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STUFT Mama: She Was Asked to Review a Product with Calories. What Happened Next Moved Me to Tears.

Hamcats, last week the Stufts headed back to Legoland, and you know what THAT means!

But much like the Wonder Brothers enjoying the cozy and nurturing world of gym day care

#cherisheveryminute #lotsofkabochafollowed

while Stuft burns all the calories (no, ALL of them), first we have that “serious running chat” that she promised us last time. Stuft is actually quite fast for an amateur and she runs some pretty big races, so I’m psyched to hear her useful advice for us peons!

The general wisdom on distance running has you follow a 10-20 week plan to build speed and stamina on the way to a big goal race, followed by sufficient time to recover (generally 1-2 weeks OFF, and 14-16 weeks MINIMUM between marathons). Races under 20 miles generally do not cause the same wear and tear on the body, thus requiring less recovery time, and it is common to run a 10K or half marathon while training for the next distance up.

Most plans hinge on three key runs per week, with additional easy runs, cross-training, or beautiful, golden rest days making up the rest of the week. The runs should include a speed workout, a mid-range run around race goal pace for the bulk of it, and a long slow run well above target pace to build aerobic endurance.

Oops, I’m sorry, hamcats. It looks like some, you know, running talk slipped in. On the other hand, here is what Stuft, who writes a frakking running blog, means by serious running chat:

I thought I’d pass these two awesome articles along about running.

Hey now! That’s eleven mostly coherent words. Eleven words is more than it takes to earn a UNC diploma these days.

The first one is about 8 basic types of runs.

Shockingly, this is NOT a review of the Quest bar experience. Stuft notes that she does the “occasional” interval run, probably because “ramping up the treadmill so high you can’t keep up and must rest on the sides” is not one of the eight types.

The second article is not an “article” as such. It says that running is hard and offers three workouts to make it harder. Stuft thinks they are “scary,” I’m guessing because the whole idea of speed workouts is that you run harder but run *less*.

Stuft is, of course, much more comfortable talking about her own running:

Um, talking about her running:


Fun fact: Stuft notes that she slept in that bra and then prancercized off to spin class.

I’m two weeks out from the TCS New York Marathon and should be officially into my taper.

I’m pretty sure that this is the one time “randomly” would actually be the right adverb, because

Stuft then launches into a long explanation of all the things she has been doing wrong if NYC is a goal race for her, such as running a hilly trail half marathon a month before, running a marathon three weeks before, running 18 miles after teaching a boot camp class two weeks before, running a half marathon the week before, and scheduling another marathon two weeks afterward.

Of course, this is just the *first* of Stuft’s scheduled “teehee everything in my life is so tough I don’t care how well I do I’m just going to run this race to burn calories run the race.” In other words, Stuft has a goal time and is scared of losing face if she doesn’t hit it.


In fact, “officially into my taper”, Stuft ran 72 miles that she was willing to post. (Plus at least eight aerobics classes.) Running even more miles than usual is totally how I taper, how about you?

Since another key part of tapering is not doing anything new, Stuft added in a progression run because fangirls said they liked them. These, of course, are the same fangirls who suggested back in August that Stuft might be slumping because of the changing seasons in San Diego, so I, too, turn to them for training suggestions.

Last Friday, the Demolition Brothers got to go to a Halloween party at Legoland with their father, mother, and mother’s camera.

75 degrees and sunny = jeans and a fleece-lined sweatshirt. Yup.

Being “in the moment” is very important to Stuft as a mother, which is why that is the only happy family portrait of the evening. She just blogged a little about a couple rides and how much fun th

In fact, the Wonder Twins hadn’t even changed into their costumes before

It was right about here when Stuft Daddy said “I hope you drop that thing” in reference to my camera. I didn’t drop it.

Look, I understand wanting to document fun experiences, especially when your memory is dulled from starvation and overexercise. (Noakes has some really interesting comments on peak training and creativity, or loss thereof, in Lore of Running). But there are personal memories, and then there is INSISTING TO THE WHOLE INTERNET THAT YOU ARE A GOOD MOM WHO SPENDS TIME WITH HER CHILDREN AND HERE HAVE FORTY PHOTOS OF BLURRY FIREWORKS AND HALF-EATEN KIDDIE PIZZAS SEE I AM A GOOD MOM TELL ME HOW GOOD A MOM I AM I AM I I ME ME ME.

