Tag Archives: goals

Shaping Up with a Kardashian

Hello, friends!  It’s awfully strange to be writing a post around lunch time, but that is the true beauty of being a teacher–  summers off! 😉

I had planned on sharing with you some beautiful pictures of the Salmon & Mock Tuna Melts that we had for dinner last night.  However, Larry needed the camera for work today, so I’ll have to post those later this evening.  Trust me!  You do not want to miss these recipes!  Especially if you are newbie vegetarian and you’ve been missing tuna sandwiches 🙂

Yesterday was day 1 of my 60 day Healthy Habits Fitness Challenge.  I decided to do a workout routine that I found in last month’s Shape Magazine.  June’s issue featured Kim Kardashian on the cover, and included one of her workout routines created by Gunnar Peterson

Kim Kardashian Workout [Source]

You can find Kim’s workout on the Shape website by clicking here

I thought this was the perfect workout routine.  You can do up to 5 circuits, and each circuit takes about 10 minutes.  This makes it ideal for days when you can only do about 30 minutes, or for days when you have more time and can do 50-60 minutes.  Best of all, you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own  home!

My heart rate was elevated throughout and I worked every muscle in my body.  I’m not sure if I love it quite as much as the Yvonne Strahovski workout, but it was a good change of pace.  I was a sweaty mess by the end. 🙂

Where do you find your workout routines???  I find most of mine in Shape magazines and on other blogs. 

Today I plan on going to the gym to run about 3 miles on the treadmill (yuck!) and to do some ab work. 

I really enjoyed reading your comments on Healthy Habits you would like to adopt.  If you haven’t already left a comment telling us your goals, please do!  It’s so helpful to know that there are other people out there working toward being their healthiest self!  Also, I would love to hear how day one and two have gone. 

Remember to check back later this evening for the Salmon & Mock Tuna Melts recipes! It will probably be a little after 8 PM.  🙂


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!


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Bulgur Breakfast and Healthy Habits

Mmmmm…  I am eating the most glorious breakfast at this very moment. 

Last night I forgot to make a batch of Overnight Oats, so this morning I was left to ponder what to  make for breakfast.  Just as I was about to start a batch of Protein Pancakes, I saw it—a container of leftover bulgur from last night’s dinner.

Hmmm.  What could I make with this?  Could I make breakfast out of a dinner food??? 




I took 1 cup of the cooked bulgur, mixed in a smushed banana, large quantities of cinnamon, a swirl of maple syrup, and a dollop of cashew butter.  Stirred it all together and voila! 


Bulgur is a whole grain that  has been eaten since ancient times.  It is actually known as man’s first “processed food.”  However, don’t be afraid to try this healthful grain.  When you think processed in today’s day and age you think preservatives, additives, added trans fats, sodium, etc.  However, bulgur is processed in modern times much in the same way as it was in ancient times.

In fact:

“Many of the wheat’s naturally occurring vitamins and minerals permeate the kernel during cooking thus maintaining more nutritive content than other forms of processed wheat products.” [Source]


I say that if you haven’t already tried bulgur, you should give it a go!  It is wonderful as a side to any dish and can take the place of brown rice or cous-cous.  You can also try Vegetarian Halupkies or Stuffed Peppers

But enough about breakfast.  What I really wanted to talk to you about today is staying healthy with a hectic schedule.

As you may know, the past few weeks have been extremely busy for me.  Don’t get me wrong!  I’ve had a wonderful time traveling all over the state, visiting my alma mater, going on wine tours, watching my brother graduate, standing by my best friend’s side on her big day, closing out the school year, etc., but this continuous go-go-go has not had the best impact on my health.

Most of my meals have been super quick throw-togethers, and my workouts have also been super sporadic.  In fact, I think I have only worked out a total of 4 or 5 times since the second week of June!  My energy levels are low.  I have not been careful about meals and snacks.  And I just plain feel funky!

It is so easy to get out of the workout groove, yet so very hard to return to a regular routine of health and fitness. 

There will always be times in our lives when the daily grind will make it harder for us to stay on top of our game.  However, rather than beating ourselves up over the poor choices we’ve already made, we should just put our best foot forward to get back on track.     

They say it takes 30 to 60 days to make something into a habit.  So, if you want to make daily exercise a habit, then it is necessary to do some sort of physical activity every day for 30 to 60 days. 

