Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tapering & Snacking and a Giveaway GFree Connect

11 Days until marathon day, the cough is back full force so I am being smart, no spin this morning and slept in until 6:15. Sad, but that is late for me. With this lack of working out and just getting out of peak mileage I need to remind myself to lay off the snacking when I'm not truly hungry. When I am in 60+ mpw training plus 3 hours spin and 3 hours strength a week I am  hungry to snack all the time and think I get in this habit even when I'm not hungry. Anyone else get in the snack habit like this? The past few day shave been crazy with writing my final paper and I need a trip to the grocery store. Granola ingredients are gone, fruit is minimal, carrots are the only vegetable...help! Luckily I have some healthy options remaining but time to stock up.

Last month I had the chance to try GFree Connect after winning another blogger's giveaway. When the packaged arrived it felt like Christmas! O and I ripped through the bag in excitement, checking out all the fun snacks, mixes and food samples. And coupons! She has not stopped talking about the ice cream cones!

GFConnect sends three Care Packs per year (once very four months); Feb 1, June 1 and Oct 1, its an easy opt out pay as you go program.  Cost is $19.99 + SH for the intro Care pack, and $29.99+ SH for all subsequent Care Packs.  Market value of over $110. I couldn’t believe all that was in the package! The price is great and what better way to try this huge variety and then turn around and bring the coupons to purchase.

Anyone who is eating gluten free has the fear of trying new foods, they cost a lot and the last thing you want is to waste money on something that you won't like. Do you see the variety above? Great brands, great foods and all safe and mostly healthy options!

What is GFConnect? Directly from their website!

We are an exciting, new gluten free company different from the rest. We will get you gluten free product samples, help you save money, and simplify your life.
  • Samples – Send you samples and product information right to your front door so you can make informed purchasing decisions for products you have tasted and know you will enjoy – Try Before you Buy!;
  • Savings – Gluten free product couponing centralized right to you;
  • Simplicity – We bring you important, relevant gluten free related information to you in one spot including professional medical references, support groups, restaurants and brand information.
  • Your Package will include approximately 25 gluten free items to sample, a group of gluten free related coupons, and general information  – all to help you connect the dots from the brands to you!
  • You will receive subsequent Care Packs three times per year (Beginning of February, June and October, 2013).  Each Package will include different items / flavors from the previous Package you received.
  • After you receive your first Care Pack, you can opt out of the program anytime.
  • Makes a great gluten free gift. 

Want to try GFConnect? Win your own package below, make sure to take advantage of the intro offer too and sign up for the June mailing Make sure to sign up for the mailing list for great gluten free advice and offers.. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Marathon Week 14

Week 14 meant the first week of taper and almost race day! We had a tough week with illness for both O and I meaning easy workouts from Wednesday on. Guess what, spring is finally here and in full force, high 70s and sun this weekend was exactly what we all needed! Congrats to Ashley for finishing her marathon this weekend!

Monday: Easy 4.5 with puppy in morning and 7.5 mile hills in afternoon
Tuesday: Weights with trainer and 7.5 mile run with group
Wednesday: Sluggish Morning 11.4 mile Run (this was when I knew I too was getting sick)
Thursday:  Afternoon weights/core + 3 mile walk with puppy and O
Friday: Morning Spin and Afternoon easy 3.5 mile run to the park
Saturday: 16.2 miles (so nice I finished in just shorts and a sports bra and pretty sure I blinded the cars with my winter white legs an belly!) and 1 mile walk to park
Sunday: 5 mile recovery trail run and Afternoon core/strength
1st Trail Run of 2013

And what's ahead for Week 15 of marathon training? More Taper and lots of rain, yuck! More rolling and icing and pushing the weird knee pain out of my head, oh the joys of taper! How did I get this close? Under two weeks until race day!

Goal: On Sunday I will run half #2 of the year on a hilly course. I ran this 3 years ago (first race backpost-baby).

