Friday Fiesta: Quick And Delicious Burrito Bowls

We are mostly unpacked and into our new home.  I love our kitchen and am so excited to start cooking again.  As we have been unpacking while chasing after a toddler, (can you believe she is a toddler?!) I wanted to make our first meal in our new home be both delicious and easy.  You might not find Chipotle up here.  But that’s okay.  I made a super fast (less than 30 minutes from start to finish) and rather inexpensive dinner that the entire family loved.  We have lots of leftovers and that is great because if you read down to the bottom, I will share with you a great and healthy way to use the leftovers in a different way.

As with almost all of my recipes, you can add or skip any of the ingredients.  Follow it loosely, or try it my way once, and then switch it up.  You know I love meat.  But this one could easily be done without.

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Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed

1 packet of taco seasoning (or make your own)

Olive oil (I used a lemon flavored one that paired super well with the seasoning)

2 cans low sodium black beans (rinsed and drained)

1 can corn (drained)

1 can garbanzo beans

2 jars salsa (any kind you like)

1 can fat free refried beans

1 package microwave brown rice

4 radishes

1 bunch cilantro

Fat free plain yogurt

Shredded cheddar or other cheese

Avocado

Directions:

Add your chicken, oil, and taco seasoning to a pan over medium high heat.  Cook until done (approximately 5-7 minutes).  Stir occasionally to make sure the meat is coated with seasoning and cooked thoroughly.

In another pan over medium high heat add your black beans, corn, garbanzo beans, and salsa.  Cook until warm (approximately 5 minutes).

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It seriously doesn’t get much easier than this!

Place the refried beans in a bowl and microwave until hot.  Microwave the brown rice.

Clean and slice your radishes and chop the cilantro.

In a bowl, add a layer of brown rice, followed by a layer of refried beans.  Add a layer of the veggie and salsa mixture.  Top with chicken.  Add radishes, cilantro, cheese, and avocado.  Top with a spoonful of yogurt.

This meal couldn’t be easier and there are so many awesome combinations you can create.  Even better, once the meal is done throw the chicken and bean mixture in a container together and refrigerate.

Leftovers!  The next day you can add these to a big bed of mixed greens for a perfect southwest chicken salad.  Throw a little cheese, radish, cilantro, and avocado on top and use salsa as your dressing for a super healthy lunch or dinner.

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Healthy Salad Eating Tip:  We all know that salad dressing is loaded with fat and calories.  But if you order a salad with the dressing on the side and chop it up really well first, you need far less dressing to cover the entire salad.  You will still get all of the flavor in every bite and never miss that extra dressing.   Give it a try and you will be amazed at what a difference it can make.

What would you add to your burrito bowl?  How do you feel about a burrito-less burrito bowl?

Things Are Going To Go Wrong

Well how about that for a positive start to your Wednesday?!  But seriously, it is totally true and that is okay.

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Regardless of what you might be training for or hoping to accomplish, we always start with the best of intentions.  Rarely do we say, “Hey, I want to accomplish this goal but I plan on messing up or getting sidetracked along the way.”  Perhaps it would be better for us to start that way and expect a few failed attempts on the way to success.  But who wants to be Negative Nancy right from the get go?!

You have a race, or a goal in mind.  You have a plan.  You get started and you feel great.  And then life gets in the way.  What the heck!  How dare life do that to you?!

Maybe your job is keeping you at the office a little longer.  Perhaps the kids are starting their fall sports programs.  Or maybe an injury has suddenly left you sidelined.  It doesn’t matter what the obstacle is.  The simple fact is that stress is the first reason that people abandon their plans.

The best thing you can do is plan ahead.  Think about what might derail you from the perfect plan.  Knowing that your kids have soccer for the next few nights, you might be able to figure out some carpooling with a friend.  If work is going to be busy, maybe you can wake up a bit earlier to get that run in right away.  Did you know that people who exercise first thing in the morning tend to stick with it better than those who wait until later in the day?

Yet, sometimes we can’t plan on everything.  The unexpected does happen.  Injuries occur.  Illnesses sneak up and surprise us.  We get distracted.

