Monday, February 29, 2016

Five Fantastic Things

1. What I have been focusing on this last month.

2. Along with focusing on keeping my mind healthy with positive thinking, I have also been practicing asking myself what I am willing to do to be healthy physically.  In one of those serendipitous moments, Little Helen sent me a link to an article, The Most Important Question You Can Ask Yourself Today. An excerpt:
If I ask you, "What do you want out of life?" and you say something like, "I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like," it's so ubiquitous that it doesn't even mean anything.
Everyone wants that. So what's the point? 
What's more interesting to me is what pain do you want? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives end up.
I know lots of times we read blogs and don't click on links or go any further than the surface, but I encourage you to click up there and read this article.  It's not very long but it is very thought provoking.

3. I don't talk about my running times very often mostly because I think it's super easy to get comparative, sort of like mentioning weight.  I was a pretty good runner at one time - at least for me - managing between 9:30 and 10:30 minutes per mile.  Of course, back then I always, ALWAYS, wanted to be faster (smiley emoticon).  Anyway, this past Saturday, I decided to see if I could push my pace but also my distance.  I'm feeling so much better and I had inched up to 5 miles for the past few weeks and wanted to try for 6 this week.  It was just one of "those" runs - it all came together gloriously right from the minute I started:  breathing, nothing was hurting, the sun was shining, I was in a great place mentally.  When I was done I had run 6 miles in 61:10.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  I wrote in my exercise journal: "FABULOUS! Crazy running lady is on the comeback."  And that's how I feel.

4. I earned another $5 this week.  I still haven't even changed a size in clothes yet but knowing myself, it's gonna take 20 pounds before that happens.  The 10 pounds = 1 size has never been true for me - maybe because I've always worked out even if my eating hasn't been very good. And I'm not saying I've lost 10 pounds because as I said before, I'm choosing not to know the numbers right now.

5. This is what I made us for dinner on Friday night.  This entire meals comes together in under 30 minutes and Mr. Helen said it tasted better than what we've had at restaurants!

Browned Butter Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Smoked Gouda Grits
Serves 4

4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup quick cooking grits
4 oz. shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1 1/2 lbs. jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 T butter
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2 T water
2 T lemon juice (I squeeze half a large lemon)

Pour chicken broth into a 3 quart saucepan and put on high heat to bring to a boil.  Once boiling, whisk grits into broth.  Reduce heat to medium, put a lid on the pot and simmer for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once grits are cooked and thickened, stir in smoked Gouda until melted.  Cover and set aside.

While the grits are cooking, heat the 2T butter in a large non-stick skillet until melted.  Continue to heat until the butter begins to brown.  Add in garlic, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt, and shrimp.  Stir shrimp and flip around once or twice until shrimp are pink and cooked through.  Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice and water.  Move shrimp around to coat with sauce.

To plate, spoon grits out into a bowl and top with shrimp and a bit of the sauce.


  1. I love how you are choosing to say you've lost 10 pounds - because really, it doesn't matter what the number is, it's that you're losing and feeling so good!

    Crazy running lady - too funny! So happy for you to feel great about your running!!! It's just wonderful when you have such a good run, isn't it?

    1. I held on to that run this morning, when my run didn't go so well, or speedy LOL! Crazy running lady is the nickname one of my internet friends from Sparkpeople gave me years ago.

  2. For whatever weird reason, I don't get grits. Or polenta, which somehow seems related. But the shrimp part of that recipe seems fantastic. I think I'll try that soon!

    Congrats on your crazy good run. And your weight loss, whatever it is!!

    1. I love polenta even more than grits. I could eat it many times a week as my starch!

  3. I love the positivism in this post! And crazy running lady is back for sure! That is an awesome running time (and I am a tiny bit jealous!). I wish you could be at the lunch with me and Shelley next week, but I guess that just means I'll have to come out to your neck of the woods! :D

    1. I wish I could be there too! I hope you guys have a blast.

  4. Wow Helen, that's really fast! Must have felt so good for you.

    1. Fantastic. That's why it's listed as one of the things.

  5. I loves me some shrimp and grits!

    I think your pace is pretty fast for running. Glad it is going so well for you!

    1. That pace is fast for me, for running. It is not a pace I find easily and I have to run longer to find it believe it or not. It's like it takes me 3 miles to settle in. I think that's why I've always preferred longer runs over shorter ones. Especially short ones like the sucky slow one I did Monday morning LOL!

  6. Congrats on another $5 in your pocket! You are a machine!

    WOO hoo on the run too! :-)