Nut Butter Runner

A Food And Fitness Nut Serving Up A Dose Of Healthy Living

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From The Kitchen To The Table

Hi friends!

Before we get into the foodie talk, I just wanted to a big “thank you” for your responses to yesterday’s post! Focusing more or progression and less on perfection is obviously something that is easier said than done! I know I always need to remind myself of it, so hopefully through this blog we can continue to encourage one another! :)

Now to the food!

It’s time for another round of what I prepped and how I used it throughout the week! I am obviously a big fan of prepping food for the week since I often live out of tupperware and a lunchbox. It helps me to stay as sane as possible and stay on track to fuel my body properly

So here is everything prepped last weekend:

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  • Coconut Almond Mini Muffins [recipe coming soon]
  • Hard Boiled Eggs [recipe]
  • Ground Turkey
  • Garden Vegetable Turkey Burgers [recipe below]
  • Roasted Broccoli
  • Veggies (celery, carrots)
  • Watermelon

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One can of tuna mixed with cucumbers, peppers, and salsa over a bed of steamed kale with a slice of watermelon

When Matt was here, he was in charge of cutting the large watermelon that was on sale that I picked up! Since he was slicing it up, I couldn’t resist a huge piece to accompany my lunch. Tuna out of a can is honestly my “go to” protein in terms of budget and a whole host of nutrients. It is pretty versatile and if you mix in enough vegetables and seasonings, you can get past the fishy smell!

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Grilled chicken, grilled sweet potatoes, grilled asparagus, and a grilled slice of watermelon

A meal courtesy of Mr. Nut Butter Runner! He knows the way to my heart. 

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Turkey taco salads with romaine, ground turkey, peppers, onion, and tomatoes

I sautéed a red onion in olive oil with a little garlic and a sliced green pepper until the onion was translucent. I normally by vidalia onions, but I was feeling the red version this week and I loved the color it added to meals! After the onion was cooked, I used the pre-prepped ground turkey and just added it to the mixture to heat it back up and pull some of the flavors into it. Then I topped a bed of romaine with the mixture and a freshly sliced tomato + salsa on top.

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Baked cod, steamed carrots, and sautéed asparagus with kale and tomatoes

I made a big batch of the asparagus, kale, and tomato mixture so that I could have leftovers for the week, which was a great addition to my tupperware! I just sautéed everything with a little olive oil on the stovetop until the tomatoes “burst” a bit, which flavored all of the vegetables nicely. To make the fish, I seasoned it with Penzey’s Murals of Flavor (one of my favorite spices!) then baked it in the oven at 400 for 12 minutes, flipped and cooked for 4 more minutes. As for the carrots, just cut and placed in a pot of boiling water until soft!

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Leftover grilled sweet potato with ground turkey, and leftover kale, asparagus, tomato mixture with roasted broccoli

This tupperware was brought to you completely by pre-prepped food! I had this on my 15-hour work day when I am bringing my breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks to work so I was incredibly thankful for the ease of this meal to come together. I just tossed the leftover sautéed veggies with the prepped roasted broccoli, and prepped ground turkey for a big “bowl”.

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Roasted broccoli with leftover vegetable mixture, two turkey burgers, half of a grapefruit, and almonds

To make the turkey burgers, I combined about a pound of ground turkey with shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, and about 2 Tbsp of salsa. Then I baked them in the oven at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, flipped, and cooked for 8 more minutes. I love sneaking vegetables into my burgers and adding the salsa was perfect flavor pairing!

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Leftover sautéed asparagus, kale, tomato mixture with two crumbled turkey burgers, baked sweet potato, almonds, and watermelon

Again, I used the leftover sautéed vegetables and this time I crumbled the garden vegetable turkey burgers into the mixture and added a host of crushed red pepper to the mix. I had a baked sweet potato, almonds, and watermelon to go along with the spicy mixture.

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Packed up snacks of veggies, hard boiled egg, and watermelon

This was pretty much the snacks I brought with me to work each day, plus an apple and almonds.