I would like to reestablish the regular workout routine that I’ve left in the dust the past few months.  I am challenging myself to 60 days of physical activity.  Because rest is important, some of these workout days will consist of gentle yoga, long walks, or stretching routines.

Here is my Healthy Habits Challenge to you! 

Is there a healthy habit you would like to establish for yourself? 

Perhaps you wish to drink 8-12 cups of water a day?  Or eat 5 daily servings of fruits and veggies?  Maybe you need to get into the habit of flossing every night?  Or maybe, like me, you wish to make daily exercise a habit?

I challenge you to put your best foot forward in trying this habit for the next 30-60 days.  If you would like, leave a comment below letting us know what Healthy Habit you are trying to establish, and we can provide each other with support. 

Here’s to Happier Hearts and Happier Minds!


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!


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100th Post!!!!

At this very moment, you are reading Happy Heart, Happy Mind’s 100th post!  Can you believe it?  It seems like only yesterday I was contemplating sharing my words with the public.  I had no idea how to blog, or exactly what a blog was.  I didn’t know what I’d write about, or if people would even want to read anything I had to say.

youre_reading_the_100th_post_life[1] [Source]

The past five months has been a wonderful journey.  I have learned so much, and have gained a sense of happiness and well being that far exceeds any of my initial expectations.

I woke up this morning wondering what I should write about today.  A 100th post is monumental, right? 

Well, I’ve never worked well under that kind of pressure, so I decided to simply reflect on the ways that writing 100 posts of Happy Heart, Happy Mind has  impacted my life.

Writing every day has helped me to become a better teacher of writing.

One of the major reasons I began this blog was to become a better model for my students.  I make them write every day, and I do not allow them to say, “I don’t have anything to write about.”

We all have something to say.  Even I do. 

By writing every day, I have been able to share the strategies, triumphs and struggles of my own authorship.  I think more like a writer and I am able to share this with them.

I also think they are a bit impressed that their teacher actually writes something other than homework assignments and report card comments! 😉

I have become a major goal setter.

Writing every day about eating healthy, exercising, and keeping a happy mind has required me to constantly think about the next step.  I don’t want to write about the same thing every day, just like you don’t want to read about the same thing every day.

Since beginning this blog I have set goals for getting more sleep, running farther distances, saving money, lifting weights, staying positive, and being more creative  to name just a few.

It’s like my very own self-improvement project 🙂

I’ve helped a few people along the way.

Although I started this blog for somewhat personal reasons, I’ve found that my experiences have actually helped others to make healthier choices.  I’ll never forget the first time a co-worker told me that she had lost weight because the blog inspired her to eat “cleaner” and to get more exercise.  What an amazing feeling!

I’m a bit calmer.

I have been known by some to be quite the spaz.  I tend to get nervous and anxious when stress gets to be too much.  However, I’ve noticed that taking the time to focus on writing about my day, my thoughts, my feelings, and my experiences causes me to spaz out just a little less.  ;

I don’t worry as much.  I fall asleep faster at night, and I have less negative internal chatter

I take more pictures.

Before beginning HH, HM, I always forgot my camera.  The framed pictures in my house almost never changed, because I simply did not have any pictures to replace them with. 

My favorite blogs have beautiful pictures and are so eye catching.  The flow of pictures and words makes them easy and enjoyable to read.  I knew that I wanted to emulate this style of blogging. 

Now I take my camera everywhere in hopes of catching a just right shot for my next post. 




Who knows?  Maybe I’ll get around to changing out a few framed photos soon 😉

I could probably go on and on forever about what a wonderful and fulfilling experience this has been, but in truth, it is knowing I have readers that makes this all worth while.  So, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, ideas, and anecdotes. 

Here’s to the next 100 posts!  🙂


Do you have any requests for future posts?  I would LOVE to do a reader’s request post.  Please send me your questions and ideas by leaving a comment below or emailing me at JenSanders52 at comcast dot net! 


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Heat + Hills = Success!!!!

Today I ran 8.63 miles in 1 hour and 35 minutes.  This is the longest distance I have ever run! 🙂

I typically run about three times a week anywhere between 2 to 5 miles each time.  The longest distance I had run before today was 7 miles about 2 years ago.  So, in late March, I set a goal to reignite my relationship with running, and to up my long distance mileage. 

I have found it extremely difficult to make any increases.  I could never just make myself go further.  I always found a brick wall around mile 5 that said, “OK.  You’ve run 5 miles.  Time to go home now.”  (Anyone else seen, Run, Fat Boy, Run?!?!)