Monday: Yoga & 8-10 mile run with running friend who is moving to Texas this week
Tuesday: Morning Spin, weights with trainer and Easy evening Run (coaching)
Wednesday: Morning Run (Tempo) during preschool
Thursday: Morning Spin & Afternoon weights
Friday: Morning Spin and Yoga
Saturday: 4-6 mile easy run
Sunday: Half marathon: Goals: A) 1:35 B) 1:38 C) 1:41

How was your week? Last day to enter the Huma Gel Giveaway.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

4/28 What's For Dinner & Vegetarian Challenge Continues...

menu planning
After a week of sickness in the house we are recycling many meals since we didn't do much cooking. Linking up with Jill and Laura for menu planning. I am now just under two weeks from marathon day so cutting out all animal products again to feel better before race day (after I finish the quesadilla I have leftover from dinner)

GF Bagel with Almond Butter (Pre-Race meal)

Veggie Bean Crockpot Meal (Based on Recipe)
Dinner out with Ragnar Group
Salad with Black Beans, Sweet Potato and Peppers
Samosa Baked Potatoes
Lentil Tacos

Veggies and Hummus
Perfect Foods Bars
Apples with SunButter
Granola with Almond Milk Yogurt and Berries
And whatever fun things I continue to pull out of the GFree Connect Package (hint, a giveaway!) 

What's on your menu this week? Any new or favorite vegetarian meals?

Vegetarian Challenge Continues...

By popular demand we’re extending the 7-Day Vegetarian Challenge 7 another week!Click here for challenge details. Remember to go link up your recipes and posts at the link too. Who wants to join me in vegan for a week?

Daily Challenges

Vegetarian Challenge
4/29 – Day 8: Plan a meal using the vegetarian food pyramid as a guide.
Note: There are almost as many food guide pyramids out there as there are diet books. I chose this guide as the one that most reflects my diet. To be used as a general guideline.
4/30 – Day 9: Prepare a meal using ingredients that fit the superfood criteria.
5/1 – Day 10:  Eat seasonably. Prepare a breakfast with a seasonal fruit.
Days 11-14 challenges will be posted on Wednesday.
Everyone is welcome to join whether you participated in the first week or not! No need to sign up again if you joined the first week.

Remember to share you foods on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and the Link up  to win!

We respect your email privacy.

Huma Gel Giveaway open until tomorrow night, go enter! I have a couple more fun giveaways planned this week.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Figuring it all out

Busy life
Pretty much sums things up...

2 weeks, that is it! When I began this crazy journey of a second round of grad school I thought it would never end but here I sit two weeks from the final day to submit all my clinical evaluations and cases. This also means I am 15 days from marathon #21, great planning…isn’t tapering bad enough, now add to that all that goes along with finishing grad school. Over the next few weeks my brain will be consumed with the following…

Final Paper
Not just any paper but one to basically wrap up the past year and the education courses I added to my doctoral program. 25-50 pages worth of writing and describing my experience as an educator, complete with my own philosophy and of course literature review. So far page 1 is started, good thing it is a compilation of four courses of work and I can pull from past papers. 72 hours to write this monstrosity of a paper! With the wonderful forecast of 70s this weekend I’m sure some of this writing will be done sitting outside J

Clinical Hours
Wrapping these up, but I love them! I am working with a great physician who loves to teach and is passionate about what he does. I love sports medicine and knowing that I am helping someone regain the ability to perform their sport or even daily activities without limitations or pain. I what’s better then working with another runner, we can share great running stories besides the medical side of things.

Job Searching
A few weeks ago I mentioned heading to an interview, well good news I got an offer but it is my perfect job. I have this ideal job in mind that likely doesn’t exist and know I need to settle on some things. So where do I make sacrifices? The hours, the population I want to work with, the location, the money? am I the only one who considers workout schedule when looking at jobs? In my dream world I want to work part-time with flexible schedule and minimal to no weekends and in sports medicine, although I have strongly considered going back to the excitement of trauma again. The good news, while this job does not seem to exist right now, I have a call back for a 3rd interview on a different job (yes 3rd of 4), a 1st interview on another job and this potential offer that can sit until I graduate. What is your ideal job? What will you sacrifice?

Studying for Boards
This is the part that scares the stuff out of me! I am not a great test taker although I manage to pull through when it matters. Without this the job search doesn’t matter. I have taken my review course and just need to make it through the next couple weeks then begin the intense act of studying in every free moment. 

