Tag: groceries

Ballin’ on a Budget: Tips for the Staples (Food, Fitness, & Style)

Ballin’ on a Budget: Tips for the Staples (Food, Fitness, & Style)

Happy Hump Day!

As you know, I’ve been on a MAJOR budget lately but the last thing I want, is that to stop me from living my life and doing things (or buying things) that make me happy and healthy! Being a small business owner, while working multiple part-time jobs, leaves little to no “extra” spending money. When it comes to spending money, there are a few things I’ll invest in. Food is absolutely number one. Food is medicine to me. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve had to pay for a pharmaceutical. Wholesome, healthy food has been my save and grace and for that reason, I’m ALWAYS willing to spend an extra dollar or two. As for fitness, that’s probably tied with food. Again, I feel my BEST when I get a good sweat in, surround myself with a positive fitness community, and treat my body well! Lastly, I threw style in here because that’s always been a fun passion of mine. I feel the clothes I wear are a representation of who I am. I consider myself a pretty creative individual and my clothes allow me to express my inner fashionista (lol, too far?)

Let’s start with FOOD. How to eat healthy on a small budget.

I’ll be honest, I don’t always follow my own advice. The convenience of having a Whole Foods within walking distance can be far too tempting most times.

  • A lot of “chain” grocery stores now carry your everyday healthy products at a much cheaper price. I’m a huge fan of shopping at Wegmans. Their organic produce selection is top-notch. They have great bulk food options (and prices). Trader Joes is another one that has really low prices for their produce and other products.


Thrive Market. This one I accidentally bought the membership a year ago, BUT I will say, it HAS been worth it. When you stock up and spend more than $49 on groceries, you get free shipping. Not to mention, they always are doing free product giveaways with your order. See this picture on the left, that rosewater came free! Last time, I got two cartons of Califia Farms products. They offer these deals while supplies last. PLUS almost all of their products are discounted (trust me, I’ve checked and compared!) I love using Thrive when I’m running low on all of the expensive oils, dry goods, nuts, superfoods, etc.
– Buy from the BULK FOOD SECTION! A huge part of our diet is nuts, grains, dried fruits, almond butter, and so on. The bulk food section at any store tends to always be cheaper than if you were to buy it pre-packaged.
– Get yourself a WholeFoods Whole Body Benefits Card at customer service. Gets you 20% off supplements!
– Always keep an eye out for Whole Foods sales. Trust me, a lot of my fave products like Health-Ade Kombucha, Simple Mills, Purely Elizabeth, Hilary’s Eat Well, etc. goes on sale!
– Scroll through your fave instagramers and you can ALWAYS find a discount code for some of your favorite products! PS – I’ve added in some of my discount codes at the bottom of this post!
– Speaking of Kombucha, did you know that anytime you buy a case (of anything) at Whole Foods, you get 10% off! Sometimes the cashiers don’t even realize this, so make sure you ask.

Now moving on to fitness…

If you know me, I’ve joked that I’m a serial fitness dater (not sure if that even makes sense…) But what I’m trying to get at is that I…

1) LOVE switching up my workouts (which is actually really good for your body) and…
2) I’m always on the hunt for “free trials”, “membership deal sign-ups”, “student discounts” (sry I know this is bad but I still use my student ID everywhere…it doesn’t have an expiration date!), 30 days for $30 unlimited, and so on. The deals go on. ESPECIALLY if you’re living in a college city. SO keep an eye out for those.
* For example, did you know you get a 1-week free trial with CorePower Yoga?
– Create your own work-out space at home! I did this for almost a year after I quit my “luxury” gym (spending far too much money on a monthly basis). I had a yoga mat, simple weights, and did a lot of HIIT. Kayla Itsines (like every other girl haha) was one of the programs I followed. Youtube and even the fitness instagram world can both be great resources.
– I also switched up my workouts with runs and yoga. I will admit, I recently found an AWESOME gym deal ($25 a month) and I felt now was a good time to jump on that since we’re entering into the brutal seasons of Boston (i.e. the dreaded Winter months). The snow and cold makes running outside not fun and certainly doesn’t help with any of my fitness motivation.
– ALWAYS search groupon or gilt city before paying for any studio. Guarantee there will be some deal out there.
– You can also join ClassPass and pay a CRAZY cheap price ($19 if you’re a new member) for your first month. I’ll be honest, I cancelled after 🙂 Though I love the idea of it…I couldn’t get myself to pay the regular monthly price after your trial ends.
– Search on your cities event page for free fitness classes!
– Go to community/donation-based yoga classes.

