Posts Tagged ‘run’

Happy Monday! Ready to start your week? Who’s starting school back up today? Good luck if you are 🙂

Well – put it in the books – this is the first morning since Spring that I’ve had to wear pants on my morning Mom walk!! It was a nippy 55 degrees this morning…ice cold. We heated up soon enough though and it’s supposed to be in the low 80s today, so all is not lost!

Last night I made an overnight Green Monster with some spinach that I picked up at Costco yesterday (item #1!). This morning I whirred that baby up and devoured!


I literally have 1 scoop of almond butter left! Ben is heading to Chicago this weekend though, so I have a list of things for him to pick up at Trader Joe’s 🙂


Is your Green Monster ever too thick? Add a splash of water. Overnight green monsters get suuuuper thick from the oats absorbing the milk, so I add a splash of water in with the ice and banana, which gives me the perfect consistency!


Today for lunch, I packed a: Spinach Salad, Blueberry Yogurt & an Orange.


In the salad we’ve got:

  • Spinach
  • Feta Cheese
  • Chopped Celery
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Cherry Tomatoes


Look at these beauts. Fresh from the vine!


Sir, I think you could use a haircut…


Love the salty feta with the tart cranberries.

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While I don’t eat oranges a lot, they are actually a really good snack option. After you peel them, it takes awhile to remove each section and eat!


Finally, one of my faves – Blueberry Buckle Yogurt. Sweet and creamy!



Today’s Running Tips

Monday’s running tips are from the “Advanced Running” section of the 101 Greatest Running Tips list. Don’t let the advanced name scare you – again, these are tips that I pulled out of the list of 101, that I thought were applicable for runners & athletes at all levels!

Tip #37. Go with mind over grind: "Any idiot can train himself into the ground; the trick is doing the training that makes you gradually stronger." –Keith Brantly, U.S. Olympic marathoner

I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I think it’s important not to go from 0 to 100 when you first start getting into running, or are getting back into it from a break. If you go too hard too fast, you’ll likely get super sore, which can be discouraging. My advice would be to ease into a running/exercise routine and slowly increase time and miles.

Tip #44. Rest assured: "Back off at the first sign of injury. Three to 5 days off is better than missing a month or two. Take regular rest days." –PattiSue Plumer, two-time U.S. Olympian

We touched on this in Tip #16. It’s really important not to push through an injury – you’ll likely make it worse! Taking rest days is important too – your body needs time to recover from heavy exercise and runs.

Tip #45. Divide and conquer: "Pick one thing each year that you need to improve, and work on that. It might be improving your diet, getting more sleep, or increasing your mileage. You can’t work on everything at once." –Bob Kennedy

– This is my favorite tip of the day. I think getting into a healthy lifestyle is daunting for a lot of people because they think ‘Oh, I have to be perfect. I have to workout, eat right, drink lots of water, sleep 8 hours a day, etc., etc.’ Be easy on yourself – again, you can’t go from 0-100 in one day. Baby steps! It’s ok!


Alrighty friends, off to begin another week! Check back tonight for the start of a week-long, end of summer dinner series. Tonight’s going to be a good one!


What did you have for breakfast today? Do you typically go for a “healthier” breakfast on Monday’s?


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I’m happy to report that today was a great exercise day for me. I escaped during lunch and went on a 40 minute walk – SO nice. After work I hit the trail for a 4 mile session. I did not run, I did not rog, I jogged that B – it was really hot out. Near the end I played a fun little game of sprinting through the completely shaded parts of the trail, rogging through the semi-shaded parts and jogging through the completely sunny spots. It made the run go a lot faster and definitely got my heart rate up. Nice! In the spirit of running tip #19, I am completely content with my daily activities!

After my run I consulted my 101 Simple Salad Challenge list and made a modified version of #60: Sweet & Sour Tuna Salad Sandwich.


I started with a pouch of chunk light tuna packed in water.


