October Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Happy HalloweenThis month I participated in the Foodie Pen Pal program hosted by Lindsey at the Lean Green Bean. Thank you so much Lindsey for putting this together! It’s a great opportunity to share the local eats of my city and receive new-to-me eats from another part of the country!

2013-10-24 19.37.16Wanna hear about something not so scary? I received some great treats this month from Becca in Pennsylvania! I’ve never been to PA , nor do I know much about the food out there, so I was up for anything!

box1What was in the box:

  • Southeastern Mills Cheddar Garlic biscuit mix
  • Beaver brand Hot Cream Horseradish
  • Wos-Wit Pumpkin Butter

box2

  • Little Debbie Pumpking delights cookies
  • TastyKake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes
  • Organic Mint Chocolate bar

I opened the Kandy Kakes right away. OMG they’re so delicious. They’re a small cake, topped with peanut butter and covered in chocolate. It’s so simple, yet I don’t think we have anything like it that’s similar around here. I want more! I was very happy to see pumpkin butter in the box, as I recently ran out of the pumpkin butter I picked up in Door County. Becca included all things I am looking forward to trying. I am especially glad I participated, as {most of} these are local foods to PA. I wouldn’t have the opportunity to try these foods without the Foodie Pen Pal program!

I hope you have a wonderful Halloween! Try not to pass out from a candy coma. 🙂 I’m hoping we have lots of trick or treaters because I do not want all that chocolate and candy just laying around the house!

The Lean Green Bean
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I Heart Squash Season

Happy middle of the week my fellow health & fitness nuts. While most bloggers hold up their kids for photos, I like to hold up my dog. Don’t judge. 🙂

2013-10-27 16.26.20I’m linking up today to What I Ate Wednesday via Jenn at Peas and Crayons. I take back what I said last week, WIAW is my favorite link up!

2013-10-29 06.19.51I’m trying to mix up my breakfasts more, however, I’m pretty stuck on oatmeal. I love how warm it is for these chilly mornings and it never fails to fill me up. I’ve “tried” to mix up my oats by adding Skippy Dark Chocolate peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter (I know, huge change). I definitely have some searching to do for good oatmeal add-ins! Some fruits I can’t add because they’re not low-FODMAP (like apples/pears). I’m thinking of joining in A Dash of Meg’s November breakfast challenge (i.e., different breakfast every morning). I could really use it!

2013-10-27 16.32.37My snacks lately have been fruit filled. I love greek yogurt topped with frozen berries.

spaghettisquashAfter putting off this dinner a couple times last week, I finally made Skinnytaste’s Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese. At the last farmer’s market, I picked up two huge spaghetti squash. The bake turned out really well, but I thought it could’ve used more “crunch.” With some of the leftovers I added cut up peppers, more spinach, and sunflower seeds. I love being able to buy local squash and make a great dinner from it. It just makes me feel good to support our local farmers.

2013-10-29 18.25.56Are you sick of seeing my feet yet? I hope not! Better than my sweaty face. I got in a couple miles on the treadmill last night before Group Centergy. Like I’ve said in the past, I’ve obsessed with Centergy. I will never, ever, ever give it up. Never. You can’t make me. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful day and do something that your future self will thank you for!

What are your favorite oatmeal add-ins? Have you been cooking with any seasonal veggies? Favorite workout this week?

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Too Fast, Too Soon, Too Much, Too Often

2013-10-23 18.31.43Last Wednesday, hubby and I attended a free presentation called “Running One Step At a Time.” It was put on by ThedaCare’s Orthopedic Plus. I was unsure of what to expect, but the description indicated we would be learning about common running injuries and how to prevent them.

The presenters included two doctors and two physical therapists. The presentation was heavily medical for the most part. I gleamed information on IT band syndrome, shin splints, stress fractures and plantar fasciitis. I’ve heard of many of these injuries, but thankfully, haven’t experienced any myself. The doctors were very knowledgeable about the variety of injuries and were runner themselves which I think makes a difference.

I took away from the presentation that most injuries are “down stream effects from higher up,” meaning most places we feel pain are simply the “victim” areas and not the cause of the problem. Most often injuries happen from running:

  • Too fast
  • Too soon
  • Too much
  • Too often

The presenters emphasized listening to your body which I highly recommend. It’s important to not be so rigid that we completely forgo our intuition. We know our bodies that best. Who else is better qualified to take care of ourselves?