And finally…STYLE!

I will admit, I was a HUGE spender when it came to clothes. Especially when I had a pretty nice income. I never dropped money on super pricey designers but I definitely regularly shopped at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People. Obviously times have changed and I can’t afford to do that anymore. LUCKILY, I have a lot of clothes in my closet that I no longer where and I’ve found a FAB way to cheat the system. Whenever I’m getting an itch to shop or update my fall wardrobe for example, I’ll search through my closet and drawers for pieces that are in season (this is key because most trendy thrift stores won’t accept out of season clothing). I’ll then search through any hats, shoes, jewelry, purses, jackets, etc. to see if there’s been anything I haven’t touched in the past year (or sometimes even 6 months if I’m feeling frisky).

Oversized jackets never go out of style in my book // found @ Buffalo Exchange
Loving these pieces from Buffalo Exchange. Pair a slingy dress w/ a sparkly see-through long sleeve (and pearls!) – Perfect for the Holidays!

I then march my giant bag of clothing to my FAVE thrift store, Buffalo Exchange , vintage and used clothing. (located in Allston on Harvard St. for my local friends). PS there are Buffulo Exchange stores all over the US. I found one in Queens, NY and spotted one while in Denver, CO. They are extremely picky with the clothes they accept, so make sure it’s in style, trendy, in pretty good condition, and hipster(y) is always a plus. Though it can be annoying as the seller when they send back nearly half of what you brought in, it’s also great because you know that you’re going to find the racks are all stocked with clothes, shoes, and accessories that are in style and SUPER cheap (I’m talking almost everything under $20)! They’ll offer you either a store credit or cash (though the cash ends up being like half of what you’d get with store credit), so I always keep the store credit! I then go shop, pick up a few staple fall items, and then end up having a $0 balance thanks to the clothes that I brought in and were accepted! Also, always check the quality of the clothing, if you find any small tears or stains, they’ll discount it even more, usually like 30-50% off.

Get yourself a pair of fun loafers for Fall // found brand new (Zara) @ Buffalo Exchange
…and a pair of funky wedges to go with pants & an oversized sweater // again found @ B.E.

This is my NUMBER 1 tip to always keeping fresh new items in your closet without spending a dime! Happy shopping ladies (and men)!!

So there ya have it friends, my personal tips to BALLLLLLIN’ on a budget 😉



Discount Codes:

Pearl Butter – (collagen/superfood boosting coconut butter) code ‘CALLI’ for 15% off your order.
Sips By – (customized monthly tea subscription box order) code ‘EATRUNTEA’ for 50% off your first order.
OMG Detox – (detox beauty blends) code ‘CALLI10’ for 10$ off.
Health Warrior – (superfood bars) code ‘eatrunandallinbetween30’ for 30% off your order.

Food Shopping 101

Food Shopping 101

Happy Sunday all!

I figured this post was fitting for Sunday since this is my go-to day for running errands and meal prepping! It’s been a while since I’ve shared my food shopping list and number one finds. I try to keep my grocery list simple, unprocessed, clean, but of course, have to add a few snacks in there to keep my sweet tooth satisfied.

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1.) Produce – As I called out in my last post, I don’t necessarily go to the grocery store with an idea of what vegetables & fruits I’m going to buy. I go for what looks good and fresh, what’s in season, and then work off those finds. However, my favorites tend to be the following:

  • Big box of Spinach or Kale (great for smoothies, salads, or to be sautéed)
  • Brussel Sprouts (love these sautéed or roasted)
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Zucchini (great for zoodles!)
  • Carrots (always need on hand for hummus snackin’!)
  • Asparagus (so easy to prepare, just snap them and throw them in the pan! Also great for anti-bloating)
  • Avocados (usually you can find the 5 for $5 deal which is ideal since I’m usually eating 1 a day!)
  • Apples (always have these on hand for snacking throughout the week)
  • Blueberries or Strawberries (have to buy one or the other for yogurt parfaits or acai bowls)
  • Bananas (I tend to buy some that are nearing brown and freeze them for my smoothie bowls!)