To the contents of the pouch, I added half a diced apple, about 10 quartered midnight grapes, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon of EVOO, 1 tablespoon of Kraft Light Sicilian Roasted Garlic salad dressing, S&P and a dash of cumin.


Next, I toasted 2 slices of whole wheat toast and made a quick slaw for some CRUNCH in my sandwich. I just combined some coleslaw mix, chopped pickles and a squeeze of the roasted garlic dressing. Finally, it was assembly time!

1 slice of toast:


Crunchy, pickle slaw:


Tuna salad mixture:


Toast topper!


LOVED this! The sweetness of the apples & grapes went so well with the sour pickles, and savory dressing. Add the crunch of the slaw – and well, you’ve got yourself a pretty great sandwich!!


This is actually the FIRST tuna sandwich I have ever made. No lie. I always associate tuna salad sandwiches with that canned, “fishy”, tuna taste. This tuna pouch combined with all these great ingredients really made a super sandwich though! Win!


I bet you can’t guess what’s for dessert… It’s chocolate, it’s banana and some almond butter may find it’s way in the mix…muwahahaha! Have a great night!


Do you ever make “salad” sandwiches? Tuna, chicken, egg, etc.

I usually don’t, because of the reason above and because mayo kind of freaks me out – which is usually what I associate salad sandwiches with. The use of EVOO in this recipe by-passed that all for me though!

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Pictures are up! I think I’m going to switch them so the more detailed picture is closer to eye level – but I think they look pretty sharp! I am so glad I get to walk in the door everyday and be reminded of all the amazing memories I have of Japan. 🙂 Thanks again to my wonderful parents for the gift!


Sooooo, my secret baking project last night was Chocolate Banana Bread!


For some reason the placement of my fruit basket/banana hanger in my kitchen, always causes my bananas to ripen in literally one day. I could bring home a bunch of green bananas on Sunday, and they’d be as yellow as the sun on Monday. So in my kitchen, the banana philosophy is “use ‘em or lose ‘em.”


I usually cut the bananas that I’m about to “lose” into slices and stash them in the freezer for Green Monsters. Last night I had other plans…


I used this Joy of Baking recipe, but left out the chocolate chips. The result was this decadent, moist, chocolatey banana bread – positively sinful tasting!


This recipe was easy as pie – er, banana bread – and was seriously amazing. I use real butter when I bake too – no subbing in applesauce for fats up in here. I just try to eat my baked creations in moderation. Sometime it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Today it did because this bread is RICH. SO GOOD!


For breakfast, I had a slice of the bread with a crispy Braeburn Apple. Bananas, apples & chocolate? Pretty delicious if I do say so myself!



Lunch today is – you guessed it – an exact repeat of last night’s dinner – Greek Turkey Burger Spinach Salad.


Today I added a sprinkling of dried cranberries for a little pop of sweet & tart in my salad.


The great thing about these burgers, like the frittata, is that they’re just as good cold, as they are hot!


I also packed some Midnight Grapes.


They taste like red grapes, but are a little bit bigger and of course, as the name suggests, a little bit darker!


Today’s Greatest Running Tips

Tips #16, 17 & 19 wrap up the “Starting Out” portion of the 101 Greatest Running Tips list and move into the “Basic Training” section. Again, these are tips from a list of 101 that I felt were particularly helpful for runners at all levels!

Tip #16. Listen up!: “You must listen to your body. Run through annoyance, but not through pain.” –Dr. George Sheehan

– Last winter I ran into some terrible IT band issues that I tried to run through. Not good – it definitely got worse. I let myself rest and didn’t run for a couple weeks, and magically I have felt no pain ever since. I see absolutely no point in running through pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Go see a doctor!

Tip #17. Create your own running creed: “My whole teaching in one sentence is: “Run slowly, run daily, drink moderately, and don’t eat like a pig.” –Dr. Ernst van Aaken, renowned German coach

I think this is really cool. The creed above is really a creed for life, not just for running. What would your life creed be? I’m going to steal the one above, I think it’s awesome!

