Getting a little more JOLLY, a little more GREEN, and a little less GIANT.

28 February 2013

The Magic and Misery of "Before and After" Pictures

I know I have promised Before and After pictures before and I know I have failed to deliver.

There are reasons for that.

First of all, my husband is kind of bad at thinking about taking pictures of anything, much less me. I was always the one behind the camera and I was too embarrassed to ask him to purposefully take a picture of me. So we have hundreds of pictures of him. Him with the kids. Him on the couch. Him in the car. Him at the birthday party. And I was okay with that. Who'd want a picture of "all this" anyway?

There were a few pictures of me, but I would go through our computer and delete them. They were so embarrassing. The woman in the pictures was not the woman I pictured myself to be, the woman I saw in the mirror. I knew I was fat, but that fat? It was painful to look the reality in the face. My face. My big, fat face.

So I did my best to erase the evidence. By deleting almost all the proof of where I began on my journey.

And even when I did begin my weight loss journey, I superstitiously forewent the traditional "before" snapshot. I had so many "before" pictures marking so many beginnings of failed attempts at weight loss. I was so sure that this most recent weight loss attempt was just going to be One. More. Failure. Why would I want to capture that?

Then, I did start to lose weight. But being a single married mom, my only available photographers were wiggly and short. I would pose for my willing photographers only to be rewarded with fuzzy pictures of my legs and feet. Or the ceiling.

So...There just aren't many pictures of this journey.

Which is sad. Because I do so love a good Before and After side-by-side.

My husband and I went to the post office today to apply for passports. Part of that process involves pictures, of which they gave us a copy. When I got home I happened to be going through my wallet. Where I found one of the most hideous pictures of me--my Nevada driver's license--taken at one of my heaviest times.

So, here is my Before and After:

Pretty horrible and amazing all at the same time, eh?

It's funny/not funny how this can simultaneously fill me with pride and shame. I can't help but run through a range of thoughts.

How did I ever let myself get that bad? Look how gross I am. I have a whole extra face around my face. No makeup. Sweaty. Gross. I really let myself go in so many ways. How could I not see that as I looked in the mirror every day? No wonder I never wanted to leave my house. No wonder I was so embarrassed to be around people. How could I not get control of myself?

And then...

How grateful I am that I finally did take control! I really am pretty, aren't I? Look how far I've come. Look at what all that sweat and pain brought about. I only have ONE chin now! And cheek bones! I have cheek bones! Why did it take me so long to figure this out? I hope that my kids will be proud of me and only get embarrassed because of the things I do instead of the way I look. Dang! My husband is lucky! I can't wait to go on a trip now! We'll meet new people! I can fit comfortably in an air plane seat!

And these are only thoughts about my face. Imagine if my whole body had been in the picture.

My advice to anyone out there...TAKE PICTURES!!! No matter what point in your journey you are at...TAKE PICTURES!! Even if you're sitting on the couch, just thinking about losing a few (hundred) pounds. TAKE A PICTURE OF YOURSELF! And then DON'T DELETE IT! No matter how disgusted you are. No matter how badly you don't want your children to remember you like that. No matter how sure you are that "it's not that bad". TAKE PICTURES!

Trust me on this one.

And then go and make your "Before" an "After".

26 February 2013

C'mon Spring! You Can Do It!

Thanks to restless kids, I was wide awake at 5 am Monday morning.

Sometimes I really want to _________ my kids when they wake us all up that early.

(Fill in the blank with the appropriate term. Just don't call CPS. I promise that as much as I may want to _________ my kids, I am not.)

And then sometimes I really want to thank them for yanking  me out of bed that early. That gives me the opportunity to get out of the house and run my miles OUTSIDE while Joe is still home. It almost always makes my day when I start it with an outdoor run. I'm not very good about answering to an alarm clock. At least it will go away once you hit "snooze". The kids don't come with snooze buttons and they are not easily ignored.


Anyway, since I was up at 5 am, I ran my four miles outside. Yay!, but may I whine for a moment?

Weren't you already whining about the kids?

Yes, but can I whine about something else?

I'm going to go ahead and make the assumption that you, whoever "you" is, said, "Yes! Please! Whine to me!"

