Tag Archives: fitness

Fitness with a Broken Toe {Food & Fitness Link-Up}


This is the year of self-care for me and I feel like I’m being tested. Last Friday night, I stubbed my pinky toe so bad that it made it very difficult to walk. I iced and elevated it all weekend. So. Much. Fun.

I went to the doctor on Tuesday and after an x-ray, learned that I had a non-displaced fracture, meaning that although my toe is broken, it has maintained proper alignment. Whew! I’ve never broken a bone before so I can’t complain that if I’d have to have broken one in my lifetime, this kind would be it.

And as predicted, there wasn’t much that can be done. But I wanted the advice of how long I should stay off of it and when I could workout again, even if that meant just walking.

So I have buddy-taped the toe to the next and am wearing a small boot. Apparently athletic shoes are not a good idea to squish a broken toe into a shoe. I am told that it can take up to six weeks to heal and to refrain from any strenuous activity on it.

The Good News:

  • My back now feels great.
  • The majority of the pain in my toe/foot was during the first two days. It was a good thing to ice and elevate every two hours on those days. I’m lucky it was over a weekend!
  • Every day, the toe is getting better and walking is getting easier.

Now for this week’s plan!







  • I may try the recumbent bike this week. My doc said it was okay as long as it’s not putting any pressure on nor whacking my toe. The bike has caused my back to hurt in the past. And since sitting is the worst thing I can do for my back, I may just do a few short intervals.
  • My post-back surgery PT exercises. I can do several of these despite my toe. Since I can’t do a lot of cardio, it’s time to strengthen the back and do them every day.

Have you ever broken a bone?

What did you do for exercise in the meantime?


I Made It! {And I need cooking advice.}


Well, I made it through NaBloPoMo posting everyday for the entire month of November. It was a challenge, but I found that it wasn’t as difficult as I had thought. I have so many ideas popping around in my head and I was able to finally put some down in print.

I finally put up a bunch of Restaurant Impressions {which is my husband’s favorite part of the blog}, some of which we’d experienced quite awhile ago. Other times, I posted these impressions within a few days of dining there. {And I’ve found that is always the best when everything is fresh in my mind and I can still taste the food.}

But now I’m going back to posting about three to five times a week. If you are still following, you may have been getting sick of daily posts anyway, right? 😉

This week…



I have three days available to cook and then we’ll use the leftovers. Here is what I intend to make:

  • Mediterranean Risotto courtesy of my November Foodie Penpal {Thanks, Brandi!} along with flank steak. Anybody got a good recipe to make it flavorful and tender? I’ve never cooked flank steak before because it’s not Rob’s favorite cut. But it was on sale and is grass fed beef! I have about 3/4 pound. I would love it to be well-seasoned and tender. We usually eat filet mignon or sirloin and like medium rare. Suggestions welcome!
  • Pasta with this arrabbiata pesto. I found this jar in the store and bought it on a whim because we love spicy sauces! Any suggestions for a protein with this one? I think some sliced chicken breast would work well. But since Rob is allergic, do you think sliced pork chops will be okay?
  • Something easy with ground beef. What’s your favorite, easy go-to?



Despite my attempts to plan fitness every Monday, it just hasn’t been happening. To get back in the groove, I’m in search of a core strengthening program for those who’ve had back surgery. I’m finding that even “easy” yoga and “basic” pilates are still difficult for me. And I want to have that core strong before I attempt to begin running again.

Until then, I need to do what’s best for the back and keep walking

Please, give me your best tips and recipe suggestions for the above!


Return to Food & Fitness


We are back from vacation and I’m ready for a detox. After a beautiful wedding in Pasadena, a night in Beverly Hills, and a few days tasting wine {& beer!} in Temecula Wine Country, my body is craving anything and everything healthy. Vegetables. Fruits. Protein. Exercise. Water.

