Vacations can cause many disruptions to a normally healthy lifestyle. It can be hard to stay on track when there are so many wonderful temptations in front of you. When it comes to vacations, it is all about balance.

Recently, I took a two week cruise to Alaska on Holland America Line. If you know anything about cruises it’s all the food, all the time. I was pleasantly surprised to find I had not gained ANY weight when I returned home. This is saying a lot when, for two weeks, I ate anything and everything I wanted. How did I do it, you ask? Balance and priorities.

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Hi all!

I know it’s been awhile since my last post, but I’m going to try to do better – I PROMISE!

Over the past six months I started running seriously again. I always start my training and quit for some reason or another after just a few weeks! This time, however, I was determined to have a different outcome. This time I wouldn’t let myself quit because of timing issues. This time I wouldn’t let myself quit because of self doubt. This time there would be no excuses.

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Thanksgiving Madness Recap

With all of the holiday cheer in the air it is hard to sit down and get all of my thoughts out. I thought I’d give a recap over the past few weeks to give an idea of just how crazy life has been.

Let’s start with Thanksgiving. This has always been one of my favorite holidays to spend the day full of family and love. I don’t get to see my family very often and so I look forward to the days that bring us all together.

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I love experimenting with new recipes, especially when I have a group of people to try them. For Thanksgiving breakfast, I was looking for the perfect recipe to bring a smile to the face of my family. After searching through my saved pins on Pinterest, I stumbled across a delicious-looking Blueberry Breakfast Cake. Credit goes to Alexandra of http://www.alexandracooks.com. This seemed like just the thing to make for a quick but delicious addition to the potluck-style breakfast festivities.

Lemon-Blueberry Breakfast Cake

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I’ve been going to LA fitness since August. At first I was intimidated in the free weights section but have slowly gained my footing. Everyone has always been very friendly and even helpful if needed. Recently, I moved from Seattle to Lynnwood and so I switched to an LA fitness facility in Lynnwood. I’ve been going for a few weeks now and everything had been great so far. It seems to be less crowded and has more equipment. It typically is pretty clean and has most equipment in working order.  On top of that, the fellow gym-goers are always friendly and give a wave. I had been loving it until last night…

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Minestrone is my very favorite soup but I can’t say I love the sodium in the canned version. I wanted to make something that could easily be stored and eaten when I’m craving something warm and comforting. I adapted a recipe from Taralynn McNitt (www.simplytaralynn.com) that makes 32 servings. Be careful! This almost didn’t fit in my crockpot. Again, this is something I prepped the night before.

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I said I love cheese and pasta right?! This dish is perfect for pasta lovers and is a great way to sneak in some protein. Protein is something I’ve always struggled getting in. I’m not much of a meat eater. In fact, I typically only each white meat and fish! This dish took a bit more time and effort but I have leftovers available now for the next week! Again, I prepped my meat the night before to save time after work.

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If there’s one thing I love, it’s pasta and cheese. I wanted to find a dish with balance where I could enjoy both of these things. I tried this chicken parmesan bake from Skinny Taste and was not disappointed. So glad I had leftovers!! This recipe is quick and easy to make after work or school.

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I’ve never been one to do much cooking. Fast food or top ramen was always so much easier and tasted just fine. I knew I needed to make a change though, if I was going to live healthier.

Heres my start to much healthier eating:

Turkey Chili is amazing in the winter and warms you right up. Besides some prepping, it’s so easy to just throw everything in the crockpot and let it cook all day. I prepped my ground turkey and veggies the night before so that I could just throw everything in on my lunch break. It sure made my apartment smell delicious all day and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

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One Baby Step at a Time

It’s truly amazing what a few months can do for physical endurance.

I still remember the way I felt on my first intensive hike.  I went with my family to Mt. Rainier for a gorgeous day of hiking to a river. I didn’t think much of it, planning to go on the hike.  I didn’t think about how I’d handle the incline and distance or how I’d handle keeping up with my crazy fit family, most of which have done full marathons (yes, I said multiple).  That was definitely one of my lowest moments physically. I can’t even think of a time that I felt lower about myself and what I could do.

Dan-Julie-Sean_Hiking (6-30-2013)

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