I really try to make it a personal point not to whine about the weather. I live in Utah, where many a license plate totes the saying "The Best Snow on Earth". It snows here. A lot and for a long time. It comes every year, without fail. And I'm totally chill with that. (Ha ha! Get it? "Chill"?) drives me crazy when people complain about something so unchangeable as the weather. Every year, like clockwork, like WEATHER, we know winter is coming. Along with it comes snow. Cold, icy, wet snow.

Don't like it? Fine. Move! I hear Arizona or California or Hawaii is lovely this time of year. But if you insist on living somewhere where there are four distinct seasons, don't moan and murmer every single time the snow flies or the temperature soars above 85. If you don't like something, CHANGE IT! If you can't change it...DEAL WITH IT. Quietly, please.

That being said...

This is the first winter I have braved the elements and trained/ran through. And I am so so so so sosososososososoSOOOOO sick of the cold and dark and ice and danger of winter running!


25 February 2013

Note to Self: Why You Should Lose Weight

I stepped on the scale yesterday and lo and behold...I've gained even more weight.


I can't be totally surprised. I tried to eat better this week and workout every day and everything was going great until...the weekend came. Then I went a little hog-wild. And I paid for it. I paid for it on the scale and I paid for it on my run this morning.

When am I am ever going to learn that I have to eat right to be able to run right?

So. thick. headed. am. I.

I need an incentive. I need a reminder as to why I am trying to be healthy and continue on my weight loss journey.

So...Here are a few:

1. My brother is coming for a visit in March. He's always been kind of critical of my weight. I would love to "stick it to him" and be skinny (-er) when he comes.

2. My other brother has been dating a girl for...forever. Who knows if he's getting married or not, but if he is...I'd sure like to be picture ready.

3. Speaking of pictures...We're bound to do some family pictures when #1 brother comes for his visit. I have two sisters that look fantastic. While I'll always be the "bigger sister", I'd really love to not be the "really bigger sister".

4. I've been asked to speak about my weight loss journey to a group of women in March. It would be nice to be able to do that without a closing statement of "...and I've gained a bunch of weight back."

5. My first marathon is in May. Who wants to carry 30 extra pounds when running 26.2 miles?

6. Some of my clothes are starting to get a little snug again. No.

7. Clean eating + running = happy girl

23 February 2013

Dashing through a Dozen

Things you see on a 12 mile run: Domestic Elk
I normally do my long runs on Saturday when Joe is home to watch the kids. I wake up early to get out the door and get it done, but it still takes up a big chunk of my Saturday and I spend the rest of  the day recuperating from the pounding miles.
This week Joe got back into town early Friday so I jumped on the opportunity and did my run Friday afternoon instead.

Thus far, I have started my runs from home, running out in a straight stretch half the distance and then running down a block and returning back on a parallel straight stretch. It's effective. It's predictable. It gets me where I need to be. And it can get awfully boring.

So this time, since I had Joe around, I asked him to drive me out 12 miles away from home and I would run all the way back. It seemed like a great idea...when I was sitting in my warm, comfortable home. And then we started driving.

12 miles seems so much farther when it's done in one straight shot.

My stomach started to squirm as we got farther and farther from home. We passed from our town to the neighboring town to another town and even another town.


When we reached 12 miles, he asked me what I wanted him to do.

"Take me home", I said, only half way joking.

But I got out of the car with the thought that the only way 12 miles is going to happen is one step at a time. And so I ran 12 miles home. It was marvelous. And it was cold, much colder than I had anticipated. Yet still marvelous.

My legs stuck with me. The music was good. I felt pretty comfortable, as comfortable as one can be jogging, until mile 11. Then it got extra uncomfortable and dark and even colder, but with the thought that there was only one mile to go...I got through it.

I ate a couple of Clif Blok Shots and anti-fatigue pills before and half way through. I think that really made a difference. My ten mile run a couple of weeks ago was miserable. This 12 mile run with that mid-run nutrition went much, much better!

I still haven't committed to a hydration belt. I just carried a water bottle with me and refilled the two times I stopped at convenience stores to use the bathroom. That would have worked okay except for the cold water sloshing out of the bottle making my already freezing hands even icier.

And with that run I'm almost half way to marathon distance! That's exciting and very motivating. Next week I'm scheduled to run 14 miles, the longest distance I will have ever run in my entire life. After this run...I'm game!

