baby mama

happy hump day! i’d love to shine the spotlight on someone vital to my motherhood journeys as well as my Christian walk. remember my confession post, In Love With Lean, from about 6 months ago? weeeeeell,

this pretty young thang is one of the good friends i was referring to… my BM, Marguerite!

(i.e., Baby Mama, as we affectionately call each other.)

 through my infertility struggles with both pregnancies, Marguerite helped me cope with having to ‘sit down somewhere’ from all the excessive exercising i was doing in the most loving way possible. lol. she has a masters in counseling because it’s clearly what she was born to do!  we met at UH, were even roommies for a semester, and continued to keep in touch after graduation.  she prayed and fasted with and for me during those times, and i received her advice and words wholeheartedly because i knew they were from the Lord. fasting solo (and usually for your own personal issues) is physically and mentally difficult enough.   but to care for another friend so much (i’m not talking about your spouse, mom, dad, siblings, etc.) that you sacrifice yourself and go to the Lord on their behalf… i am utterly thankful God put her in my life.  i’m also grateful she was willing to let Him use her in the first place!  being obedient to God’s commands and tasks can be uncomfortable and downright hard.  it can often make relationships difficult, very awkward…or even eventually non-existent. but you must do what He tells you to do… His way.  it’s about His glory, never us.

we were preggo together for both of our children, however, she is chunking me the deuce for babies #3 and 4, hahaha! i’m on my own now, but i know she’ll be with me in spirit.

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i was almost 9 months along and she was about 6 when we met up for our BM prenatal massages and lunch back in 2011. we worked out (walked on the treadmills), hung out and talked about baby stuff, and ate good of course. boobs and bellies everywhere!

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we were gettin’ our Red Lobster on for lunch in this throwback pic,

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and a few months ago we met up for brunch at Le Peep before heading to get our massages. i was 8 months along and she was right behind me again at almost 6!  because my birthday had recently passed, she told me my massage was on her.  what a sweet, sweet surprise and a testament to her character.

aaand of course we attended each other’s baby showers!

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i’ve had so much fun sharing blessings and making memories with this girl.

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she came to spend some quality time with Odego and i at the hospital back in June, and i was recently blessed to return the favor because her sweet baby girl, Callie Marie, is already HERE! today is actually Callie’s due date and i am elated she is safely in her mama’s arms and in the comfort of their own home.

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she’s perfect. and PINK:) i’m looking forward to all the girlie advice Marguerite will pass my way because i’ll need it :) .

i just want to give a sincere congrats to the blessed Hairstons who are now a family of four!  thank you, BM, for simply being the sister you were called to be. i appreciate you. <3

le

zucchini pepperoni pizza poppers

Bey and J are performing in Houston tonight and guess who’s going!??!?! all of Houston!!!  except us. we’re at home eating zucchini pizzas and staring at each other.

IMG_20140718_174525these healthy, light snacks are bursting with Italian, cheesy goodness and make THE perfect party appetizers by the way! you just need to serve them immediately while they are hot and bubbling. else, the cheese hardens up. but i can eat cheese at any temperature. especially burnt cheese. yummy.

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Zucchini Pepperoni Pizza Poppers

the stuff:

  • 2 raw zucchini, coined 1/2 in thick
  • 1/3 cup homemade marinara
  • 1/4 cup turkey pepperoni rounds, chopped
  • no stick cooking spray
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (vegan, dairy-free, cheddar, monterey  jack, pepperjack, mozzarella, etc.)

do this:

  1. wrap a large flat baking plan with foil and coat with no-stick cooking spray and set your oven broiler to high
  2. heat a large griddle to med-high heat  (i made pancakes for breakfast and the griddle was already out but you can use a very large skillet too) and coat it with no-stick cooking spray
  3. place as many zucchini coins flat on the griddle as possible and cook for 1 minute (you may have to work in batches)
  4. flip the coins over and cook for an additional minute
  5. transfer the cooked coins to the baking sheet lined with foil
  6. dab some marinara sauce on the top of each coin and using the back of a small spoon, spread mixture out
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  8.  sprinkle a few shreds of cheese on top of the sauce
  9.  sprinkle some chopped turkey pepperoni on top of the cheese
  10. place entire pan in your oven as close to the broiler flames as you can get and cook for approx. 5 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbly
  11. sprinkle with Italian seasoning. done.

