Creamy Sausage And Peppers Pasta.

We love pasta at the Eckman house. Well, I love pasta in any shape or form and Luke likes it only if meat, creaminess and spiciness are involved.

That is the basically the foundation of this concoction, although the original recipe comes from Joel and Heloisa, a very good friends of ours. I tried it the first time when I was invited over to their house for dinner and it was absolutely delicious. Their recipe includes onions, peppers and sausages mixed in bow tie pasta.

One day Luke and I were debating on what to eat for dinner as he said “I want pasta, spicy sausage, and onions and peppers with Alfredo sauce” and that’s how I remembered Joel’s incredible recipe. I just needed to add a touch of cream to get the Alfredo effect.

And that’s how this recipe became one we loved!

Ingredients

1/2 white onion.

1 pepper.

3 cloves of garlic.

3-4 links of Spicy Italian Sausage.

Two servings of Linguini Pasta, or any other your heart desires.

1 cup of Half and Half.

Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Directions

1. Boil pasta on a large pot. I like my pasta water to be very salty.

2. Peel the sausages and cook them on a large frying pan, no oil needed.

3. Once sausages are cooked, add vegetables and cook until sautéed.

4. Add half and half, salt and pepper and let it reduce for about 2-4 minutes on medium heat.

5. Mix in the pasta and the sauce in one pan until fully incorporated.

6. Serve with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!!

I wish I could plate linguini in a prettier way, but that’s not very much important once I start eating this deliciousness.

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Weekend in Pictures + Weely Running Recap.

Remember my post from Friday where I said I was getting ready to run a 5K with the Army and their families? Well… turned out it wasn’t a race. It was a physical training (PT) circuit and I didn’t find out about it until 5 minutes before it started.

Me and Luke arrived to the place at like 6am in the morning. I was one of three civilians who showed up. The rest were Army soldiers and some Marines wearing PT uniforms.

I’m not going to lie. I felt quite intimidated.

Then the organizators showed up to explain that we were going to workout on a circuit. We were told to run one lap, make it to one of the 6 stations, review on of the Army values, and then perform 2 minutes of a predetermined exercise. Then repeat the whole process again until we finished all 6 stations. The exercises were burpees, squads, push ups, lunges, crunches and planks.

At the end, I had so much fun doing this. And it did feel relatively easy. Until next day came and my body was screaming at me. Everything hurt so bad. Specially my quads. See? This is why I don’t do lower body strength when I’m running 5 times a week.

One highlight of this workout was that I did it with Luke. He wasn’t feeling good that day AT ALL and he still completed the entire thing.

Later that Friday I knew I needed to replenish some carbs for my long run next day. So me and Luke went on a little date to a local Italian Restaurant.

I ordered a Greek salad that was beyond delicious.

And then Luke ordered a pizza to share with me. This one had pepperoni, bacon and pineapple. Not a huge fan of any of these toppings. But he really wanted them and I didn’t mind removing them from my slices.

The rest of our weekend was pretty chill and uneventful. We literally relaxed and did nothing. Except from when I went out for my runs.

Saturday was a 5-mile long run day on extremely tire legs. After that Friday workout, I don’t know how this happened. That last mile was a test for mental strength. I was really tired and everything hurt.

On Sunday my legs felt way better, and so I ran 4 miles. Again, that last mile was a test of mental strength. I was really tired.

This doesn’t surprise me since I exercised all 7 days of last week, which is something I never do.

My recap for week 3 of Half Marathon training looks like this:

1. Monday: 4 miles @ 12:05 average pace.

2. Tuesday: 4 miles @ 12:25 average pace.

3. Wednesday: 30 minutes upper body workout to take a day off from running.

4. Thursday: 4 miles @ 12:01 average pace.

5. Friday: Army PT circuit. Unplanned day off from running.

6. Saturday: 5 miles @ 11:52 average pace.

7. Sunday: 4 miles @ 11:50 average pace.

That was 21 miles in total in 5 days of running plus 2 days of strength workouts that were not part of the training plan.

Looking forward to start this new week with a well deserved day of active rest. Let’s see what the day brings, but one thing is for sure—> I’m not doing squads in a long (long) time.

What was your highlight of the weekend?

 

 

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Running News + Friday Favorites.