Tip #19. Take what you can get: “So-called ‘junk miles’–those slow miles done on easy days or during warmups–do count. They burn calories as effectively as fast miles; it just takes longer. Regardless of pace, each mile you run burns about 100 calories.” –Hal Higdon, runner/writer/coach

This tip is from good ol’ Hal Higdon, so you know it’s good. It kind of goes along with Tip #10 from yesterday. ALL EXERCISE COUNTS. No matter how slow or how short – it counts, so lose the “all or nothing” mentality!


I am literally smiling from that banana bread – it is YUM-E. Definitely a dessert for breakfast kind of situation, but sometimes, that’s ok. 🙂

Don’t forget that the Food Should Taste Good Chip Giveaway ends today @ 1:00pm Central. Enter up to three times to enjoy these crunchy, flavorful, better for you chips!


Do you like breads or loafs? Banana bread, zucchini bread, cinnamon swirl bread, poppy seed bread, lemon loaf, pumpkin loaf, etc.?

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Morning runs are back! Kind of…

I woke up early and ran a 1.5 mile loop before I went on my Mom walk and intended to complete another loop when we were done. Well…the weather had other plans.

While running my first loop, it was kind of misty out and I could see lightening in the far distance…ugh, not good. Thankfully by the time I made it home, the misting had stopped so my Mom and I headed out for our walk.

About 1/4 of the way in it started sprinkling so we turned around, but by the time we got back to my street, the rain had stopped! Gosh! We continued past my street a little while and by the time we turned around and got back home, it had started sprinkling again and there was lightening in all four directions. At that point I just threw in the towel – the second running loop was not going to happen. Oh well, it least I got a little somethin’ somethin’ in there!

Breakfast went better. Guess who was patiently waiting for me? An overnight Green Monster!


That’s 1/4 cup of oatmeal in the bottom, followed by a cup of skim milk, a scoop of almond butter and two big handfuls of spinach. Blend, add a couple handfuls of ice + a frozen banana and enjoy 😀


I added a splash of water to my smoothie today because the oats soaking in the milk overnight made it so deliciously thick, that my little blender blade couldn’t handle it!


I actually looooved what the splash of water did. It came out to the perfect smoothie consistency. I chugged this baby!


Served in my sweet Iowa glass, of course 🙂


Today for lunch, I packed a big salad with spinach, fresh corn on the cob and some leftover tomato, cucumber, basil & red onion salad.


Cutting the corn off the cob makes it so much better, don’t you think? I love eating my corn in “sheets” if you will!


I’m packing some olive oil based Italian dressing + a splash of balsamic vinegar for my salad dressing.


So last week I stumbled upon an amazing, motivating article/tip list on WomensHealthMag.com that I wanted to share with you all. It’s titled: Beginning Runners Guide: 101 Greatest Running Tips. While the article is intended to motivate runners who are just getting into the sport, I thought the tips were applicable for runners at ALL levels!

I went through the list and picked out the tips that really spoke to me and want to share them in increments. Today’s tips come from the “Starting Out” section of the article:

Tip #2. Shoot for this (at least): Running 8 to 15 miles per week significantly increases your aerobic capacity, and positively effects many of the coronary risk factors.” –Dr. Kenneth Cooper, aerobics pioneer

– Running 8-15 miles/week is totally doable. They don’t necessarily have to be “runs” either – go ahead and jog it if you’re new to running. The point is to just get moving!

Tip #3. Be a minuteman: The biggest mistake that new runners make is that they tend to think in mile increments–1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles. Beginning runners need to think in minutes, not miles.” –Budd Coates, four-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier/coach

– I always think in terms of miles when I’m running, but if makes so much sense to think in terms of minutes if you’re trying to build up your stamina and mileage. Tack on a few minutes each week or every other run, and you’re on your way!

