A Quick Tip

This is going to be a short post because we are rushing out the door to head to the airport. My mom is coming in to town and we are going to spend the day in Salt Lake shopping and eating delicious food!

I got up at 5 AM so I could get a workout in before the day’s festivities begin. I went to the 5:30 AM spin class at my gym and it was SO AWESOME.  I always forget how much I like spinning until I go to another class, then I think I need to go more often. I rushed home and made a protein shake. I kept my meal small because we are planning on going to breakfast once we get my mom from the airport.

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It was a bit weird to go to the gym in the dark…and then leave the gym STILL in the dark. I didn’t mind one bit since I had such a great workout. So here is my quick tip for today: Find a workout that you love and stick with it. I have found that I really enjoying running and spinning. Since I love these activities (and the way I feel when I’m DONE) I am willing to get up at the butt crack of dawn to do them! Try a ton of new things like Zumba, kickboxing, speed walking, spinning, interval training, elliptical, and step classes until you find your passion. I promise it will make a huge difference in your workouts if you actually enjoy them.


Have you found a workout you LOVE to do?

Healthy Pasta Salad

I spent almost 2 hours deep cleaning my kitchen this afternoon. When dinner time rolled around, the last thing I wanted to do was make a huge mess! I was craving pasta and lo and behold, when I looked in the cabinet, sitting right next to the pasta was a brand new bottle of Newman’s Own Ceaser dressing. Instantly the idea of pasta salad popped in my head.

I used 100% whole wheat elbow pasta. By the way, many of the pasta brands that claim to be whole wheat are only 50% whole wheat. I always check the label and make sure the ingredients are 100% whole wheat. I only want the good stuff! While the pasta was cooking I chopped a green bell pepper, red onion, and cherry tomatoes.

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I prefer to eat this pasta salad cold so I rinsed the pasta with cold water after I drained it. Then I simply combined the pasta, dressing, and veggies together. And voila! You have a colorful, healthy, and delicious pasta salad.

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You could easily add some precooked chicken to the salad for a punch of protein. I ate my salad with a few bites of leftover pork from last night’s dinner to round out my meal. For this dish, I only had to clean 1 pot, a cutting board, and a knife. Plus we had plenty of leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Perfection.

The exact measurements for this pasta are:

  • 8 oz. uncooked whole wheat pasta
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup Newman’s Own Ceaser Dressing

Make this dish, you will LOVE it!

Finding Motivation to Workout

I haven’t exercised since I got back from Ragnar. I have been giving my body time to recover from running and from the flu bug I got. As of yesterday I feel back to 90% so I MUST stop making excuses and get back to my workout routine. I don’t know about the rest of you but I often have days when I just don’t want to lace up my shoes and go workout. In honor of my lack luster desire to go to the gym this morning, I’ve decided to compile a list of things that help me get my workout in when I really don’t want to.

1. If you workout in the morning, get up and immediately put on your gym clothes. I find that if I have my clothes on I am much less likely to skip a sweat session since I’m already dressed for it.

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2. Download some new music or a podcast to your MP3 player. I get really excited to listen to my favorite podcasts, but I only allow myself to listen to them while I’m working out. This motivates me to get to the gym or out for a run so I can listen!

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3. Make a goal. The goal needs to be very specific. I was much better about getting all my workouts in while I was training for my half marathon. My goal was to run (without walking) a half marathon on October 13, 2012. I was REALLY excited about my goal and don’t think I skipped a single workout during my training. If you have never done a race before, I highly suggest finding a local 5k and signing up. Races are tons of fun and a great way to get outside with others who care about their health and fitness.

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4. Workout with a friend. Working out with friends is not only fun but it holds you accountable to be there when you said you would.  You are much more likely to stick to a workout program if you have a partner to join you.

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5. Join in on a group class at the gym. This is usually my go-to tip when I don’t feel like exercising. Group classes are SO fun. Zumba, kickboxing, Bodypump, yoga, barre, spinning, etc. There are TONS of classes to chose from and they are great motivation to work a little harder since I generally don’t want to look like a chump in front of a bunch of people!

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6. Find an image that motivates you to stick to your goals and put it somewhere you will see it. I had an image of a woman crossing the finish line of a race on my bathroom mirror. I couldn’t dream of skipping a workout when I looked at that image. I REALLY wanted to be like the girl in the picture and the only way to get there was to tie up my shoe laces and go run.

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7. When all else fails and you STILL don’t feel like working out skip it do it anyway! Sometimes it is a matter of sheer willpower. In the words of Nike, “Just Do It!” Don’t think about it, just get out the door and do it. I would bet that once you get 15-20 minutes into your workout, you’ll be feeling good and working hard. The hardest part about exercise is starting. It’s all downhill from there. I have had many days when I didn’t want to run or go to the gym but I have NEVER once regretted a workout.

So what are you waiting for? Lace up those shoes and start sweating!

What I Ate Wednesday

I decided to wait till tonight to post my What I Ate Wednesday instead of my usual morning post. I was still getting over my flu bug yesterday and I didn’t think you would be interested to see photos of saltines and sprite! Well lets get on with it.

7:30 AM Breakfast: Cereal, milk, and an apple.

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10:30 AM Snack: A wasa cracker with peanut butter, banana, and honey.

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1:00 PM Lunch: A Flatout Bread Pizza with pizza sauce, cheese, red pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes, black beans, salsa, and avocado.

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3:30 PM Snack: A smoothie with blueberries, pineapple, mango, strawberry, banana, orange juice, and almond milk.

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5:15 PM Dinner: Pulled Pork on a whole wheat bun and steamed asparagus.

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I’m on my way out the door to head to a meeting for work but I plan on having some popcorn while I watch Modern Family tonight!