As a running coach, I also want you to know that it is 100% normal to find a race, get excited, start a plan, and then start to fall off of the wagon along the way.  Such is life.  It is only natural to get excited when you begin any large task, only to grow tired of it as you follow the course.  The goal for any running coach or training plan is to keep things exciting and fun enough to continue on towards the finish.

So what do you do when life gets in the way of your goals?

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First, you need to sit back and reassess.  Often times, we get stuck in the way of the “Planning Fallacy.” This is where we have a goal and get so excited that we become a bit over optimistic about the amount of time we have to dedicate this.  Sure you have a full hour to hit the gym after work.  But did you consider how far your commute is or how much time it takes to get to the gym and get ready to hit the treadmill?

Now might be the time to give your schedule a bit more of a realistic look and set forth a better path to success.

It’s not over until it’s over.  Okay, so you missed a week or two of workouts.  Life is not about all or nothing.  Give yourself some time to reflect on what went wrong and then move forward.  Plans can be altered.  There’s no reason to give up.  More often than not, we can learn from our mistakes.

Create a support system.  It is true that there is safety in numbers.  When our family and friends support what we do, everything is much easier.  Sometimes even our closest friends of family members don’t realize just how important our goals are.  Let them know what it is that you are trying to accomplish.  Share with them just how difficult this path is and why you want to keep going.  Perhaps they will help make things a little bit more doable if they know why you are doing all of these crazy things.

Find other like minded people.  The best thing I ever did when we moved to Chicago was join a running group.  I met other people who enjoyed doing what I did.  They showed me around, gave me the best routes, and offered to meet up with me before or after work.  They also knew the best places to get food and drinks. That certainly never hurts spark a great friendship!

'Shouldn't we be more positive and also have a plan in place in case things go right?'

Most importantly, give yourself the grace to mess up.  Dust yourself off and give it another go.  No plan is set in stone.  Things will go wrong.  I see it happen all of the time.  I rewrite training plans almost daily.  That is totally okay and part of the game.  Sticking with it is the battle.  Be patient with yourself.  Realize that obstacles are part of the game.  Find yourself a support system and keep rocking it!

What do you do when you get off track during training?

Happy Running!

Weekends, Whirlwinds, and Boxes

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.  Our past few weeks have been filled with adventures, which lead me to taking a break from blogging last week.  Let me fill you in.

About a year ago, we started talking about looking for a home.  After a few twists, turns, and much discussion we did something I always said we wouldn’t do.  We started looking for a house in the small town in Michigan where I grew up.  It was a slow process.  We looked at dozens of homes over many months, and nothing seemed to be a good fit.  Then in June, we found what we had been searching for.

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Mary even got her own little house.  Something for her to grow into.

At the end of July we were in Chicago when we got the call that the house was going to be ours and that we should start packing.  We had one week to box up everything in our possession.  We had originally planned on doing a truck load in early August and then coming back after our family vacation to do a final load.  But when we reserved a U-haul, I noticed that the reservation was for five days.  So we did something crazy.

With the assistance of our family, we loaded up our home and drove the U-haul up to Michigan.  We unloaded it and then drove the five hours back to Chicago the following day.  The next day we loaded it up with every last thing we owned and drove back to Michigan.

Then came the part where my husband and daughter are saints.  We then drove back to Chicago and slept in an empty apartment for a weekend on an air mattress, so that I could take my ACE Health Coach certification exam.  When I sat in that testing room and went to hit the submit button, I was incredibly nervous.  What if we took that trip and stayed in that empty apartment and I had to tell them I failed?!  Fortunately, I passed with flying colors and it was totally worth it.

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Those were some sparse accommodations.

For the next two weeks we lived out of suitcases on vacation and then at my parent’s house for another.  A week ago Monday we signed the papers on our house and immediately went to our new home.  We compared paint colors, and spent the next six days painting and prepping.

Yesterday, we finally began unloading all of our stuff and the home began to feel like home.  We still have a lot of work ahead of us.  There are to do lists that run about a mile long.  Fall work in NYC is right around the corner.  We still will be traveling to Chicago monthly to visit family and for work obligations.  And there is still so much to unpack!  But for right now, we are just going to enjoy the view.

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How was your weekend?  Any packing/unpacking tips to keep us sane?

