Jess Finds Balance

My journey to finding a healthy balance with eating, exercise, and life in general

Right On Target October 18, 2010

Filed under: Exercise — jessfindsbalance @ 7:57 pm
Tags: ,

I am right on target for achieving my time goal for a sub-2 hour half marathon on Sunday, November 14. I had planned an 11 mile run on the course that I’ll be running on race day. I figured out last week that to finish in under 2 hours, I need to keep an average 9:10 minute/mile pace. I felt like it was a reach, but something I could achieve. Even still, my best time for a long (+8 mile) run had been 9:15 minutes/mile. Well, I blew that out of the water today with an 11.5 mile run averaging 8:59 minutes/mile! Wahoo!


I had planned to run 12 miles next week, but I’m just going to go for the entire 13 mile run and do it as many (3, I think) times before race day. I’m hoping that I can stick to the pace I set for myself, which felt like a challenge but still very comfortable. It’s amazing how logging the miles really does result in a faster pace.


It probably also helps that I’m fueling myself properly before runs and resting adequately for the couple days before. I feel like I’m really getting the hang of this!


I’m off to rest my tired legs and recuperate from a day of teaching. Hope your week is off to a good start 🙂


Cooking Dinner in Pajamas October 17, 2010

Filed under: Food — jessfindsbalance @ 8:56 pm
Tags: ,

Confession: When I’m hanging out at home, there is a 93.78% chance that I’m in comfy PJs. Cooking dinner tonight was no exception:



On the menu for tonight was an Eating Well recipe for Indian-Spiced Eggplant and Cauliflower stew. You know me; I love my ethnic vegetarian stews!



To make it, I first sauteed a chopped onion and several crushed cloves of garlic in canola oil. Once it was getting soft, I added LOTS of curry powder, garam masala, ground mustard seed and ginger. Then, I added 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1 chopped eggplant, 1 can of diced tomatoes and a large can (30 oz.) of chickpeas. I was supposed to add a head of cauliflower, but the pot was so brimming that I only had room for half of it:



So I roasted the rest with some olive oil and salt. (400 degrees for about 30 minutes, tossing halfway through) I lurve roasted vegetables 🙂



My serving, over brown rice:



Getting ready for school tomorrow. It’s been a relaxing and social, yet productive, weekend and my batteries are as recharged as they can get! Wish me luck for my 11 mile run tomorrow 😀


Pumpkin Overnight Oats To Go October 13, 2010

Filed under: Food — jessfindsbalance @ 7:00 am

Good morning! I agreed to give a co-worker a ride to work today, so I had to be out of my house at 6, when I’m usually getting up. Eek. I wanted to make my morning prep as quick as possible so that I can get as much sleep as I can.


Enter overnight oats.



(Again, I apologize for the poor photo quality. Where’s my darn camera?!)


The mix:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup almond breeze
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin butter
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. flax seeds
  • vanilla extract
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • walnuts, sprinkled on top

I’ll be enjoying these at my desk when I get to school. Happy Wednesday 🙂


Not to Worry, I’m Still Alive and Well October 12, 2010

Filed under: Exercise,Food — jessfindsbalance @ 9:20 pm
Tags: , , ,

Hi everyone. I’ve just been taking a break from the blogging. Last time I blogged, I was having a hard time getting back on track. While I don’t feel 100% back in the swing of things, I definitely feel confident that I am well on my way to getting back there. I’ve been doing a good job listening to my hunger and satiety signals and eating lots of yummy foods.

As an update for my half-marathon training (T-4 weeks and 5 days!), I finally broke double digits yesterday, running 10 miles in 1:33! That’s an average pace of about 9:20 minutes/mile, including walking breaks. I was hesitant to set a time goal for myself, but I’m starting to really belief that I can run a sub 2 hour half. It is a really tough course – I ran about 1/2 of it yesterday – with lots of hills in the middle. I think that from now on, I will do my long runs on the course so I can feel comfortable and get accustomed to the hills.