Oh, and it was very satisfying to wake up this morning and NOT have to go running. Especially when a huge snowstorm came plowing in. I sat quite comfortably in my recliner, watching the snow blowing horizontally, feeling very smug and relieved that I was already done with my miles!

22 February 2013

Speaking of Shoes: Altra Torrin Giveaway!

Since I went shoe shopping just yesterday, shoes are definitely fresh on my mind.

I'm fairly new to running; I've only been running fairly consistently for about 18 months. This is the first winter I have ran through. I wimped out last winter. It was just too darn cold and slippery. Brrr!

I bought my first pair of shoes on my first visit to a REAL running store last year. The guy watched me run for a few seconds (literally, only a few seconds) and diagnosed me as an "over-pronater". This means my foot tends to roll the wrong way. He suggested I try the Brooks Adrenaline that comes with a stabilizing thingamabobber that will help with over-pronation. I was inclined to follow his advice and promptly purchased my first pair of REAL running shoes.

These shoes have served me well over the last several months. They carried me, injury-free, through my first half marathon and all the training leading up to it. And they've gotten me well on my way to my first full marathon.

But they're getting worn out. I've noticed the bottoms of my feet are really taking a pounding the higher my mileage gets. There just doesn't seem to be the sole support there that there once was. Time for new shoes!

Actually PAST time for new shoes. I've been putting it off because it's just so darn painful to fork over 100 plus dollars for shoes that can only be worn when you exercise. I know it's a good and necessary thing if you want to run comfortably and injury-free. It just hurts!

At the shoe store yesterday, I asked the clerk about Altras. I've heard lots of good things about them from my online running group. They heart Altras! In fact one of them (and her husband) works with the company. I'm such a newb to the whole running scene that I don't know what all the shoe terms even mean. I just know that a lot of people really dig these Altras. Even the clerk that helped me yesterday was wearing some.

He was a big fan, but he still scared me away from making my first Altra purchase yesterday. Something about not "switching horses mid-stream" and "sticking with what has worked for you". Meaning it may not be a good idea to try a new shoe style in the middle of marathon training. Plus they didn't even have my size. (Just call me "Tawanda, Amazon Woman".)

So I walked out of the store with another pair of Brooks Adrenaline. Same size, different color. Green!

BUT I really want to try those Altras! Which I am going to as soon as I have another $100 to spend on shoes. Or when I win THIS giveaway! Free Altra Torrins?! Yes please! Because really, when am I going to have a spare $100 sitting around?

I'm thinking maybe I'll run my September marathon with Altras. Compare and contrast!

21 February 2013

Marathon Mom Massacre

Being in desperate need of new shoes and a hydration belt, I ventured to a running store in the valley. Since we are a one-car family, the only times I have a vehicle to go on such trips are when Joe is out of town. This means I have a car, but I also have little ones in tow. On this particular trip I had four year old, Elle, and two year old, Cee.

Previous to the running store, we had stopped at Target to go through the exciting ritual of picking out some new panties for two year old Cee who is bound and determined to NOT wear her diaper. Ugh. But that's another story. Just as a preface to this story, new panties were fresh in my two young girls' minds.

As soon as we walked in to the running store, which is small in square footage, Cee loaded her diaper. Only I didn't catch on to this until I had removed my bag, sweatshirt, and shoes so I could be fitted for new running shoes. It finally dawned on me that that bad smell was MY child.

As I was realizing this, my four year old was animatedly telling anyone who would listen how her little sister was going to be wearing "big girl panties". It was cute, if not a tad embarrassing that she wouldn't stop saying "panties" to complete strangers.

When the shoe guy went to the back to look for my size (which is embarrassingly large as it is), I seized the opportunity to take my two year old out to the car to change her. She was stinkin' up the whole joint and I was starting to worry that now-informed fellow patrons were wondering if it was the aforementioned "big girl panties" that were soiled instead of the diaper she was (most fortuitously) wearing.

Dashing back in the store I resumed my shoe fitting whilst simultaneously trying to help two little girls behave in a store full of bright colored clothes, gel packets, and a working treadmill. While I talked "zero drop" with the clerk, Cee dug through my bag, pulling out various items. I asked her to put it all back, which she did, except for...a clear Ziploc bag crammed full of tampons and pads. Something I didn't notice, but that the young male clerk did.