 

Healthy Eating On The Road

Over the past few weeks we have logged a lot of mileage in the car (over 2,000 miles in one week!).  Road tripping can be both fun and stressful.  Eating on the road can make the equation even worse.

Whether you are training for a race or trying to watch your waistline, meals during road trips can be overwhelming.  It can often feel like healthy options are few and far between.  But the good news is that most of the time, you can find something to appease your appetite while remaining mostly guilt free.

At the gas station:  I am not a fan of fast food.  I rarely eat it.  Instead, I often scour the gas station and find some treats to make a “road picnic.”  Nuts, cheese, meat, and fruit are my staples.  Almost all gas stations sell string cheese by the single stick; often in various cheese flavors.  Small packs of heart healthy nut combinations are a quick way to get some healthy fats.  Most gas stations usually have single bananas, apples, or oranges.  Many modern gas stations now offer cups of fruit such as strawberries, grapes, and pineapple.

Look for things like small packages of Smart Food popcorn where you get a delicious cheesy flavor and plenty of food without a ton of calories or fat.  Another favorite of mine is That’s It Bars.  Mary now loves these too.  They aren’t cheap but they are made of only fruit and come in at 100 calories.  You feel like you are eating a granola bar, but in a far healthier version.  Our one year old can eat a full bar on her own.  It’s rather impressive.

Get your sparkle on.  Sparkling water is found just about anywhere these days.  Simply put, it is carbonated water often found in various flavors.  With zero calories and no sodium, it is a great choice on the road and at home.  It gives you those bubbles you might crave from a soda, minus the sugar and additives.  This is a great option for keeping you hydrated on the go.  LaCroix has been my go to for years!

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Compare your fast food options.  The Dietary Guidelines recommend reading food labels and comparing your foods, especially when it comes to sodium intake.  Modern technology makes this easier than ever.  While on the road, you often get advance notification of what fast food options are coming up.  When we are trying to decide where to eat, we pull up nutrition facts and compare our options.

Not surprisingly, some of the seemingly “healthier” options on menus are laden in preservatives and fat/calories.  Many salads often pack on many more calories than sandwich options.  What often appears to be a guilt free chicken option, often is much less healthy than going for a simple hamburger.

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http://www.nutritionwonderland.com  Would you know that a simple hamburger has fewer calories than a grilled chicken sandwich, or a snack wrap?

Make yourself an informed consumer and read the nutrition facts before you even get there.  If you know that the burger you are craving packs on an extra 700 calories, before you get in line and are tempted, you are far less likely to overindulge.  Knowing ahead of time that a simple hamburger or a salad with half of the dressing will keep everything on track, will allow you to order with confidence and avoid questioning your decisions.

What are your tips for eating healthy on the road?

Staying Healthy On Vacation

Guess what?  We are away again and this time we are on our family vacation in Glen Arbor, MI.  If you are unfamiliar with the area, Glen Arbor is situated on Lake Michigan and hosts two Caribbean blue bodies of water, Glen Lake and Little Glen Lake.  The Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes in Glen Arbor were voted the Most Beautiful Place in America by Good Morning America.

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That’s not the Caribbean.  This is Little Glen Lake.

I love vacations because they offer us new places to explore.  However, I know that for many of my clients, vacation can be a stressful time.  Many people worry about gaining weight while away or getting out of shape.  While these can be stressful situations, there are many ways to embrace vacation and make the best of it.

Go explore.  I love running when I am away.  There is seriously no better way to see new places than on the run.  You can change routes easily and pop into fun places on a whim.  Weave about city streets or take a running tour.  Reach out to a local running club to see if they offer any runs while you are there or ask if someone from their club might be interested in playing tour guide.

One of my runners is away for the summer on an internship in an area where there aren’t many options for mixing up routes.  I sent her a link for a local running club and suggested she get in touch.  Not only did she hear back from the club president, but she happened to run into her at a local race and did a few miles together.  What an awesome meet up!

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The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail runs for 24 miles.

Do what the locals do.  Maybe you don’t like running or just can’t find the time to fit a run in while you are away.  Find out what the locals do.  Here in Glen Arbor there are bike paths galore.  They are tree lined and beautiful.  Local shops and motels offer bike rentals. This is an activity the whole family can get in on.  Even little ones can come along in a Burley and enjoy the view.