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Happy food prepping!

Filed under from the kitchen to the table IX weekly eats from the kitchen to the table food prep sunday food prep

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Progression, Not Perfection

The other day I was reading my Jesus Calling book, and stumbled upon a line that got me thinking.

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You guys have heard me say this before, and you will probably hear me say it over and over again: do not compare yourself to others. Rather, focus on your own progress. It’s just another lesson from fitness, but it certainly holds true in all aspects of our lives.

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[source]

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is being too hard on yourself. Yes, I am guilty of it, too. I am learning to not “sweat the small stuff”, stay focused on progress, and less concerned with perfection. Easier said than done, but honestly, nobody is perfect so why do we put stress on ourselves to be so?

In terms of training, there are a lot of variables that come in to play, and especially during a race. Not every run is going to be a “great” one, but do not get down on yourself. I think we need the bad to appreciate the good. What works for one person may not work for another. Part of figuring out what works for you, is through trial and error. Unfortunately, that usually involves making mistakes, working hard, and may leave you feeling defeated.

One of my favorite quotes is by Denis Waitley, who said this: “there are no mistakes or failures, only lessons”.

You must make mistakes before you can learn. You must try before you can grow. You must use those set backs and turn them in to come backs.

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I have certainly had my share of mistakes during training over the few years that I have been running, and one of those is certainly comparing myself to others and striving for perfection. Once I learned to let that go, I found the spark of joy in running; I learned from those mistakes and moved forward.

I am sure I will continue to learn as I continue moving forward and progressing in the sport of running. One of my mantras to all athletes is this: strive for progression, not perfection. Something to always remember is that nobody is perfect, so don’t put pressure on yourself to be so. It’s hard to always keep this in mind, especially when you are working towards a goal and there may be set backs.

Don’t sweat the small stuff, continue to learn and grow on a daily basis!

Filed under progress progress not perfection don't sweat the small stuff training training tips saucony saucony 26 strong run running

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No-Dairy Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Yes, it is summer and I am making soup these days.

With all the fresh farm stand produce, this is the perfect time to make soup to either enjoy now or freeze for the winter months. As my parents are living in Minnesota, this is often how they prepare for the cold months ahead.

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Tomato basil soup is one of those comfort meals to me. It definitely takes me back to my childhood as it warms my heart and my soul. We used to enjoy this with a grilled cheese on the side, cut into fourths…always cut into fourths. My family’s love for this soup even takes me to our Sunday morning traditions. We often went out to brunch after church, which typically consisted of eggs and a bowl of creamy tomato basil soup to share. We all just had to have a bite! 

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Over the weekend, I started really missing my family and felt like this soup could bring me a little piece of them. It was rainy and dreary, so it was calling my name. I had fresh tomatoes and a fresh basil plant, so all I had to do was put things together!

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No-Dairy Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
By: Morganne

Ingredients
~1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 cups Vegetable Broth
~8 Roma Tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can Cannelini Beans (also called great northern beans), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Packed Fresh Basil
Black Pepper, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Chipolte Crushed Red Pepper, to taste

Directions
1. In a large sauce pan, add olive oil and heat on medium-low heat.
2. Add onion and garlic to olive oil and sauté for about 10 minutes, until onion is translucent.
3. Add vegetable broth, tomatoes, and beans to mixture and bring to a boil. Allow to cook for 20 minutes.
4. Add basil and seasonings; cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Use an immersion blender or scoop into a food processor and blend soup completely.

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I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

Filed under tomato basil soup dairy free tomato basil soup dairy free creamy tomato basil soup soup home comfort food recipe meatless monday

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Weekly Workouts IV

Hello, hello!

I woke up wide eyed and bushy tailed this morning! I may actually be getting used to this whole waking up at 4:45 a.m. every morning thing…maybe it’s the fact that I am going to sleep at 9 p.m. or maybe it’s because it’s the start of the weekend? Either way, I am happy it’s a new day!

