Friday, April 29, 2011

Good Eats and Good Reads

Here is some link love to start out your weekend! I’ve (mostly) finished school and moved home. I can’t wait to start cooking and hanging out with my family and running outside and not studying anatomy! Hallelujah!

~ Are you a morning person? I sure am!
~ Remember when I challenged you to go to a spin class? Well check out the benefits here!
~Check it out! My quinoa granola bars made the list!
~Anyone racing this weekend? Here are some tips!
~Better than ice cream? Why not?! (I made some of this for my family, strawberry banana flavored!)
~Ready to start training for a race? Check out Smart Coach with Runners World. Simply become a member and fill out when the race is, how hard you want to train, what your level is, etc., and they make a plan! Super cool.
~Somehow I've been designated as the "pineapple cutter" of the family. But here is how to for the real thing!

Here's a little weekend inspiration...have a good one!

~Have a link you want to share? Leave it in the comments for all of us to enjoy!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Perfect Example

Howdy, folks! You know how we were talking on Monday about changing things up, trying something new, going out of our comfort zones? Well…I have a perfect example for you. My MOM. And guess what…today is her BIRTHDAY!



She picked up running about 4 years ago and enjoyed running 5ks and 10ks and just doing it for exercise. Then 2 years ago she decided to do a half marathon! She rocked it! She did something that was challenging and new, and it was a great experience!

DSC00381 (2)
don’t be fooled…I only ran the last 2 miles with her. she didn’t even need me

DSC01472 (2)
I’ve never met someone that takes such good pictures while running the last mile of a race. Seriously.


Hey, mom. Thanks for being my biggest support and best friend. Some day, I hope I’m half the person you are! Happy, happy birthday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Fix What’s Not Broken?

Last week I witnessed a funny thing. 

I go to spin class pretty much every Wednesday afternoon after my classes. There are a lot of the same people every week, same instructor, we all have our spots and bikes we use. You get it…we pretty much are creatures of habit. Well this last week I was there a little early so I decided to lift some weights. It was about time for class so I started heading toward the studio and a few of the “regulars” from the class were just waiting outside. I was confused and looked in, and it looked like we had a sub. He was setting up the room different than “normal” and I guess people were debating whether to go. 


SERIOUSLY? It’s a spin class!

I walked in and then some people followed. It turned out to be a killer class! And I really liked the instructor.
It made me think about how we often get stuck in exercise ruts. We like doing what we are comfortable with. Whether that be going to the same classes, doing the same workout DVD, running the same route, etc. Not that doing the same thing is wrong…because really, if something is working for you, why change it?

Because it really is good for us. Both our bodies and our minds. Different workout DVD’s can challenge us in new ways, new instructors can teach us new techniques, and change in any routine can spice up what could get boring.

So this week, your challenge is
to try something new

This could be a new class, a new workout schedule, a new food, anything. Often we think that just because we are healthy and doing lots of good things that those shouldn’t change. Yet they can…and sometimes we find something even better!

~Highlights of the weekend?
**My family had a “big kid” Easter egg hunt. Don’t worry…I won. 

~What habit do you have that you’d like to push yourself to change? Same food, same exercise, same seat in class? What keeps you from changing?
**I’d like to try some new exercise classes. I usually just go cycling. Maybe some yoga or weights classes!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Why I Eat the Whole Thing


Sometimes they are given a hard time. Ya know, too much fat, high in cholesterol, salmonella…okay, that one is pretty bad. But you get the point.

However, I am here to tell you that on average, I eat 6 whole eggs a week. The whole.dang.thing. And I love them.