Kayaks, Stand Up Paddle Boards, and canoes are other great options.  See what your vacation spot has to offer.  Try something new and get out and be active.  Take a walk around town and explore the shops.

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I gave SUP yoga a whirl in Aruba!

Eat locally.  One of the best things about Northern Michigan is the pride they take in their local foods.  Fresh local veggies, arguably the best cherries in the nation, hoppy brewed beers and locally roasted coffee are just a few of the offerings.  Embrace the fresh food and try something new.

On a recent family night out, I ordered the “Super Salad.”  Pickled asparagus, quinoa, manchego cheese, shave brussels sprouts, chopped kale, and a chicken breast over a bed of field greens.  It was super filling and an absolute hit.  I am going to need to recreate that one!  Better yet?  This was at a local tavern.  More often than not, restaurants offer a few healthy, crowd pleasing options wherever you are.

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This was salad perfection!

Play!  Just get out and have fun.  Don’t stress about what you did or didn’t do or about that extra heavy dinner last night.  Enjoy everything in moderation.  Have a great time and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Remember that any activity is far better than no activity.  This means that splashing in the water with family, chasing after little ones, and playing hide-and-seek are still keeping the metabolism pumping.

What do you like to do on vacation?

 

Why I Wish I Had Been More Patient Coming Back From Pregnancy

Happy Monday!  Thank you for all of the amazing birthday wishes for Mary.  We had an absolute blast.  It is so hard to believe that she is transitioning from a baby to a toddler.  I’m seriously not ready for this.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to run throughout my pregnancy.  I had the best doctor, who was a runner herself and worked in a clinic full of runners.  Not all pregnancies are suitable for running, but I was lucky enough to run up until 35.5 weeks.  At that point my doctor noted that the baby was making an effort to arrive early and I was advised to stop running until 37 weeks, when I would be considered full term.  Our goal was to make it to there so that our baby wouldn’t be considered preterm and need to go immediately to the NICU.  Obviously, no parent hopes for that.

To be honest, when I was advised not to run, Rock comforted me and asked me if I would be okay on the sidelines.  I gave a huge sigh of relief and told him it felt great to be told not to run.  In that last week it had started to feel uncomfortable and I was starting to dread running.  I felt like I had to because I was a coach and I was still coaching runners.  I couldn’t let them down and didn’t want to feel like I was failing them or myself.  Being told to take it easy actually came easily!

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Oh hey there, baby!

At 36.5 weeks my water broke and I was admitted to labor and delivery.  Fortunately, after 25 hours of labor, Mary arrived and was healthy enough that despite having two pediatricians in the delivery room, she was deemed okay to stay with us in the room.  It was both amazing and overwhelmingly scary to hold that 6 pound 2 ounce little baby.  She was finally there with us.  But yikes, what did we know about raising a tiny baby?!

I experienced some extreme blood pressure issues during delivery and was told to lay low for two weeks and then see my doctor again.  It wasn’t a problem because Mary was up every 2-3 hours for a feeding and we were exhausted.  We didn’t want exercise, we just wanted sleep!

When I saw my doctor again, she was happy to report that I was healthy and asked if I had started running again.  I said of course not because I had been adamantly told not to run and to not plan on it for awhile.  She smiled and told me to get back out there and get going.

There was a small part of me that was relieved to be back in the swing of things.  As just about any new mom wants, I was hoping to get back into my pre-pregnancy shape.

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But another part of me felt like I had to get back to running.  I promised my bosses that I would be back, and while they didn’t expect me to, I felt like I had to prove to them that I kept my word.  I felt like I owed it to my athletes to be back there and not just on the side lines.  I wanted to be running their 20 miler with them in four weeks.  A lot of it was ego.  I needed to prove to myself, my bosses, my runners, and also my readers that I was a committed coach and runner.

And so at 2 weeks postpartum, I ran 3 miles.  It felt great, both mentally and physically.  When I finished I felt terrible.  I felt sick!  Two days later I started experiencing hip pain and ignored it at first.  That was until I tried to go for a run and my left foot dragged on the ground behind me.