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2.) Protein: As many of you know, I do not eat meat. However, seafood & eggs are LIFE.

  • Bag of Frozen Shrimp (perfect for stir-frys – see previous post for recipe!)
  • Large Brown, Cage Free Eggs (egg muffins, scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs — oh so many options!)
  • Veggie Burgers (I usually always have a box on hand. I love trying new brands each week, so I never stick to just one kind)

3.) Dried Goods: The bulk section of the grocery store is EVERYTHING and should always be your starting point.

  • Roasted, Unsalted Almonds
  • Antioxidant nut mix w/ cashews
  • Quinoa
  • Almond Butter
  • Lilly’s Dark Chocolate (Naturally sweetened by stevia only! Absolutely love the coconut flavor and dipping this in almond butter)
  • Low Sodium, Original Ezekiel Toast (avocado or almond butter/banana toast is always a good idea…)
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers (delish for snacking & personally love the cracked black pepper flavor)

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4.) Others:

  • Coconut Oil (I buy both the spray & out of the jar)
  • Lemon Tahini dressing
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Quest Bars (I will still always swear by these – best natural protein bar, less than 1 gram of sugar, and hella tasty!)
  • Siggi’s Full Fat Plain Yogurt (for snackin’ or a healthy yogurt parfait for dessert!)
  • Low Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
  • Hail Merry Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaron bites (made with coconut oil!)

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Enjoy and happy food shopping!!

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

Essentials you Should Always Have in your Kitchen

When it comes to balancing food shopping and your budget – I totally get it. It’s a constant battle.

Whole Foods > Whole Pay Check?
Organic > Not Organic?
Quest bars > Kind Bars?
Almond Butter > Peanut Butter?

For me …I find that some weeks I give in to the Whole Food brain wash and buy every healthy, organic snack I see on the shelf. And some weeks, I go in with a tight budget and an even leaner grocery list. I find this balance works. Especially when you can stock up on the right essentials to save you at least a few grocery trips!

So when is it worth spending those extra few bucks on groceries when it could have gone to that new lulu sports bra you’ve been eyeing? Let me share with you my faves!

  • Chia Seeds: Lucky for you – Wegmans and Whole Foods carry these in their bulk food section! Otherwise, this product is quite popular and can be found at most health food stores or even online through Amazon Prime!
    chia
  • Goji Berries: Again, these berries can be quite pricey – but I swear by them! They are the perfect sweet topper or can be great for snacking! Again – these can be bought in bulk or can be found in a packaged bag. Keep an eye out for sales on both these and chia seeds!
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
    Red dried goji berries in wooden spoon
  • Amazing Grass Product: I’ve been using the chocolate infusion for quite some time now. You can refer to my recipe here — you’ll see I rave about all of the nutrients you’re getting in just one scoop! This brand is a bit expensive, but when it comes to spending a few extra dollars – the health return you get from 1 scoop is completely worth it!
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  • Almond Butter: I absolutely love almond butter – but let’s be honest, some of the brands like Justin’s can be a bit expensive! It’s great to splurge every now and then, but if you kill a jar of almond butter in a week like I do, it may be time to re-evaluate how much money is going into one jar! Stick to the bulk food section and make your own container of almond butter. Both Whole Foods and Wegmans have this option.
    Almond-butter
  • Coconut Oil: I LOVE coconut oil and I now buy it in 2 forms. I have a the big jar and I have the spray kind. I’ve been able to find the spray bottle for a much cheaper price through the brand PAM.
    coconut-oil
    Maca Powder: Again another superfood, that is on the pricier side. But here’s the good news, you only need about 2 tsps to get the nutrients you need from this green powder! So make sure you splurge on the price, but are generous with your serving size!
    Maca-powder-in-a-spoon
  • Almond Milk: Thank god for the 2.8L of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk that I buy. This large carton lasts forever and is most definitely one of my essentials, whether it be for smoothies, oatmeal, or just some coffee!
    almond milk
  • Frozen Veggie Burgers: These are an easy, quick go-to when your in need for protein! Throw them in a salad, whip one up for dinner – whatever works! I tend to switch up the brands. So far, I’ve tried Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, Amy’s California Veggie Burgers, Vegan Boca Burgers, and the Engine 2 Diet Veggie Burgers – all of which are great choices in my opinion! But the Engine 2 really spiced up my taste buds.
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  • Frozen Shrimp: Similar to the veggie burgers, these are another go to of mine. You can usually find these in bulk and they’re so quick and easy. They go perfectly in a stir-fry, with a pasta dish – you name it! Definitely worth an investment on my grocery list.
    shrimp
  • Frozen Acai Packages: I buy mine from the brand Sambazon and you can now find these in the frozen food section of most grocery stores. They are great for a filling smoothie or acai bowl and can work for any meal of the day!
    acai