Tip #8. Relax to the max: When running, let your jaw hang loose, don’t bunch up your shoulders close to your ears, and occasionally shake out your hands and arms to stay relaxed.” –Dave Martin, Ph.D., exercise physiologist

– This is really important and something I struggle with. I always seem to tense up the right side of my body when running, which expends so much energy. On Sunday’s run, I really focused on relaxing my body and checking in every few minutes to make sure I wasn’t tensing up.

So those are today’s tips! Hopefully you guys will find these worthwhile, I know I definitely did. Looking forward to sharing more with you!!

Have a great day everyone – oh, stay tuned this afternoon for a fun announcement!


Do you follow any of these three tips? Which one can you identify with?

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Good morning – rise and shine – happy Sunday to you!

I woke up early this morning and knew exactly what I had to do. After a week of baking and eating cookies, not exercising as much as I would have liked to, indulging in fair food and devouring a delicious, juicy New York strip steak the size of my head at a friend’s house last night – I woke up feeling…gross.

At that point, it was the easiest decision in the world to get up, throw on my workout clothes and exercise. It must have rained last night, because as soon as I opened the front door, the cool breeze washed over me and water droplets from the trees sprinkled down. Conditions were perfect. I set out on a two mile walk and ran the two miles back. It was the best sweat sesh I have had in I don’t even know how long. It was so quiet out, the temperatures were so fair and the run back seemed almost effortless. Amazing 🙂

After a long, cold shower I had a lovely breakfast of a CranberryOrange PURE Bar and Watermelon.





I love how exercising is the perfect junk food craving crusher. Whenever I return from a good session, the thought of anything heavy or greasy just completely nauseates me. Instead, I naturally crave fresh, whole, healthy foods. Another benefit of getting your sweat on, I guess!

I have a busy day ahead of me which includes:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Folding laundry
  • A trip to the crafts store
  • Working on blog stuff
  • Dinner with my parents

I’m so glad I got some exercise in this morning as it really helps jumpstart and set the tone for the upcoming week. Here’s to the start of a good one!


Do you “kick off” your week on Sundays or Mondays?

I’m generally a Monday kick off kind of gal, but today was exactly what I needed to get the week started on the right foot!

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Good Eats

Last night was another sushi feast with the girls! We’re thinking about just making the rounds at all the good sushi places in town. 😀 You wouldn’t think Iowa would have the best fresh fish resources, but honestly if you know where to go, it’s no different than anywhere else!

This festive platter came from Wok In Motion (where Ben and I usually get our amazing Kung Pao Chicken from.) Starting from the top and going clockwise, we’ve got: Tuna Roll, Smoked Salmon Roll, Salmon Roll, Alaska Roll (salmon, cucumber, crab, avocado & lettuce) and a Spicy Tuna Roll.


Great portions, great price, super fresh!


I had the Salmon Roll


And the Alaska Roll. Told you I’m all about the salmon! 😀


Giant pieces that I always feel semi-toolish cramming into my mouth, but it’s just so good, and really, there’s no other way to eat them. You’ve just got to go for it!


I did end up running before dinner last night – a 4 miler. Let’s just say this. It was Brutesville, USA, Population 1: ME. The humidity, sun and temps were out of control and I thought I was going to lose it. But, I didn’t and lived to tell the tale! The humidity levels are supposed to drop today, so a workout will be much more enjoyable. Do you say “no” to running outside when it’s extremely hot and humid? Or do you just go for it?

Onto the EATS!

This morning I made one of my absolute favorite breakfasts: Open Faced Egg, Bacon & Cheese Bagel.


I took a half a toasted bagel, topped it with a slice of cheddar cheese, 3 egg whites and 2 slices of low-sodium bacon.


I actually microwaved this bacon last night, let it cool and put it in the fridge. This morning I took it out, microwaved again for about 15 seconds and I had bacon for my bagel, easy!