Pregnancy releases a hormone called relaxin that loosens your hips and pelvic region to allow for delivery.  It takes several weeks or even months for the hormone to remove itself from your body and for your joints to tighten back up.  My hips were essentially “wobbly” and I pinched a nerve in my lower back.

Beyond the physical pain, there was just the pressure I put on myself.  I felt like I needed to get back in shape and show everyone that I was serious about my job and the sport.  I was eager for Mary to fall asleep and to get workouts in, clean our messy house, and get life back in order.

Looking back, she was so tiny and there were so many times where I could have held her in my arms and enjoyed more quiet moments of just us snuggling together.  This isn’t to say that I neglected her or didn’t hold her a lot.  But, that time is fleeting.  Those moments of tiny baby snuggles don’t last long and soon they are wiggling, crawling, and pushing away from you.

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And that job that I felt was such a priority and so important to show my dedication to?  I don’t even work there anymore.  I felt I owed it to them to get back as fast as possible and looking back, it really wasn’t that important!  You just never know where life will take you.  But your babies will be yours forever.

While I am thrilled that I ran through pregnancy and bounced back quite quickly, there is another side to that story.  Our bodies will come back to their former selves whether we do it in a few weeks or a few months.  Running will still be there whether we come back in a few weeks or even a year.  But our babies are only babies for a very short time.

To any new or expecting mom, give yourself the grace to skip some workouts.  Allow yourself some extra naps holding your baby on your chest.  Trust me, you will sleep again.  And before you know it, your baby won’t be a baby anymore.

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One Year Ago & Why I Am So Glad I Ran Through Pregnancy

Oh my goodness.  I blinked and a year went by.  One year ago on August 6th, little Mary Katherine came into our world.  We didn’t know what we were having and the moment we saw her our lives changed forever.   Then I told Rock that girls are super fun to buy clothes for (which is totally true!).

Mary has changed our lives in so many ways.  At first, I thought we would never sleep again.  Then she started smiling, and crawling, walking, and talking.  It really does get better!

I often hear people say that they didn’t realize how selfish they were before they had a child.  I have to disagree.  I believe that you are meant to enjoy time doing things for and learning about yourself.  The same is true that you need to spend time living with roommates, living on your own, and then living with a partner or spouse.  Each of those steps in life changes you and makes you appreciate the next one.

Before we had Mary, my husband and I could procrastinate all morning and then pop out of the house on a whim to go for a run.  It was fun.  There were times when we argued about the other’s pace, or loud breathing, or preferred routes.

When I was pregnant with Mary, I was the one whose pace slowed.  I was okay with it, but it changed the dynamics of our running.  Rock did his run and I did mine.  Sometimes we ran similar routes.  Sometimes we did our own thing.

I loved running while pregnant.  It of course kept me fit.  But I felt like it was a special one-on-one time that I had with my little one.  I didn’t want to over exert myself, so I used my conversation pace to keep things in check.  I would chat with our baby and tell them how excited I was to meet them and to someday go on runs in the stroller.

It was a time for me to prepare for what was to come.  However, even with the best preparation, you can’t really “prepare.”  Until you have your first child, you just never truly understand how much a baby will change your life.  I still have moments where I stop and think, “Holy crap.  This is 24/7.  This is all about Mary and we are just living in her world!”

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It is okay.  I love it!  It has been amazing watching this tiny little thing that was born almost a month early, grow into a big girl who is in the 90th percentile for her height.  First she was crawling and then suddenly she was walking.  She loves food and will eat just about anything you put in front of her, except for noodles.  She eats sushi (just vegetable rolls) and any fruit or vegetable.  I watched her eat 20+ blueberries at dinner last night!

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Recently, we have started using the jogging stroller for much more than walking to the grocery store.  We often coordinate one of her naps with a run in the stroller.  Remember those times that Rock and I would argue about pacing?  Running with a stroller slows you down.  And it is amazing!  It isn’t about the run.  It is about us being able to do something we love, and together again.  It’s about us doing something as a family.

From the moment Mary was born, I have continued to run.  Running through pregnancy allowed me to bounce back pretty quickly, and I am super grateful for that.  But what I am most grateful for is that for as long as our little girl will remember, her parents ran because they loved it.  They workout because they love being healthy and they do it together.  While I may never be able to fully shelter Mary from the social stigmas of  “perfect bodies,” what I hope that I can do is show her how a healthy relationship between food, exercise, and how we perceive ourselves can truly work.