Tragedy did strike at 3.5 miles yesterday, though, when I tripped over a sprinkler camaflouged by the dust and rocks around it. I think that I might have strained/sprained something on the top of my foot, but running and walking don’t bother it. Only when I twist it in weird ways does it bother me. I did manage to continue the run without any pain, so I’m pretty optimistic that it won’t get in the way of my training!

I made an awesome Indian stirfry tonight. First, I wrapped a block of extra firm in lots and lots of paper towels, then put a plate (topped with four bowls) on top of it to squeeze all the water out. Then, I sauteed the tofu, cubed, in some hot sesame oil until it was browned on all sides.

Next, I added snow peas, chopped onion and sliced shitake mushrooms. Once that was soft, I added some chopped roasted kabocha squash (sliced and then roasted with olive oil and salt at 400 degrees for 20 minutes on each side – my fave!) until it was heated through. Then, I added lots of curry powder, ground ginger and some salt. I mixed well to coat the veggies in tofu in the spices and then added ~1/2 cup light coconut milk.


(Sorry for the poor picture quality. Dave put the camera somewhere and he isn’t home right now to tell me where it is!)

It tastes so delicious! I can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch tomorrow 🙂

I haven’t seen my kids since Friday, with Columbus Day yesterday and a professional development day today. I might even say that I miss my kiddos and am excited to see them tomorrow. Yay for three day weeks!


On the Up and Up October 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — jessfindsbalance @ 8:53 pm

I’m feeling so much better about how I’m doing today. I felt sluggish and tired after bingeing last night and I had a hard time finding my hunger and satiety cues in all the ensuing stomach weirdness. Even still, I was committed to getting back on track and get back on track I did!


I ate my three main meals and two snacks, being careful to eat when hungry and to stop when satisfied. I also got my butt to the gym where I ran 5 miles and then did body pump. All in all, a great day!


Trying to make my way through the rest of the week so I can get to my long weekend! I can’t wait 🙂


Very Veggie Breakfast

Filed under: Uncategorized — jessfindsbalance @ 6:28 am

Good morning! I had a rough day yesterday and know that today is only going to be great. As they say, 90% of life is just showing up 🙂

I’ve been on a weird eating schedule the last couple days and haven’t eaten a real dinner, since I’ve been eating a large snack/mini meal around 4 PM, so I am vowing to get back on a normal schedule today!

I started off my day today with a veggie omelet.

First I sauteed onion, red pepper, tomatoes and mushrooms in a bit of canola oil:

Then added some spinach and covered the pan to let it wilt.

Once the spinach wilted, I added some egg whites

and cooked it on medium heat, covered, until both sides were cooked through. After that, I added some shredded 2% mozzarella and folded it to let the cheese melt.

Served with a piece of whole wheat toast and a Morningstar Farms vegetarian sausage link.I topped the omelet with some salsa.

Fresh-style salsa is my fave!

Have a good day!


S.O.S. October 5, 2010

Filed under: Opinion — jessfindsbalance @ 8:30 pm

I can’t believe it’s only Tuesday. This week has been dragging along so. slowly. My kids have reverted back to 8 year olds (particularly the boys) and have been giving me quite the run for my money. Let’s just say that this long weekend can’t come fast enough!

Add to that a severe case of PMS this month. I’ve been stressed and tired, not to mention experiencing the weirdest appetite changes. I feel like I’ve lost all of the progress I made this summer. I’ve had such a bad week of being out of touch with my hunger and satiety cues, not to mention binges and overeating. Each morning I wake up saying to myself that today is the day I will get back on track, but the afternoons and evenings have been such a struggle for me.

I’m just hoping this blows over in the next couple days and healthy eating in moderation comes back. I know that finding a healthy way to deal with stress, anxiety, anger, etc. is going to be a lifelong journey, and is one on which I have made a lot of progress. Even still, I’m feeling really disheartened right now. But the only option is to keep waking up every day and making the little decisions that help get me back to feeling good about where I am with food.