A Marathon!
The joy of running and my workouts are what get me through the stress of school! ALl about balance, right? As a runner I honestly can’t think of a better way to celebrate another accomplishment in my school and career. Hoping this will help push me through the race to a new PR! And then I will get a well deserved great dinner not only to celebrate my graduation but refuel. 
Genius! via Etsy.

The good news is I think (and hope) we are all on the mend; we are almost at 24 hours without a fever. I actually enjoyed a nice walk last night in place of a hardcore workout. Today I actually woke up feeling normal, hoping for a nice run in the sun today. Happy Friday! Any fun weekend plans? We are hoping for a bike ride to get ice cream as a well deserved study break for us all. O gets to head outside to be Matt's "research assistant" to obtain data for his final.

Don’t forget to enter the Huma Gel Giveaway

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Unintentional "Right" Way to Taper

I have this little problem not relaxing or letting myself take time off, really? Pretty sure all of my readers have figured this out as well. Thank you strange virus for making us all take a break from life!

It all started on Monday morning when O woke with a slight cough, she just finished 10 days of antibiotics for an ear infection and respiratory crud but was better. It wasn't bad so I ignored it figuring it would improve, even sent her gymnastics on Tuesday morning where she seemed fine until she got home and only wanted to cuddle on the couch. My little girl was a ball of fire: yep I was right 104 fever, ugh, and refused to eat lunch. Called the clinic and got in the car only to gain my first car vs. child vomit experience :(

Even when sick she has to be silly! Look at those tired eyes.

Poor kid got many first that day: negative strep culture, a chest x-ray (we had bet on her needing an arm or leg film first!) thanks to a nasty cough and lower then normal O2 sats. We eventually left with the words we all hate "it's a virus" so in other words go home and relax.

My running buddy...
Now on to Wednesday, I headed out with Morgan for a run. We ran 4 mile and I planned to do more on my own, but was dragging and almost decided against it. Instead headed back out blaming my lack of energy on lifting on Tuesday and 7.5 hilly miles. I ended up cutting things short only to spend my afternoon on the couch realizing what my child was going through. I was quickly transported back to working overnights and that wonderful mixed feeling of fatigue, dizziness, headaches and mild nausea.
Spring finally...I hope!
So here I sit, sleeping in and taking it easy during a taper like I should. Plenty of cuddles on the couch with O who still remains sick this morning, fever and lack of appetite continue for her. I'm still just slightly not great but enough to know I'm not great. 70s in the forecast starting tomorrow so I just need to be better by then, at least enough to sit outside and soak up the sun.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vegetarian Challenge Continues and Bean/Veggie Enchiladas

7-Day Vegetarian Challenge Part 2

Congratulations! Your efforts this week are a positive step toward an important change in your health, the well-being of farm animals, and the environment we all share.
You made it to day 3. How is it going? Is it easier than you thought it would be? What has been your biggest challenge to eating meat free? Are you considering meat-free beyond the challenge?

Daily Challenges

Day 4: Serve a colorful plate. Plan a meal with at least 3 different colors.
Source: USDA Nutritional Database
Day 5: Try a plant based protein source. I’m often asked how do you get enough protein. People are always surprised when I tell them it is actually really easy.
Day 6: Eat seasonably. Check out the Benefits of Eating Seasonably and the handy dandy cheat sheet for eating seasonably.
Day 7: Have your family pick a vegetarian dish for lunch or dinner or try a recipe from one of the resources below.
Here is one of my favorites:
Bean & Veggie Enchiladas
2 cups cooked white beans (or 1 can rinsed/drained)
1 small sweet potato shredded
1-2 peppers roasted (I used red & yellow)
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups shredded greens (I used spinach)
1 cup corn
2 tsp cumin
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz queso fresco crumbled
1-2 cups tomatillo sauce (store bought Frontera is my favorite)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
6 corn tortillas

Mix first 7 ingredients (beans through corn) add in cumin, cream cheese and 1/4 cup sauce. Spray baking pain (rounded works great) and layer 1/4 cup sauce in bottom, then layer tortilla, bean mix and queso fresco, Repeat 1-2 times more depending on thickness of layers. End with tortillas, top with shredded cheese and remaining sauce. Bake 350 degrees 25-30 minutes. Top with avocado

