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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Centered

Hiya! DC is sooo dreary and rainy and cold today – its so hard to want to be at work right now instead of curled up in my bed under the covers… But that’s why they call it work right?

Anyways, this weekend I felt very successful at getting back on track and woke up today feeling (relatively) good. After a 10 day hiatus from working out, on Saturday I went on an 11 mile bike ride and then did Bikram later in the afternoon. The last time I took a Bikram class was August 20th (!!) so it felt SO good to be back in the hot room sweating it out. I love that Bikram really challenges me both physically and mentally and forces me to get out of my comfort zone. I walked out of the class literally glowing (not just from the sweat) and felt like I had just pressed “reset” on healthy living. It always leaves me feeling so centered and calm, and Saturday night I just stayed in and cooked and laid low, and it felt so good to just relax (and not drink).

Yesterday I checked out a new church called Grace. I was raised Protestant and used to go to church often as a child, but then as I got older church started becoming less and less frequent. When I moved away from home, church became even less a part of my life, and I would only go very occasionally on holidays when it worked out. A few Easters ago, I went to my sister Wendy’s church and it made me see church in a whole new light. She goes to a progressive Christianity church where people wear jeans and its a very casual service with tambourines and dancing during the songs. I never even knew that a church like this existed, so I sort of renewed my interest. In the last few months, I’d been wanting to try to find a church like that in DC, when I got a piece of mail that said “Hate Church?” on the front and I turned the card over and it was for Grace Church, “A church for people who don’t go to church.”

It spoke to me a lot and I had been looking forward to going yesterday for a few weeks, since I was away the two Sundays before yesterday. And let me tell you, the service did not disappoint! It was a very laid back service and the pastor was hysterical. He was talking about his own coming to terms with religion and said that God works slowly, and is “more like a crockpot than a microwave”! Everyone laughed out loud, and there were several other funny moments during the sermon. Also, they showed a clip from Seinfeld (the one where Elaine is dating a religious guy and he tells her she’s going to Hell). The whole service was just very uplifting, and the message was about being kind and not judgmental towards others. There was even a 5 piece band and they played contemporary Christian rock rather than traditional hymns.

Anyways, I don’t usually talk about religion on here at all, but lately I’ve been feeling a need for something more in my life, especially in light of what is going on with my nephews. They are doing alright right now, but Harper has to have heart surgery today. They both are feisty and fighters, but really need positive thoughts and prayers, so please keep ’em coming.

After yesterday’s service with the mention of crockpot, I decided to pull mine out and made a delicious, hearty, bean and veggie stew. It cooked for 6 hours and turned out sooo good. It was so nice to have a hot, filling soup on such a cold, drizzly day.

I also went out for my first run since my half marathon and it felt REALLY good. I wasn’t quite sure how far I wanted to go, but once I set out and the weather was feeling cool and perfect for running, I decided to do 5 miles. I regretted that just a bit when it started drizzling on my way back and was in a full blown rain by the time I made it home, but I was so happy that I had such a great run after a 2 week hiatus. Here are the stats:

Distance: 5.o miles

Duration: 48:06

Avg. Pace: 9:37 (!)

Calories: 604

The miles ranged from 9:17 – 9:46, but I was VERY proud of finishing the 5 miles in that time. I have wanted to finish a 10k in under an hour for a while now, and I have one coming up on Sunday. The last 10k I ran I had that goal, and I finished in 60:01. I kid you not. Two seconds over my goal. Anyways, I would love to reach that goal on Sunday, but won’t beat myself up if I don’t.

I forgot my cord to connect my camera to my computer to upload pics, but I’ll be back tonight to share my Confetti Bean Stew recipe and show you my first interaction with canned pumpkin this season!

1.) What was the best part of your weekend?

2.) Are you a religious/spiritual person? How is where you are now different from how you were raised?

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14 Responses

  1. I too got out my crock pot this weekend to make some soup (great minds think alike)!

    I am a very spiritual/religious person and I believe prayer works. I also find going to church to be very uplifting and encouraging. I will continue to pray for Tristan and Harper and the rest of your family. Keep us posted!

  2. That is great- I was raised where religion was really shoved down my thoat and it kinda bothered me so I stopped all together-
    About 5 years ago I found a church that sounds very similar and I have struggled but I still go and It does make a difference- I think you have to get to the point where it is important to you! Great Job

  3. I’m actually Catholic. This doesn’t mean I always go (sorry mom), but there is something to be said about the occasional hour of “peace” I get from going to mass.

