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Spaghetti Carbonara

Friday, January 07, 2011

This is my supper tonight; It's become a stand by in our house, and is one of our favorite meals for "carbo-loading" before races.

Spaghetti Carbonara
8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
Nonstick cooking spray
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
2 large egg yolks
1/3 cup real bacon bits (I use Hormel Real Bacon bits--they are near the salad dressings in a little pouch at the grocery store)
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to directions. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over high heat. When hot, spray with cooking spray and add the sliced onion. Season with salt & pepper and saute, stirring occasionally until almost tender. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the garlic. Cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk and the yolks.

Add the bacon and the pasta to the skillet containng the onions & garlic. Mix well. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the egg mixture. Toss teh pasta to coat it, allowing the residual heat to thicken the sauce. Stir in the cheese, season with salt & pepper if desired. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings
Calories: 331
Protein: 19 g
Fat: 7g
Carbs: 52 g
Cholesterol: 119mg
Fiber: 5 g
Sodium 584 mg

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 1/14/2011 10:54PM

    One of my favorites!!

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SPARKYJEANIE1 1/11/2011 3:26PM

    Sounds great!!!! emoticon

I have to try this before my 5k...do you eat it the night before race day?


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LIFE-FAITH 1/8/2011 10:31AM

    Thank you for sharing this recipe.
You LOOK fantastic!
Keep up the great workouts!

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JENNYANNE31 1/7/2011 6:58PM

    Sounds yummy. It's always one of the things on restaurant menus I look at and then pass by. This sounds like a much healthier version. Thanks!

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My New Favorite Song

Thursday, January 06, 2011

I've always been a fan of the artist Pink, and last night I discovered a new favorite song to run to. It's ironic because it deals with a lot of the thoughts and feelings I had about myself when I was heavy, and some of those same thoughts still sneak in every now and then. The verse that really got my attention when I was 30 minutes in on the treadmill goes like this:

You're so mean
When you talk
About yourself
You are wrong
Change the voices
In your head
Make them like you
So complicated
Look how big you'll make it
Filled with so much hatred
Such a tired game
It's enough
I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons
See you same

Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like your less than
less than perfect
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You're' perfect to me

I recommend this song. Highly. It's called "Perfect" :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 1/14/2011 10:50PM

    I LOVE Pink!! She rocks!!

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FOOFIT1 1/9/2011 10:00AM

    Thanks for sharing these lyrics! I am a lyrics person too. They are such a great form of expression.


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RACINGSLUG 1/7/2011 4:21PM

    I like Pink very much, sounds like a great song for changing negative thought patterns. I tried to nominate you as a SparkPeople motivator but saw you already are one! Deservedly so! :)

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LIFE-FAITH 1/7/2011 9:31AM

    What a great song - thank you so much for sharing!

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SPARKYJEANIE1 1/6/2011 2:00PM

    I LOOOOVE PINK but...what song is that?? You're absolutely right - talk about negative self talk! She really hit the nail on the head here - I want to youtube it so I can hear it online...

She's sooo cool - and so are YOU!!

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THENEWCINDY 1/6/2011 11:27AM

    love those lyrics!!!

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SUGARSMOM2 1/6/2011 10:40AM

  oh my . yes this is true . how can we change our view of yourself . when we can get into our brains maybe we can stop this endless feeling like we are less then. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Polar Dash 5K Race Report

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Let me start by saying that when I woke up yesterday and saw the forecast for the Twin Cities, I *might* have been rethinking this race. The race was at 11AM and the forecast said 9 degrees, 19 MPH wind out of the SW, and that it would feel like -12. YUCK!

I got ready in all my layers--a nike dri-fit 1/4 zip mock neck shirt, a Columbia fleece hoodie, and my "Running Room" windbreaker to keep out that wind. I wore a pair of base-layer running tights under my Under Armour Cold Weather pants; 2 pairs of smart wool socks, a performance face mask and winter hat, fleece gloves, and my YakTrax for traction.

As we walked over to the race village I really wasn't shivering (believe it or not) the only areas that were chilly were my fingers and toes. Needless to say with the temps that cold, we didn't arrive too early. Before we knew it, it was time to head to the starting line. There were lots of people jumping to try to warm up, and before we knew it, we were off!

It felt awesome to get the blood pumping and I was thankful for the YakTrax since we had lots of ice and snow to deal with! The first half of the race was uphill, and with the cold air that proved to be a challenge. I kept pulling my face mask down because I felt overheated, but the cold air proved to be tough to breathe in, so I'd pull the mask back up. Through the whole race I was comfortable. I was happy to reach the turn-around point because I knew that meant I'd be running downhill the whole way back. It felt great and I settled into a cruising pace. I ran without my Garmin watch so I only ran according to how I felt.

I knew when I crossed the starting line that the clock was over 2 minutes, so when I saw 30 as I crossed the finish I was pretty sure I had a PR--the hubs confirmed it for me later when we saw our results. 28:37!!!!