Before getting into last week’s workouts, let’s get to the winner of the LARABAR giveaway!

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Congratulations Andrea! Please email send me an email at NutButterRunner(at)mail(dot)com with your mailing address!

And now on to last week’s sweat fest!

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I found this adorable photo of Mya on my computer from a few months ago! She was helping me workout, obviously. 

Friday: Rest

Okay, so I missed a 5 mile run last week. I thought I was supposed to do 7 miles, which I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do before work. So, I pushed it off until Friday afternoon. Then, I thought “well this is silly to try to run 7 miles then run 12 miles tomorrow”. So, I skipped my tempo run. Now, looking back at my schedule, I was supposed to do 5. Oops.

Saturday: 12 mile run

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It was a misting rain kind of morning, but it was refreshing for 12 miles! On another note, my Garmin’s satellites have been failing to find me a lot recently. I waited a solid 10 minutes before just hitting the timer and going. 

Sunday: 30 minutes spin 

Matt had to leave right around the same time as my spin class I normally go to is, so I skipped the class and went to the gym afterwards. I did 30 minutes on the bike then spent 10 minutes focused on arms, 10 minutes focused on abs, and 10 minutes stretching.

Monday: Upper Body

I made up a workout that Kendall and I completed in our living room that focused on upper body and abs. I will be sharing it with you next week once I nail it down! 

Tuesday: 6 x 800m; 5 miles

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Wednesday: R.I.P.P.E.D.

I sincerely missed going to this class last week! My days felt off and I missed the combination of cardio with weight training. So this week I made it appoint not to miss it!

Thursday: 4 + 3 miles

So, this was the real day that I was supposed to do 7 miles! Since I knew I couldn’t do it all in the morning or after work, I split it up into two runs. 4 mile before work and 3 miles after work. Obviously, it wasn’t the ideal way of doing my run for training, but it made me happy to get all my miles in. My afternoon run was significantly slower than my morning run, but I know it’s because my legs are tired by the end of the day!

Today is a rest day, which really means that I will finally be getting around to that laundry pile! We also cleaned out the fridge this week so a trip to the grocery store is a necessity tonight. I know…exciting Friday night plans for me! :)

Cheers to a beautiful weekend!

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Questions Of The Day

Do you have a satellite watch that you enjoy?

What are your weekend plans?

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Filed under weekly workouts weekly workouts IV mya run fitness quote

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Maximizing Nutrients For Training

Hello, friends!

I have touched on the importance of fueling your body properly during training briefly in the past, but it is something that I would like to dive a little deeper into. 

Strenuous bouts of prolonged exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, stresses the body. Adequate intakes of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals play a key role in performance. These are best when obtained from a varied diet based largely on nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, and unsaturated oils. These foods contain a range of nutrient needs as well as phytochemicals that enhance bioavailability of other foods.

In order to promote dietary variety and nutrient-rich eating, try some of these tips:

Be open to trying new foods and new recipes

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Make the most of fresh foods in season (even better, try to buy local!)

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Explore all the varieties of different foods

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Mix and match foods for snacks and meals

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Include the colors of the rainbow:

  • Red: tomatoes, watermelon, cherries, berries, apples, peppers
  • Orange/Yellow: carrots, peaches, oranges, mangoes
  • Green: broccoli, lettuce, kale, grapes
  • Blue/Purple: blueberries, raisins, beets, plums
  • White: cauliflower, bananas, onions, potatoes

It’s important to keep in mind that every athlete is different as “no size fits all”. Not only do we have different requirements for energy and nutrients depending on body size and training load, but, these general tips are a great start for good food choices to success in health and performance! 

Filed under maximizing nutrients for training saucony 26 strong food philosophy training marathon training tips health tips training tips

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From The Kitchen To The Table VIII

Hi friends! How is your week going so far? Monday and Tuesday have just flown by for me! I actually didn’t realize today was Wednesday, so I almost missed the weekly Wednesday food series! Fortunately for you, Tuesday evenings are my late staffing nights so when I walked in my door at 10 p.m. last night, I was well aware of the date. 

