Photo-fitness challenge week 2

Week 2 was not as successful as week 1 for me, but it was fun!


Mother’s Day showered us with a snowstorm that headed into Monday, so the beginning of my week was not all that active

But, I found other ways to get some exercise …


Puppy yoga!!!

I’m pleased to announce that I’m still on track for all of my challenges 🙂

My PT is going strong, and I am feeling like I’m on the right track 🙂

And, I know this isn’t me, but this weekend, my daughter and her best friends walked 40 miles and raised almost 6,000 dollars in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer


So very proud of these girls!

Keep moving, everyone!!!

my denver life

A good friend of mine said to me last week, ” I’m ready to start living my denver life ”

This thought has been going through my head since she said it.


taking a break in the park with my crusier

This photo speaks volumes to me. In essence, it IS my denver life.

Today completes week one of the fitness- photo challenge!

aaaand..I’m pretty pumped with my progress!


fitness- photo challenge week 1

The pup and I are both healing nicely, the weather has been amazing ( including a mothers’ day snowstorm, a little give from above to me )


random biker on Cherry Creek Bike path

Ps… That’s not me or Scott 😉

And I’m excited to be so very motivated 🙂

Oxox. Shel

mock~tails, home made fruit vinegars annnd..

Spaghetti squash casserole.



After help from my friends and family on facebook, I think that I’ve fixed the issue. Now I’m sure some of you are downright sick of hearing about it ( I’m kinda getting sick of typing it) but I still feel the need to share that post in its’ entirety, so we will start with that.


( feel free to skip if you just can’t bear to have your eyes view it again~ it’s ok, I’ll still love you. Like lots. )


friends. If you are connected with me on my  facebook page , then you’ve had a sneak peak at what’s cooking in my kitchen

Get yerself a sketti squash, because trust me, you will want to make this!

I mentioned in my massaged kale salad post how I am obsessed with True food kitchen

I’ve eaten here many times and have tried many things on the menu. ALL fabulous.

Twice now, I’ve had friends order the spaghetti squash casserole, and both have raved about how good it was.

( truth be told, both friends offered me a bite, of which I accepted  and wow! I just knew I had to make it at home)

I did a little research * puffy heart google* and voila! found the recipe!

click the link for complete recipe

Dr Andrew Weil, Spaghetti Squash casserole


1 spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground allspice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheesenow since I’m home with a healing pup, I had to improvise the recipe just a littleI did not have the peppers, but I did find a sad little jalapeno in my crisper drawer, and we like it hot 😉 so I used that in place of the red and yellow peppers.

spaghetti squash casserole ingredients

Start by cooking the squash. The recipe says to add entire squash into a big pot of water, bring to a boil for 50 minutes.


check on pup 

Now, I usually cook squash in the oven but I was intrigued to try this method. So I did.

My only comment would be that cooking it in the oven it was easier to separate the seeds from the flesh, but over, I would cook the squash either way.

while the squash is cooking ( whichever way your little heart desired) Chop up your veggies

Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan ( I’m a die hard believer in cast iron.. I’ll explain why if ya wants to know 😉  )


add the onions and carrots to hot oil, season with a bit of salt and cook for 5 min


check on pup 

next, I  added the the pepper and celery with a dash of red pepper flakes

squash filling

allow to saute for about 10 minutes, until veggies were soft. Taste for salt, if it needs a little more, go ahead and knock your self out 😉

* I kept adding little bits of water throughout so that the veggies didn’t dry out and stick while softening.. maybe 2 tablespoons at a time each time I stirred it ? )


check on pup 

The recipe called to squeeze the garlic in, but I rid myself of my garlic press years ago, as it only had that one purpose, and its easy enough to smash garlic with the side of a chef’s knife. garlic smash

f you have a press, by all means use it

add the crushed tomatoes m sprinkle of allspice (the secret ingredient, we discovered) , the garlic.

now you may have noticed the dish of roasted tomatoes.  I had some maters that were to ripe to eat raw, so I roasted them like I did when I made my

roasted garlic and tomato soup



squash filling

I  added these sweet babies  in addition to the crushed tomatoes

I also added a sprig of rosemary.

