Thursday, December 7, 2017

Healthy Holiday Habits

The holidays can be a joyous and beautiful time but they can also be filled with stress, anxiety, frustration, and too many treats!  So I'm sharing with you, my 5 tips to avoiding the unwanted extra bloat, weight, inches, and if you're like me, the unnecessary feelings of disappointment and self hate.

I am not an expert - just someone who has gone through many holidays eating her feelings away and starting the new year feeling depressed and bloated.  These are things that I do to avoid getting myself stuck in that dark, sad place.

Whether you are hosting or are heading out for a party, never start on an empty stomach.  Eat something small like a piece of fruit, a small piece of bread with peanut butter, a hardboiled egg, a health food shake.  I will make 1/2 of a shake to help fight off the hunger pains for a bit so I'm not heading to the food table as soon as I get there.

If you're like me, you like an alcoholic beverage or 2 or maybe 3 during a holiday party.  Make sure you are hydrated before you start drinking and have a glass of water in between the alcoholic drinks.  The water will also help keep you full so you're not heading back to the buffet table multiple times.....which leads me to my next tip....

Make 1 trip to the buffet table and start with fruits and veggies.  Load your plate up with fresh fruits and vegetables and then head to the other goodies.  Limit the dishes that are full of carbs and sugar, like casseroles, chips, crackers, cookies, beer, wine....yes, all the good ones.  I know that these foods taste good, but these will leave us feeling bloated and tired.

That's right - you read that correct!  Don't skip dessert, but make sure it's worth it.  There are so many desserts that we can have all year long, so why eat it at Christmas?  Treat yourself to that dessert that is only made once a year.  If you must have more than 1, take small portions (few bites each) so you can enjoy each one but not feel stuffed at the end.

The holidays are tough enough, you don't need to beat yourself up over a few extra treats.  Be kind to yourself.  Know that you may eat or drink more than you really should.  Tomorrow is a new day - start fresh and follow these tips again.

I hope these tips are ones that you can incorporate into your daily lives, but especially during the holidays.  If you have any questions, please leave a comment :-)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Faith over Fear

It's 9:30pm and Hurricane Irma is bringing her lovely self through Northern Florida and will be here for a while.  I wasn't worried or nervous until the sun started to go down and darkness fell.  Why is it that the dark makes everything scarier?

It's times like this that I am reminded to walk by faith, not by sight.  To trust that God has everything in control.  That's what I'm doing tonight - trusting that God has use wrapped in His arms and will keep us safe.  <3

Sometimes our fitness journey can feel like we are in darkness.  We feel alone and not sure of which direction to head.  In those moments, remind yourself to trust the process.  Trust the tools you have in front of you and keep going.  The moments that we can push through and fight through the darkness, those are the moments that build our strength.  Those are the moments that help us build our confidence.  

Don't be afraid of the darkness.  Remember that God is with you through everything - trust Him.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summer Picnic Survival Guide

Let's be honest, I could have titled this: "How to not overeat 365 days a year" ;-)  I struggle with my nutrition more than anything else.  I don't mind getting up early and working out.  I will whine but I love going for a run.  I also LOVE to EAT, but my body doesn't respond well when I eat everything in sight.  The summer months bring picnics, holiday celebrations, and vacations....all with delicious, sometimes not so good for you, treats.

I thought I'd share my tips and tricks for enjoying the picnics and still fitting into your pants at the end of the night :-)   Note:  I am not a nutritionist, just someone who has found these tips through trial and error in creating Healthy Habits.  Take them for what they are worth!

Before the event:
1.  Exercise - don't complicate this step.  Keep it simple - go for a walk, press play on a 30 minute workout, play outside with your kids, ride a bike.  Do something to get your heart rate up and the blood pumping and oxygen flowing to your brain - so it'll help you make wise decisions later when choosing your food ;-).  You can find 100's of workouts on Beachbody On Demand.  Workouts range from 10 minutes - 90 minutes, with weights and without, low impact to high intensity - the possibilities are endless.  You can try it for FREE for 14 days, so you can be ready for the 4th of July if you sign up today!

2.  Drink your Shakeology - I will have a shake while I drive to a picnic or about 30 minutes before if I'm hosting.   You'll find that you will be full and not running to the food table as soon as you get there.  It's a great way to make sure that at least 1 meal that day is full of nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to be healthy.

3. Plan your meal - if you're hosting, you have the option to create a few dishes that are healthier options for you and your guests.  You can't stop what other people bring, but you can make sure there is something good for you!  If you're not hosting, then try to decide what foods you will eat and stick to that plan the best you can.

During the event:
1.  Fill your plate with veggies and fruit first.  Don't nibble on the chips and cookies, nibble on fresh vegetables and hummus or if you must have ranch, a small amount :-)

2.  Choose the leanest meat option or take a piece with you and ask them to grill it for you.  If it's a close friend or family, they won't mind helping you stay on track with your healthy habits.  

