Find me on No Thanks to Cake!

Hi everyone! I’m currently talking to you from the future… (muahahah) as I have scheduled this post! I’m currently walking, waking, walking 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day, and I shared a little bit about my journey on my sweet friend Kelly’s blog. Please click on over here and check it out. Thank you for reading!

 

Conquering Sixty Miles

My latest food fixation: SOUP

Do you guys ever get fixated on a certain type of food? For some reason the past two weeks, I have been obsessed with SOUP! First, I must share a clip with you from one of my favorite movies, Best in Show.

If you haven’t seen this movie, see it now. Now, SOUP! I have always loved soup. My mom makes the most amazing Chicken Noodle soup with big, fat egg noodles and hunks of carrots and celery. I mastered it and make it every few months. Matt started the soup kick last week by making a big pot of Split Pea Soup. Then, I went to Costco and bought their Broccoli Cheddar soup, which I love. Then last week, I ordered Coconut Soup at a Thai restaurant. Then yesterday, I ate at Olive Garden and had their Zuppa Toscana (Sausage and Kale Soup) and Gnocchi soup. Then, tonight, I made Albondigas — an awesome Mexican soup with rice and cilantro meatballs. I’ve also blogged about soup here (Red Curry Veggie Soup) and here, Summer Squash Soup.

Albondigas Soup

Albondigas Soup

So, holy cow, that’s a lot of soup! I frickin’ love soup. And this post really has no point except to say, wow, I’ve had a lot of soup lately. Let’s celebrate with some soup pictures shall we? AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF SOUP?!

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On the Move: Fitting in Fitness for Fun

Hello everyone! I’m writing to you with sore calves and quads, and for once, the soreness is for good reason rather than “Oh yeah, I work fulltime from home and forget to get up and sometimes six hours goes past and I haven’t moved.” I’m preparing for my big walk this weekend (EEEEK! But I’m not nervous, more just excited!), so I really have been trying to kick up the physical activity this week.

Starting last weekend, I flew up to San Francisco to see my friend Sarah and Emily. Sarah and I decided to walk the Define Brave 5k together, and we grabbed her adorable Westies and hit the trails early on a Sunday morning. (Well, I thought it was early at 8:30 but in Sarah’s terms, at that point we had ‘slept the day away!’) Check out the Define Brave 5k if you’d like to participate in a fun virtual 5k — you get a cute shirt, awesome empowerment bracelet, special medal, bib, and a portion of the proceeds go to charity.

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Then, this weekend, I met up with a quarter of the Double Chin Divas, Monique, to do a nice long training walk. Our walk ended up being more of a hike, and we hoofed it about five miles through the beautiful Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks. We climbed up into an Indian cave, jumped across stepping stones, sat in a teepee, and challenged ourselves with hills. I definitely felt the burn and am hoping my walk in San Diego is less hill and more… flat.

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Lastly, tonight Matt and I ventured to an ice rink! I was offered complimentary admission to Woodland Hills Ice in exchange for coverage on my blog, so Matt and I bundled up and headed to the rink. I used to be a good ice skater but let’s just say my talents now lie elsewhere. However, we had a blast teetering around the ice (I may have had to hold the wall the whole time) and dancing to the music. It’s also humbling to see little six year old kids whiz past you like pros.

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Admission is $15 for adults and includes skate rental for a two hour session. Kid’s prices are $13 though kids under 3 get in free with a paid adult. The rink also sells pizza, burgers, and hot chocolate and is right in the Westfield Mall parking lot — perfect if you want to squeeze in some holiday shopping. Even though I may have fallen flat on my butt right after this photo was taken, I loved the immediate calorie burn I felt from just a few minutes on the ice.

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They’re open late, sometimes as late as 11 p.m., so if the urge strikes you, get thee too Woodland Hills Ice to lace up and skate!

So, that’s how I’ve been keeping active lately, in addition to nice long walks. I can’t believe come Friday I’ll be lacing up for my first part of my 60-mile journey. I’m feeling a little bit undertrained, but I know if I do the best I can, it will be great!

Now: if you and I had to exercise together, what would you want to do: Walk, Hike, or Skate?