Why? Well check this out!
  • 5.5 grams of protein per 68 calories (not that I worry about calories too much, but that is a mighty fine source of protein right there!)
  • they are a good source of choline, which acts as a bile in our bodies to help move the fat in and out of cells and get out of our body (convenient for a girl who doesn’t have a gallbladder…therefore doesn’t have a good supply of bile!)
  • more than 90% of American's are deficient in choline, which also acts as an anti inflammatory
  • the good fat in eggs helps with brain function – we could all use a little of that!
  • the old fear that it raises cholesterol? No more. After a 25 year study, investigators in this study found was that saturated fat in the diet, not dietary cholesterol, is what influences blood cholesterol levels the most. Eating an egg or two a day can actually help you!
  • Due to certain proteins in the egg yolk, eating eggs may help lower risk of a heart attack or stroke by helping to prevent blood clots.
  • packed with vitamins and minerals
  • …delicious…
And in the end, this of this: their eggs-quisite nutritional value should not be surprising when you remember that an egg contains everything needed for the nourishment of a developing chick.

I had never thought of that, but it is true!

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

~What’s your favorite way to eat eggs?
**I love them hard boiled. But I also often make them scrambled with tons of veggies! Yum!

~What are 5 things you’d like the Easter bunny to bring you? 
**All I want are some sunny days!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

At it Again

The sick bug is at it again, except this time it attacked my stomach instead of my throat. Very nice of him, right?


Here is a yummy recipe to try while I spend my days in bed. My family thought they were delicious!

Quinoa Granola Bars


1/2 c. dry quinoa
2 c. oats
1/4 c. shredded coconut
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey


While the quinoa cooks in the rice cooker, toast the oats, almonds and coconut in a 350 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.


Once quinoa is done cooking, combine on the stove with peanut butter and honey until just melted and mixed well.


Combine the quinoa mixture with the mixture toasting in the oven. Then press firmly into a greased pan and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!


*makes about 15 bars at 150 calories each

~Any more ideas for blog posts?
~What’s your favorite quinoa recipe?

Monday, April 18, 2011

7 Days of "Egg"ucation


Only 7 days left of classes, a few finals, and I'm outta this place. Easier said than done though, right? Right.

Well, due to the fact that my brain is currently clogged with other schooling things, I'm sort of having writers block. Therefore, this weeks challenge is...

to "egg"ucate yourself!

Really, I'm looking for some new, fresh blog ideas. What do you want to learn about? What topics or info are you dying to get the scoop on? Fitness or nutrition related...I'd love to help you figure it out! One of the things I love about the "health" world is that there is always stuff to learn and read. And I LOVE to spend time finding out things and researching. So, please leave comments or e-mail me with suggestions! I want this summer to be full of lots of fun fitness and health posts that help us all. 

And the whole egg thing was really just for Easter this weekend. And probably also because I love eggs. So, get commenting, friends! I need some help!

Friday, April 15, 2011


When I was in elementary school we had D.E.A.R. time – Drop Everything and Read. I think it was for about a half hour. But all I can remember is that I hated it. Now I’d do anything to have designated D.E.A.R. time at school! Seriously. The things we take for granted…


Get this…just a few days ago (April 12) it was National D.E.A.R. day! Who knew.

Anyway! Since we’ve talked about lifting weights this week, I figured I’d give you an excuse to drop everything and read! Here are some good finds:

Avoid Muscle Cramps: Pickle juice, anyone?
The Forgotten Core: I like to call them your powerhouse muscles
Why Lift Weights?: It’d be pretty hard to convince yourself you don’t need to lift weights after reading this!
Benefits of Free Weights: Machine or free weights? You decide.

Enjoy! Hope you have a stellar weekend!

~Did you do anything like D.E.A.R. time growing up?

~What do you do about muscle cramps?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Muscles and Injury

Happy Wednesday, folks! Half-way through the week...sounds good to me!

On Monday we accepted (yes, I'm sure you accepted it) the challenge to incorporate more strength training into our workout schedules. If you're pretty new to weight training and looking for info on starting up, check out these posts on strength training basics: one, two or three.

But today I'd like to talk about some of the common injuries that come from training hard, and what muscles they involve. That way, we are actively figuring out how to strengthen our bodies to prevent injuries. Like gorillas, right?!