This has been the best, most exhausting, and rewarding year of my life.  Happy Birthday Mary.  Thank you for teaching me so many lessons that you never realized you ever possibly could.  As I said when you were born, I am so thrilled to be known forever as “Mary’s mom.”

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The Lesser Known Benefits Of Running

Hello from Northern Michigan!  Can’t keep up with us?  Neither can we!  In the last week, we have done three trips up to Michigan and back to Chicago.  The good news is that we are here to stay for awhile and have some fun planned adventures in the next few weeks.

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Last night as I was enjoying the warm weather and calm lake, I started thinking about the lesser known benefits of running.  Sure you love the sport because it increases your aerobic efficiency, it boosts your metabolism, and it gives you killer calves.  But have you ever considered the other amazing benefits running has to offer?  Let me share:

Pedicures often take far less time compared to the average person.  As I gave myself a quick pedicure last night, I noted that with only 9 nails left, thanks to Grandma’s Marathon, it really does speed up the process.  There are two others that look like they might skip town too.  Soon it will only take about 70% as long!

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You never procrastinate when it comes to laundry.  Runners often bring about a “special” funk.  We sweat hard and we stink.  If we let that stuff sit around too long, our friends and partners might not stick around very long themselves.  Laundry is always a top priority for us.

We get every invite to events that involve drinking.  Beer has carbs and we know that carbs are essential to our recovery.  There are very few runners that I know who don’t enjoy a drink or two and blame it on their recovery….or at least casually state that they deserve it because they did 13 miles that morning.

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Why have just one when you can try all five?

Because, baby you’re a VIP.  Open the velvet rope and let us in.  Once upon a time I bought so many pairs of running shoes off of Zappos.com, they made me a VIP customer.  Thanks to my incredible shoe purchasing ability, I now get free overnight shipping.  Totally awesome and yet slightly dangerous if you know your credit card number by heart.

Everyone wants directions from you.  How do you get there?  You go two miles down this road and turn right.  Go another two tenths and then turn left.  Your destination will be .35 miles down the road.  How do I know?  I just do.

We are no match for a buffet or an eating challenge.  In fact, post long run, you will find me dining at 5:00pm (and blaming it on our baby) because I have no time for waiting in line to eat somewhere.  This girl gets hungry and she needs to be fed.  This is also why I rarely ever order pizza because I will eat the whole darn thing.  Try and stop me!

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That time I told you guys I was pregnant and then at all the paczkis!

See what I mean?!  Running really is quite awesome.  What are your favorite benefits that you reap from the sport?

Back From Studies And Certified

I know, I know..last week I said I would be back for the week, but we have had a lot going on for the past two weeks.  I have lots of fun updates to share this week.  But first I will start with yesterday’s excitement.

When Mary was only a few months old, Rock and I lived out of a motel for a month in Upstate New York.  I was watching the morning news and a “health expert” was chatting about “healthy” ideas for snacks.  I was totally annoyed and yelling at the TV.  Health and fitness are my life and I get frustrated when I see poor information passed around.  Rock mentioned that I should find a way to get certified in a field of health and wellness and that brought about a search.

Shortly after, I enrolled in the American Council of Exercise’s Health Coaching program.  I was so excited to receive my text book and follow their online courses.  However, there is one problem with being a new mom.  Between coaching runners and figure skaters, and also training many virtual athletes, my plate was pretty full.  Any spare time was spent with Mary and Rock.

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This meant that for the past several months, I spent my evening hours when Mary went to sleep studying (and trying to blog) and working with clients.  It was a slow process.  But like anything else I do, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t just know the content.  I wanted to fully understand and immerse myself in the program.

Yesterday, I finally sat down and took my proctored exam in a suburb of Chicago.  Let me tell you, I was super nervous.  I was pretty certain I knew the material.  But it had been a long time since I sat for an exam like this.  I didn’t want to disappoint myself or my friends and family who have been so supportive.

But I am happy to report that I passed and I did really well!  And now, I am incredibly excited to venture into another field of health, fitness, and wellness.  It is my goal to provide the best services and opportunities to my clients and athletes.  Adding this certification to my resume’ allows me to offer more opportunities to anyone who works with me.