When training for my half marathon last month, I tried to stick to my training schedule as much as possible. I wanted to be fully prepared for 13.1 miles and all in all, I felt I was. I gave myself enough time to increase my weekly mileage without over doing it and causing an injury.

That being said, I have felt some hip pain lately when I run more than 6 miles at a time. I spoke with the PT after the session (and have consulted with a PT after my training runs last summer) about my concerns. She postulated that the hip pain may be from my IT band flaring up from the repetitive motion of running. She suggested hip strengthening exercises, including the use of resistance bands. I had learned of my weak hips this summer and have been trying to incorporate more hip strengthening exercises. I regularly do planks and yoga. I picked up some resistance bands this weekend and am planning on doing consistent exercises with them as well. I’m hoping to see a difference in my running as my hips get stronger! I also recommend checking out Jacqueline’s hip exercises that I’ve bookmarked!

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Other exciting running tidbits I learned:

  • As we transition to winter running, gradually change the surface you run on. If you’re taking all your running indoors, alternate between road and treadmill running for a while to get your body used to the surface change.
  • You can grate your calluses with a cheese grater– no lie. You try it and let me know, mmmk? 🙂
  • Losing toenails it usually due to ill fitting shoes. Either your shoes are too small or too wide in the mid-foot allowing the foot to slide forward. (I’m currently losing my second big toenail :()
  • 15 miles/week is sufficient to stay cardiovascularly fit and prevent injury.
  • Sharp pain is NEVER a good type of pain.

We were also given a packet with hip/knee/leg stretches and strengthening exercises. I was happy to note that many of the exercises in the packet are included in my twice weekly centergy class. I was also happy to note how many people came out for the presentation. I know there are runners in our community, but it surprised me how many people showed up! Yah for running. 🙂

Do you currently have any injuries? Do you take into consideration whether you’re running too fast, too soon, too much, or too often? 

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Weekend Workout Warrior

This weekend included cool, but beautiful days here. My weekends lately have been similar, including workouts, shopping, and relaxing. I’ll take more of that please!

Oct26Saturday I dragged hubby to the gym with me. I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill before we took Group Core. The wind was pretty wicked here on Saturday, so I opted for an indoor run. I’ve been thinking more about getting a treadmill at home lately. We definitely have the room for one and I’d love the option to get a run in before work or later at night when I’m less likely to run outside or want to drive to the gym.

Saturday afternoon hubby and I headed our for some shopping. We perused the treadmills at Sears. The salesman were very knowledgeable about treadmills and we ended up trying some out, but not making a purchase. After, we grabbed some lunch at one of our favorite places, Panera.

panera1026I am in love with their Thai Chicken salad. Holy yum. The smokehouse turkey panini was quite good too.

2013-10-27 14.08.39My new BOBS shoes came in the mail on Saturday. They’re sparkly and tree like. I love them.

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And they’re Murphy approved.

2013-10-27 07.58.28I’m still obsessed with Sunday morning Centery. I’m making some good progress with bird pose! Not quite as shaky as I used to be.

roadid

Sunday nights are always better chatting with fellow runners on #runchat! A week from last Sunday, I won a pre-runchat gift certificate for Road ID by tweeting. Originally it said I won the Supernova light, however, the email I received indicated I could use the $15 for anything on their site. I decided to purchase a Road ID Wrist ID Sport instead of the light because I thought I would use it more often. I don’t usually carry any kind of ID on me when I run (probably not the smartest…). Reading more about the ID got me thinking about what could happen during a run. I’m usually alone with my phone and that’s about it. If I were to get hurt, there’s really no way for someone to identify who I am. I know my hubby will feel better once I start wearing one. You just never know.

I’ve now won a Designer Whey t-shirt and $15 for Road ID website. Not too shabby for being a newish tweeter. It pays to participate!

Make your Monday Marvelous! And check out other Marvelous Mondays at Healthy Diva Eats!

Do you have a Road ID or carry ID with you when you run? What’s your favorite fitness class? Bobs or Toms?

