on my leg checked out? Am I spending enough time reading to my kids each night?

And sometimes, my worry consumes me. I fell so incredibly vulnerable all the time because I want nothing more than to be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, teacher, etc. I can be.

A while back, a friend of mine gave me this wonderful book.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

I had only skimmed a few chapters over the summer but just the other night, I sat down and started it again and OH MY's like the author is speaking right to me. I had tears in my eyes in so many parts of this book but Chapter 7 really did me in. It's titled, Wholehearted Parenting: Daring to Be the Adults We Want Our Children to Be. Friends...if you can read just one chapter from this book...let it be this one. Here is one small part I highlighted because I want to remind myself of it every chance I get:

"Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means stepping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert themselves, and have the opportunity to fail. If we're always following our children into the arena, hushing the critics, and assuring their victory, they'll never learn that they have the ability to dare greatly on their own."

This book was everything I needed to read right now and I thought this link-up was the perfect place to share it. It definitely nourished my mind :-)

But if you are looking for something a little lighter to MUST click over to Bitchin Sisters and read their latest post about Pinterest Moms. HILARIOUS!

Alright peeps..that's it for this week's installment of the NEW Health & Fitness Friday. Can't wait to read all of your posts!! Have a great weekend!!


  1. What's better than a blog post with Mac and Cheese AND Mustaches! :-)

  2. What a delicious blog I mean Mac and Cheesse. Thanks for sharing this
    I had fun

  3. I love everything about this!! I want to read that book so much!! It's definitely on my list. And the Ditka Dash looks stinkin amazing!!

  4. very interesting topic to share our opinion. Found your article very effective and informative. Thumps up for your next article.

  5. I need to try this recipe! It looks great! This book looks like one I need to read, too. Thanks for sharing, friend!


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