Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Running Story

It seems that once you begin to train for a serious race like a marathon- everyone wants to know your story. So how did I, Johanna Smith Eppley, decide to complete 26.2 miles? 

In 2012, after being married for a year my husband and I decided it was time to start trying to plan for a family. I weighed about 285 pounds and knew that I had to change to have a healthy pregnancy. I started exercising and lost about 60 pounds, then decided to sign up for a 5k just to see what would happen. I was NOT a runner. I don't really even know why I decided to do it honestly - I had never really run before. I didn't really know how to train properly, but in December of 2012 I did my first ever 5k. I walked most of it. I finished in about 48 minutes. 

One week later we found out we were pregnant. SO instead of continuing to run I let the stress and exhaustion take over and I quit working out and started indulging my food cravings. Fast forward to my daughters first birthday. I had gained all 60 pounds back and was not physically active at all. She was starting to walk and I wanted to lay on the couch. She was starting to eat real food and not nurse and I realized the food I eat is the food she's going to eat. I quickly realized as my baby became a toddler that I was not the example of what I wanted her to be. I didn't want her to be unhealthy. I didn't want her to grow up obese like I had. I decided in March 2015 that I was going to start trying to run again. I had liked my first 5k experience and a close friend of mine was into running and had lost about 75 pounds from running. I decided to give it a try and did a couch to 5k app on my phone. I ran on the treadmill at the gym after work. I worked my way up to being able to run for 5 minutes straight - which at the time was a giant victory. 

I did my second 5k in April 2015, with my daughter!

In May 2015 I did another race with my friend who inspired me to start trying to run.

In November we did another race together- and this was the first 5k that I ran the entire course! 

I started feeling so addicted to doing races that I told her I wanted to do one every month in 2016. So January 1st - we did a resolution 5k and off we went. At least one race every month that year. 

In October I got brave and ran a 10k and came in 3rd female at 58:00

In November I pushed harder and completed a 15k at 1:31:11 

In December I finished my first half marathon with a 
time of 2:17:01. 

After my year of running I realized that I was capable of a lot more than I thought. I had shed 143 pounds and was proof that even at 30 years old, having been obese my entire life and never once having any athletic desires, you can still become a runner. If you want it and there is a small desire to see if you can do it - push yourself to try. After my half marathon I felt like a real runner. In February I won my first ever race with a 5k PR of 25:14- that same day my daughter ran her very first toddler dash. 

The example that I had hoped to set for her is starting to take hold. She says she wants to be "fast" and "run races like mommy"! I hope to show her that running is something that is freeing and empowering. It is a way to gain strength and confidence and it causes us to have vitality and health which in turns changes our whole world. Currently I am training for my first full marathon. I am going to run 26.2 miles. The 280 pound woman who couldn't run more than 30 seconds a few years ago is running 26.2 miles. In the beginning of my journey I found so much motivation and inspiration from other everyday people who woke up one day and just decided to try. Do as much as you can do today, and then try again tomorrow and see what you can do then. Each day you get a little stronger, a litter faster, and little more brave- then an amazing thing happens and one day you wake up and you have become the person you had set out to be. I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes through race training "set a goal so big you can't achieve it....until you grow into the person who can!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Paleo Muffins Two Ways

I have noticed over the past couple of years doing Whole30 that my body seems to react when I eat too many almonds or a lot of almond butter. I used to eat those Justins almond butter packets with a banana or an apple and noticed my stomach would hurt super bad later in the day. I would have a big handful of almonds and some olives and an epic bar and again my stomach would hurt later. My diet is somewhat limited so eventually I was able to definitvely pin it down to the almonds. Almond butter and almond flour are used quite a bit in paleo recipes. A lot of the things we have been eating lately use almonds. But my stomach has been REALLY hurting lately. So I have decided that if I have issues digesting almonds I should probably just stop consuming them all together. A lot of pre made items we eat use almonds. RX bars, a lot of the larabars, simple mills products, mikeys products.