So here goes for this week…



  • Dinners
  • Breakfasts
    • Peanut Butter Toast
    • Protein Granola with Milk
  • Lunches
    • Buffalo Chicken Salad with crackers + pear or applesauce + Laughing Cow-stuffed mini peppers + Chobani yogurt
    • Caprese Salad + pear or applesauce + Laughing Cow-stuffed mini peppers + Chobani yogurt
    • Leftovers


  • Monday – Walk on Treadmill
  • Tuesday – Pilates
  • Wednesday – Walk/Run on Treadmill
  • Thursday – Elliptical in am
  • Friday – Elliptical in am
  • Saturday – Walk
  • Sunday – Pilates
  • 30-day Arm Challenge

So that is what’s in store this week. Don’t worry, you’ll get to hear about our trip and tips for L.A. / Temecula Wine Country over the next week and a half. It won’t exactly be in order, but that’s okay! 😉

What helps you “re-set” after vacation?


Mediterranean Pork Chops {Food & Fitness Link-Up}


I made two blog-post worthy meals out of last week’s

Food & Fitness Linkup!

I’ll be showcasing one today.

Mediterranean Pork ChopsMy plan for Tuesday was to make some sort of pork chops with pesto green beans or zucchini and onions with herbes de Provence.

I decided on the zucchini and onions because I had three zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used and also found some fresh mozzarella which I no longer had tomatoes {gasp!} to make a Caprese salad.

So I improvised.

Yes. Me. Little Miss Follow-the-Recipe played the thing by ear. This always makes me nervous because I’m not sure what I’ll do if Rob doesn’t like what I make. We already go out to eat too much and I fear that if I don’t make something fabulous, he’ll want to eat out more. {I’m trying to push it in the other direction for both our health and pocketbook’s sake!}

In any case, I knew that Melissa d’Arabian’s Sweet Vegetable Saute side is always a hit with Rob, so I wasn’t too worried there. However, the last time I made pork chops with a Tuscan herb rub, I over-seasoned the meat, which made them nearly inedible. We had to scrape off much of the seasoning. It was also an herb rub I hadn’t used before, so I wasn’t very familiar with it.

Tip: When trying out new spices, use a little less than you think. You can always add more later.

This time, I decided to use my absolute favorite herb blend ever – the Rosemary Herb Seasoning Mix by Pampered Chef. Unfortunately, this blend has been discontinued. I don’t know what I’ll do when I’m out. It’s what I like to use when I make popcorn my favorite way. If anyone has the exact blend for this seasoning, please send it my way. I’ve tried to look it up online and there are so many different variations or guesses. But I don’t want any other Italian Seasoning mix, I want THAT blend!

In any case, for these Mediterranean Pork Chops, you can use any of your favorite Italian Seasoning Blends, Herbes de Provence or fresh herbs of your choice. You are just gong to have to play around to find the right mix for you.

Mediterranean Pork Chops with Sautéed Zucchini and Onions

  • olive oil (I used garlic infused olive oil.)
  • onion
  • zucchini
  • Italian, Tuscan or Herbes de Provence seasoning (to taste)
  • 4 pork chops (approximately 1 lb)
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella (sliced)


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Start chopping and cooking the Sautéed Zucchini and Onions by following this recipe. If you don’t like onions, you can skip or use yellow squash or bell peppers. It doesn’t matter how much you use of each veggie, just season with Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper to taste. The dish can hang out and sauté on low for as long as you making the rest of this dish.
  • I like to pound the pork chops thin if they aren’t already. Then, brush one side of the pork chops with olive oil and rub with Italian seasoning mix to taste. Since my first over-seasoning debacle, I tend to under-season now because I know I can add more later. Don’t forget to add salt if your seasoning mix does not contain any.
  • Lightly spray a pan (I used a grill pan) with cooking spray or olive oil and heat to medium-high.
  • Once hot, put the chops in the pan, seasoned-side down.
  • Brush the remaining side with the olive oil and rub with more Italian seasoning.
  • Sear the chops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer the chops to a baking sheet or pan.
  • Top with slices of fresh mozzarella.
  • Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cooked through and mozzarella has melted.
  • Drizzle with a little good quality extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a little kosher or sea salt to finish.


So what’s up this week?

planningWe have a lot coming up this weekend, so I’m not planning my days out exactly. Instead, I know that we will be eating at home four of the days and will just cook one of the following on any given day.