Anyways, here is a look at what we prepped last week:

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  • Chili
  • Pumpkin protein pancake muffins (1/2 cup canned pumpkin mixed with 1 scoop protein powder and 2 eggs)
  • Salmon cakes [recipe]
  • Grain-free coconut waffles [recipe]
  • Granola
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Hard boiled eggs [recipe]
  • Veggies (celery, carrots, green beans)

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Omelet with kale, green beans, and shredded carrots with a banana and blueberries

Since Matt brought his freshly-picked blueberries, I knew I had to incorporate them into breakfast! I also made an omelet with the fresh vegetables from his mom’s garden.

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Tuna salad stuffed pepper and tomato with grapefruit

I used the leftover mushroom stuffing and mixed it with a can of tuna, and the inside of the tomato before adding the filling to the inside of a pepper and the tomato. I also had half of a grapefruit on the side.

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Roasted green beans, zucchini, and tomatoes with tilapia and salsa

I mixed all of the fresh garden vegetables with a little olive oil and seasonings and baked at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. I made the tilapia with smoked paprika and black pepper at 400 degrees for 18 minutes.

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Blueberry smoothie made with a frozen banana, blueberries, protein powder, almond milk, and almond butter

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Leftover roasted vegetables with salmon cakes and an apple

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Spaghetti squash with roasted broccoli, turkey breast, and salsa topped with salsa

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Waffle with a dunkin’ egg [recipe] on top

Confession: I ate the other egg and veggies before snapping a photo. I totally forgot to take a picture in the wrath of my hunger!

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Spaghetti squash frittata [recipe] with green beans and zucchini, half of a grapefruit, almonds and a LARABAR

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Spaghetti squash with tilapia baked in foil with peppers, onion, tomato, and squash

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Tuna salad with peppers, spinach, zucchini, and blueberries

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Veggie snack bag of a cucumber, green beans, celery, and peppers

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I typically spend at least 12 hours a day at work, so food prep has definitely been key for me. Tupperware is a way of life and so are nourishing foods to keep me energized throughout the day.

I am still learning how to best balance my meals. This week has been a bit better in terms of eating large enough meals versus snacking throughout the day, but I am still working on it! It’s all trial and error! 

I hope you have a great Wednesday and I will catch you on the flip side!

Filed under from the kitchen to the table from the kitchen to the table VIII food prep sunday food prep food prep and eats weekly eats

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LARABAR {Review And Giveaway}

If you have been a long-time follower of the blog or my Instagram account,  there is no denying my love of LARABARs. They’re made of wholesome foods and nourishing ingredient lists that simply contain fruits, nuts, and spices. These are one of my favorite packaged items that are convenient to keep in your desk, throw in your lunch bag, or pack on a trip for healthy travel snacks.

When the fabulous people at LARABAR contacted me about possibly reviewing some of their products, I was ecstatic. I could not agree more with the mission of LARABAR, the quality and evolvement of their company. 

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The bars that I chose were a few that I had never had the opportunity to try before: cappuccino, chocolate chip cherry torte, carrot cake, and coconut chocolate chip. Coconut chocolate chip is the latest flavor bar to hit the market, as LARABAR is always coming up with new delicious products! In order to keep up with their newest products, you can find information on their social media pages on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest to keep up with their latest adventures!

Cappuccino

I happen to love coffee-flavored things so I was intrigued by this flavor. The ingredients are simply dates, almonds, cashews, fair trade certified coffee, and vanilla extract. The coffee flavor does not overwhelm the bar. while the vanilla flavor adds a warm second layer. It powered me through a 15 hour work day with just enough pick-me-up and love that a hearty cup of cappuccino may have.

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Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte

Kind of a strange combination of flavors, right? Well, as someone who loves cherries, but dislikes cherry pie, I still hoped I would like this flavor.The mix of chocolate chips with the nuttiness of the bar had the perfect mix of sweet to balance the tart cherries.  I found this bar surprisingly delightful!