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Moving forward, this goes beyond just runners and endurance athletes.  I now have the opportunity to assist with almost anyone who is looking to make a lifestyle change or further their path towards healthy living.  I am looking forward to working with clients of all backgrounds and finding everyone’s own personal, health driven journey.

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What does any good Health Coach do after they pass their exam?  Drink giant margaritas with awesome friends, of course!

I will be sharing more about health coaching in upcoming posts once life settles down a touch.

A huge thanks goes out to my friends and family who have been so supportive in this venture.  A massive thanks goes out to my husband Rock who encouraged me to delve into this field and then took the helm this past week when I became a studying freak.  And a special thank you to my clients and athletes for not only being so supportive but for also understanding when my replies to e-mails, texts, and phone calls weren’t as prompt as usual this past week.  Despite that, they were the first to offer their congrats yesterday.  I am so grateful to have you all in my life!

Less Running and More Drinking: Summer Weather Got To Me

Happy Monday!  That was some crazy weather we had last week.  Here in Chicago, like much of the rest of the country, we had some searing temperatures.  I woke up on Saturday morning and it already felt like 95°F.

I used the weather as an excuse to do a lot less running.  I logged 20 miles between Monday and Sunday, approximately half of my normal mileage.  The miles that I did get in were very slow and sweaty.  It was the perfect time to take some much needed rest from running.  Work has been super busy lately (there are a lot of upcoming races and we are in the peak of training) and life in general is pretty busy.

It is important to remember that running should be fun, and we need to take breaks; even from the things we love the most sometimes.  Coming back fresh and excited helps us to maintain a healthy relationship and avoid becoming stale.  When I did run, my legs felt fresh.  When I wasn’t running, I made sure to do other activities.

I also made a point to hydrate.  During the day, I did some healthy hydrating.  One of my favorite mocktails is also my favorite summer drink.  I am a huge fan of all things LaCroix.  I love their good old standby flavors of grapefruit, lemon, lime, and passion fruit.  I also love their new flavors like cherry lime and cucumber blackberry.  When I finish a long, hot run, I find that it is easier for me to down a glass of sparkly bubbles, than a flat glass of water.

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I totally forgot about cherry lime!

My sister-in-law introduced me to a LaCroix mocktail when I was pregnant and I have never looked back.  Minute Maid makes a delicious 15 calorie per serving lemonade.  They also make this in 12 ounce cans at 5 calories per serving.

Pour yourself a glass of sparkling water of your choice and add a splash of the lemonade (or 1/3 a can) and enjoy.  It makes for a perfect post run refresher or a great mocktail anytime during the day or evening.  Go wild and throw a splash of vodka in there for an evening imbibe.  Hey, it works for both night and day!

During the summer months, I love bubbles when cocktail time comes around.  I have a few current favorites.  My longtime go to, has been a sparkling Rose’ from a vineyard in Suttons Bay, Michigan.  L. Mawby only makes sparkling wines and his “Sex” is the perfect summer wine for picnics or late night cocktails.  Plus, who doesn’t like showing up at a party and offering someone a bottle of Sex?!

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If you ever get the chance to do some wine touring in Northern Michigan, I highly recommend visiting L. Mawby where you can sit on the back porch with a small tasting plate and a glass of his sparkling wine.  Stop by next door at Big Little and sample their Tire Swing, another of my favorites!  Visit their websites where you can order yourself a bottle of both if you can’t make it to the vineyards.

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Finally, the week after Mary was born, I popped into my favorite wine shop, The Bottle Shop.   When the owner found out I had just had a baby, she invited me to the back for a celebratory tasting.  She poured a small glass of her favorite prosecco and added a squeeze of fresh lime.  Cielo comes in at just under $10 a bottle.  It is light and refreshing.  When you add the fresh lime, it gives the prosecco a bit of a sparkling margarita flavor.  It is the perfect summer sparkler.  Cocktails don’t get any easier than this!

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The weather is looking cooler this week.  Rest assured I will be running again and back to posting more about summer running tips.  Until then, cheers!

What are your favorite ways to hydrate for real and for fun?  Share your favorite simple cocktail ideas!