Sweet Success

Sweet Success

Indulge in sweet success!

What You’ve Missed on Sweet Success Social Media Lately - New Recipes!

If you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you’ve missed out on some amazing food pics! I’ve been trying out some new recipes and they have not disappointed.

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Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

I made this recipe from Eat Yourself Skinny on Monday last week, then proceeded to eat it every single day for the rest of the week. I want to eat this all day, every day!

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Grocery Haul + Fresh Juice Recipes - April 21, 2014

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Now that the half-marathon is less than two weeks away, it’s more important that I eat for energy and recovery. So I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some food to keep my body healthy before the race!

The produce I bought was red, yellow and orange peppers (on sale!), garlic cloves, organic kale, red onion, cucumbers, an orange, a lemon and apples.

I also bought organic black beans, chickpeas, Smucker’s natural peanut butter, feta crumbles, ground turkey and Ezekiel bread. 

I stocked up on some liquids - almond milk, tart cherry juice, organic apple juice and Bragg’s apple cider vinegar.

After I got home from the store, I whipped up a few fresh juices.

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Happy Earth Day!

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(Image Source)

Happy Earth Day!

Since today is the day that we demonstrate support for environmental protection, I’m taking a look at ways I can help the environment. Although the issues our environment face may seem huge, and it may not seem like just one person can make a difference, I truly believe each of us can make small changes that will create big change.

But first, because I’m a nerd, you must read this history of Earth Day. OK, you don’t have to. It’s not a homework assignment. But I thought it was interesting. So read it if you want to.

Before I get into how I need to be better at protecting the environment, here are things that I already do to be kind to Mother Nature.

What I’m good at…

1. Using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic water bottles

2. Taking my own coffee mug filled organic fair trade coffee to work every day

3. Using reusable food containers instead of plastic storage bags most of the time

4. Recycling

5. Taking my reusable grocery bags to the store. I keep a small foldable bag in my purse at all times, and even use it when buying clothes or when I go to Target!

6. Growing some of my own produce/herbs. By being “good at” growing my own produce/herbs, I mean I plant things at the beginning of the season, then I let the garden become overrun with weeds, then I pick the stuff when it’s ready. There’s really no taking care of the garden in between. Not fun to me. But last summer, I had basil, chives, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers and more! 

Here are some ways I can be greener…

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Half-Marathon Training Update - 2 weeks until the race!

Did you watch coverage of the Boston Marathon yesterday?

I watched the live coverage of the elite runners and watched as Meb Keflezighi and Rita Jeptoo crossed the finish line. Although I will never be an elite runner, let alone win a race, I still feel inspired by watching long-distance elite runners. 

You see such vulnerability when watching someone dig deep in those last moments of a race. When they start to feel the cheers of the crowd propel them forward, and find that last bit of mental and physical strength to increase their speed for those last few moments. 

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I could have used some of that inspiration on Saturday during my last long training run before the Lincoln Half-Marathon. The BF and I set out to do 12 miles at about 8:30 a.m.

Starting out, my legs were not feeling the run. I was hoping I would warm up eventually, but no. About 2.5 miles in, we ran through a park and found a little trail so we ran about half a mile on trails. It felt good to get off the street - it was a nice break for the knees. But I tripped over a large stick and it stabbed my ankle! I wasn’t bleeding bleeding, but there was a decent scratch. The BF thought I was overreacting.

I think the run felt so much harder because we picked up our pace a little bit more than our last few long runs. We didn’t talk as much during this run because we were going faster and no conversation made the run seem to drag.

My legs were also a bit sore from Wednesday’s Insanity class. It was my first time trying the class, and I didn’t expect to be sore for three days!

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Weekend Recap - A rough long run + Easter celebrations {April 18-20}

What a packed weekend! The BF and I completed our last long long run before the half-marathon and we celebrated Easter with my family. 

Details on the weekend…

Friday, April 18

I didn’t get off work early enough to make it to Happy Hour Yoga, which has been my usual routine for a few weeks. I drove to Hastings and whipped up a pre-long run dinner of pasta, marinara sauce with ground turkey topped with Parmesan and some whole wheat toasted bread. I also had a bottle of Shiner Farmhouse Ale (carbs!).

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I then met up with friends Mark and Beth at WineStyles. The BF was working there (it’s his new part-time job). I had a glass of wine while we chatted.

Saturday, April 19

I woke up early and the BF slept in a bit since he was tired from a long night on his feet. I had an English muffin topped with natural peanut butter and honey. I also drank lots of water and had a bit of coffee.

The BF and I headed out for our long run around 8:30 a.m. It was a beautiful day (besides the wind). The run was rough. I’ll tell you about it this week when I give you an update on my half-marathon training.

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Week of Workouts {April 12-18}

There was a part of my body that was sore all week. My hamstrings were sore for a couple of days after my 11 mile run, then my butt, arms and abs were sore for a couple of days after I took an Insanity class for the first time. 