  • Dinners:
  • Breakfasts – Peanut Butter Toast, Granola with Milk
  • Lunches – Leftovers and Snack Lunches (This week, Poorman’s Caprese, cantaloupe, a piece of dove dark chocolate, Chobani yogurt, and a Tbsp of cashews.)


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I stopped running because my back was starting to hurt again. I switched to walking. Last week, the plan was to increase my walking mileage by 10% of the previous week. So my goal last week was to walk just a total of 8 miles.

But I didn’t do it.

By the end of the week, I realized that I need a better plan. I need some more structure. A goal. Then I remembered that what I wanted to do is finish the LOST Virtual Races. Joe has added four more races to reflect the last Stations of the LOST Dharma Initiative. Originally, I wanted to do the Couch to 5k, get back to running those and then run the last 7k, 8.15k, 9k and 10k stations.

If I can’t run right now, it’s time to get back to fitness walking. So my plan is to finish these stations by walking them, but not at a leisurely pace. I need to push myself!

So on Sunday, I completed the LOST 7k – Staff Station!

LOST Station 7 – Staff 7K


What is your favorite way to eat pork chops?


I Took a Walk…


It was 4pm on Sunday. We just suffered a Packer loss. It was a rough, close game that shouldn’t have been. We just returned from the Buffalo Tap. But it was an absolutely gorgeous day.

So I decided to go for a walk.

I posted last week that I had decided to stop running in hopes that would alleviate some back pain. I was right. However, I knew I had to keep moving somehow, even if it wasn’t at the same same intensity level. My plan was to walk just one mile every day. I figured that it was a start and I know that walking is the best thing I can do for my back.

I had some rough days. I had some days where that one mile was very challenging. I had a day where my legs hurt almost as bad as The Worst Day before my diagnosis and inevitable back surgery. And I most certainly didn’t keep up with walking just one mile every day.

But I did feel better as the week went on. And knowing that one mile per day equated to just seven miles for the entire week, I was determined on Sunday to finish what I had started.

Only, I walked just two miles the entire week.

Only, I can’t remember the time I walked five miles.

Only, my iPhone was dead.

But I went anyway. I stepped out the door with just a written route and water bottle in hand, along with my thoughts. I had no music, no podcosts, no iPhone to keep me company. Earlier, I had serious thoughts of walking on the treadmill and watching a movie to keep my mind occupied over the five miles.

However, there was no way I was giving up the last day of summer in Minnesota with it’s perfect sunshine and 78-degree and breezy weather. I stepped out with no time, no pace in mind. I had no electronic gadgets to gauge me, not even a watch. I was determined to walk for the pure enjoyment of it.

It was heavenly.

I enjoyed the scent of fresh air. The kind that you open the windows for, but then snuggle under the covers in the fall. In fact, the scents where my favorite part of the entire walk! Occasionally, I’d get the scent of burgers on the grill, or lighter fluid igniting charcoal, or someone cutting the grass or laying fresh mulch.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon. Despite the beautiful weather, not many people were out. I like to count dogs to pass the time while I’m running or walking and during this walk, I only counted seven. Perhaps people were enjoying the last few weekends up at their cabins. Maybe they were napping the afternoon away. I saw and heard no televisions, so I couldn’t imagine that many were inside watching football. The Vikings had already suffered a loss that day as well.

I completed nearly five miles. And when I returned and looked a the clock, I Had been gone for an hour and twenty minutes, about ten minutes longer than my first five-mile race.

Boy does it feel good to walk.


Now it’s time for:


This week was all about the audibles!



Seven miles total (over three days.)

What’s in store this week?



Increase my walking mileage by 10% (round to the nearest half mile.) Therefore, my goal is to walk 8 miles. Sounds simple, but I’ve got to listen to my body. I don’t want to get injured again!

So, in looking at my meals this week….

If you had to choose, would you go to Heidi’s or Louis Ristorante and what would you order?

Which of chili recipes over at My Bizzy Kitchen would you try?

Have a great week!


Challenge Obesity


I have some goals I’ve set for myself this year. One of them is to run the Challenge Obesity 5k in St. Paul, MN for a second time. It was the first 5k race I’ve ever run.