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s/n: if you have more zucchini to use up, see if you can stretch your ingredients even further as you might have sauce/cheese, etc. left over.

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 i upgraded my fry cutter!  this is the Deluxe Fry Cutter from Bed Bath & Beyond and i got it for 13 bucks after using the 5 bucks off coupon that comes in the snail mail flyer.  great, affordable investment.  the only thing i did have to do first is peel the potato, then slice it in half.  the device only opens so wide, so you might have to cut the ends off to make it fit.  other than that, no microwaving needed before cutting!  sign up for their ads directly on their website to get their coupons.

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what a big helper! not just in the kitchen with me but with his little brother as well which is a huge answered prayer. many have asked how the transition with the boys has been and i can honestly say smooth.  putting Dego’s dirty diapers in the diaper genie for me is exciting to him. yeah, i’m milking that for as long as he lets me.

also, these are the delish, Spicy Smoky Sweet Potato Fries from my ebook!

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WHY didn’t i think of this sooner… Quest Bars help out big time with my sweet toof.  i really i only get them when i go to my gym, so now that i’m going almost regularly the bars are making appearances again. THIS time though, i’m going to GNC and buying an entire box. can’t keep buying them for 3 bucks at a time, pretty stupid and not cost-effective.  20g protein, 17g fiber, 170-180 cals. coconut cashew is one of my fave flavors! .

didn’t get to have my early gym rendezvous this morning so i went power walking this evening.

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 i strapped down the girls with two sports bras and hit the bricks.  let me tell you how much i appreciate working my back 2 or more times a week when i was preggo! the weight of these boobs right now….. whew.

le

chocolate, chips, and crackers, oh my

this morning i got the chance to walk it OUT again at the gym! you’ve seen the quote ‘you’re one workout away from a good mood,’ but baybaaaay, i was already in one and the early workout made my day that much better.

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i did about an hours worth of treadmill incline intervals.  i switched back and forth between these two settings:

4 mph @ incline level 4

2.5 mph @ incline level 15

sweaty, saturday FUN.

IMG_20140712_150854back at home, i had a gangload of zucchini (about 6 medium) i needed to spiralize so that’s exactly what i did before they went bad.  i sauteed the zoodles in a large wok for about 5 minutes in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat, then added them to a large bowl with about 3 large spoons of homemade guacamole from yesterday.  i didn’t really have a sauce prepared and was being lazy. it worked though!  i paired them with tilapia and a few fresh tomatoes for lunch.  Sonny really enjoyed this!
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seriously.  these postpartum cravings…  i try to fight them as best i can and it is pure torture some days. i am a bottomless pit and i’m not even working out like i used to yet, jeez.  i either want chocolate, salty, crunchy chips, or crackers, so I turned to my old friend, popcorn.

IMG_20140712_1948513 cups of air popped popcorn is only 25 cals, 1g of fat, 22g carbs, 6g fiber, and 3g protein. soooo I made a big vat of homemade Salted Dark Chocolate Popcorn! I melted 2 tbsp of dark chocolate and drizzled it over the popcorn (that I cook on the stovetop with a lil coconut oil) and added a pinch of sea salt and a few mini chocolate chips. i suggest putting the entire bowl into the fridge so the drizzle can harden first, but i didn’t wanna wait nor did i mind the mess.

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 so, friday night ended differently that i expected! hubs came home and suggested sushi and i did not dispute him.  i order the same thing at our fave spot every time with the following adjustments:

  • salmon teriyaki bento box with the teriyaki sauce on the side
  • steamed veggies instead of vegetable tempura
  • 2 salads instead of the soup & salad my meals comes with as the sodium from the miso soup bloats me
  • i customized my roll and asked for brown rice with fresh shrimp and avocado.

according to Sonny my roll always tastes too healthy.  whatevs.

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dinner… and a show.

 Q: what special healthier requests do you make when ordering food at a restaurant?

le

 

*updated* Zucchini Pizza Cruise Ships + we’re registered!

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had a bowl of organic rolled oats cooked in unsweetened vanilla almond milk, water, cinnamon, and vanilla before heading to my (now weekly) OB appointment this morning.   fresh blueberries, more cinnamon, more almond milk, and pure maple syrup went right on top.  i had egg whites w/ salsa on the side too. fueling up for some kickboxing a little later today.