Happy Fri-YAY friends! Before we dive into today’s post I have few things to mention:

  1. 4 easy miles yesterday. This was a late afternoon run. I was this close to skip it because I was hungry and just wanted to go eat dinner. However, this book says that good progress comes from those days where we really don’t want to run but we still do it. That was basically the only thing that got me to do it. I was happy it was done and extra-hungry, of course.
  2. Luke picked me up to go to one of his appointments and he said “tomorrow morning I have to go to this 5K run organized by the Army, it’s a run/walk thing for families and soldiers. Would you do it?,” Me: HECK YEAH! So I’m actually getting ready to run a 5K as I’m writing this post. I’m also looking forward to kind of switch things up a little bit for today’s training.
  3. Dexter is still joining me on my treadmill sessions. I wonder what people think about me when I laugh or react in any way to whatever it’s going on in the series. Think about getting into a room fool of treadmills, and seeing this sweaty lady running and laughing at the treadmill screen (which is where I place my phone). I mean…total normal behavior.

All right. Time for some Friday Favorites over here!!

Beauty + Fashion.

  1. Dry Shampoo is one of my best friends during training cycles. My all time favorite has always been baby powder. I literally dump some in my hair and then blow dry it a little bit. But lately I went back to sprays for convenience. My all time favorite has been this one. It comes out dark as my hair, but the only bad side about it is that my fingers would come out stained every time I ran them throng my hair. Lately I’ve been loving this one. It is way more affordable and does well with my hair even though it doesn’t come out dark.
  2. These sandals are LIFE when it comes to my tired feet. I spotted them on Macy’s after having done a long run that morning. My feet were tired. I tried them on and it was enough to get them. To me, sandals with lots of support are never the cutest ones. But these have both.

Around the Internet.

Still obsessed with all the YouTubers I mentioned last week. Still struggling with baby fever because all of them lol.

Reads.

Don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this here but I’m very interested on theology and studying the Bible. This book has been incredibly interesting explaining in such a deep ways our ways to interpret the scriptures. If you’re into this as well, this one is 100% recommended.

Eats.

My and my mother in law have been absolutely LOVING this Ice Cream. The whipped cream gives it such a nice touch too.

And that is all for today my friends.

What are some of your current favorite things you’re loving? 

 

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30 Minute Upper Body Workout.

It was my day off from running on my Half Marathon Training Plan and a rough morning was already making me crave some endorphins. Since I’m trying to follow my training plan to a tee, I didn’t want to run on my rest day. I also didn’t have much time to workout, and that’s when I figured a quick strength workout might be the answer. This is how I came up with this 30 minute upper body workout that I’m sharing today.

When fresh legs become a priority for my running, I really try to stay away from lower body strength workouts. Many people can have opposite opinions, but I’ve had very bad experiences in the past trying to balance tired legs from strength workouts with long runs. That said, upper body and core workouts become my best friends during times like these.

I walked in a gym with 30 minutes and no workout plan structured. So the game plan I had in mind was composed by three factors: 5 minute warm up, a Superset and Planks.

My warm up was nothing too crazy. I just walked on the treadmill for 5 minutes, which always works well for me.

Then I grabbed two dumbbells of six pounds each and starting doing 5 different exercises with 15 reps each. I did not take a break in between any exercise so that I could make it a superset. Then, I took 1 minute break to repeat the whole thing again. I did it for a total of three times.

The exercises I chose were the Bicep Curls, Dumbbell Rows (with both dumbbells at a time), tricep extensions (only using one dumbbell)  and the Reverse Flyes.

I proceeded to my beloved planks. They are so incredibly beneficial for my running so I could not leave them out. I did traditional planks for 40 seconds x 3.

Then I tried a new exercise that I looked at the Hansons Half Marathon Method book, which is the Superman on a Medicine Ball. I did around 5 per side, but I got to admit that keeping the balance was challenging.

Image taken from Hansons Half Marathon Method.

Lastly, I did some stretching and voilá! a 30-minute upper body workout for rest days where you don’t have much time for a full workout.

Thanks for reading friends!

What are your favorite upper body workouts?

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Running, Coffee, Massages.

Tuesday was another day, and another easy 4 mile-run on the treadmill for me. Very excited that today is rest day. Not because I need a break from running, but because I need a break from the treadmill. Happy Wednesday friends!

Yesterday my day started off with a huge cup of coffee and PB toast (not pictured). I don’t know if I have mentioned this here, but Luke and I are obsessed with the San Antonio coffee blend from H.E.B, we normally get it from Amazon when we are in Florida. However, now that I can find it here in Texas for so cheap (because I get it straight from H.E.B) It’s pretty much all the coffee I drink all day, every day.

I then headed the Gym for my daily 4-miler. My hips and quads were feeling a little tight. So I decided to take it easy. 12:15 was my average pace per mile while watching another episode of Dexter. Surprisingly, my aches disappeared after this run which was pretty amazing.