However, the most important part of this goal is that I want to get as many people as possible to run the race with me!

If you’ve never done a 5k race before {walk or run}, this is the one for you!

When I set out to run my first 5k and wanted to find a race that was not intimidating, I was recommended the Challenge Obesity 5k by Jen, a priorfatgirl.

She was right. There were people of all shape, sizes, ages and abilities. The staff was very helpful. In addition, I felt inspired. Many of the people participating were people who had lost significant amounts of weight. They had photos of themselves or the numbers of pounds they’d lost written on their backs. I honestly can’t recall seeing this at any other races I’ve done recently. Those people inspired  me. I want to give back by inspiring you!

I’m asking you to Challenge Obesity with me this year.

Whether you want to give a 5k a shot for the first time, used to run or tried to at one point and want to get back into it or are a seasoned runner who just wants to support newbies, I encourage you to join me.

And by joining me, I mean any of the following:

  • Join me and we can decide to have t-shirts made for our group and/or a place to go to breakfast or brunch to celebrate post-race.
  • If that isn’t your style, just sign up for the 5k and stop by to say “hi” before the race!
  • Or sign up for the race {or any other race near you} on your own. If you want to remain anonymous, but are inspired by this post, by all means, just do it! Although I’d love to know about it, my true intent is to encourage and inspire as many people as possible.

If you are afraid to run a race, please know that this one is a run/walk. Also, you’ve got some time. The race date:

April 21st, 2013

I’d love to know if you are going to participate! Just email me at UncommonWine at yahoo dot com today letting me know your commitment. Then, send me another email once you’ve registered.

Still not sure?

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you how I used the Couch to 5k program to start running. Or just look how cute this dog is running:

Isn’t (s)he cute?

In the meantime, what inspires you?



Women Run the Cities 5k


One of the things that I think holds me accountable for running, or working out in general, is signing up for another race before I finish the next one. That way, I have to keep going.

This weekend, I participated in another Sunday race – the Women Run the Cities 10-mile and 5k. Of course, I ran the 5k. While waiting for the race to start, I asked my husband if next year I should do the 10-mile. I should have lost all my weight by then and hopefully this whole running thing would be easier. He looked at me like I was crazy.

The Night Before…

As this was another Sunday race, I had all day Saturday to keep myself busy and distracted so as not to think too much. And I think I did pretty well!

We were up late on Friday hosting a poker tournament. Saturday morning, I took Sophie in to get groomed and then went straight to a coffee shop to catch up on a little blogging.

My food for the day wasn’t exactly stellar. I did a lot of eating out:

Breakfast at The Buzz: Greek Egg Bowl {their portion sizes are actually perfect!} with a White Almond Mocha {skim milk, no whip} followed by a Depth Charge {black coffee with a shot of espresso} before I left.

We had a late lunch at Devil’s Advocate in downtown Minneapolis. I had three meatballs and some polenta and washed it down with a Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic and enjoyed a New Holland Dragon’s Milk for dessert – both on tap!

I didn’t snack all day, mostly because my meals were filling and I didn’t get hungry. So dinner, too, ended up being later: A Cantina Bowl. Don’t judge. Or do.

The biggest problem on Saturday, though, I think was that I didn’t really start to get water into my system until 5pm. DOH!

I went to bed early, following my usual night-before-race ritual of showering and applying lavender oil just before bed to help me sleep. I slept okay, but that 5:30 alarm did not make me too happy.

Race Day…

Breakfast included two pieces of peanut butter toast and a banana {aka “The Usual”}. Remembering how thirsty I was just before and during my last race, I filled up a big water bottle to take with me. The 5k race wasn’t until 8:30am anyway. It was very chilly out! And while I had intended to wear long sleeves for the first time in a race, at the last minute I grabbed a fleece and a scarf. I was glad I did!

It was suggested we take the light rail because there would be minimal parking. We left the house while it was still dark, stopping for our usual coffee on the way. We arrived pretty darn early. Who knew that the light rail ran that early on Sunday mornings? There was time to check out the vendors after I picked up my number and shirt.

