Whey Protein Orange Creamsicle Recipe

It’s OFFICIAL… The marathon is right around the corner! We’re now counting down in days instead of weeks, which is a exciting & terrifying thought!

At last night’s training run I heard two common themes being discussed – 1) The weather forecast for race day 2) The fear of/avoidance of getting sick.

Lucky for me (as I knock on wood), I got that out of my system over the last two weeks while I was running a 24-hour infirmary for my three, very sick, little girls.

I hate to disgust you with the details… so let me just say that there were very few surfaces in my home that were not thrown-up on over the last few weeks. And while I’m usually pretty good dealing with this kind of stuff, I was in NO position to get sick myself!!!! So I’ve been a Lysol spraying, Clorox wiping, sheet washing, hand-sanitizing FREAK!!!!

I also started drinking a vitamin C supplement I found at the grocery called Emergen-C. I usually gag at the taste of these powdery mixes, but I added it to my hot lemon and honey water in the morning and it was not too bad.

But last Tuesday I came home from a training run knowing I needed to replenish my muscles with a protein shake, so I had a crazy idea to mix the two together.

This is either going to be the most delicious or disgusting thing I’ve ever tried, I thought. Fortunately, it was heaven in a glass. It tasted just like the orange creamsicle pops I loved as a kid – except WAY healthier. So I thought I’d share:


  • One scoop Vanilla Protein Powder (UMP is a whey protein, but could be substituted for a vegan protein)
  • One packet Emergen-C 
  • 10-12 oz. water 
  • Ice
  • Mix them all together in your shake cup or blender and ENJOY! It tastes just like an Orange Creamsicle!

Twice-Baked Sweet Potato RecipE

This training season I have really been trying to eat ‘clean’ - except on Saturdays after my long runs. Those are my cheat days, and they are the most glorious 12 hours of my life! French-fries, ice cream, pizza…Sorry, I just got lost in a little food porn.

Back to clean eating – which is WAY less exciting. Except for the fact that it IS exciting! It is absolutely AMAZING what our bodies can do when they are fueled and hydrated properly.

At the most basic of definitions clean eating means not putting any processed foods into your body – think sugar, flour and dairy… All the things we are ‘bread’ and conditioned to think we can’t live without in our culture. Milk! It Does a Body Good. Get SIX servings of grains and bread daily! Celebrate EVERY milestone with cake! Beef, It's What's For Dinner!

And marathoners fall into this pitfall as well. Come carbo-load with us at our pasta dinner before your race!

During my first two marathons I ate pasta EVERY Friday night. And I woke-up EVERY Saturday morning and ate a bagel with peanut butter and a banana… And I struggled with sugar drops during EVERY long run!

I heard other runners mention Friday night meals of chicken and baked potatoes, so I thought I’d try it… And I have never had a more dreadful run in my life! I felt hungry from mile three, and I vowed to never eat a baked potato before a long run again!

And that is when someone introduced me to the Sweet Potato!

Sweet Potatoes are usually more akwardly shaped than regular potatoes. While their skin is a redish tone, their insides are bright orange.

I’ve often heard people say that the more colorful your dinner plate (the food on it, anyway), the more healthy your meal. You can’t get much more colorful than the distinct, orange color of the sweet potato! Not only is it LOADED with vitamins – such as the obvious vitamin C – it is FULL of minerals runners need like iron and magnesium! But it’s the potassium that keeps me coming back for more! Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate the heartbeat while relaxing muscles and reducing swelling… Is there anything a runner could need more?

The more natural color in the food, the more vitamins & minerals!

Now if you’re anything like me, your view of the sweet potato has long been a disgusting, sticky mush covered with marshmallows at Thanksgiving (except if it’s my sister’s… I’m obligated by blood to say hers are delicious.) Something has just never seemed right with my taste buds to mix a potato with dessert!

But sweet potatoes – although sweet in nature, which is another reason they’re so wonderful for runners… because the natural sugars are released slower and more evenly into the blood stream – don’t have to be prepared that way. One of my FAVORITE Friday night meals includes twice-baked sweet potatoes.