Eat Like You Mean It

I saw a billboard that looked very similar to this photo during my preschool drop off this morning.

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This photo makes me sick to my stomach just by looking at it. I couldn’t help but  think the caption should have said, “eat like you want to die a premature death.”

I try not to make a habit of eating fast food. I can’t say I never eat at these chains but if it is in any way, shape, or form possible to eat somewhere else, I do. I can see how easy it would be to fall into the fast food trap. You’ve had a long day, you are tired and hungry, the kids are in the back seat screaming for food and you happen to drive past those yellow arches on your way home. Without even getting out of the car you could have dinner ready in less than 10 minutes. I get it. We are all busy and many of us (namely me) don’t like to cook or we feel there is not enough time in the day to make healthy meals.

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Don’t these photos look much more appetizing than the nasty, sloppy, processed junk in the first photo?

I have plenty of days when I just don’t feel like cooking. The thing that motivates me to get in the kitchen and make something is thinking about all the CRAP that goes into fast food. This is a list of ingredients that is in JUST the bun and sauce of a big mac: Big Mac Bun: Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, soybean oil and/or canola oil, contains 2% or less of the following: salt, calcium sulfate, calcium carbonate, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, ammonium chloride, dough conditioners (may contain one or more of the following: sodium stearoyl lactylate, datem, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated monoglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, enzymes, guar gum, calcium peroxide), calcium propionate and/or sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin, sesame seed. Big Mac Sauce: Soybean oil, pickle relish [diced pickles, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, calcium chloride, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate (preservative), spice extractives, polysorbate 80], distilled vinegar, water, egg yolks, high fructose corn syrup, onion powder, mustard seed, salt, spices, propylene glycol alginate,sodium benzoate (preservative), mustard bran, sugar, garlic powder.

I don’t know about you but I can’t even begin to pronounce about 90% of the items on that list. I find it best to stick to food items that either DON’T have a food label at all (i.e. fruits, veggies, fresh meats) or foods with less than 5 ingredients on the label. I promise if you skip the fast food in favor of a nice home cooked meal, you will FEEL so much better.

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I often look at this cute little face and I can’t imagine polluting his pure little body with fast food! The Journal of the American Dietetic Association says, “French fries are the most common type of vegetable children eat. Fries account for about one-quarter of children’s vegetable intake.” Thank you fast food chains. NOT.

Let me clarify, I am in NO WAY claiming to be perfect, and yes, my children have eaten French fries from fast food chains. I am merely trying to bring awareness to my readers.

My number one tip for making time to eat healthy meals at home is: PLAN AHEAD. Make a meal plan and grocery list at the beginning of the week and stick to it. Make some muffins, a big salad, and cut up all your fruits and veggies on the weekend when you have a few extra minutes. Bake a big batch of chicken or throw it in the crock pot on Sunday so it is ready to eat during the week when you’re short on time.

Make you and your family’s health a priority. Challenge: Between now and Thanksgiving DON’T eat ANY fast food. You can do it!

Tossed my Cookies after Ragnar

I seem to have been hit with a streak of bad luck these last few weeks. Ragnar Las Vegas was SO fun and I had the best time running and getting to know the girls in my van. Half way through our last day running one of the girls in the van started getting sick. Her stomach was giving her problems and she thought she was car sick. I also started getting a headache about an hour before my last run but I figured it was due to a lack of sleep. I got a burst of energy during my last run, and in spite of my stomach cramps, I finished my last 7.6 mile leg strong.

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While I was running the sick girl in our van started throwing up. As soon as my run was over the exhaustion hit and was in bad shape. I knew I didn’t feel well but I again, I figured it was because I was SO tired. We finished the race, returned our rental car and went to Five Guys to celebrate with burgers and fries. I had about 2 bites of my burger when I realized it was not sitting well in my stomach. We went back to the hotel and I showered and went to bed ASAP. I woke up a few hours later because I had the stomach flu. It was NOT fun. I spent the rest of the night on the bathroom floor until the alarms started going off at 3:30AM. The other girls had a 16 hour drive to get home and wanted to get an early start. Thankfully I was able to sleep most of the way home and I didn’t puke in anyone’s car!

I was incredibly happy to see my kids and husband and to take an nap in my own bed.  The flu bug at the end really put a damper on things. I was just thankful that I was able to run all my legs BEFORE I got sick. I am already looking forward to my next Ragnar with team “Any Excuse For a Girls’ Night!”  Hopefully next time I won’t toss my cookies at the end! Smile

I will do a full race recap when I get all the pictures from my teammates.

Ragnar In The Making

Ragnar Las Vegas started yesterday morning at 7:30am and we have about 10 hours till we finish. Or those of you who don’t know, Ragnar is a 197 mile relay. our team has 12 girls and we separate into 2 different vans. while the other van is running we can stop and pitch a tent to sleep for a few hours till its our turn to run again.
The girls in my van have been so much fun! My first 2 legs were awesome and I’ve been averaging 8:20 miles. In Ragnar when you pass someone it’s called road kill and the teams tally their total number.

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I was super pumped before my first run but I was immediately humbled by a steep incline and 30 mph headwind. Luckily the last 3 miles of my 4 mile run were downhill and with the wind. My last two miles were 7:42 and I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast! It was SO fun and I ended with a huge endorphin rush. I was ready for more!

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We made a pit stop at Chili’s around 7pm to grab some real food before heading back to our hotel to catch a couple hours of sleep before our night runs.

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My night run was 3.5 miles straight uphill and it began at 3:30am. It was such an awesome experience to be running on a deserted road in the middle of the night. It was one of my favorite runs of all time!

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We have a few hours to kill before heading back to run our last leg. There’s nothing better than trying to sleep in a suburban with 5 other people. Sweet dreams!