The Stufts very clearly had just as much fun on Sunday, when–sadly bereft of a race of her own–Renfrew Barbie invited them to church. I mean, to watch a race.

Reading the actual Bible might bring up uncomfy ideas about “idolatry” and “vanity” and “keeping holy the Sabbath,” so Stuft turns to Deities for Dummies instead:

Regardless of your religious sentiments, Psalm 139 is a gorgeous piece of writing. And, in “things you can’t make up,” that passage in 1 John is actually about hypocrisy. It’s just not Pharisee how Sadducee this is.

Look, I could sit here and make church jokes all day.

But let’s face it. You’re here for one thing, and that’s food that looks the same going in and coming out.

First, though, Stuft shills what are basically organic Lunchables, sadly just the ham, cheese and cracker kind. Since crackers have carbs and cows are Satan’s mammal, Stuft pawns these off on the Boy Destructors. They are not even five years old and their mother has squeezed them into the gastronomic quarter where they have to have a favorite protein bar, so even organic Lunchables that have yogurt for dessert instead of Oreos? Four for you, Glen Coco.

She can’t be so lucky with her next sponsored product, which is–I shit you not–maple syrup. Stuft raves about how wonderful it is, like she raves about everything she shills.

So let’s see. She made what HLBs call a “protein pancake”…okay, the overuse of protein that gets converted to glucose anyway is sketchily disordered, but still. That seems like something that you might put maple syrup on!


Oh! Stuft helpfully explains that this is in fact a “muffin,” which explains the lack of syrup. In fact she used it in this dish:

Okay, I see squash, gravel, tire shreds and…melted erasers? but…

“I’ve had my maple syrup fix for today.”

Stuft quickly moved on to shill bottled water, which has a calorie count even she can believe in.

Amazingly, one night she managed to put her meal in what looks like a normal-human sized bowl!

Wow, it’s even an acceptable-looking vegetable dish!

macaroni and cheese

I can even less than Tumblr.

I used nutritional yeast instead of the cheese packet. I added some chilis, some hot sauce, some seasoning, garlic salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and goodness knows what else.

With Stuft’s love of spicy things, I can’t wait to see how she condiments up her breakfast taco!

I’m sorry. Burrito. Raw spinach in burned egg whites pumped from a soap dispenser is a burrito. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Stuft also whipped up this:

and I have to admit I’m confused. Why would you melt Ex-Lax on top of homemade Nair, when those obviously go on different sides?

By far, though, the winner of the week is th

I mean, the winner is

Keep those images in your minds, hamcats, because the actual winner is:

Stuft stats!

Thigh gap selfies: 3
Sneaker selfies: 6
Leopard print miniskirts: 1
Products shilled: 15
Shopping carts filled at Costco: 2
Photos of shopping carts at Costco: 2
Number of those products that Stuft eats: 0

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STUFT Mama: Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, you are dead to me.

Well, BFC, hamcats. What am I supposed to do with this?

My running has really just been kind of take what you can get this week.

I mean–her Friday long run was 5 miles? She didn’t add on any extra fitness classes to her usual schedule? The longest distance she mentioned was eight and a ha

Most coaches and elite runners suggest you should take one week off after a marathon, with a few very light jogs or even easy walks if you get too antsy


In fact, Stuft has promised to save “running chat” for her weekend posts (which, in true form, she will post either while I am writing this recap OR in between the time I submit it and you read it. #hamcatproblems). For now, she’d rather talk about how Strunk & White have revolutionized her life:

What I can get straight though is all this fall business that’s finally going on.

Fall is usually not really my favorite season, but I don’t know. things are a bit different this year

I finally pulled out pajama pants instead of shorts and put our warm comforter back on the bed.

Stuft has even been inspired to make a fall bucket list to, and I am not making this up, “practice our writing skills”:

You’ll notice hers is blank.

The Wonder Brothers, having not yet destroyed their internal temperature regulation through starvation and thus remaining happily aware of San Diego’s year-round surfing, manage to look marginally more excited than Kelle Hampton’s kids for fall arts ‘n crafts time:

I, too, was initially appalled by the sheer extravagance of foam pieces and little googly eyes. But never fear, hamcats, Stuft knows what she’s about:

Thanks to Target for this cheapo kit.