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High Fives this Friday

I’m so glad it’s finally Friday! I’ve had something going on after work every night this week. Some nights were work related, some fun related. Last night I had to stay late for Family Literacy Night at school. I was on the “vocabulary” team and created a Pyramid game (like the TV show) for the kids. It was a huge hit! So many kids  and parents wanted to play that the night just flew by. It does throw me off to not get home til 7:30. It’s all for those kiddos though. 🙂

As I knew I would have to be at school from 7:30am-7:00pm yesterday, I brought my running gear with me. I technically had a break from 3:45-5:30pm, but didn’t want to run all the way home (20 minute drive) and come back. I tossed on my cold weather running gear and headed out by my school. Luckily, I dressed warm enough because out of the blue it started snowing! At first, I thought something was falling out of the trees until I realized it was snow! First flakes of the year for us here of the “melt right away” kind. Not so pretty though because I was running and couldn’t really see too far in front of me.

2013-10-24 16.21.05I’m giving myself a “High Five Friday” today for running at work. This is something I never even would’ve considered last year. I’m much more conscious of sitting a lot at work lately, so I try to stand and move more often. I was grateful to get a run in because it helps with restlessness.

2013-10-24 16.20.58My actual run was ehhh, ok. I was pretty cold for the first mile, but after that my core warmed up and I wasn’t so cold. I am loving the cold weather headband I recently purchased. I definitely need something to keep my ears warm.

Even though my run was just “ok”, I’m still really glad I went. Afterwards, I felt I wasn’t as tired as I would’ve been on a long day/night like this.

I am giving myself another high five for grabbing a salad and fruit cup from Festival Foods for dinner last night. Due to the late night at work, I didn’t feel like packing two meals (lunch & dinner) for the day. The spinach salad came with berries, pecans, and feta. The fruit included pineapple, blackberries, strawberries, and kiwi. It’s a great option for a meal! I ate half and am saving the other half for lunch today. Yah for not having to make a lunch today (one of my least favorite things to do). Check out other High Five Fridays at A Dash of Meg!

2013-10-24 16.59.37I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! I’m hoping to get another longer run in this weekend if the weather cooperates. We’re also going to look at treadmill I found on Craigslist, so I’m hoping it’s nice. I would love the option this winter to run at home.

highfivefriday6

What are you giving yourself a “high five” for this Friday?

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Pumpkin Bagels & Pudding Cakes

Well hi there.

2013-10-20 14.47.06Murphy & I wish you a happy middle of the week! The weather here has gotten noticeably cooler so I subjected Murphy to wearing his cute jacket. He actually doesn’t mind wearing it. I may or may not put it on him just so I can laugh at how cute he looks.

Today is my second favorite link up day, What I Ate Wednesday! (hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons). Below are my favorite eats from this week!

Last Saturday, hubby and I went out for dinner at a local eatery, The Kangaroost. The Kangaroost originally started as a food truck and now is a brick and mortar restaurant. They serve “gourmet comfort food with local flair.” You can taste such a difference with local, fresh ingredients. I seriously love this place. I had the Maple Glazed Salmon Salad with Gorgonzola Cheese and Citrus Vinaigrette. Their breakfast is amazing too (try the Happy Bellies oatmeal pancakes)!

2013-10-19 18.13.18Hubby picked up some bagels at Panera to bring to work for his birthday. I managed to sneak in a request for a pumpkin pie bagel for moi. It was really good, which means a lot coming from someone like me who doesn’t eat much bread. I topped it with Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream cheese wedge and a sprinkle of cinnamon. So good!

2013-10-20 07.18.41A more typical breakfast for me in the morning continues to be oatmeal. I stir in 1 TB of chia seeds, sliced banana, and a scoop of peanut butter. It’s filling and satisfying, especially for these cold mornings lately!

2013-10-22 06.16.14I recently tried the Light & Fit blended greek yogurt. I really like that the flavor is already mixed in. I love the banana cream and orange cream varieties. I usually top the yogurt with sliced almonds.