Enjoy!

A Peek at my Grocery List

A Peek at my Grocery List

Curious as to what my typical grocery list looks like? Here’s what a usual shopping trip for me on a Sunday afternoon would normally look like:

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– Fage Plain Greek Yogurt
– Fresh Blueberries
– Fresh Strawberries
– A large bag of spinach or kale
– Tuna (in water) cans
– A large bag of apples
– Carrots
– Hummus
– Bananas
– Beets
– Rainbow Salad Combo
– Fresh peppers or cherry tomatoes (my fresh veggies will vary a bit depending on what my salad looks like for the week)
– Avocados
– Lemons
– Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
– Sweet Potatoes
– Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn

*Not featured on this…but DEFINITELY staples.

Frozen Items:

  • Acai Berries
  • Frozen Fruit (mango & berry combo)
  • Frozen Stir Fry Veggie Combo
  • Frozen Shrimp
  • Frozen fish for the week (Salmon, Halibut, Tilapia)
  • Ezekiel Bread (original)
  • Arctic Zero
  • Yasso Frozen Yogurt Bars

Dry Foods:

  • Quest Bars
  • Oats
  • Large bag of Almonds
  • Large bag of Goji Berries
  • Chocolate or Vanilla Protein Powder
  • Coconut Oil
  • Cinnamon Puffins Cereal
  • Chia Seeds / Flax Seeds
  • Brown Rice or Quinoa
  • Quinoa Pasta
  • Honey
  • Almond Butter
What are you REALLY putting into your body?

What are you REALLY putting into your body?

Alright, so I need to set a FEW things straight here. Check out these two pictures below. More importantly, take a look at the ingredients on the back of both. I realize one label is a little blurry, but just try and see if you can understand both labels, taking note of the sodium, ingredients, fat, sugars, etc.

Label One:
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If You can’t quite see the label that well, here are some quick details I pulled…
Serving Size: 3 Slices
Calories: 130
Total Fat: 1g
Sodium: 220mg
Total Carbohydrate: 26g
Sugars: 3g
Ingredients: Enriched Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), High Fructose Syrup, Calcium Propionate and Sorbic Acid, Mono and Diglycerides, contains only 2% or less of: oat bran, oat flour, rolled wheat, kibbled wheat, honey, natural sea salt, rice bran, etc. THE LIST GOES ON!

Label Two:
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Now, either you have to get your vision checked, or this label is pretty clear! For one, there’s literally no ingredients. It’s quite simple actually, but just in case you’ve been putting off getting your eyes checked, here ya go…
Serving Size: 1 avg. Slice
Calories: 110
Total fat: 0g
Sodium: 170mg
Total Carbohydrate: 23g
Sugars: 1g
Ingredients: Unbleached Flour, Cider, Evaporated Cane Juice, Salt and Yeast

Now, notice a difference here…? Let me help you out. Check out this photo below, WHICH bread do you think each label belongs toAND the big question, which is BETTER for you??
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So, if you couldn’t figure it out yourself, Label One belongs to the bread bag on the left and Label Two belongs to the bread picture on the right. Both, coincidentally were bought at our local Shaws grocery store, the bread on the right was freshly baked and all natural. Where as the bread on the left, a Pepperidge Farm brand, claims to be a 7 grain bread at just 45 calories a slice. Now, I see people do this ALL the time, girls and boys trying to watch their weight. They’ll automatically go for the lower calorie bread in the grocery store. A lot of times, they’ll justify it by explaining that it says “wheat” or “7 grain” on the bag. But, hey you saw it with your own eyes right at the top there! This Light Style “7 grain” bread claims that only 2% or less of the main ingredients are ACTUALLY made of pure wheat, oats, honey, wheat kibbles, etc. The other 98% of ingredients in this bread are probably names and sugars you’ve never even heard of before. Is that something you want to be putting into your body? And, let’s be realistic, does ONE slice of that bread actually fill you up? No. Let’s be honest here, I’d have to eat like 10 of those things to actually feel satisfied. But, take 1 slice of the naturally baked bread and I’d be pretty content. I’d also DEFINITELY be MORE content knowing that what I’m putting into my body is good for me.