Online Recipe Resources
(Some of my favorite vegetarian and vegan resources)
Prize Sponsors
7-Day Vegetarian Challenge
7-Day Vegetarian Challenge
7-Day Vegetarian Challenge

How to Enter
Of course we have to include prizes and photos in the challenge. Take pictures throughout the week including your daily challenges. Using the hashtag #vegchallenge share them on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for one entry each day. There will be a Vegetarian Challenge Page tab in the menu bar above that will include a link-up (open all week) to link your photos and blog posts or you can leave a comment including the link to your challenge photos.
For more chances to win, at the end of the challenge, share a wrap-up post on your blog of Facebook page. No worries if you don’t have a blog or Facebook. Instead of linking up post a comment for the point and to share your experience of eating a vegetarian diet for one week.
Energy Bits
I am sure I’m not alone when I say we are all devastated by the tragic events at last week’s Boston Marathon. To help those in need one of our sponsors, Energy Bits, have launched a fund raising initiative called “Go the Distance.” They will donate the distance of a marathon ($26.20) from every purchase made with the promotional code BOSTONSTRONG. The code also gives you a 10% discount.

All funds raised are being donated to The One Fund.

More details can be found at http://bit.ly/15CklQu and at the Energy Bits website www.energybits.com/bostonstrong.

Please help spread the word! Post and tweet the links to support “Go the Distance“and The One Fund.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Race Fuel and Huma Gel Giveaway

Look what I am looking at outside this morning...YUCK!! This is beyond funny or even tolerable at this point! April 23rd and fresh snow. Poor O asked again if it is Christmas time again.

I have written multiple times about the lack of race fuel that agreed with my stomach and despite thinking I had a gel, chew, etc that worked I often finished a long run wanting to curl up on the side of the road thanks to extreme belly pain. Despite running 20 marathons (#21 in less then 3 weeks) I am still dealing with this. 

A couple weeks ago I was given a few packets of Huma Gel to try and as I have yet to jump on the Chia seed trend I was skeptical and figured it was just another gel with an odd taste, strange texture and full of junk that would make me feel awful. Boy was I happy to admit I was wrong! 

Huma Gel is made from chia seeds, all natural and gluten free, yay! They come in two flavors Apples and Cinnamon and Strawberry, both a good.

Apples and Cinnamon: My first thought, "I want more, I could eat this for a snack!" I felt like I was eating real food, it tasted and had texture just like applesauce. I was out on my run trying to squeeze every last drop out of the package, this stuff was good.

Strawberry: While I love strawberries, I'm not a big fan of strawberry foods. I was happily surprised that it tasted similar to real fruit and thanks to our wonderful weather was slightly frozen and almost like a smoothie (got to look for perks of an overly extended winter, right?). 

Now the best part, I was upright and pain free my entire run! No GI issues or belly pain during or after my run. 2 gels were enough to get me through 22 miles last weekend, now I have to order more for the marathon and hope these will help get me through the last few miles where I am usually ready to scream in belly pain. My only complaints are the cost which is a little more then other gels, but well worth it, and the limited places to purchase. For me this means buying online and waiting, not great for a procrastinator like me! 

Have you tried Huma Gel? Here is your chance to win a trial pack of both flavors! 

Remember it is Day 2 of the Vegetarian Challenge, how are you doing? Remember to share those pictures, tweets and link up those recipes using #vegchallenge and tagging Jill and I so we can see how everyone is doing.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Marathon Weekly- Fueled by Cupcakes

Week 13 meant the final peak week of training and now I taper, yikes. After a little recovery from the hilly 10 Mile Race I feel pretty great. This week brought yet another snow storm complete with 1 foot of snow and blizzard conditions, it also brought 1 day of shorts.