Cue flaming red cheeks. Because ya' know, I'm sure he's NEVER seen a tampon before. *rolls eyes*

By that point, I was pretty flustered and ready to purchase just about anything the clerk suggested I should. A few minutes later I walked out with a pair of shoes ($110), a hydration belt ($45), two little girls, and a lost ability to look anyone straight in the eye.

By the time I got back home I had realized how idiotic it was to spend $45 on a "belt". 

Now I just have to work up the nerve to walk back in that store. Which just may be worth $45 to me after all.

20 February 2013

A Plea for Help

Today I put out a plea on Facebook.

I'm single-momming it this week and would love a chance to run outside. Would anyone be interested in taking my kiddos for an hour?

I didn't expect much, but within an hour I had four offers. One came at the perfect time. My two big kids were off at school, child #3 had just left for preschool, and my chores were done for the morning. The window of time was wide open and perfect. I pushed Cee in the stroller over to my visiting teacher's house and counted that as my warm-up. An hour later I returned, having completed my 6 miles in record time. All before noon. Talk about feeling accomplished.

Running outside was just what I had needed to make it through the rest of the week flying solo. It's such a stress-relief to be out in the air and the sunshine, stretching my legs, getting my heart pumping, and moooooving.

How grateful I am for other moms, neighbors, friends, visiting teachers who are willing to reach out and answer my plea for help. They may very well have saved my children's lives this week.

It's a good day.

19 February 2013

Healthy No Bake Cookies Recipe: Energy Bites

I'm a sucker for No Bake Cookies. They just hit the spot. And with all the sugar and butter in them...they stay at the spot.


I've seen a recipe for "healthy" No Bake Cookies floating around in my Facebook running group.

"Healthy No Bake Cookies"?


But I'm here to tell you, it's true! You CAN cut the sugar and butter and make No Bake Cookies that are healthy! In fact, you can even call them "Energy Bites" which makes them feel all the healthier.

Now, let's be honest here...They are NOT No Bake Cookies. Nothing is quite like a No Bake Cookie. But these Energy Bites come close enough on those days when you reeeeeally want to stick to your healthy eating, but you also reeeeeeaally just want a cookie or a bit of chocolate.

Even my kids liked them and scarfed them down. Methinks this could be the perfect recipe to turn to when they want a "treat" but I want to be good and avoid temptation.

Energy Bites
(recipe from Gimme Some Oven)

1 cup dry oatmeal 
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)

Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for half an hour. Roll into bite sized balls. Store in airtight container and keep refrigerated up to one week (if they last that long).

Makes 20-25 balls depending on what size you make them.

The beauty of this recipe is that it's very versatile. Don't like coconut? (Yuck! Me neither!) Leave it out! Make sure to replace it with a little extra oatmeal or some crushed cereal or whatever you have hanging out in your cupboards. Use dried fruit instead of chocolate chips. Replace the peanut butter with almond butter. Go wild!

Also...They can be made gluten- and dairy-free!

These would make awesome hiking snacks! I'm sure I'll be making a few batches to take with us when the snow melts off the trails.

Again...NOT No Bake Cookies. But pretty darn close.

18 February 2013


Half a dozen times I have sat down at my computer and tried to write out a post about what a failure I have been at eating healthy and losing weight lately. But I couldn't even get past the first sentence.

So...I failed at failing?


What can I say? I have not been as ambitious about my health as I have been before. I'm still training for my marathon in May and getting most of my runs in, but healthy eating...meh. And working out on other days...meh.

As a result I have gained back some weight. Meh.

Can you believe that you can run 10 or more miles every Saturday along with shorter runs through the week and GAIN weight?! Insane, isn't it? There really is no making up for a poor diet.

I know I need to eat clean. I know HOW to eat clean. It's just the DOING it part that I am struggling with. I can't believe this is STILL a struggle. Shouldn't I be a pro at this by now? How am I still rendered powerless by sugar cravings? Ridiculous.

Sugar really is a drug. When I'm "detoxing" my mood could be likened to a smoker who is trying to quit. Cranky, angry, sensitive. It's ugly. And kind of scary that a simple substance can have such power over a person.

My current attitude towards healthy eating fluctuates, sometimes hourly. Sometimes I want to try really hard to lose another 30 pounds. Just another 30 and then I'll be happy. Then I'll be "skinny" and at my goal weight (past it actually) and into the clothes size I hardly dared to dream about.