A couple of days ago we made almond flour muffins. They were AMAZING. Way better than the recipe I shared last week. This recipe is from Rachl Mansfield and you can find it HERE and is actually for a loaf bread, but we made it in muffin tins and it was perfect.

I did some with blueberry and some plain banana nut with pecans on top. 

Paleo Almond Flour Banana Muffins 
  • 2 bananas, mashed 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 3 tbs coconut oil 
  • 3 tbs honey 
  • splash of vanilla 
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ADD INS - now you can customize it! Add in fresh blueberries, or nuts, or paleo chocolate chips.  
Bake at 350 until set. My mini muffins took like 15 minutes and the larger ones about 25. I just kept an eye on them since her recipe was for a loaf I didn't use her timing I just watched them and checked every 5 minutes or so. 

Mini muffins 

The recipe is almost the same as my previous muffin post except that it has less bananas and one less egg plus the addition of honey. Both muffins taste awesome but the texture of these was more like a regular wheat flour muffin. I could serve these at a function and nobody would even know they were almond flour. 

I had intended to eat the leftovers for breakfast today and was so excited, but since I opted yesterday to totally eliminate almonds I decided to make a coconut flour muffin and see how they compared. Yesterday at Kroger they had a big reduced produce bag of zucchini. I made zucchini marinara but literally the 99 cent bag had like 9 zucchinis in it. So I decided to try a zucchini muffin.

This recipe is by Dawn Gifford from Small Footprint Family and you can find it HERE! 

Paleo Coconut Flour Banana Zucchini Muffins
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (it was one large - squeeze out the extra moisture) 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2-3 TBS honey 
  • 1 banana, mashed 
  • 1 TBS coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 TBS cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  • (optional topping chopped nuts)

Once again it is for a loaf bread, so you'll have to watch the timing. I think mine baked about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. I omitted the apple cider vinegar and salt just because I didn't want to add that. I also think these would work great with fresh blueberries added in. 

The texture was just as good as the almond flour muffins plus they have veggies and Emma loved them.

Im a little disappointed I won't be enjoying simple mills crackers or mikeys muffins or kite hill cheese anytime soon. STUPID ALLERGY 😭

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer activities and paleo foods.

I love broccoli salad. It is probably one of my favorite go to whole30/paleo meals 

I picked up some apple juice sweetened cranberries at natural grocers 

Chopped onion, sunflower seeds, cranberries, green apple, and broccoli 

With mayo, mustard, and a touch of red wine vinegar 

Almond butter and jelly tortilla wraps for the park 

I found these at natural grocers and they are really cool. They made little square sheets and they taste just like fruit roll ups. 

On Saturday I made pancakes. I mixed three bananas and 6 eggs with cinnamon and a little coconut flour. 

Pour on a griddle and top with fresh blueberries 

Emma loved them! 

For dinner we had teriyaki pineapple pork 

Top pork chops with onion, jalapeño, and fresh pineapple 

I seasoned it with shichimi togarashi but you could use anything 

Then coat it with the coconut aminos teriyaki (I didn't put the onions and peppers on Emmas pork chop) and bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes

I served it with fried "rice" and sautéed stir fry veggies

Our Paleo/whole30 kroger haul 

I love love love smoked oysters 

Buffalo tuna and salad with ranch  

More PB&J

We have had restaurant french fries, sno cones, popcorn, a cookie, cake, and ice cream this weekend because of THREE parties. Twas a busy weekend. BUT we're going to be a balanced family. When we are home and I am in charge of what goes on the plate - it is going to be paleo. I want her to grow up eating healthy but not told that certain foods are BAD or OFF LIMITS foods. We have lots of trips and parties over the summer. She won't be 100% paleo all the time and that is ok. My main goal is to get her to eat MORE whole foods and get MORE nutrition than she was. Less processed pre packaged convenience food and more home cooked nutrition- THAT I can do.