3.  Skip the bun!  If you can't resist the hamburger or cheeseburger, then have it without the bun.  Add lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion - it'll taste just as good and you'll feel better by the end of the evening.

4.  Drink WATER!  If you must consume alcohol, which I'm not opposed to at all, make sure you are also drinking water.  In between drinks, make yourself drink 8oz of water.   Especially if it's an outside picnic and the sun is beating down.  Stay hydrated.

5.  Try a healthier cocktail....I will add a splash of vodka to a LaCroix water - it's refreshing and without all the guilt.  I haven't tried any of these, but here are some recipes you might find useful.

6.  Move away from the food tables!  Instead of standing within reach of the food tables, go play with the kids, go for a walk, or sit far away from the food :-)  Don't make it easy to reach out and snack.

7.  This one is the most important...ENJOY!  Have fun, just don't indulge so much that you feel unhappy and gross the next day.  If it's a food that you can have everyday, then skip it.  Make this a special event - choose smaller portions so you can have a sample of the foods you want.

I hope you find these helpful and if you have some to add, please comment below!  I'd love to hear how you stay focused with your healthy habits on special occasions!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Shaun Week is coming!!

I have a love/hate relationship with ShaunT.  I love this heart, but I hate his killer workouts :-)  I have completed Insanity Max:30 3 times, CIZE once, and have done a few T25 workouts and every time I am motivated and inspired by him yet I am ticked off at how much he's making me work! I am grateful for the results though, so I guess it's worth the pain.

I was really excited to hear that he has 7 brand new workouts (think ShaunT's greatest hits!) coming to Beachbody on Demand(BOD). If you're not familiar with BOD, it's Beachbody's online system of workouts, nutrition guides, meal plans, FIXATE cooking show, and so much more.  I stream all of my workouts whether I'm at home, work, or traveling.  I'm heading to Ireland next week so I'm thrilled that my gym can come with me :-)

This new 7 day program is about changing your life and transforming your mind and body.  It is about getting motivated to get connected to your fitness, to your mental journey and to continuing on with your progress and reaching your health and fitness goals.  Sounds awesome, right?!

The group begins Monday, June 12th and you'll access each workout live on BOD.  The workouts will be posted live that morning.  How do you get it?  You need to make me your coach and get Beachbody On Demand through me as your coach.

There is a great modifier to follow if you're worried about being able to complete the exercises. ShaunT has made sure that this new program is for everyone!  This is part of his huge heart - he wants you to start fighting for you no matter where your fitness level lies.

Insane Basics
Pure Cardio Part 2
Insane Weights
25 Abs
Speed 4.0
Dig Deep

We won't stop after the 7 days.  We will keep fighting and pushing to stay connected to our inner strength and beauty!


This is going to be an incredibly awesome journey and I can't wait to get started and I'd love for you to join me!!  Are you in?  Do you want to join me?  

1.  Complete the application below to get the details on how you can join.
2.  I must be your assigned coach through Team Beachbody and I can give you the directions for how to do that.
3.  You must be willing to participate everyday for the entire week.

I can't wait to get this summer started strong with an INSANE FOCUS!  

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Shakeology No Bake Bites

I have made Shakeology no bake cookies for a few years now and I've recently started tweaking the recipe.  Today, I made a new recipe and I'm addicted!!

If you haven't tried Shakeology yet, you really need to jump on the superfood smoothie bandwagon. Beachbody just released 2 new Vegan flavors and I am all about Cafe Latte.  I drank the regular formula but the vegan formula is SO MUCH BETTER!   It's smoother, has a stronger flavor, and makes my tastes buds smile at breakfast ;-)

I used the new flavor and the vegan chocolate to make these delicious bites.  All you need is 1 to help with the treat cravings....or 2 and you're not overdoing it on the sugar and junk.  Are you ready for the recipe?!

Shakeology No Bake Bites
Makes 16 - `18, 1 inch bites
Serving:  1 ball

1 scoop of Vegan Chocolate Shakeology
1 scoop of Vegan Cafe Latte Shakeology
1/2 cup of raw, natural honey (buy local)
1/2 cup of all natural peanut butter
1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut (if you don't like coconut, substitute rolled oats)
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Throw all ingredients in a bowl and mix.  Form into 1 inch balls, set on plate/tray, and put in the fridge.  Let them sit for a few hours and then transfer to an airtight container.

For my portion control followers:
1 ball = 1/2 yellow, 1/2 tsp

Enjoy :-) 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Pre Race and Race Day Tips

Running a race can bring lots of anxious energy (speaking from experience) and the last thing I need is to worry about the small stuff.  Here are a few tips that I follow.  I hope you find them valuable!