I hate to follow directions 😉

spaghetti squash


and btw~ this smelled heavenly 

Next I used a pair of tongs to remove squash from boiling water ( CAREFULLY) and place on a cutting board until cool enough to cut


scoop out seeds ( if you cooked it in the oven, you’ve already done this. great job, you overachiever, you  😉 )


spaghetti squash filling



add to tomato mixture and stir


check on pup 

Now full disclosure… since I was cooking this for just Scott and myself, I spooned out half of the tomato mixture and reserved for another recipe ( veggie chili, perhaps? ) and only used half of the spaghetti squash itself.   Had I known I could have halved the recipe, but being my first time making it, I wasn’t thinking.


spaghetti squash filling



I mean just look at this! Incredible.


next, layer 1/2  the squash mixture in baking dishes , add 1/2 the cheese, the rest of the squash mixture, and top with remaining cheese



baked spaghetti squash


guess which one was mine 😉


As far as the cheese goes, I used shredded because I had it and on Sunday when I played around with

smoked tofu crumbles, I smoked a few mozzarella balls as well ( just curious how it would come out) so I cut those up and topped  our dishes with a bit of that crazy cheese flavor.

I baked it in a 350 over for about 20 minutes, topped with shredded basil and a tiny drizzle of olive oil


Baked Spaghetti Squash


do I have your attention yet?


baked Spaghetti squash


yeeeeeaaah…  this was pretty awesome.  and healthy? CRAZY healthy!

If you would like to make this vegan, substitute Daiya cheese. simple!

My friend, Cindy stopped by yesterday to visit with me and brought me lunch. From where? True food of course!

I had the edamame dumplings and they were incredible. Together we disected the taste and came up with what we think would be a good recipe.


I have my next challenge!


true food edamame dumplings


Thank you, Cindy, for lunch and the company 😉

My next immediate project is making puppy ice cream or peanut butter biscuits  With all of the treats I’ve been given Fen, I’m starting to run low and need to last until the weekend when Scott is home


healing Fenway



my sweet girl ❤



al’ight….  since I’ve spent 46,000 hours writing,losing,finding,re~losing, re~ finding,fixing and re~ posting this…. you just might wanna make this… and let me know 🙂


ok. next. While I was hanging out with my sweet pup this week, I watched a lot of Food Network I came across a show that was focusing on Mocktails… you know, cocktails sans alcohol.


Kelsey Nixon made blackberry sipping vinegar to use as a base for a mocktail recipe.

I was curious, so I used the base/ idea of her recipe to make Strawberry~basil vinegar.

( because that is what I had in~ house ..


strawberry~basil vinegar

start by using equal parts fruit-sugar. I used a cup of each and added shredded basil


mash fruit and sugar up well and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate ( I love re- using rubber bands from veggies all over the kitchen 😉 ) for 2 days , stirring occasionally

On day 3, add equal amount ( 1 cup )  of apple cider vinegar ( I swear by Bragg’s.. highly worth the extra buck or two ) and stir.

The next day, using a fine~ mesh strainer, strain all solids out, using a flexible spatula  to press out every last bit of liquid ( you do NOT want to waste any )


strawberry- basil vinegar

to make your life easier ( because let’s face it, it’s all about you 😉 ) strain it into a dish or measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring.

Pour into a jar and store in fridge!


( I have a batch with Meyer lemons in the fridge now. I’ll let you know how it comes out )


strawberry-basil vinegar

I made a mocktail by pouring about an ounce of the vinegar over some ice, topping with sparkling water and a wedge of lime.


strawberry-basil mocktail


There is something about the vinegar that really elevates this drink., It feels like a special drink

In the show, Kelsey used an infused tea as well ( click the link up there for complete recipe) but I’m a simple girl and this drink suited me just fine.

So for my friends out there who don’t drink alcohol, for one reason or another, here’s a new option for you!


It is also a Crazy- delicious base for a salad dressing..  more on that tomorrow.


On another note, my PT is going well. Really well. my PT recommended that I get a theraputtic massage to break up some of the scar tissue in my hamstring from the tears. ( not my torn ACL leg that i just had surgically fixed, the OTHER leg that went into crazy hyper horrificness thanks to being on crutches post- surgery

The massage therapist ( This was NOT a relaxing massage AT ALL, btw) worked on my hips, glutes, ( where one of the tears are) and then she moved to my back.

She discovered that I have a muscle along my spine ( not the spine itself) that is all twisted up and is sending pain signals down my leg.