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was running late and threw on whatever (but i was comfy though!)  and we made it just in time for my group b strep test and routine check up.  if only pap smears were that quick & easy-peasy!  all is well @ 35 weeks and i thank Him for another great progress report. and yes, i smacked Chiso right after he smacked me.

on to our new hospital to registerrrrrr!

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so the hospital where Chiso was born doesn’t do L&D anymore. i enjoyed the experience there and was saddened after hearing that!  however, the new hospital is literally 3 minutes away, so no biggie.  AND my favorite OB in the entire universe will be there to deliver Odego this time, Lord willing.  (she was out having her twins at the time Chiso was born :'(  ) .  i went ahead and registered juuuuust in case we have to pop up there sooner than expected, but i am coming back with Sonny to take a tour so we can be cheesy and take pics and stuff.  a date i am so looking forward too, again.  i hardly EVER buy overpriced convenience store food/snacks, but i was unprepared and Chiso got restless while i filled out paper work.  so i got him this Sabra pretzel and hummus dip along with a banana.

enjoy this updated recipe of last night’s dinner:

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*updated* Zucchini Pizza Cruise Ships

the stuff:

  • 4 large, raw zucchini, halved & seeded
  • 2 cups cooked and seasoned extra lean ground turkey
  •  1 cup homemade marinara (add more if you’d like and the recipe is below)
  • 8 turkey pepperoni, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup shredded almond or rice cheese
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced into coins
  • 2 tsp dried italian seasoning or parsley or fresh basil
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. set your oven to 350 degrees and coat a large baking pan with foil and no-stick cooking spray.
  2. after halving the zucchini, scoop some of the insides out using a small spoon.  they should look like empty canoes cruise ships once you’re done; arrange them flat and seed-side up on your baking sheet.
  3. mix the cooked ground turkey and the marinara sauce together, then spoon the mixture evenly into/onto the zucchini.
  4. sprinkle the turkey pepperoni, tomato, and italian seasoning on top of the cruise ships, and bake them for about 20 minutes.
  5. remove them from the oven and sprinkle shredded cheese on top. ( i used 2% colby jack cause that’s all i had. to keep this recipe dairy free, use almond or rice cheese.)
  6. let them bake once more for 7-10 minutes or just until the cheese melts to your liking.
  7. top with fresh basil or parsley!

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i thought i posted my marinara recipe in the Fit N’ Crispy Chicken Parm post but maybe it didn’t save like i thought?? can’t explain that one.  but here it is:

homemade marinara:

the stuff:

  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 6 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning blend (optional)
  • sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

do this:

  1. heat a large sauce pan to medium-low heat; once hot, pour in your olive oil.
  2. add onions & garlic and sauté until translucent…about 2-3 minutes.
  3. add in the rest of the ingredients except sea salt and cracked black pepper, stir, cover, and let simmer for 12-15 minutes.
  4. shut off heat; add mixture to your blender or food processor and blend on high until super smooth.

you can make this ahead of time and store in the fridge to be used for pizza sauce, wing dip, breadstick dip, whatever!

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happy hump day! hollaaaaaaaaa

le

lunch. lunges. life goals.

i love interacting with my followers on Instagram and responding to every single comment and question that comes my way.  i go through as many un-private follower accounts as i can cause i’m generally interested in what yall got goin’ on and also to return the love.  all too often though i get lost in the IG matrix and literally hours later i’m like WHOA :shock: where did the DAY go?! social media is fun and addicting but can be a majooooooor distraction. for me. like i can’t get anything done. like blogging. nothing.

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i’ve been shutting down social media altogether for at least 1 day a week minimum. disconnecting is refreshing. and not in the least bit as frightening as i thought it would be.  the major difference in my day? i get stuff done. a ridiculously large amount of stuff. it’s amazing what putting the phone and ipad away can do for my productivity.

Q: how do you tame the social media beast? what works for you?

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hay there, 22 weeks!  i know i mentioned needing maternity clothes a few posts back, but gaaaaah, i can’t bring myself to buy them.  they are just so….. temporary. and de-motivating. i know, i know… do i wanna be comfortable or stubborn and make a statement? it just so happens that my mom takes the time to read my blog (xoxo, hi mom) and she kindly extended the invitation to take me maternity clothes shopping!  i didn’t turn her down.  i had a Dr’s appt. earlier this week though and since i was out and had time to spare, i stopped by Old Navy to see what they had before meeting a good friend for lunch. no maternity clothes at that location, but they DID have plenty of yoga pants. same thing.