Early in the week I booked a massage for Friday. It was heavenly and exactly what my stiff and sore muscles needed.

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Saturday, April 12 - 11 mile run. This was a hard one. The BF and I changed our route and ran out to the country and back. On the way back to town, we were running uphill against the wind and against a lot of traffic. Ugh! But we survived.

Sunday, April 13 - rest day

Monday, April 14 - 3 mile run. Rough run because I was still sore from Saturday’s 11-miler. And I was sweating like crazy for some reason.

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Happy Easter! Healthy Easter basket ideas for kids, runners and health nuts!

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Happy Easter!

I hope you have fun plans with your family or friends. I will be going to the Easter service at the Catholic church Saturday night because my mom is going to be confirmed. Then we will celebrate my mom’s accomplishment Sunday with my brother’s in-laws (who were her sponsors in Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). 

I already have plans to indulge in my fave Easter candy. I will have ONE Reece’s Peanut Butter Egg. It is my all time favorite candy in the whole world. The rest of the weekend will be healthy (the BF and I are running 12 miles Saturday morning!).

Besides Reece’s Peanut Butter eggs, my favorite part of Easter is making Easter baskets. This year, I gave my niece a little Easter gift - a Lisa Frank stationary set (my 90’s nostalgia was lost on her) and two cute maxi dresses. I didn’t really have a theme this year, I just found random things I thought she would like. She did, however, ask where the candy was. I didn’t put candy in there because I knew she would get her fill on Easter Sunday. 

Since kids seem to expect goodies in their Easter baskets, here are some ideas for a healthier basket.

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Insanity Review

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I tried an Insanity class!

Since I have a few weeks off until I teach my next six-week Piloxing session, I decided to try a new class. My gym - the Good Samaritan Hospital Fitness/Wellness Center - just started offering Insanity classes.

You’ve probably seen those infomercials with that sexy guy, Shaun T., jumping around, doing workouts that look…insane. You can purchase Insanity DVD’s to do at home, but fitness professionals can also become certified to teach insanity in gyms.

So what is it? Insanity uses high intensity interval training, which helps your body burn maximum calories during the workout and burn more fat and calories for 24 hours after the workout.

Insanity classes are broken up into 3-5 minute blocks in which you go all out for that time. You get a very short break - long enough to take a few deep breaths and sip some water - then you start the next block. It’s all a mix of plyometrics, upper and lower body resistance and abs.

I got to the gym early so I ran 2 miles before the class started. I survived the entire class even though I had a quick workout before, but you definitely don’t NEED to do anything else before or after this class.

The 35-minute class I took was taught by Reve (We have two Insanity teachers - Reve and Mallory. I’m super excited Mallory is teaching because she used to come to my Piloxing classes!). I was the only newbie in the class so I was worried that I would be totally lost. But it was very easy to catch on to the movements and go right along with the others who knew what they were doing.

Our warm-up was a mix of jogging in place, something called bunny kicks (I think) and a side to side hop/lunge thing. Then we moved onto the first plyo/cardio block where we were doing jump squats, lunge jumps, those cheerleader star jump things and a couple other things. At some point we did those crazy jump things shown in the photo above. Yikes!

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{Grain-free} Carrot Cake Pancakes with Maple Cinnamon Coconut Butter

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There are certain times of year that I get a little obsessed with a food or flavor.

Summer = berries. Fall = pumpkin. Winter = peppermint. Late winter = pomegranates. Spring = carrots.

I’ve been thinking of all the ways I can use carrots to make sweet carrot cakey things. Because really, what else are carrots good for?

These pancakes are gluten-free and paleo - all that stuff that is oh so popular in the diet world. I like them because they are easy, healthy and delish. My main requirements for food.

I made mini pancakes so that I could have a big stack of yummy pancakes. For some reason it makes me feel like I get to eat more, which I like. This recipe made about nine mini pancakes. But you could make larger pancakes if you don’t need the visual of a big ol’ stack of pancakes.

The coconut butter really makes these extra special so don’t skip that part!

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My Running Essentials

When I first started running about 6 years ago, I wore cotton/spandex workout pants, a pair of cheap running shoes and T-shirts. As I did my first Couch to 5K program, I bought an inexpensive sports watch so I could keep track of my time as I ran circles around the high school track.

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(That’s me during my first half-marathon!)

When I committed to training for my first half-marathon, I bought a Nike + iPod Sport Kit and a pair of Nike running shoes. It wasn’t super accurate, but it allowed me to run somewhere besides the track and keep track of my miles. But I realized how inaccurate it was during my first half-marathon - at mile 12, it said I had run 13 miles. Total disappointment.

While I do think the great thing about running is that you can throw on a pair of shoes and go - when you start running longer distances and training for races, quality gear helps. It helps you reach your time or distance goals, it helps you prevent injuries and it helps make running a little easier (I stress ‘a little’ because running is still hard for me!).

Here are my current running essentials…

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