Sometimes I could care less how much I weigh. I'm comfortable at this weight. I fit in my clothes. I can run miles and miles at a time. My husband loves me at this size. Why try harder?

And then I swing back to the other side of the pendulum. If I just stop eating sweets and carbs...

And then...But I love sweets and carbs and I want to try new recipes and new foods and enjoy meals with my family.

And then...But my brother's wedding could be coming up and I might bump into old friends when I visit Hometown, Idaho.

And then...But it's so hard and I just don't care enough to commit.

Ugh. Sometimes I feel a tad schizophrenic when it comes to body image and health and food.

And I still haven't exactly decided which voice to listen to.

11 February 2013

The Terror of Ten Miles

Last Saturday I ran ten miles.

If my training schedule hadn't said "10" I would definitely have quit at 7. Those last three miles were t.o.u.g.h. My legs, especially my calves, and the bottoms of my feet were not happy with me. My entire body just felt tired. It was pretty miserable. Towards Mile 9 I found myself talking out loud to...myself.

You can do it! You can do this! Just move. Keep going forward. You can do this, girl!

And I did do it, but instead of feeling proud of my accomplishment, I felt fear.

If I'm struggling this bad to get through ten miles and hurting this bad for the entire day after, how in the world am I going to make it through 26.2 miles? Heck! How am I going to make it through the 11 that I need to run next Saturday?

It's disheartening to let that fear settle in and eat at your confidence. But my hope is that with a bit of education and some new "toys" I can overcome some of the struggles I had with this run.

It's time to bite the bullet and shell out some cash for new shoes and a hydration belt. I've only ever bought one pair of running shoes from a real running store where they watched me run and advised me to buy a certain type of shoe. (I guess I "over pronate"?) That was just last year and it cost me over a $100 as well as some respect from my husband.

He is so not fond of my favorite hobby. The time and money spent on training, gear, and races drive him nuts. It's going to be hard to convince him it's already time to buy more shoes. And then even more money on a "fancy fanny pack". He's going to be thrilled.

Oh and then it's also time to delve into the world of mid-run nutrition.


It's very overwhelming to me. Shouldn't running be simple? Why do I need to learn biochemistry and sell my first born just to run, or at least run comfortably? I guess I'm kind of a lazy runner. I don't want to put much work into it beyond moving my legs.

08 February 2013

Safety is Sexy, People.

When I was a teenager I would rather have died of a brain injury than wear my bike helmet and look like a total dweeb. But Daaaaaad! Helmet hair is sooooo embarrassing.

And then I grew up.

Fashion be damned. I want to run and I want to live while doing it.

Safety is sexy, people.

(And toasty warm!)

Plus, as my friend Myya pointed out, I could always moonlight as a crossing guard. Bonus!

But check this out... Even in my super cool, neon orange, reflective running gear, I still almost got hit. TWICE!

After that experience I feel the need to clarify that if I ever do die while running, let it be known that I died happy, doing something I loved. (Slap that on my headstone, please.)

In totally unrelated news, I also feel the need to clarify that bathrooms really are a much more practical place to apply your makeup rather than, I don't know...A MOVING VEHICLE!

My final thoughts for the day: Please be kind and keep a watchful eye out when driving, especially at night. You never know when you might come across a sexy crossing guard.

07 February 2013

You CAN Run from Your Problems

A really bad mood has been lurking over my shoulder for a few days now. Brewing and churning and festering, just bursting at the seams for a chance to take me (and my poor unsuspecting family) down.

I keep trying to fend it off. I go through my list of possible bad mood causes:

1. My period is due any day now.
2. Winter. Endless winter. Can you say "cabin fever"?
3. No car. No money.
4. Mundane daily routine.
5. Frustration with myself for not having more self control and gumption.

A perfect storm of yuck.

But then I went running. (Outside!)

I intended to do my short three miles on the treadmill all day, but my bad mood blues kept me from "intending" too heartily to really do anything about it. But I had already skipped my Monday short run. I'm committed to this marathon training. I couldn't skip a second run in a week. I just couldn't. So after dinner, with a belly full of spaghetti and bread sticks, with all traces of daylight and warmth gone, I walked out the door leaving the husband, the kids, the house, and the chores behind.

As soon as I began running, I felt the relief set in.

Physically, mentally. Ahhh! 