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we ate at Red Lobster (hadn’t been there since i was preggo with Chiso in 2011) and as i stated on IG, they have tooooons of healthy options to choose from!  i was one happy fit mom in there reading the menu like a novel.  the downloadable nutritional stats for the entire menu are posted online and can be found right here.  i had the oven-broiled flounder, roasted veggie medley, a baked potato, and a garden salad with ranch dressing on the side. it was as tasty as i remember.  the baby had a cheddar bay biscuit or two; none for me though.

i’m showing sooner than i expected and the simplest tasks (tying my shoes, sitting up in bed, picking stuff up off the floor at home all.day.long) are becoming kinda uncomfy already. after the 6.5 – 7 month mark with my first pregnancy (when i really started to show) i cut out pushups and laying down flat on my back (for chest press, chest flyes, etc) for safety reasons. we’ll see how much further i can get, but for now,   nothing crazy with my workouts, just basic stuff like the vid above!  i’m grateful to be mobile and i’ll continue to take advantage.

lower body moves in the vid: (works glutes, hamstrings, quads, inner thighs)

  • walking barbell lunges with a front raised knee
  • plié squats dragging the trail foot (great inner thigh exercise)
  • reverse backward weighted  lunges

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this was one of my first attempts at making whole wheat pizza crust and it turned out incredible.  my Sur la table instructor would have been so proud.

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 i love the way the pizza turned out but instead of making another one with the leftover dough, i threw it in my grill pan randomly and made flat bread. just.as.awesome. so of course i had to make a sammich. a grilled Kickn’ Chicken breast sammich with roasted red bell pepper, honey goat cheese, and fresh basil.  whatasammich.  i disappointed a few IGers by not sharing the recipe but i have big plans for this dough! entertaining putting together a 2nd ebook. if i could just quit the internet.

happy friday eve ;)

le

halfway there! 20 weeks

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already!? cool with me.

  baby boy (we have a name but i’ll let Sonny finalize it first) is measuring the size of a banana this week.  i’m feeling him move all the time, day and night, and the flutters have definitely turned into random punches, kicks, and pokes.  my nurse says i am not drinking enough water (no surprise there unfortunately) so i’ve been chugging when i can.  so i have to pee all the time. day and night. i have to pee right after i finish peeing. no kidding. so annoying!!!!!! :evil:

foodery:

trying my hardest to keep things on the healthy side for the most part. here are some recent eats:

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been grilling up lots of chicken. people tell me they get tired of chicken quickly but as long as i switch up the flavors often, it’s like eating it for the first time to me.  i found the Weber Kickn’ Chicken seasoning blend a few days ago at my Walmart and i really like it so far. i don’t even mind the spice, which i’ve never been crazy about!  yummy.  since Sonny is about to be on the competition trail again he’s been eating lots of tilapia, so i usually eat some too with my meals.  i made that homemade bbq chicken pizza using Naan flat bread up there and omg. it was just incredible.   along with all my meals though, plenty of veggies and fresh fruit, everyday. some nights i have a strong craving for SOMETHING…… and nothing i eat will satisfy it. nothing. so i just eat a small chunk of cheese and go to bed.

and then there’s the occasional indulgence i have yet to deny myself.  Boston Market mac n cheese. why? because CHEESE.

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staying active:

getting it in 5-6 days  a week lately!  this past week i went 6 days in a row so i didn’t go anywhere near the gym saturday at all.  ok sunday too :lol: . i have never liked taking two days off in a row, but i am rested and ready to attack monday head on.  i haven’t skipped a beat with my super early morning HIIT and weights classes and i’m lifting at least 3 days a week on my own.

these are plain ol’ squats with a weighted barbell. (thanks for your patience, Tamika ;) )! as an instructor, proper form is a big deal to me, and using less weight has really given me a chance to focus on the muscle i’m working and ensure i’m doing it right myself.  sometimes my thoughts are clouded with how heavy the weight is and how many reps i have left to go vs. what i’m actually doing!  now, normally i’d slap 45 lbs on my bar for class (22.5 on each side) but i’ve modified that to 30 lbs total as of late.

remember:

  • knees BEHIND toes at all times

  • sit in your imaginary chair

  • back flat

  • spine, neck, head all in alignment

  • chest lifted

  • squeeze your glutes on the way down AND up

  • put your weight in your heels. can you lift your toes in your shoes at any time?