The following picture doesn’t really match with the other ones in this post, but I’ll put it up anyways just for the sake of my own running record.

Later on I fixed myself some lunch. Ezequiel tortillas with butter, provolone cheese and honey ham, along with sea salt potato chips and some fruit. I ended up leaving most of the fruit, which was very weird because of my inevitable sweet tooth.

Luke, my mother in law and I scheduled some massages at the Warriors And Families Support Center. They give them every week for free if you sign up with time.

We grabbed an early Chick-Fil-A dinner (not pictured either because #BloggersFail) and rushed to get our massages.

On a random note, me and Luke were coincidentally matching yesterday. Love when that happens.

The lady who took me was seriously the best. I asked for the closest thing to a sports massage, and she really worked into my legs, feet, hips, lower back…everything. I felt a lot of pressure and pain releasing from specific points of my body. But by the end, I felt like a new person.

This was my first time trying out a massage. It had the same effect as foam rolling but more comfortable because I was not doing all the job. Also, it was very convenient since I don’t have my foam roller with me here. So if you’re away from home and don’t have one on hand, a sports massage can totally do the trick.

Right after our massage sessions, me and Luke hung out outside while waiting for my mother in law to be done with her massage. We took some pictures that were not originally intended for this blogpost, but at the end I changed my mind. Speaking of which…can we take a second to just admire how pretty these flowers are?

That is all for today my friends!

Have you ever gotten a sports massage? If so, how was your experience?

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Entertaining Myself on Treadmill Runs + On Dealing With Uncertainty.

Yesterday was another day of easy running for me in a half-marathon training land. This week however, shorter runs are of 4 miles. And that’s exactly what I did yesterday – 4 miles on the treadmill.

I’m not going to lie. At this point I’m kind of over the treadmill. So to entertain my bored self I did something I would never have thought I would, watch a series on my phone. Yep. Dexter came to the rescue and those 4 miles just flew by.

I really don’t like doing this because I think being distracted from your run can prevent you from soaking up those psychological adaptations you gain in training. That is why I spiced things up a little but by running with 1% incline. It was thanks to that small change that I could remember (and feel) I was actually running the whole time. However, I was not extremely bored looking at my watch every 5 seconds and wondering how long to I was to finish.

Now I’m pretty excited for todays treadmill run. Not because of the treadmill run itself but because I’ll be watching another episode of Dexter.

On another note, I realized I needed to pee having only 0.3 miles in. Sorry if this is TMI but it was so annoying that I cannot help to mention it. I did not want to take a potty break because that meant I was going to have my run’s data divided in two parts. So I just decided to hold it. Not the healthiest decision but at least I got my run data all in one.


My friend Patricia is a Health Coach in Costa Rica. On her IG account, she’s always giving the most beautiful / useful advices for women these days.

I mention this because Yesterday I woke up struggling against uncertainty. There are a lot of things going on right now, and not knowing what the future is going to look like can result completely exasperating for me. Not being able to control anything that’s going on with my husband’s medical treatment, or not knowing when are we going to be back home just fills me up with frustration and fear.

Then I saw on her InstaStories a very inspiring message regarding everything we are told we need to control in our lives- the food that we eat, the emotions that we feel, the lives that we live. Then she wrote “I’m just here trying to go with the flow, but the messages we get are completely the opposite. I don’t know about you guys, but trying to have a life controlling everything single thing is very exhausting to me.” And then it all made sense to me. I was putting myself into a struggle by trying to take control of the situation, and of course, failing.

I reached out to her to let her know how much those words had touched me, and how much I’ve struggled lately with me not being in control of many things in my life. Her response touched me even deeper: “Control is only an illusion during times of uncertainty.”

And that is everything I needed to hear to end with my struggle. Sometimes there are things we can control, and sometimes there are things we just can’t. If you can’t control it then you might be better off surrendering to uncertainty. Because after all, control is only an illusion of certainty.

Today I have quite a few questions for you!

How do you deal with uncertainty?

Do you need a distraction on Treadmill Runs? If so, what do you usually use?

Any TV series that you’re currently watching?

How do you handle the potty break situations when your running on a treadmill?

 

 

 

 

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Week 2 of Half Marathon Training.

After taking my Saturday off from blogging, a long run recap is much needed here. My 4-Mile long run wasn’t really that long. I like to call it that way because it was the longest distance I had to run in the week.