 

Health Warrior Chia Bars Review and Giveaway

If we were in person together, I’d totally start telling you about these Chia bars by chanting, Ch, Ch, Ch, Chia! Side note: I have had several Chia pets in my lifetime, and they never grow as beautifully lush as the ads made them out to be. Typical. Thankfully, I now have a much more useful application for Chia Seeds in my daily life: as part of my diet! My tentative enchantment began when I started making pudding out of Chia Seeds, like this nommy Peanut Butter Cocoa recipe. Then, I worked briefly for a nutrition bar company, and one of the bars they recommend I try was the Health Warrior Chia Bars. Right away I was intrigued by their small size. I know that sounds weird because usually in America, bigger is better, but I was on the lookout for something I could tuck into my purse or waist pack for on the go. I picked up a mango bar and was blown away at the taste. Immediately, you notice the lovely, chewy texture, the real hunks of mango, and the nutty, toasty taste of the Chia seeds. Each of these bars has 3 grams of protein, 4g of fiber, 4g of sugar and is only 110 calories. Plus, they’re packed with 1,000 mg of Omega-3.

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Health Warrior has kindly sent over a few packages of Mango and Coconut Bars for my 3-Day team, and I know we’re all looking forward to fueling up with them over our 60-mile journey. If tropical delight isn’t your thing, you can also try Chia Bars in Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Banana Nut, Coffee, Acai Berry, and Dark Chocolate Cherry. I’ve had the Banana Nut before as well and it was like delicious banana bread in a tiny, compact bar that’s lots better for you than banana bread. Now, I might say I love this product, but how do we know it’s legit, and I’m not just another rambling blogger? Because Mr. Double Chin Diary has been going through these like crazy, and I actually had to hide the last two boxes from him and remind him that these are for my walking team! Usually he turns his nose up (and usually, rightfully so) at the variety of chalky protein powders and stuff that makes its way into the house.

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Let’s talk about the nutrition stats for a moment. While these bars aren’t 100% organic, they use a bunch of organic ingredients, and there’s NO CRAP in their ingredients. You can pronounce every ingredient, and it’s all stuff that’s, you know, actually made out of food! These bars are dairy free, gluten-free, soy-free, and 100% vegan — and 100% tasty.

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Now! Enough about what I think about them. Let’s get you a chance to try them too. Enter now to win a box of Chia Bars, valued at $23.50 for 15 bars. The only mandatory entry is for you to hit “Easy Entry” on the Rafflecopter below. Then, score extra chances to win by doing the additional steps. This giveaway will end on Monday, 11/17 at 11:59 p.m. PST. GOOD LUCK!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t fence me in.

Two weeks from today I’ll be joining the Double Chin Divas (Alyssa, Monique, and Aubrey) in San Diego to spend our last day with all of our toenails, haha! Though maybe we’ll be lucky and none of us will lose any toenails as we attempt to walk sixty miles in three days, but I’m aware that it could happen and accept it.

;)

I’ve been walking A TON and am grateful that my body seems to be handling it mostly pretty well. The most I have done in a day is eleven miles but ideally this weekend I’ll be hitting at least fifteen. I’m taking a risk over whether or not I will be truly prepared for this challenge but after hearing my many other 3-day walkers, they said as long as you can by on at least ten miles then you should be able to do the twenty. Plus, we’ve got practically the whole day to get it done.

I’ll ENDURE.

But if you’d like to send me some mail by MONDAY that I’ll pick up during my walk, I bet your letters will help me get through the walk with a little bit more faith in myself.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day
Attn: April Lofgren
PO Box 4560
Carlsbad, CA 92018
*Must be postmarked by November 10th.*

 

Anyway, the best part of all this walking hasn’t been the weight loss (down twenty pounds!) or the incredibly firm calves or the simple fact in knowing that I CAN walk eleven miles in a day…It has been that I am fortunate enough to be able to do my training in some incredibly gorgeous places. I’ve done some major walking at Crater Lake in Oregon, Yosemite and Mono Lake  in California, Burning Man and the Red Rock Canyon in Nevada… not the mention the more frequent walks through places like the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the hills of Sonoma and Marin County, and the redwood forests all over the fog-belt of Northern California.