I don’t know what’s gotten me on this bagel kick lately, but I’m not hating it at all… They really do keep me full for the entire morning and they are soooo chewy and delicious. OOTW, actually! (out of this world 🙂 )


To add some freshness to my breakfast, I had some berries. My grocery store had a huge berry sale this weekend and big containers of all different kinds were only $1.88! I got some sweet strawberries and blueberries.


Gorgeous…I would seriously blow these photos up and hang them on my wall!

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Speaking of, Ben used to have a roommate that took pictures of exotic food dishes he ate on vacations, framed them and then actually hung them on the wall. Would you? I might if it was semi-abstract like this, but I probably wouldn’t hang a straight-up picture of my dinner on the wall!


Lunch today utilized some more garden-fresh vegetables courtesy of my Mom: a big, Italian Salad.


We’ve got:

  • Mixed Greens
  • Cucumber from my Mom’s garden
  • Tomato from my Mom’s garden
  • Feta Cheese
  • Pepperoni

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Just a few slices of the ‘roni will do ya. They are a fun surprise in the salad! Some pepperoncini would be super tasty too…oooo or banana pepper rings! Hmmm, maybe I’ll go snag some from the work cafeteria today…


Wow – looking through this post, I’ve had some good eats in the past 12 hours! Lots of variety which I just love 🙂 OK friends, I’m off to seize the day – have a SUPER TUESDAY!


Get your share on: What are you having for lunch today?


And Check out:

Nature’s Path Cereal Giveaway at Gluten-free is Life

Goat Cheese, Baby Brie Wedge & Bonus Foodie Charm Giveaway at What’s For Dinner

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One word – FRIDAY!

It’s a rainy Friday here – in fact, the rain even chased me and my Mom down the street at the tail end of our walk! We got home just as the clouds opened up.

Friday also marks the return of the Green Monster. Gosh, I haven’t had one of these babies in forever! I made the overnight version, and per usual, it was so sweet, thick and creeeeammy.

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Recycled pic because the Green Monster lighting was fussy today.

Hey – guess who jumped on the Green Monster train?? THEO!! Is this not the most adorable little 3 year old you have EVER seen? His Mom, Stacey, sent me this picture of him enjoying a green monster smoothie. While Theo is a very healthy eater, he usually turns up his nose at spinach. That is, until his Mom started making this beautiful, bright green smoothie that peaked his interest. Now he can’t get enough!!


So Mom’s out there – if your child isn’t getting enough greens in their life – give this smoothie a whirl. I know another Mom who has her little boy convinced these are milkshakes and even puts sprinkles on top! Hey – whatever you gotta do!!

Today I packed a lunch-o’-randomness. Cantaloupe, Rotisserie Chicken Rice & a Peach.


I think I might have already proclaimed this earlier this summer but this is, hands down, the best cantaloupe ever. I was in melon heaven yesterday!

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I also packed a CranberryOrange PURE Bar.


This bar is bomb – love it!


Super chewy with big chunks of dried cranberries!


So friends – what are you up to this weekend? Once again I have ZERO plans…cool! I’m not sure how long this rain is supposed to last but if it’s still around this evening I’m thinking I’d like to go to a movie. Have you seen anything good lately? I heard that Ryan Reynolds/Sandra Bullock flick was decent.

OH also! I want to tell you guys about one of my favorite websites ever: 1000 Awesome Things. Basically it’s a site that posts one awesome thing about life everyday. Some of my favorite postings include:

#712 Emptying the recycling bin on your computer

#714 Changing the channel during a commercial break and then flipping back just as the show’s coming back on

#717 Sleeping with one leg under the covers and one leg out

#724 Placing the last piece of the puzzle

I seriously read everyday and I’m like – “YES! That is awesome!” It’s a great mood-boosting website, so I wanted to share with you all 😉 A great Friday read if I’ve ever seen one!


What’s something that you think is awesome?

Here’s one: Checking out at the store and finding out that what you’re buying is on sale.


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