Something extremely annoying happened with my treadmill. At the end of Mile 3 y stepped on the edges to stretch my shoulders, which were feeling very achy. It didn’t take 10 seconds when my treadmill completely stopped, loosing all the information of my run including the overall average pace. I restarted it and ran Mile 4 as if it was new workout.

Luckily I took pictures of the average paces I ran every single mile, which were as follows: Mile 1 @ 11:35, Mile 2 @ 11:19, Mile 3 @ 11:06 and Mile 4 with a mix of those paces changing them every 0.35 miles.

According to my training plan, my long run pace should be 11:41 per mile. Even though I do not have the average pace per mile for this run, I know I ran every mile below the goal time.

Finally on Sunday morning, I ran 3 easy miles @ 12:30 average pace. It was mentally challenging because I don’t like to run on Sundays. But I go it done while I watched pasta recipes on YouTube.

With that, I successfully completed Week 2 of Half-Marathon Training. The daily breakdown looks like this:

Monday: Rest Day Number 1.

Tuesday: 2 easy miles @ 13:30 average pace.

Wednesday: 3.1 easy miles @ 11:19 average pace.

Thursday: 3.1 easy miles @ 11:43 average pace.

Friday: Rest Day Number 2.

Saturday: 4 miles @ 11:35 average pace (estimated).

Sunday: 3 easy miles @ 12:30 average pace.

Total miles: 15.

After my Sunday run, we went to grab lunch at In-N-Out. I love this place and could not miss the chance of having it here in Texas.

Later on that day, Luke and I went on our first date alone in a long time. I really wanted to try Authentic Mexican food here, and so we selected Casadores Taquería.

I had one taco al pastor, one barbacoa taco and one chicken fajita taco. Luke had the enchiladas verdes, which is his go-to at authentic Mexican restaurants.

And that my friend is everything about my Sunday. I hope you’ve had an amazing weekend with your loved  ones. Also wish that this is an amazing week of training for y’all.

What’s one or two goals you have for this week?

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Lazy Friday.

Thursday night was a tough one for me. After a sleepless night I was very hesitant to go for a run on Friday morning. I checked on my training plan, and turns out I needed to have a rest day on Wednesday, which I didn’t take. So I decided to make Friday a rest day.

Saturday’s “long” run was of 4 miles. So I figured having fresh legs was going to be a good idea.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I rested a lot and recovered.

By 5:30 pm we got ready to head out to dinner. I wanted steak and Luke wanted French fries. So Logan’s was the election.

Luke is kind of a picky eater -even though he doesn’t think he is. And I’m pretty straightforward with the things I like. So once we sat down and looked at the menu, it didn’t take me long to figure out what I wanted to eat.

Steak, House Salad and some sort of starch is what I order almost 100% of the time. My go-to starches are mashed potatoes, rice and French fries. But last night I decided to go with the mashed potatoes.

After dinner we were tired so we went back home.

And that my friends is how a rest day of doing absolutely nothing looks like for me.

What did you do on your Friday night?

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Friday Favorites.

Happy Friday friends!! I can’t believe the weekend is almost here. This week passed by FLYING. I’m still enjoying the beautiful views of the Warriors and Family Support Center.

Also, enjoying the cool and relaxing runs on the gym’s treadmill. Another day, another 3 mile run. Just as prescribed by the training plan. I added a quick arm workout afterwards.

Please excuse my face in this picture. It was too early in the morning when I finished at the gym. But still took the selfie for the sake of this blogpost.

Since it’s Friday, I’m sharing some of the favorites things I’ve been discovering lately. It’s been a while since the last time I posted one of these. So at this point I have quite a few things to share in here.

Running: 

I’ve been obsessed with the Ideology Performance Tanks. Specially with the Rapidry Heathered Racerback Performance Tank Top  and the Heathered Keyhole-Back Tank Top. They are currently 2 for $20 so I might have gotten quite a few of them. But honestly they are so nice that I could buy one of every single color.

Beauty + Fashion: 

– These Oversized Bow Sandals from American Eagle are EVERYTHING. They are all I use in my feet all day every day unless I’m running. I own a pair in Taupe. Unfortunately, mines have the smallest dots of bleach on one side because I had the great idea of dumping a jug of chlorine in my pool while wearing them. You can’t really see it unless you really stare close. But at this point I think I’ll be probably ordering another pair before they go out of stock.

– My mother in law gave me this Clinique Lip Gloss. I’m not a huge fan of lip glosses or bright colors like this in my lips. BUT, this one looks so pretty and is also very easy to wear everyday. I’m almost out of mine by now and might be restocking on it pretty soon.