Here's the breakdown:
Average Pace: 9:13
Overall Place: 200 out of 972
Gender Place: 78 out of 614 women
Age Group Place: 20 out of 124 Females in the F30-34 Group
I passed 133 Runners in the overall category
I was passed by 29 runners in the overall category

I'll take it!

The added bonus for me was that I actually beat my husband. emoticon emoticon That NEVER happens; he's a lot faster than me. The difference is I've been running more lately, so I know not to get used to it. I will gloat for a little while though!

It was a great way to kick off 2011...I can't wait for the race season to get into full gear!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 1/14/2011 10:48PM


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MESEATURTLE 1/6/2011 10:23AM

    Totally inspiring!!!!

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RUNNINGOLLIE 1/6/2011 10:01AM

    Way to go on braving the elements! And you must have been running a lot lately to have been so well prepared with your clothing!!!!!

Awesome that you got a PR on such a cold day!!!!! (and beat your husband!!!! emoticon - mine is faster also and always beats me in short races but as the family distance runner - I definitely last longer!!!)

Have a great day! emoticon

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SPARKYJEANIE1 1/3/2011 5:05PM

    WOW JESS!!!!!

All that in that freaking cold as heck weather??!!

You are very brave, indeed! I would have pulled the blakies up over my head and thought to heck with this!!

And...YOU BEAT HUBBSTER!!!!!!!! Girl...bragging rights!! Enjoy it!

I'm so proud of you!!! You really look so professional in all that gear...love this and CONGRATS again on making Motivator - see???!! It's for stuff like THIS! You're the BEST!

Jeanie> emoticon

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CBEVNOW 1/2/2011 7:30PM

    Good for you. Great, emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CKAYT56 1/2/2011 5:46PM

    Congrats on your record! Glad the cold and wind didn't get to you too much. Have a great week....and don't rub it in to the hubby too much!

Comment edited on: 1/2/2011 5:52:17 PM

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NUTRIGIRL08 1/2/2011 2:52PM


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CHUBBYSISTER1 1/2/2011 2:35PM

    Congrats on a great PR!!!!! Way to go! Cute picture! Awesome start to the new year!

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ROOT4HOME 1/2/2011 2:20PM

    Woohoo!! What an amazing run!!!
Great pic of you and your DH all bundled up too!!
WTG Jess!!! emoticon

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MISSCOFFEY 1/2/2011 12:28PM

    Nicely done!! What a brave soul you are to face the elements on such a chilly day. I contemplated it and then chickened out.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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So Thankful!

Monday, December 06, 2010

I was shocked when I opened up my email yesterday and had literally 50 spark emails for comments on my Spark Page. I'm truly honored to have been a featured Motivator of the Day. THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by to congratulate me.

I had a wonderful weekend...more snow here in Minnesota so it was a bit more challenging to get my workouts in. I did get to run outside on Friday which was great, and then did 4.5 miles on the treadmill yesterday. My next race is New Year's Day and it's only a 5K so I'm not too concerned about training for it. By February I'll be back in full training mode as the Earth Day Half Marathon is in April.

This is an extremely emotional time of year for me; tomorrow is the anniversary of my son's kidney transplant. Right now I'm reflecting on all of the blessings. Tomorrow I'll devote a blog to my son and his donor; my husband. I got to watch a miracle that day.

Thank you again for all of the spark love!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUTRIGIRL08 12/13/2010 11:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/12/2010 8:10PM

    We have been under a winter weather advisory but we went for a long walk anyway.

I'm a retired dialysis nurse so it's great to hear about a successful kidney transplant.

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LAFFLOTS57 12/7/2010 11:18PM

    Yay! Lovely to hear of your special blessings emoticon

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CBEVNOW 12/7/2010 10:40PM

    Wonderful, i am so glad your son is ok and that your husband was able to donate a kidney to him. My son and i were discussin this a while back . im now in 4 th stage but not on dialysis yet, and hoping i wont have to, go their and i can get my GFR back up. In my case my son could not donate because he has Chronic HEP C and my younger son had Hep B about 25 years ago and that would also be a negative. You are a strong persn and i admire you and your husband also your son. Kidney disease is a complicated and hard disease to have . Best wishes to you all.

Comment edited on: 12/7/2010 10:47:34 PM

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SUGIRL06 12/7/2010 8:26PM


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CKAYT56 12/6/2010 6:20PM

    Goose bumps and tears here too! I hope it's not too cold New Year's Day for the 5K. I am still running....until my body gives out.....and hope to maybe try a 5K eventually. Keep on keeping on!

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DITZYCHICK 12/6/2010 5:07PM

    You're an example of what many take for granted. Very happy for you and your family! Best of luck in your upcoming races!

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    Way to go!

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NICOLE12-01 12/6/2010 11:10AM

    Here's to a wonderful year to come filled with continued blessings! I'm grateful to have you as such a wondeful and motivating spark friend!