  • pick a spot on the ceiling and focus your attention there. looking up helps to keep your chest lifted too.

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so just.keep.moving.  it has been too uncomfortably cold to walk outside in Houston lately, so i have been using the elliptical, stair master, and treadmill for my cardio, 4-5 times a week.  however when it warms up i can’t wait to get back outside to my neighborhood walks again.  no idea how much weight i’ve gained and i’d like to keep it that way to be honest! i’m thinking once i deliver and start my transformation i’ll let Sonny track all my measurements and numbers in the beginning JUST for documentation/timeline purposes.  weight is just not something i want to stress myself about ever again.

conclusion:

against my wishes, i’m gonna need some maternity clothes this round.  i finally starting showingshowing around 6.5 months with my first pregnancy, so i wore all my regular, breathable clothes til i delivered for the most part. this time… belly is getting on out there and everything is tight already. especially my underwear.

Q: what was the best thing you ate this weekend? that mac n cheese made my DAY.

le

commitment day 5k 2k14

words no one wants to hear at 3am: ‘mama, i pooped in my underwear.’ :shock:

after getting Chiso all cleaned up and finally back to sleep, i woke up feeling like we had partied the night away HARD!!

nevertheless, i got up, had a small breakfast of whole wheat toast, 1 tbsp of natural, honey roasted peanut butter with a side of prenatal vitamin, water, and hit the road, ipod nano in tow.

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this is Sonny’s last day to sleep in for a while so i let my camera man get his rest.  i would have taken Chiso in the jogging stroller but he had a rough night too so i let them be until the next race (deets below).

it was a modest turnout again this year with NO rain this time and warmer weather.

the weather was chilly, but as always, as your body starts to heat up you don’t feel the cold anymore.  halfway through the race i peeled off a layer of clothes cause i was burning UP.

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always happy to see this number.  time to pick up the pace :lol:

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post race goodies: bananas, apples, sea salt and vinegar pop chips, 4 different kinds of breakfast tacos from Taco Cabana ( i chose potato and egg), H2O, Aspire beverages, and granola bars.

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one of each please.

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17 weeks preggo today yall! things are different with this pregnancy though.  i was extremely cautious when i was carrying Chiso in 2011 and i wouldn’t run more than a couple steps before stopping altogether early on.  i became a power walking pro and didn’t run for months actually.  in fact the last time i ran, Chiso was born 24 hours later.  this much needed 2nd trimester energy carried me all the way through this morning’s race- no discomfort at all!  i didn’t come close to last year’s PR of 24 mins, but i ran most of the way and finished around 33. then i packed up my goodies and headed back home. to bed.

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speaking of last year, whoa! this pic was taken 1 year ago today and i still remember Sonny griping behind the camera about me going out into the cold and rain just to run 3 miles when i hadn’t fully recovered from dental surgery.  i didn’t tell my parents i had participated until after it was over. my dad let me have it anyway. i remember being super lean but comparing this pic to my current body is such an eye opener.  i was pretty much engulfed in fitness at that point. i remember setting my dental appointment to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed and just couldn’t fathom not working out for a few days and having to live life through a straw. no kidding. i was going hard 6-7 days a week in the gym and still operating in full bikini competition mode nutrition-wise (my first show was 3 months prior) and sitting down to rest and recover was just the biggest thorn in my side. in the back of my mind though, i also knew i wanted 2013 to be the year we expand our family for the second time.  as much as i loved my body on the outside,  things were the exact opposite on the inside. i’ll follow this up with its own blog post, don’t worry!

back to the race- it was awesome to see so many team members and gym members running along the route!  so many families, kiddos, strollers, and doggies running at that. i love teaching for Lifetime Fitness because they are extremely community and family centered.

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i brought the banana home to my little monkey.

next up, the Chevron Houston Marathon, Half Marathon, & 5k on January 19th!  i’ll be participating for the 6th year in a row (four 5ks and 1 half marathon).  i’ll tackle the full marathon one of these years. if you’d like to run with me and are local to Houston, EMAIL ME! le@fitfoodiele.com.

fyi, i choose my upcoming races from here.  if there is an upcoming race you are participating in, let me  know- i just might run with ya! happy 1st day of 2014, fit friends.

le