Injury #1: Groin Pull
This can happen to anyone, but frequently occurs in sprinters or hurdlers. So any interval training can impact these muscles. This has to do with the 6 medial muscles of the thigh that all work to move your legs together (adduct). Doing exercises like lateral squats and lunges can help strengthen these muscles, along with over all good form running and sprinting.

Injury #2: Pulled Hamstring
This can be a horrible injury that can occur frequently in people that have under developed hamstrings. It again happens a lot with athletes doing lots of quick starts and stops or sprinting. There are three major muscles in your posterior thigh that make up the hamstring muscles. One of the most important things you can do to prevent this is adequately strengthening the hamstring and the quads. Without this balance, that is often when injury occurs. Leg curls are a good option to strengthen the hamstrings, as well as doing some hip raisers on a workout ball.

Injury #3: Shin Splint Syndrome
Many people complain of shin splints when they have pain or soreness along their tibia or the front of their leg. It is frequently caused my inflammation of the muscles surrounding the tibia. The tendonitis usually occurs when poorly conditioned runners run on hard or banked surfaces with poorly supportive running shoes. The condition may also occur with vigorous activity of the legs following a period of relative inactivity or running in cold weather without proper warm-up. Again, balancing the posterior leg muscles (the calf) and the front of the leg is important. Some ways to strengthen the shins are to walk on your heels or do toe lifts like you do calf raises.

~Have you had any of these injuries before?

~What's your favorite lower body strength exercise?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weighty Issues

Hey, friends! I am almost back in business. The nice cold that sent me to bed last week is hanging around still, but I’m much better than I was!

After this snowy (what?!) April weekend, I’m ready to plow through this week.

In my anatomy class we are learning about the muscular system. As we’ve talked about it, my professor has really emphasized how certain muscles are certain shapes and sizes for specific reasons to protect our bodies. He even gave an example using gorillas!


Their quad muscles make ours look like little twigs! They use their leg and arm muscles so frequently that they are developed to an extreme, which in turn protects them from injury.

So, can you guess what this week's challenge is?!
incorporate more weight training into your workouts!

This is definitely something I need to work on. A lot. I’m such a cardio junky that I often don’t make time for lifting. But it is so important! So this week, schedule some time. You’ll see the benefits in so many ways!

Have an awesome week! 

~Do you have a set schedule for weight lifting?
 **I try to do an upper body circuit twice a week with a lower body once a week. Certain weeks go better than others...ha

~If you could add any face to Mt. Rushmore, who would it be?
**I was asked this in an interview last week. Of course, I said John Stockton.  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Quit Teasing

Last Friday I was outside running hills in shorts and a t-shirt...

Today, I'm inside running on this friend of mine

because it looks like this outside...

And actually, its snowing hard right now. This was during a break. Seriously, Mother Nature? Quit teasing me!

Hope you have a stellar weekend! And that your weather is being much nicer to you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I am currently
out of order

My body is here…

while my head is here…

Got some time to do a little of this?

Check out these articles:

Over and out, people. Hopefully I’ll be back with the living on Friday.

~Got any natural remedies for a throat that feels like it has been scratched through 10 times?

~Got any tricks for remembering every muscle, nerve, artery, and vein of the upper body?

**Ya…me neither

Monday, April 4, 2011

Distance, Speed, or Something in Between

This weekend was great! Especially because of the big family lunch we had yesterday…no need for April Fool’s Day when you can have
April-Food-Day-logo Yum! It included lots of goodies, like hard boiled eggs, peppers, peas, slivered almonds, carrots, cheese and much more.
Then there was a pasta bar with different kinds of whole wheat pasta and a variety of sauces and chicken and veggie toppings.
Finally, dessert was some homemade frozen yogurt! There was plain banana, plain strawberry, and split strawberry layer and banana layer, and a mix. YUM!
See how fun it is to eat healthy? Yes, yes it is. 