I knew that any increase would take strategic planning.

My good friend, and colleague, Meg has been a running machine lately.  While training for the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K this spring, she diligently followed a training program from Runner’s World.  She increased her long runs to 10 miles and set a new PR for the race!!! 

I asked her if she would take me on one of her long runs during Spring Break, and she agreed. 🙂

I met her around 10 AM this morning, and she showed me the route she had planned for us using USATF.  The route would take us through Downtown Richmond to the Southside and back around to her house.  The perfect loop 🙂


Map data ©2010 Google – Terms of Use




2 mi
2 km


I would love to say that the run was super easy and that I could have gone further, but that would be a blatant lie.  The first 3-4 miles were a piece of cake.  This was the mileage I was familiar with, and my body responded well.  However, miles 5 through 8.5 were hilly.  There was no shade, and the sun was HOT

A longer than normal distance + hills + heat = a definite challenge for me. 

However, I persevered :)  I only walked once up a ginormous hill at about mile 7.  I wonder if this is how Forest Hill got its name.  Hmm… 

Even though there were moments my legs felt like lead, my knees ached, and my hips felt incredibly stiff, I still had a great time!  The view was simply breathtaking, and the company couldn’t have been better!  :) 


After the run, I felt like I had truly accomplished a major feat!  Three months ago, I was walking around in an unsightly black surgical boot, and could barely walk.  Today I ran almost 9 miles and I survived!!!!  🙂

Once we returned to her house, Meg made us delicious Green Monsters to drink while we stretched our tighter than tight leg muscles.


Don’t you just love this mug???

Although this run was a challenge, I have to stop and remind myself that there was a point when a three mile run was a challenge.  There was a time when I thought that 6 miles were simply impossible, and that I would never be able to run a 10K. 

It’s important to set small attainable goals, so you get to taste the sweetness of success every once in a while.  At the same time, it is important to set goals.  I could have kept running my 2-5 miles, but I knew I wanted to be able to do more.  I also think it’s important to enlist the help of friends and family to help you reach those goals. 

I’m going to keep trying this 8.63 mile loop with Meg (if she’ll have me!) until it becomes a piece of cake.  Who knows, maybe I’ll run a marathon before I’m 30!!!!  :) 

Are you a long distance runner?  How did you increase your mileage?  Any tips for success???


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!


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March Madness

And by March Madness, I do not mean the basketball tournament (although at times that did play a part).  I’m talking about how insanely busy the month of March has been.

They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.  This year I don’t think the saying is referring to the weather.  I think it is referring to the month’s activity level!  I started the month off with an Arbonne Party, which was a HUGE success.  I then went out of town  2 weekends in a row: once for a visit to the White House, and once for a Bachelorette Party.  Larry and I both got an awful case of a third grade stomach bug.  I missed three days of work: one for being sick, one for the bachelorette party, and one for a Reading Olympics Competition at school.  There were cookouts and giveaways.  All in all, a very hectic month.

In February, I worked out almost every single day.  I ate healthy, clean and wholesome foods, and I felt wonderful.  This was not the case for March.  I worked out less, and ate a lot more junk than I usually do.  I also did not have enough time to write as much as I wanted.  Because on most days I was rushing, I feel that the quality of my writing also suffered.   

Part of me wants to feel guilty about the pitiful workout schedule I followed and the extra junk I ate.  But that would contradict everything I have said on this blog since I started writing in the middle of January.

Life is not one fluid stream that gently flows in one direction at a constant pace.  It is an ebb and flow.  It can sometimes rush, and it can sometimes flood.  In order to be happy and healthy, we must learn to literally go with the flow.  Life eventually mellows out, and will once again become calm and fluid.


As March draws to a close, I vow to go with the flow to get back on track.  Since the weather is warming, and all I want to do is spend time outside, I vow to reignite my relationship with running, and to take the dogs for more frequent walks.  I vow to make time to do the things that make me happy like writing and reading.  I vow to be more careful about the foods that I put into my body.  I will not beat myself up over a few slip ups.  I vow to be happy and healthy. 

Come on April, bring those showers!  I’m ready for you (and the May flowers)!

 Goals for April:

  • Up my running mileage
  • Begin a small garden
  • Join a CSA (more on this later!)
  • Increase the frequency and quality of writing on Happy Heart, Happy Mind

How do you handle setbacks and a busy schedule?  Do you have any goals for the upcoming month???


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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