Time passed very slowly and I’m thinking it felt that way because I was so cold. And I am planning to run a race in October and even thought about November? I’m a wuss. In any case, Starbucks was a sponsor, and I enjoyed another small coffee from their booth to keep myself warm. Don’t worry, I pounded my entire bottle of water, too {approximately four glasses worth}. That also meant that I had to use the bathroom an insane number of times!

The 10-mile runners started out first followed by the 1-mile run for girls. The 5k was supposed to start  at 8:30, so I shed my extra clothing and handed it to Rob. {However, this is the first race I’ve done that offered a bag check.}

Shivering pre-race…

Still, we didn’t end up starting the race until about 9am. I had to pee again I kept thinking, “I could have gone and been back already!”

I hadn’t anticipated it, but this ended up being a tough race for me.

I kept a decent pace throughout, but everything felt really difficult. My body felt heavy. My breathing didn’t feel very controlled. People who passed me were chatting as if they were just taking a stroll. The route was completely flat, so what was wrong? My mind was taking over:

Why is this so hard?

Why did you sign up for a 5-mile race when you can barely do this one?

How do you possibly think you can run the 10-mile race next year?

I had to do everything I could to push these thoughts out of my mind. It was 37 degrees at the start of the race, but by mile one, I felt like I could handled short sleeves. Still, I didn’t get too hot in my long sleeves by any means.

I still don’t understand why this is so hard for me? Isn’t it supposed to get easier? When all was said and done, this was the second fastest race I’ve run. Quit complaining, Carrie. My chip time:


I didn’t feel so great afterward. Maybe I pushed myself too hard? I walked away from the crowd. After Rob caught up with me {he’s always so great to find me rather than vice versa!}, I started to feel a bit better. We picked up all of the post-race snacks and any interesting vendor freebies and headed back to the light rail. Here’s a photo of all the grub that came home with me:

The Post-Race Grub

I started to drink the Muscle Milk while on the light rail and by the time we got back to our car, I wasn’t feeling very well. I was a little nauseous. I’m not sure if it was the Muscle Milk, dehydration or something else. By the time we made it home, all I could think about was a hot shower and a nap. That’s what I did. I woke up not feeling much better, even after eating a bit. In fact, I wasn’t feeling up to anything until about 3pm. How do I expect to run a further distance if I can barely handle a 5k?

I really need to get past that.

I ran a 5k.  I ran the entire time.  I finished:

Post-race with my first ever “Finisher Medal” – with a virtually non-existent Minnehaha Falls in the backdrop

And I did get my best-looking and best-fitting shirt so far:

The Goods: Women’s long sleeve tech shirt, finisher medal, clip on reflector

List of 5k results for my personal comparison:

  1. 38:54
  2. 38:20
  3. 38:40
  4. 36:08
  5. 38:27
  6. 37:44
  • The Event: 2012 Women Run the Cities 10-mile, 5k Run & Walk
  • The Location:  Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis, MN
  • The Date: September 23, 2012
  • Night Before Dinner: A Cantina Bowl
  • Pre-race Breakfast: “The Usual” – peanut butter toast and a banana
  • My Time: 37:44
  • The Weather: Chilly. 37 degrees pre-race, topping out at probably about 50 degrees by the end of the race.
  • General Feeling: Had no expectations, but it felt pretty difficult and I felt defeated mentally and physically during the run.
  • Uniqueness: A Woman-only race, rated by ESPN as the Top 5 race for women in the country.
  • Size: Sold out to 2700 participants including 10-mile runners, 5k runners and walkers and girls running the one-mile race.
  • The Goods: Women’s long sleeve tech shirt & finisher medal
  • The Grub: Muscle Milk, rolls, bananas, Pearson’s Nut Roll, Old Dutch Salt & Black Pepper Chips, Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt popcorn by Angie’s Kettle Corn, Bite-sized Luna Bar, Fortune Cookie

Yes, I said Fortune Cookie.

Here was my fortune:

Was I smiling? I don’t know. But crossing the finish line, there’s pride in that.

My next race scheduled is a 5-miler. I’m going to run it very slowly. I don’t want to push it too hard like I did this time. I just want to finish.

In running or in life, how do change a negative mindset into a positive one?