Freshly_baked_bread_loaves

Who cares about a few extra calories when you’re eating clean and satisfying your belly in the right way?? With that, check out the bread on the right. ‘When Pigs Fly’ is a locally baked bread in Massachusetts and the style above is Sourdough which is the best option for those who have stomach or gluten problems. So, next time you’re at the grocery store, take a few things into consideration…

dieting-all-morning

Case in point. Ditch the low calorie bread, go for the 100% WHOLE WHEAT bread, venture towards the FRESH baked bread aisle, and be sure to ALWAYS check your labels and the INGREDIENTS and make sure NONE of that is FOREIGN to you!

A Look at some Clean Eats by YOURS TRULY!

I’ve been kind of out of the loop these past few days, catching up on sleep and what not, so apologies for the non existent posts lately! As I’m sure many of you already know, sleep is THE most important! If your sleep is off, I can guarantee your fitness AND your diet will suffer in exchange. For me, catching up on sleep was my number one priority these past few days and I finally feel like I’m back on track! Anyway…I’m SUPER excited because spring break is just a few days away and I’m counting down the days until i’ll be sipping out of a coconut and laying on a private beach (okay, maybe not THAT picturesque but a girl can dreaaaam). Between classes, practice, and work recently, Virgin Gorda is certainly getting me through the week 🙂

Anyhow I’ve posted some of my ‘clean’ dishes from the past week and hopefully I can get by the next few days on what’s left in my fridge!!

Dinner:

Almond Coconut Crusted Chicken w/ Quinoa & Veggies
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This here was an experimental dish I tried and ended up LOVING IT.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees, coat chicken in Coconut Oil. Crush 5-6 almonds and use about 1-2 tablespoons of Unsweetened Coconut Flakes — Spread this on both sides of the chicken.
~Prep 1/4 cup of dry Tri-Colored Quinoa, Steam a side of Spinach, & Slice 1/2 Avocado
~Watch your chicken to assure the coating doesn’t burn, after 10-12 mins, slice through the chicken and check that there’s no pink!
~Throw any extra toppings from the chicken on top of the spinach & squeeze fresh lime over the dish. ENJOY!

Dinner on-the-go: Easy & Quick Quinoa, Chicken, and Veggies
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So this is really quite simple, quick, and easy to prepare! I had a late shift at work, so I prepped myself this dish the night before. Still tasted great cold!
~Prep 1/4 cup of dry Quinoa
~Bake Chicken in E.V.O.O. — cook in oven on 10-12 mins for 350 degrees
~Sautee 1/2 fresh red pepper, brussel sprouts, spinach, & onion
~Top this off with spices (crushed red pepper, salt & pepper)
~Had a Apple Pie flavored Larabad for dessert! YUM!

Lunch Options:

Salad GALORE! I loveeee salads 🙂
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~Spinach
~Red Kidney Beans
~Cucumber
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
~Avocado
~Chickpeas
~Walnuts & Craisins
~Used fresh lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, & a dash of olive oil
~Had an Orange and an Apple on the side

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Similar to the above salad, but used turkey breast (instead of beans & chickpeas) for protein! Had an orange on the side as well.

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~Spinach, Arugala mixed greens
~Sliced Macintosh Apple
~Avocado
~Almonds
~Blueberries
~Gorgonzola Cheese
~Used fresh lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, & a dash of Olive Oil for the dressing
~Had Apple Cinnamon Chobani on the side for a snack!

Breakfast:

Bowl of Delicious Oatmeal
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Used 1/2 cup of dry oats with 1 cup of water. Added in 1 1/2 tablespoons of PB2 powder, 1 Whole banana, and some cinnamon. Put that in the microwave for 2 minutes, then topped with strawberries, blueberries, & a dash of cinnamon!