This week I thought we should focus on more of the mental side of healthy living. After all, being well is about all aspects of life, and sometimes our mental game isn’t as strong as our physical one.

mental game

This weeks challenge is…
to determine a purpose
before each workout. I sometimes go to a cycling class on Saturdays when I am home for the weekend. The instructor is fabulous! One of the things I love about her is how each week during the warm-up she encourages us to determine why we are there and how hard we are going to work. She talks about how we came out early on a Saturday morning, and so before we starting working we should decide what our goals are and what our workout will be like. Because really, we are the only people that can determine that.
So whether your purpose is to increase speed, go for a distance, go for an amount of time, increase power, just get something done, build muscle, etc…make sure your body knows your goals.
I know for me if I don’t determine a route before a run or what my goal is in time or distance before I leave for the run or bike, I often sell myself short. We can often push ourselves more than we do. Show yourself just how strong you are! Have a super week :)

~Do you do mental prep for workouts or big races or games?
~What’s your favorite salad topping at a salad bar?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Shake It

For the past 3 nights I have dreamed about arm muscles. Seriously…this anatomy is getting to my head. I’m very ready for this semester to be over. My anatomy book is like another limb.

Anyway…this week we’ve focused on protein. This included how it is important to get various protein sources, and also a yummy recipe. Now I’d like to discuss a a different form of protein that many athletes use to supplement their diets with: protein shakes.

eggChocolate12_260EASmuscle milk
photo sources: 1, 2, 3

Here’s the thing…(ready for this?)

I’m not a fan/advocate of protein drinks. Clients and other people that ask me about them I actually tell them I would rather have people eat pure sources of protein or make their own shake. This goes along with "whole foods” eating belief. I like foods with single ingredient lists. Not a list like this:

Leanlipids trans fat free lipid complex selected for thermogenic and unique energy properties (canola oil, sunflower oil, enzyme engineered polyunsaturated long-chain vegetable oils, MCTs, l-carnitine), fructose, maltodextrin, cocoa powder, cytovite I, vitamin and mineral premix consisting of (vitamin A acetate, cholecalciferol, d-alpha-tocopherol acetate, ascorbic acid, folate, thiamine monohydrate, riboflavin, niacinamide, pyridoxine HCL, cyanocobalamin, biotin, pantothenic acid, di-calcium phosphate, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, ferrous fumerate, magnesium oxide, copper gluconate, and zinc oxide), creatine GCC, our proprietary, endogenous creatine precursor (glycocyamine, betaine anhydrous), natural flavors, lo han fruit extract (natural sweetener), stevia (natural sweetener), chromium nicotinate.

For real. Now, I don’t get mad if someone is drinking them. That is totally their decision and they can be great for people that can’t get protein or are trying to gain weight, etc. But I would caution you to not drink too many. Instead, try to up your intake of eggs and chicken and beans like we talked about. Or, make a homemade one!

My brother plays on the high school basketball team. His coach encouraged them to eat well (which I love, and think it is so great that a high school coach does that). He also really encourages drinking protein shakes after weight lifting to help build muscles. That is completely true…you need protein after heavy lifting days.
So my brother and I tried making a homemade one.

These were the ingredients: 
  • peanut butter
  • cottage cheese
  • almond milk
  • yogurt
  • banana
You can obviously mix in what you want. We put it in a blender, mixed it, and he took it to school with him. On average, that has about 45 grams of protein. Good, solid, protein.

So, what this all comes down to is that you might just want to do a little research, or maybe think twice about that second protein shake you want to eat. Again, I’m not saying they are bad and that you should never have them. Do what your body needs. But maybe eat some almonds or a hard boiled egg next time you need a protein boost!!

Here are some websites to check out on protein shakes:
Myths of Protein Shakes
The Pros and Cons of Protein Shakes
Are Protein Shakes Bad

~Do you have protein shakes on a regular basis?
**I’ve never really been a protein shake drinker. Even before I really looked into eating whole foods. I just always have liked to EAT my food, not drink it :)

~Any fun plans this weekend?
**LOTS of studying and LOTS of family time. Both are good things! One more fun than the other though
P.S. Have you checked out my miles in march?! I even totaled up the year so far for my 1,000 mile challenge. It is lookin good!
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