Thrift is a real theme for Stuft this week:

[We did] the pay $7 for a ride on the mall train thing. I thought it was a bit overpriced, but they did get to go on quite a few laps around the mall and they’ve been asking to ride on that thing for almost two years now.

Yup, it’s thrifty to insist that $7 is a lot to spend on a small thing your sons have been asking for for almost half of their lifetimes. It’s perfectly reasonable to drop $35 on a one-shot “Glutes & Ladders” fitness class on a day you’ve already run 10 miles.

What with only running 750% of the distance recommended for the first week after a marathon, Stuft has actually gotten in some of that #timeislove #mamatimeisthebesttime #cherisheveryminute she talks so much about every week except, for some reason, this one.

Like Thursday! Thursday was AMAZING. She got the boys to preschool on time AND went to the mall.

Stepping into Nordstrom is a real treat for thrifty Stuft, because:

I am in workout or running clothes about 95% of the time…I don’t wear makeup often.

Stuft is thrifty, so she must justify her trip to Nordstrom’s makeup counter:

I don’t wear make up often, but the only lip liner I use is Lancome. It is the best and stays on forever,

Seems legit.

even through marathons.

TIL: which lip liner to use for a marathon.

Post-marathon recovery isn’t just about resting your muscles. Healing from long-distance microdamage requires proper nutrition, including sufficient but not excess protein and lots of simple carbohydrates. National Dessert Day couldn’t have come at a better ti

That is Greek yogurt with “lots” of granola, which I’m pretty sure is the culinary equivalent of when the radio DJ announces Bohemian Rhapsody! “But first, from Neil Diamond…”

Now, Velvetville is a place where, in 2014 America, a restaurant called El Rancherita can still claim to sell “authentic Mexican cuisine.” On the other hand, Stuft lives in southern California, so I’m sure when she says she made tacos, she means business.

Is that egg whites wrapped around kale? With some discharge that needs to see a gynecologist?

I think so Yes.

GOMI GIF credit: Preppy Turtle Telemarketer

This week’s culinary delights also included this:

and I can’t get over the piece of dog poop in the background that looks kind of like a snake.

Stuft also gifts us this:

which is the same meal after it was turned away from a Dallas ER.

Pop quiz: which was breakfast and which was lunch?

The biggest news of the week, of course, is that Stuft decided to turn her Back Alley Bread into bagels!

Of course she owns a dedicated donut/bagel tray, because when you’re scared of eating real food, you spend a whole lot of time and money pretending you’re going to cook it. Someday. Maybe. For other people.

I mean, how can a no grain, seedy, soft little bagel-shaped nutritious bread not be [delightful], right?

Yeah. How can bagel-shaped nutritious bread not be?

In fact, Stuft’s coat hanger bagels are part of her cyclical shillpost for Silk. These are great. Stuft spends all these posts extolling the virtues of vanilla unsweetened almond milk, by which I mean

(Only Phoebe thinks this is brand new information.)

She always talks about how Silk offers lots and lots of other products and she’s going to try them, someday, really, but

But–holy shit, hamcats. What’s this?

Oh my goodness and I just saw on the Silk Facebook Page that they are coming out with Cashewmilk. Shucks I guess I’ll have to do a lot of taste testing.

B-b-b-but…30 calories per serving! I don’t understand!


In closing, Stuft has had a lot on her mind recently. To help her through it, she turns to the one book that has never let her down. I’ve probably been a little unfair in labeling it a Beavis Christ Superstar devotional in the past. There is in fact vastly more nuanced theology in the overture of Jesus Christ Superstar, a song which, for the record, does not have any words.

Today, Stuft is particular inspired by this passage:

Imagine the pain I feel when My children tie themselves up in anxious knots, ignoring My gift of Peace. I died a criminal’s death to secure this blessing for you.

Two thousand years of Christian theology will be very interested to learn that Christ died because suburban women can’t pop a Xanax.

Stuft stats!

Craft kit: $5
Kiddie train tickets: $7
Lancome lip liner: $25
Fitwall class: $35
The actual Bible: is available online. Free.