After 60 minutes with her, I noticed a difference ( the next day)

I was shocked to realize halfway through the day that I wasn’t struggling while doing simple things like just walking 

So my PT is also working on this and is having me start some strength training , lots of squats, single-leg squats and lunges of all angles.

and I’m feeling good for the first time in a LONG time.

I asked Matt ( PT) about possibly training for a 5k. He said he’ll let me start jogging ( under his supervision) on the treadmill in 2 weeks.

He humbling shared with me that he came in in the top 20 of the Boston Marathon last year. Not percentage, but overall.

I’m uber- impressed.

Friday I made a last minute descison to sign up for an Earth- Month 5k around the corner from my house. ( with his approval)

I went into this knowing that walking was the only option and that my time would not matter.

I had 2 friends who signed up with me.

we finished dead last, but that didn’t matter. We did it.

I had my first benchmark for races here in Colorado and the only thing that I can expect from here is to get better and move forward..

I’m ready

Aveda earth day race

I hope that your weekend was fabulous!


weekend recap

here it is Sunday night already… how does that happen?

The girls enjoyed homecoming weekend… which was really nice considering it was their last one as students…. when they come back next year, they will be Alumni!! (I wonder if any of them have actually thought of this… I almost hope not. I hope that they are living in the moment and enjoying this ever important senior year of high school )

Remember in THIS POST how I mentioned that I ran into a friend that I haven’t seen in years? Well what I didn’t mention is that when we were catching up and I was telling her about my recent ‘finishing my first 5k victory'( I know you are all sick of it.. I’m sorry….) she had asked me when my next one was. I told her that I did not know.  We had run into each other at bayside runner a small local running store, Opened by a man with a passion for running and helping others run. They will expertly fit your feet with the perfect running shoes…. trust me… you need to go to a professional.. if you are local… Bayside is the best… Adam and his staff are committed to make sure you are in the right shoe.

opps… sidetracked again 😉

crap.. where was I… oh yeah… I had not seen my old neighbor in at least 10 years .. but in reality it was probably more. She is currently training for her first marathon 🙂

Both she & Heather, one of the employees at the store told me about a race in my hometown this weekend. A benefit for a very young boy who had unexpectedly had passed away… It was the Plymouth Police and Fire 5k.. Liam’s Run. I told them that I was pretty sure  I was busy with homecoming stuff, but that I would check it out.

And I did. And I realized that anything ( other than making waffles early Sunday ) that I needed to do homecoming-wise was not on Sunday, I signed myself up.


So this morning I arrived at the race wandering around looking for where to go, when I see my old friend, Joanne. She was walking toward me with a big smile…  she said’ ” there you are…. I looked to make sure that you signed up…your number is 150.. lets go get it… I’m so happy that you are here.”

A few minutes later we ran into Heather, who  recognized me and high-fived me for coming:)

<– felt a tad bit important and loved 😉  it turns out that runners are sooo nice!!

And boom.. just like that.. years of not being in touch.. I was next to one of my best friends again 🙂 Since she is training for a marathon.. she had already run 15 miles this morning. She did run the 5k.. and came in 2nd in her age group ( I believe she beat out those ‘youngens’ (as we called them) in the age group below her!

She ran the race 22 something ( I tried looking but could not find the official times online yet… I’ll update this post as soon as I do)  *edited… her time was 22 :57* 🙂

She was able to finish her race.. get herself a water and come back to the finish line to cheer me on!

My official time was 35 :05.. although This explains why… I certainly could have been under 35.. I would guess same time frame as last weekend.. And although I did almost throw up again *insert laughter here* trying to sprint to the finish line…. MY breathing throughout the race was much more even and controlled.

I’m getting this!!!

So here are a couple of pics…I’m so happy to have bumped into her and her share this experience with me 🙂  (doesn’t she look great? she will ROCK this marathon!)

so…… on another note..  I debated posting this pic…  I have put on weight.. and even though I posted THIS about my feeling on diets, Eating healthy is most important  and that, my friends, I have not been doing.

So tomorrow I am starting a mini 3-day cleanse. I have a friend who works for beach body and I purchased the basic kit from her. It’s only 3 days. I  can do this. And I know that I will feel better.  I’m traveling a lot in the weeks to come, and although I love wearing yoga pants & sweatshirts … it;s just not reality. I do squeeze myself into ‘normal clothes’ when I have places to be…. but it;s all kinds of ugly… and it kinda hurts. I’m not gunna lie.