A ‘Little Bit of Everything’ Smoothie
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~Used Overnight Soaked Chia Seeds (the night before, used 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, mixed with 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and let it sit over night)
~1 whole banana
~Blueberries
~Handful of frozen spinach
~1/5 an Avocado
~1/2 scoop of Vanilla Whey protein
~A dash of Cinnamon
~Blend together and enjoy the deliciousness!

Tropical Smoothie
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~Sliced 1/2 a Navel Orange
~Sliced in small pieces 1/2 a Macintosh Apple
~1 Whole banana
~A handful of frozen strawberries
~Freshly squeezed lemon & lime
~1/2 filled with Orange VitaCoco Water, 1/2 w/ water

It was so yummy and definitely the kick I needed to wake up this morning! Also, *mentally preparing* myself for spring break and tropical weather with this fruity smoothie of mine 😉

Eat, Run, and Everything in Between Pinterest Board

Yoga Challenge…lets goooo

Yoga Challenge…lets goooo

So recently, my body has been failing on me. I wake up with back aches, head aches, tight legs, and so on…you get the picture. I mean it’s not like I don’t stretch after practice, (I probably could do a little more), BUT for some reason I still wake up and go through the day feeling pretty crappy. So as part of a new commitment to myself (and since I didn’t give anything up for lent…), I’m going to attempt to do at least 10-20 minutes of yoga everyday. Doesn’t sound too hard right? Yet, for SOME reason it is nearly impossible to find 10-20 minutes throughout the day where I feel a) relaxed (somewhat important for yoga…), b) energetic/motivated, or c) just literally don’t have the time! But then the more I thought about it, these are all just excuses. It literally takes waking up a few minutes earlier than usual, or squeezing in some night time relaxation before bed. And, the best part of it…it ONLY benefits me. So, I decided to finally stop complaining, follow my own words of advice and just fit it in my schedule.

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Today was my first attempt at this new challenge I’ve posed on my self. And you know what? It felt GREAT! Luckily Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays are a little easier to find time in my schedule since I have no classes. I finally got a decent sleep in last night, woke up around 9:30, made myself some coffee and oatmeal and then around 11 I did a short 20 minute yoga session. Easy as that! I looked around on youtube and found a session that sounded appealing and fitting for my needs at the time. You can find the morning routine I did by following this link: 20 Minute Yoga Class: Energy Boost

Basically this session was a great way to “open the heart” which in turn helps to boost your energy and just WAKE UP! This was perfect and was exactly what I needed this morning. This is also great because I didn’t sweat at all, it didn’t wear me out for practice later this afternoon, and it was a relaxing way to get a good stretch in for the day. Additionally, for years, I’ve been reading and hearing about how great yoga is for runners. As a team, we’ve done the occasional group yoga sessions during pre season and I absolutely LOVE those but I didn’t make an effort to keep that up as a frequent routine.

These benefits for runners (and for anyone in general of course!) include:

Increases flexibility and strength –> Many runners do yoga as a form for cross training or on an “off day”; ultimately yoga helps to realign and stretch the muscles and bones that runners strain everyday…this in turns helps to prevent injuries!
Post-Workout Recovery –> Hard tempo or interval workout on the track? Try some post yoga stretching after (of course with a protein bar before hand 😉 )…this well help with a good recovery!
The practice of Mindfulness and “being in the moment” –> Here’s something I ALWAYS need to work on whether it’s during a race, workout, run, or even outside of running. The combination of breathing techniques, patience, and relaxation can be great for this.
A sense of Balance –> Yoga will help both to create balance in life as well as keep you physically balanced while running.
Overall Improved Performance –> A more flexible body will lead to less injuries and increased strength which will ultimately lead to better performance! And don’t we all want that?!

*Check out ‘The Benefits of Yoga for Runners’ and ‘Yoga for Runners’ for more about these great benefits!