    Nice work on the crock pot. It seems to be there were quite a few of them in use yesterday! Great minds think alike…

  4. The best part of my weekend was definitely running my first marathon!

  5. The best part of my weekend was “hiking” with the dog and my husband in Rock Creek Park. Can’t wait to see your recipe & way to go on your speedy run. After reading your blog for a while now I can see that your running is getting better every month…you should be proud of yourself!!

  6. Even though I don’t necessarily go to church right now, I am incredibly religious. I believe that you can get through most things with God on your side. I pray for your nephew. That has to be a difficult experience, I cannot even imagine!!

  7. 1. The best part of my weekend was getting all beautified for my trip to Las Vegas this week: hair, pedicure, eyebrow wax, nails. I very rarely spend money on those things, so it felt like a wonderful treat. I also didn’t have any social comittments so I got to spend a lot of quality time with my boyfriend hanging out at home. It was lovely.

    2. I was really involved in my temple (I’m Jewish) growing up. I went three times a week to religious school after going to regular school all day – yuck. I wound up very involved in my high school youth group and was president of the Jewish youth group in college. My boyfriend is Christian and we are attending an interfaith event this month. We are both supportive and respectful of each other’s beliefs.

  8. 1. The best part of my weekend was hiking with my husband and the dog (until we got lost, lol)!

    2. I do not go to church very often. I do pray a lot and consider myself a Christian. Neither of my parents are very religious and I usually just went to church when visiting my grandmother. I like the sound of the church you visited. Laidback and non-judgemental. I have some tattoos so I get “looks” at church. I will keep praying for your nephews!

  9. I am not a religious person – right now, much to the disappointment of my family. I was raised protestant and my family attends a very progressive church – similar to what you were describing (the pastor wears jeans), which I go to at major holidays.

    I was VERY religious as a kid. I did youth group, Christian camp, weekend revival trips.
    I didn’t find what I was looking for.

    I consider myself agnostic now. I don’t judge or tell anyone to believe one way or another. I believe everyone should be happy.

  10. Looking forward to read about this bean stew. Do you have a bikram membership or do you pay per class?

  11. That’s great you found a church that you agree with. I do love the concept of these more modern churches, that feel-good attitude you get from going, but I have big issues with the folksy music that they play. I’m not a big tambourine type of gal, and would much rather settle for a great big pipe organ! (Okay, or a violin.) But, regardless, that’s great that you’ve found something. Have you ever heard of “The Great Emptiness?” If you’ve been feeling unsettled, you may want to read up on it.

    Best part of the weekend was the apple pressing party I went to on Saturday!

  12. I consider myself more spiritual than religious. The service you went to sounds like something I would like. When I’ve gone to church (protestant and catholic) it seems like the sermon (my favorite part) is like 5 minutes and the rest is following “procedures or rituals”. The sermon, if it’s a good one, gives me something to think about in the upcoming week. The following of rituals just makes me bored!

    I made some potato soup in my crockpot yesterday and it was sooo good. I love my crockpot!

    Still keeping your nephews in my thoughts! Please let us know how Harper’s surgery goes.

  13. Hi Beth! I’ve just started following your blog recently but am really enjoying it!

    Best part of my weekend: actually I suppose it sort of ties in with your other question, because it has to do with church 🙂 My church had an all-day prayer and worship yesterday, where people can come and go as they please and there are different facilitators/leaders of worship and prayer. It’s very intimate and just a great atmosphere to draw near to the Lord.

    I wouldn’t call myself ‘religious,’ but that’s just semantics. Religion has this feel of uptight rules and working your way into a right relationship with God. Which really isn’t what Christianity is about at all. I grew up going to church sometimes, but it wasn’t a place where I learned much about the gospel (the good news at the heart of the Christian faith) or what it means to really walk with the Lord. It wasn’t until college that I became a believer — actually through the death of a guy I went to high school with. He passed away in a car accident and his funeral was a worship service; they shared about how we can have peace and a sweet relationship with God only through trusting in what Jesus has done to pay our debt — NOT by being good, following rules or even going to church! I started trusting Jesus to bring me to God, and life has been different (a continuing “crock pot” sort of journey, though!) since then.

    Sorry for the long reply — it’s one of my favorite things to talk about, so I was excited to read your post 🙂 Glad you enjoyed your experience at Grace, and congrats on your great run! I’m going to go get a run in myself!

  14. I’m Methodist and have always been more of a traditionalist. PowerPoint slides and bands at church have always made me uncomfortable. BUT, my husband is no longer enjoying our church and I’m wondering if it’s time to “shop” around. It’s hard, though, because we were married in that church and have friends there.

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