Monday: Yoga & 12.5 mile hill workout
Tuesday: Morning Spin, weights with trainer & 7.5 mile hill run with speed intervals (thanks to new guy at run group!) 53:30
Wednesday: Sluggish Morning 9 mile Run 1:13:20
Thursday: Morning 45 min Bike Trainer & Afternoon run 4.6 miles 35:00 + weights
Friday: Morning Spin & Yoga with O (her request)
Saturday: 22.2 miles 3:14:05
Sunday: 5.1 mile recovery run 43:50 & Afternoon weights

And what's ahead for Week 14 of marathon training? Taper! Not a fan of tapering, the first week is fine but then I go nuts. It won’t help that we are finally reaching 60 degrees this week, I’ll need to restrain myself for wanting to get out and run all the time. But before that we are in the midst of yet another winter storm warning today, are you kidding?

Goal: Continue to listen to my body, foam roll, ice and stretch. Hoping for clear sidewalks and running in shorts after this last (I hope) snow storm! Get back on track with healthy eating after my cupcake and wine indulgence this weekend.

Monday: Yoga & 8-10 mile hill repeats
Tuesday: Morning Spin, weights with trainer & Easy evening Run (coaching)
Wednesday: Morning Run (Tempo or Intervals run) during preschool
Thursday: Morning Spin & Afternoon run 3-4 miles/weights
Friday: Morning Spin & Yoga
Saturday: 16-18 mile long run
Sunday: Recovery Run/walk 3-4 miles (local run for Boston) & weights

How was your week? Remember the Huma Gel I mentioned last week, well come back tomorrow for a chance to win your own (for real this time, sorry things got crazy last week).

Training Link Up

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Vegetarian Challenge & Weekly Menu Planning

So, you’ve taken on the challenge to go meatless for 7 days. Now what?
Classic Vegetarian eats a diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts; no meat, poultry or fish. The vegetarian challenge for you may mean a Lacto Vegetarian, Pescetarian or maybe Vegan.
The Vegetarian Spectrum defines 8 different types of vegetarian diets. With the goal of the challenge being to eat more fruits/veggies and eat meat free, what type of vegetarian diet will work best for you?
How this works:
  1. Meatless for 7 days.
  2. Follow the daily challenges listed below.
  3. Enter to win!
Simple enough right? Remember this is a low-key no pressure and guilt free challenge. It’s an opportunity to try new foods and to see if after one week you experience some of the benefits of a plant-based diet that we read so much about.
Of course we have to include prizes and photos in the challenge. Take pictures throughout the week including your daily challenges. Using the hashtag #vegchallenge share them on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for one entry each day (make sure to follow Jill and I so we can see the great things you are doing). There will be a Vegetarian Challenge Page tab in the menu bar above that will include a link-up (open all week) to link your photos and blog posts or you can leave a comment including the link to your challenge photos.
For more chances to win, at the end of the challenge, share a wrap-up post on your blog of Facebook page. No worries if you don’t have a blog or Facebook. Instead of linking up post a comment for the point and to share your experience of eating a vegetarian diet for one week.
By the way, we have great sponsors lined up!

Daily Challenges

Day 1: Try a new fruit or veggie.
Day 2: Have a green smoothie for breakfast or a snack. This recipe is my go-to favorite for breakfast.
Green Protein Smoothie
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup chopped mango (frozen)
1/2 cup chopped peach (frozen)
2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
3-4 ice cubes
1 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp almond milk yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
Day 3: Try a quinoa recipe. Check out the recipe section on my blog for ideas.
Days 4-7: The remaining Mini Challenges, sponsors and recipes will be posted on Wednesday.
If you have any questions leave a comment or feel free to email me at marathonmom28@gmail.com or Jill at jillconyers@gmail.com
That’s it. Will you challenge yourself to go vegetarian or vegan for 7 days?
There is still time to sign up! Go to 7-Day Vegetarian Challenge to access the sign up form.
menu planning
Now on to my weekly menu, Linking up with Jill and Laura for menu planning. We did go back to a few older recipes this week to break things up a bit but now this week I am recycling a few and adding in a new one. 

GF Flax Muffin with Almond Butter

White Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Black Bean/Sweet Potato Burger & Roasted Potatoes/Cauliflower
Veggie Bean Crockpot Meal (Based on Recipe)
Quinoa Fried Rice

Veggies and Hummus
Apples with SunButter
Brown Rice Cakes with Almond Butter
Granola with Almond Milk Yogurt

What's on your menu this week? Any new or favorite vegetarian meals?