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Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is actually one of Matt’s favorite desserts so when I saw this flavor, I knew I had to try it right away. I felt as if I was getting even more bang for my buck in terms of nutrients with the addition of carrots in this bar! It was perfectly sweet and resembled a carrot cake just enough to leave me satisfied. 

Coconut Chocolate Chip

I saved this bar for last. Why? Because I always save my favorites for last. Generally, my favorite LARABAR flavors include blueberry muffin, apple pie, and banana bread. This bar, quickly climbed the ranks to be considered a new favorite. I am a huge fan of coconut and the chocolate completely satisfied the sweet tooth craving.

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RE-NOLA

I also had the chance to try out LARABAR’s newest addition, RENOLA. Simply put, they are reinventing granola with the use of only nourishing foods without any filler. Namely, an assortment of nuts, dried fruit, and seasonings. 

What I really love about the LARABAR’s products, aside from their delicious taste, are their natural, wholesome ingredients. Look at the label and you will not come across words that you cannot pronounce or any fortification with synthetic vitamins and minerals. All of their bars are vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO.

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Giveaway time!

Since I enjoyed these products so much, I have partnered with LARABAR to offer ONE lucky reader a sample pack of their three new flavors!

To enter: Leave a comment telling me what flavor RENOLA you would like the most and how you would enjoy it!
Sorry, open to U.S. residents only.

As Lara Merriken, founder of Larabar, states “health is indeed your greatest wealth”. 

So here is to sharing the wealth! Good luck and the winner will be announced Friday!

Filed under larabar giveaway larabar review and giveaway renola

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Hiking Bangert Island

This weekend was one of those weekends I hated to see end. I was busy having fun with friends and family that I almost didn’t get to my “to do” list, but it was totally worth it. I was able to mark a few things off the list, but the rest can wait. I do have a pile of laundry awaiting for me when I return from work tonight, though!

Matt and Mya arrived late Friday evening and I think it is safe to say that my puppy has officially grown up.

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Since Friday night pretty much consisted of a “hello” and “good night”, the bulk of our weekend was spent Saturday. Hiking is something that Matt and I have consistently done together since we started dating back in 2006. While we were in our undergraduate studies, we were right by the Smokey Mountain National Park, so a lot of our weekends were spent amongst the trails. 

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Saturday’s hiking adventure took us to Bangert Island, which runs along the Missouri River with trails that loop around the area. One of my co-residents, Alyson, joined Matt, Mya, Kendall and I in our afternoon hike.

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I had to stand on the top of the hill since I am significantly shorter than Kendall and Alyson. I’d say the hill definitely helped me out! :)

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Mya was the leader of the pack who consistently stopped to make sure we had everyone together…it was adorable! 

The weather was an unseasonably cool 80 degrees with cloud cover, which made it a nice day for a hike. We saw a couple baby frogs, bunnies, and butterflies among the forest greens. Besides coming out with a million mosquito bites and a slight heart attack when I saw a snake, it was a great time!

Filed under hiking mya hike st. louis weekend hiking bangert island bangert island missouri river

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Weekly Workouts III

Happy Friday, friends! It is quite a happy Friday, isn’t it?

Yes, the weekend is upon us and I know I can’t wait to get it started! I have another two days that are going to be packed, but of course with good things! It just so happened to work out that Matt could come up this weekend, and he is bringing Mya! I cannot wait! My little family will be reunited!

Speaking of family, my sister sent me a fitbit to see how much walking I do throughout the day. I walk to and from work, along with a lot of walking during work. When I say I do a lot of walking at work, I am not exaggerating! I wore my fitbit all week this week and consistently walked 6 miles.

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Pretty amazing, right?

It seems my rest days are more like “active” rest days now! Speaking of rest days, that seemed to happen a lot this week. Sometimes our bodies just need a little extra rest, and it is certainly part of the program

Here is a look at how the rest of my workouts this past week went!