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MISSCOFFEY 12/6/2010 10:45AM

    You just brought tears to my eyes. emoticon

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RUNTRILAUGH 12/6/2010 10:32AM

    I hope 2011 is just as blessed! What a great blog to read today!


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ROOT4HOME 12/6/2010 9:48AM

    Continued blessings to you and your family, Jess in 2011!!! emoticon

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BIGBUCS 12/6/2010 9:45AM

    Keep it up!

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My evolution as a runner...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

On January 1st, 2010 I made the decision that it was TIME. Time to get healthy. Time to lose the weight. Time to take time for me.

I started out slowly, just watching my calorie intake and doing my fitness DVDs in my living room. I had run off and on in 2009, but never more than 2 miles.

Gradually the number on the scale dropped. I mastered my 30 minute DVDs. I felt STRONG. I started running.

I built myself up to 3 miles. I decided it was time for a 5K. April 16th 2010 was my first 5K. I weighed 181 pounds and my only goal was to run the whole thing. I remember being worried about my size--so sure that I would be the BIGGEST one there, and that people would be wondering what this "fat" girl thought she was doing. You know what? There were people of all sizes. I was amazed my the camaraderie. People weren't judging each other, they were all there to run their own race. Some people were going to walk--my goal was to run. I did run the whole thing. It took me 32:28 to do it, but I felt AMAZING afterward!

On May 14th I ran another race...a little smaller this time (173), and quite a bit faster: 29:10

I ran another 5K in July (159 pounds) and started to feel the need to push myself.

I decided to sign up for a Half Marathon--me--the girl who less than a year ago weighed over 200 pounds

You know what? I ran the whole 13.1 miles.

I did a mud run and rocked it. It was a whole new level of fitness for me.

October 30th was my last race for 2010--the Monster Dash 10 Mile

I finished with a smile on my face.

If you would have asked me last year at this time if I would be RUNNING RACES. I would have laughed at you. If you would have told me I'd RUN a Half Marathon, I would have told you you were crazy. If you would have told me that I'd log 500+ miles training for these races, I would have told you that you've lost it.


I'm excited to see what 2011 will bring.

I'm planning to run 3 half marathons for sure, maybe more. I'll be doing a 10K, a 7K, a 10 Mile, and MAYBE...just MAYBE...a FULL MARATHON.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXFOCUS 12/4/2010 1:34PM

    What a fantastic blog. It was very exciting to read through your progress as a runner. You should be very proud of yourself. You rock!!!

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THENEWCINDY 12/2/2010 1:36PM

    You really have evolved!!! Congrats on finding something you love doing!!!

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NICOLE12-01 12/1/2010 12:25PM

    You are such an inspiration. I'm so happy for you and the progress you've made over the past year. You have pushed me more than you know...I KNOW I wouldn't have even entertained the thought of a half marathon if it wouldn't have been for you planting the thought in my head! I can only imagine what adventures you will have in 2011. You are strong, beautiful, and inspiring. Congratulations on your achievements so far and the ones to come....I know there will be many! Keep up the great work friend!

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/26/2010 10:41PM

    You have done amazing!!! emoticon

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FOOFIT1 11/23/2010 7:29AM

    You look amazing. CONGRATS on realizing you ARE a runner. I remember when you didn't feel like one. Seems like a long time ago now, doesn't it?


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RACINGSLUG 11/20/2010 2:02PM

    You are inspiring in every way.

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ABSOLUTZER0 11/19/2010 1:43PM

    You are absolutely a RUNNER! I found great pleasure in reading this post. You are doing it! You are killing your races and you look so happy doing it! I enjoy seeing runners smile. So often we have that "leave me alone" look going on. You are going to have a great 2011 running season! I look forward to reading about your adventures! Here is to injury free running! Woohoo!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 11/19/2010 7:47AM

    First of all, congrats! Second of all, I second what MBourke said. I'm in Minneapolis/St. Paul too . Your journey is inspiring, keep up the great work!

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MBOURKE8 11/18/2010 11:00PM

    Heyyyyy, you must be up here in MN! I will be doing the Lucky 7K in March and I also plan on doing the half at the Mpls Marathon in June, the Du in August, Commando in Sept and the Monster Dash in Oct (yes I have 2011 planned out already! lol)

Not quite ready to think about 26.2 yet tho... good for you!


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LUREAH21 11/18/2010 9:01PM

    Awesome and inspiring!

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CHUBBYSISTER1 11/18/2010 8:50PM

    You are a Runner and such an inspiration to me!! You are strong and beautiful and just amazing. I'm proud of all your accomplishments and proud to call you my friend. I hope I get to run one of those half marathons with you......:-) I am also a maybe for a full marathon as well......let's talk because if I had someone to virtually train with and then run it with, it might be the kick I need.

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REBECCA1354 11/18/2010 6:36PM

    You ROCK! Congrats on all your success!!!

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