Pre Race (a few days leading up to your race)

1.  Pick up your bib BEFORE race day.  If you race has an expo, go to the expo 2 days before you race.  If the only day you can attend is the day before, try to go early and don't spend too much time walking around.  

2.  Plan your race morning – know the location, driving directions, parking, road closures and alternate routes.  I like to be at a big race at least 1 hour to 1 ½ hours before.  That allows you to park, drop your bag off at baggage claim, and get settled....and of course stand in line for the port a potties!

3.  Study the course map.  Know where the hydration tables are, medical tents, inclines - this will help you plan your race day strategy.  

4.  Lay your clothes out the night before, charge your watch, and pack your BIB.  Don’t leave important things to the morning.  I would pack whatever bag you plan to bring the night before.  

5.  Hydrate…start thinking about your water intake on Thursday.  Don’t wait until Friday night to start drinking water.  This is not the time to try anything new with your food.  Eat whatever you have eaten before your training runs.  I like to eat more carbs 2 nights before and a smaller portion with a bigger protein portion the night before.  That works for me - do what works for you. I would avoid any heavy creams or sugary foods.  

6.  Plan a meet up spot for friends and family. Some races can be really crowded at the finish, so choose a spot to meet family and friends after the race.  

Race Day

1.  Do NOT wear anything new, do not eat anything new, do not drink anything new.  Stick to what you have done during your training.   You may want to see what hydration and supplements the race will be using and try that during your training runs.  

2. Start relaxed and slower than the pace you want.  Don’t get swept up with the crowds.  Your adrenaline will be going and you’ll feel like you can conquer the world…then mile 3 hits….and you wonder why you're putting yourself through this torture!!  Start slow, finish fast and strong!

3.  Run the tangents, meaning run the shortest course possible.  They measure the distance a few feet from the curbs, not the middle of the road.  Run the shortest path possible so you're not mad at your Garmin at the end of the race ;-) 

4.  Water stops – skip the first few tables – hit up the last ones that will be less crowded.  Don’t be afraid to yell as you approach a table – water? Gatorade?  Open your gels before you hit the water stop.  I will eat mine before I get there so I can just grab the cup and go. 

5.  Mantra – find one that works for you and repeat it over and over! Here are a few I found from other runners.
* Can't stop. Won't stop.
* The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
* Not everybody can do this!
* Start slow, Finish fast
* One step at a time.
* Be fierce. Be bold.
* Run strong. Be brave.
* Go light. Feel brave.
* Think strong. Be strong. Run Strong.
* Make mom proud!

Mine is I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Phil. 4:13

6.  Most of all, enjoy the moments.  The pain will go away, your chest will stop pounding, your legs will recovery...that moment of crossing the finish line and the pride that follows will always be there! Not everyone has the dedication, determination, and motivation to start.  You are AMAZING and a little bit of a freak ;-) 

I hope you find these helpful in planning for your next race.  If you have some race tips, please comment below.  Let me know how your race goes!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Superhero Muffins Recipe

My favorite gift I received for Christmas this year was the new cookbook, "Run Fast. Eat Slow", by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky.  One of my goals for 2017 is to focus on my running and start eating like a distance runner....we shall see how this goes ;-)

One of the things I love about this book is that it's not just full of delicious recipes, but it talks about how to eat like an athlete, foods that can help different running ailments, qualities in different foods - it's a comprehensive nutrition tool for athletes, especially runners.  I haven't processed all the information yet, but I am enjoying learning more about how foods can fuel and heal our bodies!

A few friends of mine already have this book and they both recommended the Superhero Muffins, so of course I had to try them.  Oh my gosh....SOOOO GOOD!!!  I made a few substitutions based on my dietary needs and foods I had in my pantry, but I think they turned out amazing.  They are gluten free and vegetarian, but I also made them dairy free but don't be afraid to use REAL butter - grass fed is best.  These would be great for when you are running out the door and need to grab something quick.

Here's the recipe and my substitutions:

2 cups almond meal (or flour)
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I didn't have)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional - I used them)
1/2 cup raisins, chopped dates, or chocolate chips (optional...which do you think I used?! - dairy free mini chips - not quite a 1/2 cup)
3 eggs, beaten (I used pasture raised eggs)
1 cup grated zucchini (I squeezed the zucchini to get rid of the excess water)
1 cup grated carrots (I used 2 purple rainbow carrots)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I used Avocado oil)
1/2 cup dark amber maple syrup (I'm sure honey would work well, too)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups (I sprayed mine with coconut oil and did not use muffin cup liners).
2.  In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, and walnuts, raisins, dates, or chocolate chips.
3.  In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until combined - the batter should be thick.
4.  Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim.  Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Bake for about 25 - 35 minutes depending on your oven :-)

The muffins should keep for a few days in a sealed container.  I froze a bunch to have on hand for a quick on the go snack.  You can defrost them in the microwave on low power.  They are delicious by themselves, but topped with almond butter is tasty, too!