Try them before your next long run, and let me know what you think!


  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • ½ Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Sea Salt (or 2… I LOVE salt!)
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter (Or Ghee if you’re looking for a Paleo alternative to butter)
  • 1/8 Cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 Cup feta cheese

(Obviously those strictly following ‘clean’ eating to the core would avoid the dairy products, but I’ve always been one to live on the edge – so I put it in there sometimes.)

  • Directions

  • Clean sweet potato and puncture with a fork or knife
  • Drizzle with olive oil and rub into skin
  • Sprinkle with sea salt
  • Bake at 400 degrees for about an hour
  • Remove from oven and slice in half the length of the potato
  • Using a spoon, scoop out the center flesh of the potato leaving a little flesh around the edges.
  • Place the potato skins back in the oven heated to 430 degrees for 20 minutes
  • While the skins are crisping, combine your scooped out potato with your butter, Greek yogurt and cheese
  • Remove the skins from the oven, refill and return to the oven for 5 minutes

Hocking Hills State Park {ICE HIKING}

Earlier in the year I was perusing my copy of AAA Journeys Magazine (Wow, I just aged myself by about sixty years! But in my defense their magazine has some interesting travel articles.) Anyway, in the back of each issue they have a localized section about upcoming events where I found an article about an upcoming, guided winter hike at Hocking Hills – a state park south east of Columbus, Ohio.

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Travel Crested Butte, CO {A Little Slice of Heaven}

"On Earth, there is no Heaven...But there are pieces of it." - Jules Renard

Do you have a special place? You know...that place you've been to - not nearly often enough - that has branded itself on your soul. That place you visit in your thoughts when you're having a bad day. That place you dream of getting back to as soon as possible. That place you pray heaven is like...

Well, for me that place is Crested Butte, Colorado. Part small town, Part metropolitan area. A nature-lovers' paradise with skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. Snow-covered mountains melting to provide river rapids... Paradise!

I was blessed to visit Crested Butte last month on a very special three-generational trip shared with my father and my oldest daughter.

My dad's condo in Crested Butte has the most AMAZING view of the mountain! One evening, my dad yelled downstairs to our bedroom telling us to come upstairs and take a look at the mountain! There was a light shining to the top peak of the mountain (a place we hike in the summer.) We aren't one-hundred percent sure, but it appeared that the mountain had a SnowCat parked on one of the slopes, perfectly positioned to shine a beacon of light on the beautifully, mysterious mountain. 

I took the first photograph seen below, starred at the mountain a few moments, and crawled back to bed...

About a half-hour later - probably 8:30 p.m. (hey, skiing makes me sleepy:) my dad came downstairs and told us to get back upstairs...

Out of nowhere, the most beautiful full moon had appeared! I was able to take the second photograph below. These images will serve as a mental reminder of my little slice of heaven (Mt. Crested Butte) until I am able to return.

To my dad...Thank you SO much for this trip! I will cherish the memories ALWAYS!!!!


Watch my daughter learn to ski in Crested Butte, CO

Ash Wednesday... Worship on the Throne

I’m not sure why, but some of our most memorable family outings are in the restroom…Hey, don’t judge! When you have three small girls it is all about divide and conquer; so we have a standing reservation in the Family Restroom!

            I have VIVID memories of the five of us in the family restroom at our niece’s cheerleading competition…I was in the stall with one of the twins trying to assist her after she dropped half of her coat in the toilet, while Chuck was helping the other twin at the sink – as she sprayed water all over his face. Meanwhile, Bianca had gotten a hold of our umbrella and was using it as a weapon, whacking Chuck in the shin… All of this happening at once, but seeming to be occurring in slow motion. Chuck was trying to hold it together, while holding a child, and reprimanding another; and he looked over at me to see what I was doing to help the situation…and I was sitting in the bathroom floor laughing uncontrollably – wishing I had a camera crew with me to document this MESS that I call my life.

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