Life lately has been like this evening’s dinner: fast.

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That’s a Kashi Turkey Fiesta sandwich pocket and an ear of sweet corn with butter and Old Bay seasoning (courtesy of my girl Rose and her awesome giveaway. I can totally feel the jealousy of everyone at my gym when I carry my Old Bay tote. Speaking of Rose, did you see what I sent her to say thanks for introducing me to the healthy living blogosphere?)

I had planned to do chicken, veggies and pasta tonight, but I had to swing by the store to grab milk after the gym and was so hungry I wanted to gnaw my arm off, so I knew I would not be able to wait for a chicken breast to bake. It is baking right now in preparation for tomorrow’s lunch.

I figured I could wait for water to boil, though, so long as I snacked one of these babies.

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Rachel’s Wickedly Delicious Cottage Cheese is too good for words. It is small, filling, healthy and portable, which is probably why it is expensive. But it is the perfect snack while dinner cooks. So far I have tried the sun-dried tomato pesto and cranberry orange pomegranate.

In the interest of brevity, here’s a quick rundown of the last week:

Running: I wrapped up week 4 of the Couch to 5K challenge feeling confident. I was having no problem with each day’s training. Then I looked at this week (week 5) and paled. The last day of the week calls for a 20-minute run. To top it off, on Monday, the first day of week 5, I just plain sucked. It was an off day. I was physically able to run, but I just could not make myself do it. It. just. sucked.

So I wanted Tuesday to be spectacular. I headed out to a nature trail with mile markers and decided to see how long it would take me to run 3.1 miles, or a 5K. My goal was less than 40 minutes; I did it in just under 37 minutes. I had to guess the last tenth of a mile because only miles are marked.

I was very happy with my 37 minutes. That is just over 12-minute  mile average, which is far from speedy, but it is also by far the fastest I have ever traveled 3.1 miles on foot. Still, I walked more than I needed to. I wasn’t walking because I had to. I was walking because it was easier.

But I have two and a half months to improve that 37 minutes. If I can finish my 5k in less than 30 minutes, I would be on Cloud 9. I have never been a runner. I have never liked to run. But I am learning to run and learning to like it.

Strength training: My friend and “trainer,” Scott, has been helping me with strength training routines. It’s only been about two weeks, but I can feel myself getting so much stronger. It’s amazing. I was doing rows with 15-pound dumb bells tonight; a few weeks ago, 10 was too much. I’m only disappointed I waited this long to really work with weights. I can lift a lot more than I think I can, and Scott is there to make sure I do it and don’t wimp out.

Eats: Because I’ve been so busy, I’ve been eating out a lot but overall making good decisions. On Friday I went to D.C. with my good friend Sam, who’s moving to Brazil at the end of the month and had to straighten out visa paperwork. We walked at least four miles that day, and while it was no substitute for running, it was a decent enough workout in the heat and totally justified the delicious pizza we grabbed.

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Big, floppy, fold-over slices from Kavanagh’s Pizza Pub in DC that make my beloved Pizza Hut look so lackluster.

On Saturday, I went to a cookout with some of my favorite people: my coworkers at my old job. They are all so smart, fun and just plain real. It’s always good to see them.

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With my pal Kiernan on an ice cream run.

For the cookout I made dessert, which was cupcakes and some cookies. The cookies were a really fabulous recipe I found a couple different places online: Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip.

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What you do is mash about about 3 ripe/overly ripe bananas, combine with 2 cups of oats, a 1/3 cup oil, 1 egg and chocolate chips, then just bake them like any other drop cookies, about 20 minutes. You could add raisins, dates, figs, etc. Obviously, they have a banana flavor, but I think they’re just very sweet and very good.

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I guess that wasn’t all that brief at all. But I’ve missed you, fellow healthy living bloggers, and I’ll be around a lot more often now that things have calmed down!

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