Thursday, October 30, 2014

Not For A Moment

I've recently learned a new song in church called Not for a Moment, and after hearing it for the second time, decided to buy it. I have fallen in love with the song, especially the line "Not for a moment did You forsake me". It humbles me to know that my God will never leave me or forsake me, no matter what. When things are good or bad, when I wander away, He is ALWAYS there. 

Today (Oct 30th) marks 2 years since I started immunotherapy, predictive text just reminded me it's called my immunoversary :). I've been thinking about it a lot today and every time I do, I'm just overwhelmed with a feeling of gratefulness that 2 years later, I'm, well, Healthy, Fit and Cancerfree as my blog title now reads! And I know that not for moment did my Savior forsake me, He was with me through all of it, and everything else I've ever been through. All I had to do was call on Him. 

Obviously I'm extremely happy with the outcome I've had so far, but I have the comfort of knowing that my God will be with me no matter what, and whatever life brings me, I can and will overcome anything. Knowing that helps me to stop stressing over what could be and enjoy what I have now. It is an amazing feeling to know that the Creator of the universe loves me even when I'm not lovable, forgives me even though I don't deserve it, and gives me super human strength right when I need it. 

And Not For A Moment, will He forsake me. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Marine Corps Half Marathon

I have a bad habit of running in races without being prepared for them. Like 2 years ago when I ran the Marine Corps Half Marathon after having surgery 2 months beforehand, and then starting radiation, so I hadn't been able to run except for the week before. This past weekend was one of those times. Fortunately, my lack of training wasn't due to surgery or anything like that, but I've had some issues with my IT band on my right side, and after running 5-6 miles, I had a bad pain from my right hip to my knee. I've rolled on the foam roller and stretched it, but the only way to know if it was better was to run long distance. My friends and I were running this race in memory of our friend who passed away earlier this year, so I felt like I really needed to do it if I was able to at all. So, I figured the worst that could happen is that I would have to walk a lot more than I wanted to, and I spent the week carbing up, and drinking lots of water, and went for it. It ended up being one of my better runs! One of my friends stayed with me for the first 6-7 miles, and that really helped, but she got a little faster and I got a little slower. Still, the miles seemed to fly by, and before I knew it I was done! My average pace was just under a 12 minute mile, which is slow but better than I expected. I think being very prepared as far as my diet and hydration really helped. 

Overall it was a great day with great weather and after the race we went to my friend's house for a cookout and to celebrate the life of Kevin Rayburn, who will always be missed by those who knew him. He was not one to let life pass him by, and was always up to something fun, whether working out, running distance runs or obstacle courses, camping, watching Nascar races, or just hanging out with friends. He always had a smile on his face and was an all around great guy, who loved his wife dearly and had a great group of family and friends. Remember that none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so appreciate those you love today!

Clockwise from top left: My friend Paulette and I at the finish; 
a view of the river from mile 11.5; one of the tanks leaving the race site; 
finisher's medal; tanks and their police escorts - it slowed down my ride home, 
but was really cool!; the evil ramp at mile 11 - and I liked that guy's shirt, ours last year 
said something similar; our muddy shoes from the muddy finish line - I always sprint in to finish a race 
and couldn't this time - I was mad! :)

Back of the shirts Kevin's wife had custom made for us

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

First of all, I know I need lessons on food photography - sorry! But I love these oatmeal muffins and wanted to share the recipe, especially since they are a great make-ahead snack, and can be frozen for later. I adapted my recipe from Sugar Free Mom (she has all kinds of variations, and is a way better food photographer :) ). The recipe is so easily adaptable depending on your personal tastes and what you have on hand. Here is the recipe that I go with most often:

2 1/2 c. oats
1/4 c. ground flax seed
2-4 packets of Stevia (or whatever sweetener you’d like to use)
¾ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk, which has greatly improved my diet life!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz pumpkin seeds

Splenda Brown Sugar for sprinkling on top before baking (optional)

I mix together all dry ingredients (except pumpkin seeds), then add wet ingredients and stir together until blended, and then stir in pumpkin seeds.
Makes 12 regular size muffins, or 24 mini muffins. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes for regular muffins, 10-15 minutes for minis.
There are plenty of ways to make this recipe your own. You can substitute applesauce (unsweetened) or mashed banana for the pumpkin, use different nuts/seeds/dried fruit, change seasonings around – I used banana extract sometimes to make “banana nut muffins”. Chocolate chips and peanut butter are pretty awesome if you’re not watching your calories too closely!
Nutrition Information based on recipe above, per 1 regular or 2 mini muffins:

Calories 108
Fat 4.5 (.5 Saturated)
Carbs 14.2
Fiber 3.4
Sugar 1.3
Protein 4.7

Love these as an on the go sub for oatmeal! I eat them cold out of the fridge during the week, and freeze extras. This week I’ve been eating thawed muffins and they are still pretty good without re-heating.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Long Time, No "C"

So, obviously I've been MIA from this blog for a long time, but for good reason - I've had nothing to report! August marked my 2 year "cancerversary" and for the most part, I kind of forget about that part of my life. Still go to the doctor for my checkups, and still do my best to avoid the sun and wear sunscreen/hats/rash guards etc, and post the occasional melanoma awareness reminder on Facebook, but otherwise I'm just living my life and trying to be the healthiest me I can be - not just physically, but also mentally and especially spiritually. 

I have wanted to start a health and fitness type of blog, and actually did start one on Tumblr, but I actually liked the format of Blogspot better and decided it would be way easier to just change this blog a little. So I'll re-post the few things I wrote on Tumblr, and maybe I'll actually update this more often, since I have a lot more to say about health and fitness than cancer, although I am sure I still have plenty to say about that too! :)