I’m spoiled, I know it. I send gratitude out into the universe every single day that I get to spend my life here. I haven’t walked a mile on a treadmill in over a year and I’m so appreciative that I have been able to prepare for this event outdoors. The song “Don’t fence me in” (the Ella version) is constantly playing in the back of my mind. Sometimes, if I’m completely alone, I’ll sing it as I stroll along happily under the trees. It makes me happy to be free and out in  the open. <3

“Let me wander over yonder till I see the mountains rise.. I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences and gaze at the moon till I lose my senses… And I can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences…. Don’t fence me in”

 

And now for your visual pleasure… a collage of photos taken during some of my walking adventures. <3

Red Rock Canyon - 11 miles... Crater Lake - 3 miles... Alemeda Beach - 1 mile morning walk... Yosemite - 4 miles.... Mono Lake - 2 miles...

Red Rock Canyon – 11 miles… Crater Lake – 3 miles… Alemeda Beach – 1 mile morning walk… Yosemite – 4 miles…. Mono Lake – 2 miles…

 

Burning Man - 10 miles... Redwood Tree in Cotati (next town over) - 10 miles... Golden Gate Bridge - 3.2 miles... Petaluma walking trail - 8 miles

Burning Man – 10 miles… Redwood Tree in Cotati (next town over) – 10 miles… Golden Gate Bridge – 3.2 miles… Petaluma walking trail – 8 miles

 

Oh, and now  that I have hit AND surpassed my $2,300 fundraising goal – I’ve gone ALL PINK! (and a bit of purple) Check it out! If you live in the Bay area, you can hit up my buddy Ashley Blanchard for your own style. 

Colorful at Red Rock Canyon!

Colorful at Red Rock Canyon!

 

Lots of love,

AprilSignatur

Tuesday Tidbits

Happy Tuesday! Sure, it’s still Monday while I’m writing this, but by the time you read it, it will be Tuesday. Here are some random things on my mind at the start of this lovely week.

1) November signifies the start of two pledges I am making to myself; the first, I am calling NoCANDYvember, and will be my pledge to not eat anymore Halloween candy for the rest of the month. I got a little too friendly with the cauldron of treats in our house, and too many sourpatch kids crossed my lips. I really never have issues with eating candy, but I ate enough of it this past weekend that I don’t want to see anything other than a small square of dark chocolate. The second pledge, will be called Milevember, just so I can keep with the snappy naming conventions. Each day, I’ll walk at least one mile, which shouldn’t be a problem as I gear up for my final training weeks for the 3-Day. My activity is too sporadic in that I’ll have a day where I’m a slug, and then the next day where I’m a hiking, walking, weed-pulling, car-washing machine, so setting a one mile per day goal is a good incentive for me to move.

2) I am sadly realizing that I am likely undertrained for the 3-Day. My longest walk so far was about 12 miles, and it was tough. However, I’ll be curious what my experience is as I know several seasoned 3-Dayers who say they never train, and some who train constantly and often. I wish I had trained more up to the 18 mile mark, but I feel great already about being able to walk 10 miles without passing out! That’s a big accomplishment for someone like me, the fitness averse. I’m also so proud of the fact that I raised over $2,700 to help women and men with breast cancer. You’re a big part of that; thank you so much for your support.

3) This weekend I’ll be walking in the Katie K. Active 5k. You can walk or run the 5k at any time of your choice in the next few weeks, and when you register, you’ll get a medal, a shirt, and a bracelet. I’ll actually be out of town, so I’m lucky in that I get to walk it with Sarah and Emily! Check out the Katie K 5k if you want to virtually join us – $5 of your registration fee goes to charity.

4) This weekend I had brunch at The Whaler in Venice with my friend AJ at Confessions of a Fat Girl. You want a delicious, boozy new brunch drink? Their watermelon bellini, made with fresh watermelon juice, was out of this world.

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5) I love the time change in that today felt like sleeping in, but I don’t like it in that by the time I finish work for the day, it’s dark outside and I don’t want to leave my cozy house! Do you guys like DST? Do you wish we were like Arizona and Hawaii and would give it up?

That’s all I got. What are your Tuesday tidbits for me?