2013-10-19 15.39.36We’ll end with a dessert because all dinners should be finished with some kind of dessert! Gotta treat ourselves a little too! Last week was our second anniversary and hubby’s birthday. Since it’s just the two of us, I picked up a small cake from a local bakery. I took a chance and selected the Snickers Treat pudding cake. I thought it looked really hard, but it was soft once I cut into it. A small slice was all that was needed though because it’s a pretty rich cake. Hubby liked it and that’s all that mattered!

cakeI’m going to a free running clinic tonight, hoping to get some tips on transitioning to winter running and staying injury free! I’m planning on running outside as long as I can this winter!!!

What’s your favorite kind of birthday cake? Do you have a little dessert every night or a lot of dessert one night? Will you be running outside this winter?

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And the Beat Goes On…

I am always looking for new music to run to. At times, some of my motivation to run comes from just wanting to hear my new songs! I’ve subscribed to google music, which has virtually any song you could possibly want to hear. It’s really easy to make multiple playlists and sync the playlist with my phone. I mostly like current/upbeat music to listen to while running. I can run without music, I just strongly prefer to run with it.  

I listen and look for new songs on Billboard, other blogs, or music from my fitness classes (i.e., Centergy, Core, Zumba). Where I don’t look for new music? Spinning classes at my gym. The instructor does “his own thing”, no program to follow like Les Mills RPM, so his music is his taste. His spin classes are always a mix of oldies and country; not my favorite to spin it out to.

Running Playlist October ’13

We Own the Night The Wanted – Don’t judge, it’s a good song!

She Doesn’t Mind Sean Paul – A song that was on one of our group core releases.

I’m all Yours Jay Sean – I’ve always loved Jay Sean {even though he’s kinda fallen off the music scene}

Fight For You Jason Derulo – One of the Centergy songs from the first release I did.

Best I Ever Had Gavin DeGraw – LOVE this song!!

I Will Wait Mumford & Sons –  Not new, but I haven’t heard it in a while and am loving it.

Yesterday, I listened to many of these songs as I ran 2 miles before group core class. I’m loving the combination of cardio and strength training within an hour (core is a 30 minute class). I’m feeling great today! Ready to take on the world!

2013-10-21 16.39.28Have a great Tuesday! To my fellow Wisconsinites- stay warm by sweatin’ out! 🙂

What are your favorite new songs to work out/run to?

Cool Runnings

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and took some “me” time. I know I did!

The weather here in WI has gotten noticeably cooler in the last week. Temps have hovered around 40-50 degrees with upper 30s in the mornings.

2013-10-19 10.13.22

Let me in Mom, it’s cold out here!

It’s been cool runnings around here…and I’m not talking about the movie circa ’93, but fall running!

2013-10-19 09.11.03I’m so glad I’ve invested in some quality cooler weather running gear because it makes my runs much more enjoyable. My favorite new piece of running gear is my Nike Epic Run Tight. They are amazingly comfortable and warmer than my New Balance running tights. I know they’ll keep me warm this winter too. I’m also loving my new Asics headwarmer (similar one here). Headbands are great for letting heat escape through the top of your head, while still keeping your ears warm.

Saturday morning I set out for a 6 mile run. It was a beautiful, crisp fall morning. I haven’t run more than 3 miles since the Brewers 10k at the end of September, so I was really looking forward to it. The fall colors here are mostly passed their peak, but the scenery is still beautiful. I can’t complain at least. 🙂

Oct19After my run we went to our local farmer’s market. I’m really sad that was the last one of the year. We ended up getting a lot of produce for cheap and I’m happy to support local vendors. I bought spaghetti squash (planning on making Skinnytaste’s  Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese), green/red peppers, zucchini, and honey crisp apples (for the husband, as I have discovered apples don’t agree with my stomach).

2013-10-19 11.04.03Sunday morning I headed to Centergy (yoga+pilates class I rave about). My gym released the new routine last weekend so I’ve only done it two times so far. It’s very different than the last one and a really good challenge; especially on the “challenge” track where we’re in a squat the entire time- my legs were burning by the end! And I finally got into bird pose!

243_817_376I’m looking forward to the week ahead! I’m hoping to get out for more runs! I signed hubby and myself up for a free clinic on Wednesday to learn about transitioning to winter running and keeping ourselves injury free. Make it a great week! 

How was your run this weekend? Anyone else go to a farmer’s market? What’d you get?