Friday: Rest

As I mentioned last week, I did a little stretching, but took the majority of the day off. 

Saturday: 10 mile run

I managed to get stung by a bee. I have no clue how I ended up in the line of flight, but luckily I only had 3 miles left. I had never been stung by a bee, so when it happened…I had a small amount of anxiety that I was going to have a severe allergic reaction with no one around me. Luckily, that didn’t happen. I tried to point out to Matt where I got stung and couldn’t even find it. Besides the bee sting, it was a good run! 

Sunday: Spin

I took Matt to his first ever spin class! He said he really enjoyed it and would do it again so we will see if I can get him to go again this weekend!

Monday: Arms & abs superset

Another day off from legs to focus on strength. I really enjoyed this workout last week so I wanted to incorporate it again this week! I use a set of dumbbells that challenges me and by the time I finish the planks, my body is feeling a good burn!

Tuesday: 8 x 1200m run (5 miles)

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It was storming out, but I had a run on the treadmill planned anyways so it worked out for me! I left the gym a hot, sweaty Betty, but all for good cause!

Wednesday: Rest

A busy day at work and a lengthy “to do” list made for an unplanned rest day. I had wanted to go to the R.I.P.P.E.D. (Resistance, Intervals, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance, Diet) class, but knew that would leave me rushed and with little sleep. 

Thursday: Rest

Back-to-back rest days thanks to staying busy at work and a “to do” list that manages to keep growing. I also wasn’t feeling quite up to par (lack of sleep is mainly to blame there), so I decided I was better off to do my run today and take yesterday to get things done. 

And now I feel well rested and ready to roll with a couple of good runs this weekend!

St. Louis friends, any recommendations on dog-friendly places to go this weekend?!

Filed under weekly workouts III weekly workouts fitness friday fitbit

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Night Time Snacking

As you guys know, I am a big fan of after-dinner snacks. Part of my food philosophy is to fuel my body with proper nutrients, wholesome foods, and real ingredients. Sometimes, my after-dinner snacks ended up bigger than my dinner though, and that was not a good balance.

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While tackling the Whole 30 challenge, I managed to kick the psychological “need” to have something sweet after dinner. Somehow in the midst of my post-whole 30 time, I seemed to have picked up my “addiction” again. I don’t really like using the word “addiction”, but it is true. Sugar is addicting. Now, don’t get me wrong…my night time snacks are usually full of nourishing foods. But, you can still overdo it. At least, in my case, I know I can. 

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I read a lot of articles on recommendations for how to best manage a sugar addiction. The World Health Organization recommends eliminating all sugar and flour from your diet. That seemed a bit extreme to me.  Instead, I tried to replace them with lean proteins (chicken, fish, turkey, etc.), nuts/nut butters, non starchy vegetables and a moderate amount of whole fruit. 

Needless to say, it didn’t work. I still found myself craving something sweet after dinner.

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Another technique I read about that seems to work for athletes is to alternate high and low carbohydrate days. The thought is that you don’t completely eliminate carbohydrates, but rather, your body uses them (along with healthy fats) more efficiently during your workouts. 

This also did not work for me….at all.

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The bottom line is this: you can read all sorts of articles, research, and opinions on how and what you should eat. But nothing is “one size fits all”. What works for one person, is not guaranteed to work for another person. For me, I did my experimenting and was left unsatisfied, tired, and irritated.

As I mentioned before, I was trying to incorporate more grains, thinking that my body was missing this nutrient. This helped improve my endurance during my runs, and has left me way more satisfied. Contradictory to my Whole 30 challenge, right? Yes, it is. I will be the first to admit that. Although, I still believe in whole food options versus processed foods for energy.

In the end, my philosophies on food, health, fitness and life are likely to always be evolving. The most recent lesson is to listen to your body, eat when you’re hungry, don’t limit yourself, and eat what you desire…your body knows what it needs better than we do!

Filed under night time snacking snacks whole 30 food philosophy

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