food, Tuesday Truth

Time to be true-Two things…



Ok, so I started last year at a pretty dark place, but managed to finish on a pretty high note with lofty yet achievable goals. Running, writing, and researching recipes are high on my list this year mixed in with some awesome photography…Right?  Um…so yeah…about that…


Then, I cut my thumb on Christmas day, and my running, motivation, and goal making days halted all too quickly. BUT…thankfully only for just about a month.  Whew…bullet dodged.  I caveat this with saying I DID NOT/DO NOT want a repeat of last winter.  Ever.  Both the weather, and my mood were beyond frigid.

So here we go…


I started running again last week.  My miles are minimal and my pace is slow as can be…but I’m MOVIN’…can I get a yahoo???  Today at work I had a leadership workshop of sorts to attend so my 8 hour day was squashed in to 4 hours of playing catch up.  I was tired by the time the final ‘bell’ rang, so upon arriving to my daughter’s school I texted my Maria…”I’ll be on the dreadmill in 30 minutes in case you want to join me.”  Of course she did, despite battling a migraine for 5 days, and her virtual hug and push helped get my on the mill.  2.6 miles, complete.

My pace may have slowed, but the passion is still very real.
My pace may have slowed, but the passion is still very real.


I hit the restart button after the holidays to try and lose my 5-7 lbs of marathon training/winter weight/I’m lazy and just ate all the food weight…so I’m back on MyFitnessPal for anyone else who uses this app, tracking my food and fitness and REALLY trying to stop eating all. the. chips.  I have to giggle when it says I should weigh a certain weight if I continue to eat the way I am because yeah-pre-menopause obviously isn’t calculated in to the equation, and well yeah…I don’t see that number on the scale.  BUT…I’ve just restarted in the last week or so, so baby steps, right?  With that I have been eating high protein/veggie/fruit type of diet, so here is tonight’s easy peasy dinner recipe!

Baked Pork chop with white wine, onion and caper sauce over baby spinach salad

Easy peasy pork in just over 30 minutes!
Easy peasy pork in just over 30 minutes!

What you’ll need (pork chops):

4 thick cut boneless pork chops, seasoned with kosher salt, pepper, and a dash of lemon pepper seasoning on all sides-apply liberally and set aside for about 5 minutes while you get everything preheated.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Pre-heat a non stick pan and add extra virgin olive oil and 1 pat of unsalted butter.  Heat to high heat, and pan sear chops on both sides (5-7 minutes each side-don’t over crowd your pan!) until golden brown and transfer to a baking sheet.  *Tip-line your pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up! Place in your pre-heated oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until your chops have reached 155 degrees-let rest for 10 minutes minimum-chops will reach required temp of 160 degrees by this time.  *Tip-cover with foil while resting your meat.  It helps hold the temperature.

While your chops are baking, make your “sauce.”


1 white onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

2 tablespoons of Kalamata olives, chopped

Zest of a lemon

1 cup of white wine

1/4 of cold water mixed with cornstarch to thicken

Kosher salt, pepper, and oregano to taste.

In the same pan you seared your chops, deglaze with the white wine (make sure it’s wine you’d drink!)

Add your onions, garlic, capers, and olives.  Reduce down the liquid by half, and add your seasonings and cornstarch water to thicken.  Add zest just before serving.  I served the spinach and pork with the sauce, who needs dressing/gravy?  Not this girl!

So in order to stay on track with food, fitness, and life in general my TRUE goal this year is to BE CONTENT.  I have said it before, but I’ll say it again.  I am, and I have, ENOUGH.

Who’s with me?  How are your eats and exercise lately?  How do you battle off season eating/motivation?

❤ Michelle


dedication, food, goals

Life lessons…

Today was a six day work week. I used to complain about such weeks, yet today after hitting the snooze on my alarm 3 times, I rolled out of bed to get dressed and ready to teach at our local community college. The job, that truly isn’t really ‘work’ but more joy…
Yes…I teach in the histology program, despite being doubted by so many in the local area. And…I truly love the things I not only teach, but learn from my students. These amazing men and women show me so much about life each and every time I teach them about a field I don’t necessarily love, yet respect dearly.
Today I relearned a love and respect for not only the field, but for life…I was reminded that even in our darkest hour, or toughest day, there is LIGHT.
I encouraged, helped, and guided this amazing group for the better part of the day, and their heartfelt thanks, thoughts, and simply watching them grow as histo-techs did my heart wonders…
Keep in mind teaching is no joke. I spend countless hours AFTER work, pouring over research, lesson plans, and planning for the day of class in which I hope to change lives.
And EVERY single time I am allowed to teach, despite cussing the alarm clock, I find myself blessed to be a part of shaping a new technicians career. Even if for just a moment…
As I transition OUT of this career field, I find myself remise because I am nearly sure I won’t be teaching anymore…
Yet I know I have been brought to this place, for a reason…
Added confidence, hope, and faith in mankind I believe are the basis of my purpose here…
These students have no idea what THEY teach to me, bring to me, and even give to my life.
I came home smiling after a long day of teaching, grading and working…and my smile continued on for the rest of the day.

I cooked an amazing pork rib roast served over sautéed spinach with a side of scallop potatoes…and my family raved…
Pork Roast recipe:
Mix kosher salt, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, cumin, paprika, and pepper together….sorry, no measurements, just season to taste. Rub over your pork ribs, and sear in a pan on high heat. Transfer to the oven at 275 degrees for about an our or until cooked to 150 degrees (internal temp). Let rest for 15 minutes which will bring the temp to 160 degrees.
Sautee 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 small onion and red pepper flakes in 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Add in 4 slices of thick cut bacon chopped, and brown through. Drain the grease. Add in 3-4 cups of fresh spinach, and wilt down. Season with salt and pepper. Voila!
Scallop potatoes:
Take 2 cups of veggie stock, and add 2 tablespoons of corn starch to thicken. Mix well, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 pat of unsalted butter, salt, pepper, and parsley. Thinly slice 4 large potatoes and add to the mix…simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked with a slight bite to them…
Serve, and enjoy!

We had a family Wii night, playing golf, bowling, archery, and table tennis with some sword fighting to boot.
And now, I am relaxing with some wine, with no guilt of having NOT run for 6 days…
I am planning to run tomorrow, but am allowing myself this bit of respite to regroup, recount, and find my way.
For taking small breaks, to me, isn’t a sign of weakness…
It is a sign of strength that you are using your energy to keep moving forward…