It was so tangible. How is it that I always forget how good this makes me feel?! This running thing (particularly outside running thing) is better than any anti-depressant. It just makes me feel better. Instantly, continuously, long-term-ly. It. Is. So. Good.

And "they" lie. Turns out you CAN run from your problems.

06 February 2013

100 Days

Today was the 100th day of school for my school kiddos. Coincidentally, there are (only!) 100 days left until I run my first marathon.

And here's another coincidence...Last year I ran my first half marathon in the 13th Annual Portneuf Gap Marathon. This year I'm running my first full marathon in the 13th Annual Ogden Marathon!


I have my marathon training schedule posted on my fridge so that I can look at it every day and GET ABSOLUTELY FREAKING TERRIFIED!

Some days I catch myself thinking, "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING?!" Other days I find my thoughts are a tad more positive: "Maybe, just maybe I can do this...And live."

Needless to say, training for a marathon is a daunting thing. But then again, so is training for a half marathon and I did that. And lived.

Pfft. What's a full marathon to a half? Well, Evelyn. It's twice. It's run a half marathon, then turn around and do it again. No naps. No ice cream chocolate sundaes. No. 

I CAN DO THIS. I just need to stick to my training schedule and put in the hours. I remember last year being astounded at how quickly I could build up my mileage just by adding a mile or two on my long runs each week.
At one point I was elated to be able to run 3 miles at a time.
Then 5.
Then 8.
Then a double digit 10!
And then I was on my way to running 13.1 in my first half marathon.

26.2 miles. I CAN DO THIS!

And then I die or I go on to conquer the world.

100 days!

04 February 2013

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread with Quinoa Recipe

Is there anything better in this life than homemade bread?

Yes! It's homemade whole wheat bread with quinoa! Delicious AND healthy AND whole wheat AND quinoa!


YES! It can be done.

A running friend shared her whole wheat bread recipe with me earlier this year. I tried it and my family really liked it. Up to this point, the whole wheat bread I've made is better suited to holding heavy doors open rather than being ingested. Not good. My family refused to eat it, especially after the first day when it was at least warm out of the oven and half way edible.

This new recipe passed with flying colors. It's fluffy and light and tasty! Fresh out of the oven or sliced for sandwiches a few days later. It makes awesome toast!

My friend had mentioned that she likes to make it with quinoa and although she never shared how to do that in her recipe, I was intrigued. I have a couple of bags of quinoa sitting around my house, but beyond making it for breakfast or the occasional random recipe, I have no idea what to do with it. I was determined to figure out how to get that healthy, protein-packed quinoa into my bread and I was pleasantly surprised to have it work on the very first try. The bread was actually even more moist.

I will share this recipe with the way I added in the quinoa. If you don't have any quinoa or just don't want to add it, then replace it with a little more bread flour. (What's a "little more"? Ehh...Less than half a cup, but "feel" it out.) Recipe makes one loaf of bread, but can be easily doubled or more to make more loaves at once.

Homemade Whole Wheat Bread WITH Quinoa

1 TBSP yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
3 TBSP water

2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP butter, melted
1 cup water

2 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup prepared quinoa (rinse and prepare quinoa with water according to package directions)
1.5 cups bread flour

Mix yeast and sugar and 3 TBSP water in a large cup. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, or until it rises.

In the meantime, mix one cup of water with the brown sugar and the butter. Add in the wheat flour and mix well. Add the yeast mixture and the prepared quinoa.

Add in the bread flour 1/2 cup at a time until you form a nice dough. The dough should feel a little sticky and soft.

Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is nice and elastic. Remember that you can't over knead the bread. The more you knead, the better.

Let rise, covered in a bowl for one hour or so until the dough is doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and form into a loaf. Place in a greased loaf pan and cover. Let rise until the dough starts coming up over the top of the loaf pan.

Cook in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Also if you want a more grainy bread, you can substitute 1/2 cup of 7 or 9 grain cereal for 1/2 cup of the bread flour.

This recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled. Maybe more. I've only ever made four loaves at once and it worked really well. Use one loaf. Let the others cool, bag them, and stick in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

P.S. While eating whole wheat bread is nourishing to the body, I have to say making bread is nourishing to the soul. I like making bread when I'm in a "mood". I set up the iPad on my kitchen counter, turn Pandora on to my Priscilla Ahn station, and knead away my melancholies. After ten minutes of kneading, I feel like a new woman.