If anyone is interested in the 3 day mini cleanse, shoot me an email and I will give you the info…

meanwhile, I’ll still be cooking for the girls…  I might write a tiny blurb about how I am doing/ feeling…. more if you guys want it.. .. but for now I’m off to enjoy family time.

ciao bellas!  cheers to old friends and paths taken…… all for a reason….


just because I can

I changed my mind after I wrote that last post. I had decided that even though I really wanted to repeat the cleanse that I had done last June, the fact that it is January and veggies aren’t so abundant, was reason enough to change my mind.


Then this past weekend as part of my teacher training , I attended another all-day workshop on yoga as detoxification & how to safely participate in a cleanse… except this cleanse is specifically designed to be done in the winter.

Bingo! My mind changed again.

Just because I can 🙂

I have decided to do this again, yet I will not be blogging about it here..

Many people have asked me details about how I went about the first cleanse and things that I have taken from it.

I will start a separate page where I will be going into great detail.


If you would like to follow that page,  let me know &  will add you to the list. I’ve learned alot in both workshops and I look forward to sharing with you!


oh.. and on the note of things happen for a reason?  Today is exactly 6 months since I did the first one 🙂



times.. they are a changin…

happy 2012. It’s hard to believe that it is a whole new year.

Some of you know ( not from the blog, but from knowing me elsewhere) that in June I attended an all day workshop on participating in a 21 plus day cleanse, where I slowly ( safely) eliminated food group from my diet * untiI was down to raw food only then slowly added certain foods back.

I began this on father’s day.  I remember this because my daughter left the next day for a 10- day missionary trip to the Appalachian mountains to work with under-privileiged  children with her then best friends.

I felt safe starting this when I did..  she would be gone, which really left me just feeding the boys during this time ( and quite frankly,the meat & potatoes that the were wanting didn’t appeal to me at all) so it was rather easy for me to do this without much temptation. Not to mention that I had a veggie garden that had wonderful, healthy greens that were always available.

I has set my mind that this was going to be a succes. Or at the very least, I would not have succeeded, but I would have at least tried.

It turned out to be the single best thing that I had ever done for myself. I learned SO much about my willpower. I felt great. I looked healthy , I shed pounds.

The end of 2011was a strange time in my life. Without getting into too many details, things in my life spiralled. Not in an ‘oh my life is over’ kind of thing, but a constant feeling of not being able to control what was going on around me. This feeling had taken it’s toll on me.  I felt as though mercury is in retrograde 24/7

I found some inner peace within yoga, something that has had an impact on my entire year. I began teacher training that will have me certified to be a yoga instructor as well as other certifications.  Through this training my eyes have been opened up to how all in this world is connected. Many many things have happened that have had me step back in awe. Things that I never would have noticed prior to my training.

I have learned so much this past year. About myself and the world around me.

I have kept this training a secret from some.  I realized in the middle of the night that the energy I have been putting into shielding people in my life from certain things not worth it.

I was just plain silly.

My ramblings may seem to be all over the board here, quite literally.  If you thing I’m all over the board here, you should see what is going on inside my head.

I have decided to begin the cleanse again. It feels like right time. The beginning of this new year has me filled with excitement and hope for a wonderful things to come.

It will most certainly be more difficult. Not only is it the dead of winter here in New England ( not the best for fresh produce) but I have to make dinner for 4 each night as well.

* in October we had a wonderful young lady from Hong Kong, Tian, come to live with us for the year*

It will be difficult to cook for them while I am trying to eliminate food in my own diet, but I feel that it is the right thing to do and so my mind has been made up.

What will I post here? a few different things. I will share some of what I will be eating .. but also what I am cooking *healthily* for the rest of my family.

One of the things that we have done is to get a cookbook with authentic Chinese recipes & occasionally making mini- feasts. I will share some of these.

so there you have it. In a very abreviated way, what has been going on in my world.

and for now..

thats’s all she wrote

* I do not like the word ‘diet’. The mere word to me sets one up for failure. When I use the word ‘diet’ it will always be in a term regarding  which foods we eat.. for example.. ” my diet consists of”

peace out 🙂

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