Five Fitness Things Friday

Finally Friday! I’m ready for the weekend. You with me?

Here’s what’s new with me on the fitness front lately:

1. I’ve been eating a TON of spinach lately- pretty sure my veins have turned green. I have so much more energy for running/exercising and clearer skin than I used to. Yah for eating clean!

popeye-spinach-shirt

2. My core has gotten noticeably stronger lately. I’m definitely starting to get definition in my abs and I love it. All those planks, supermans, burpees, and squats are worth it!

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3. I missed running!!! As soon as I got on the treadmill yesterday I was ready to GO. I could feel the endorphins immediately and pushed myself as hard as I could for about 2 miles before Group Core started. I’ve never been a huge fan of the treadmill, usually preferring the open road instead. However, I didn’t mind the short run at all. It’s nice to know I won’t be bored out of my mind if I need to use it this winter.  I will get outside for a run long this weekend though and I’m really looking forward to it!

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4. I’m narrowing in on my next race. I’m thinking the Cellcom half marathon in Green Bay on May 18th. I’ve researched a little bit and it sounds like a similar race to the Fox Cities half. The weather may be a toss up, as the last couple years it’s been really hot or really cold. I would love to have a race to look forward to because I push myself more if I’m training for a race. It would be pretty cool to run through Lambeau Field too. Have to follow up running through Miller Park somehow, right?

CGBMLogoBig

5. I’ve noticed such a difference in my energy levels after I work out. I used to have the mindset that I was “too tired” to exercise after work, however, now I look at exercise as an investment in increasing my energy. I’m more awake and alert at night if I’ve exercised during the day. I sleep better and wake up more easily in the mornings. I’ve made running and exercising a habit and I no longer look for excuses not to go. I actually have the opposite reaction now and have difficulties with restlessness if I don’t exercise. Ask my husband- I get a little cranky on rest days. 🙂

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I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Take time to breathe & invest in yourself; whether that’s running, group fitness, walking your dog, or taking some “me” time.

What new with your fitness lately?

Are We Just Spuds on the Run?

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This summer I was perusing Groupon and noticed a deal for magazine subscriptions including Runner’s World. As a relatively new runner, I thought it might be a good idea to subscribe and check it out. There are an abundance of running articles on the internet, however, I like the format of a magazine. Overall, I have been happy with their articles.

The August 2013 edition of Runner’s World highlighted the dangers of sitting so much; even going as far as likening it to smoking (read the article here). According to RW’s article, “research shows that outside of regularly scheduled exercise sessions, active people sit as much as couch potatoes- an average of 64 hours per week.” Some of the effects of sitting too much could include a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or depression. Are we really just a bunch of spuds on the run?

Since digesting the information in the article, it has got me thinking about my lifestyle. Yes, I exercise and run consistently during the week, but what about the other 23 hours in a day? Luckily, my therapy schedule at school has me running all around my building. I thought I was doing well with taking lots of steps during my work day. However, I’ve been wearing the “pebble” (type of pedometer) for a month now and I usually average about 3,000 steps at work, which is not enough if my goal is 10,000 steps a day. I also sit while working at my computer or delivering speech therapy.

Always looking for a solution, I thought about what changes I could make, no matter how small, to make an impact on decreasing the amount of time I’m sitting during the day. Here are my “move more” goals:

  • When typing at my computer, I will stand for 1/2 of the time at the counter to type.
  • I will remember to take “brain breaks” for myself and my speech kiddos every 20 minutes (as recommended).
  • If I have a question for a teacher, I will get up and go ask in person. Many times it is a quicker way to handle questions than email or phone call. 
  • I will incorporate more movement in therapy, where appropriate, to get myself and my kids moving more. 
  • I will continue to stay active at night; cleaning around the house, taking walks, running, exercise classes, not sitting for more than 30-60 minutes at a time. 

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I am definitely a believer in the mental benefits from short, physical activity breaks. I’ve thought about getting a stability ball chair, but am not sure if I would like it. If anyone has one, please let me know your thoughts! I’ve also seen that some larger companies are using standing desks, however, that wouldn’t be feasible for me.

Your turn! Are you a spud on the run? How do you incorporate movement into your every day routines?