– The Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara from Clinique got me cheating on my all time favorite Better Than Sex Mascara. So far, I can’t say I’ve been disappointed by it. It actually gives me a natural look to wear on everyday basis.

Wellness: 

I’ve been on a kick of Peppermint Oil for almost everything. It works great for my intense period cramps -which I had to deal with as I was driving to Texas last time-, headaches and allergies. It really works every single time for me.

Around the Internet: 

The Daily Vlogs from Tiffany Beaston on the Baby Watch from her little girl. Also known as #EllaNutellaBabyWatch.

Tara Henderson’s Vlogs are also ones that I never miss. Her girls are so cute.

The Bristows Made A Baby from Becca Bristow. I also Love Becca’s Youtube Channel.

All of this content is giving me the serious baby fever. Send Help.

Reads:

Loving this book once again while I go trough the Training Plan.

Eats: 

This Muesli has been my breakfast for the last month or so.

These Bagels are also part of my diet almost every day.

And my all-time favorite Single Espresso Macchiato from Starbucks has been part of my days since I’ve been in Texas.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be back with more really soon.

What’s your favorite thing right at this time?

 

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A Day In The Life + Going Back to The Treadmill + 5 Things I Love About My Running Lifestyle.

Hey friends, Happy Thursday!

Yesterday my day started with a bowl of muesly, a cup of coffee and early errands with Luke.

My dress is the same I’ve been wearing in a lot of pictures lately. It’s so comfortable I cannot get enough of it. I got it from Marshall’s.

Then at around noon, Luke dropped me off at the gym on base. I’ve been trying to avoid treadmills as they usually have a high impact on my calves (at least the ones from my gym at home). But the heat in Texas has been so incredibly hard that my options basically come down to either fainting in the middle of the road or dealing with the high impact of the treadmill. Well… I choose the second one.

Let me tell you that those 3 miles had been the best run I’ve had so far since I got here. Turns out these particular treadmills are low impact. I programmed it to run a 5K, and by mile 2 it started to gain incline while still keeping me in the same speed I was before. Whoa… that was intense and it also felt so good.

And that my friends is the masochist side of runners.

I then waited for Luke to pick me up. Getting out of the gym with that heat certainly made me appreciate my decision of running inside.

Came back to eat the most random lunch with food I had available. Half a bagel with provolone cheese and honey ham. Tortilla chips and Roasted Pepper hummus.

Can we take a second to talk about the Reese’s Fast Break Bars? This is basically milk chocolate with peanut butter and nougat. Sounds pretty simple but it’s actially so incredibly good. I devoured a mini bar in the afternoon during one of those sugar “downs” I get. This recent obsession of mine needs to stay away from me for a while. I can totally see it coming back in the near future though.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. And by 6:00 PM I decided to cook dinner for the first time in a long time. We’ve been eating out for this whole time and a homemade meal felt just right.

What you see in the picture is basically Luke’s orange chicken, green beans, sautéed squash and sticky rice that I topped with a little bit of butter.

This meal certainly hit the spot.

If you haven’t had sticky rice with butter, please do so.

During my run today, I was thinking about all the things that I love about my running lifestyle. It’s incredible how different your life can be by only being active, even if it’s just a little bit. I came up with a few things I love. And of course, wanted to share them in here.

1. Once your run is done, everything else seems a piece of cake to accomplish: I don’t know if this happens to everybody. But I do feel that after accomplishing a run -even if it was good or bad- anything is possible to accomplish that day. I guess it’s part of feeling more energized and having a better attitude towards life in general.

2. It doesn’t matter how bad you feel before/during your run. You will be ALWAYS happy you got it done: This is my mantra on days where I really don’t feel like going for a run. And to be honest, after any run I’m not only happy I did it. I’m also a more happy Nathaly in general, because I get to be a better version of myself.

3. I’m a happier person in general: I’m never going to stop saying it. Running truly changes my attitude and gives me a better perspective to deal with negative situations. Stress management is an easier process when you’re a runner.

4. Food just tastes better: Maybe because runners are hungrier people than the average. But if you love food as much as I do, having the appetite to eat and enjoy delicious meals feels like a blessing. At least in my case, my appetite and digestion are not the same when I don’t run.

5. Sleeping is a more effective process: I don’t know what it is, but I tend to sleep better on days of intese running. Specially when I run at night, I feel like I need less hours of sleep yet I feel like I rested more. It’s crazy but it’s true.

And that is all for today my friends. Hope you’re enjoying the rest of your day:)

Do you relate with any of the benefits of having a running lifestyle? What other ones would you add?

What was your dinner last night?

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