Based on the above reasonings, I’ve concluded that yoga rocks. Honestly, taking 10-20 minutes out of your day for yoga totally outweighs any other excuse you may have. Also as a side note…the above yoga mat pictured was a gift I got like freshman year of high school from PB teen. I obviously had unrealistic expectations than seeing as I’ve barely broken it out since 2006! I definitely only wanted it because it was pink. HAHA I’m the worst…so typical of myself. Anyway, like I’ve also said in the past…committing your time to yoga is YET another excuse to purchase some cute lulu lemon essentials 😉 Just saying.

So, what I would suggest is to find a few youtube sessions that have 10-30 minute yoga sessions for you to follow on your own in your room (OR outside when it starts getting warm out…that way you can work on your tan TOO!). If your school fitness center offers yoga classes…definitely suggest taking those, especially if you’re a beginner! And lastly, there are plenty of yoga classes popping up everywhere, so I suggest exploring outside of your school if you’re up for it! However, those can sometimes get quite pricey so keep that in mind 🙂

Hope this has inspired you try out some yoga. NAMASTE.
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*ALSO, be sure to check out my instagram account @eatrunandallinbetween for my day-to-day meals and some workout pics!!
* {not my image pictured above}

2 Weeks of Spring (break) Cleaning

As much as you hate to admit it, we all love spring cleaning. It’s not necessarily the “cleaning” part we all enjoy per say…but it’s the overall fact that spring is undoubtedly in the air! What’s not to love about that?? Knowing that winter is coming to an end, the snow is slowly (but surely) melting alway, and you can finally break out those new spring shorts purchases. I’m pretty sure ALMOST everyone is with me on the same page here that we’re getting just a little sick of this bizarre winter weather that mother nature keeps throwing our way. So, as part of our pre-mature spring cleaning, I figured I would get a head start by focusing on my personal needs first.
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One of the most important and helpful things I’ve learned during my high school and college years of track & field is to set reasonable and obtainable goals for yourself. So, I decided as far as nutrition goes, I’d start out easy. For the next 2 weeks, leading up to a warm get away for spring break, I’m keeping it simple and attempting to maintain a 90% CLEAN diet (hence the title, “spring (break) cleaning”) LOL throwing a pun in there! But in all seriousness, I know this may sound easy to some people, but this is coming from a girl whose got a major sweet tooth. This is why I’m keeping it at 90% clean. The reason I’m doing this goes back to my original point, setting REASONABLE and OBTAINABLE goals. The worst thing to do is set a goal that you don’t achieve. It will only hurt your confidence in the long run and most likely set you back even further from where you began. Start out with a simple and achievable plan, complete it successfully, and then from there, set your goal standards just a bit higher. Baby steps people, BABY STEPS!! Your patience will pay off in the end and your body will thank you in the long run. : )

So just off the top of my head…while picturing my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry cabinet from my desk area, I’ve created a list of “clean” food and then some exceptions for the extra 10% ; ) Keep in mind, this is a rough idea and just the food I enjoy most (there’s obviously many other options out there for people who are looking to eat clean!)…I probably forgot something, but just trying to give you all an idea of what I consider acceptable! Basically, just try to avoid anything processed (aka high, fake sugars, things in cans and wrappers with a never-ending shelf life!)!

Protein!
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~Salmon
~Tilapia
~Tuna
~Chicken
~Ground Turkey meat
~NUTS (almonds & cashews are my fave!)
~Beans (garbanzo, black, white, lima, & kidney beans)
~Turkey deli meat
~Eggs of course!
~Shrimp

‘Other’ Protein Sources:
PB2-C2
~Protein powder (vanilla whey protein)
~PB2
(powdered peanut butter — only 3 ingredients & no artificial flavoring!)
~Luna Protein Bars
(especially since I receive 2 LARGE boxes for valentines day!)
~Cliff bars

Carbs!
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~Quinoa
~Whole Wheat Pasta
~Brown rice
~Whole wheat/flax seed wraps
~Whole Wheat/grain sandwich bread
~Instant Oats (quaker oatmeal)
~Sweet Potatoes

Fruits & Veggies!
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~Oranges
~Apples
~Bananas
~Frozen berries, mango, etc.
~Avocados
~Spinach
~Zucchini
~Cucumber
~Carrots
~Lemons & Limes
~Brussel Sprouts
~Tomatoes
~Blueberries/Strawberries

Dairy!
chobani yogurt

~Greek Yogurt (chobani)
~Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~or Skim milk!
~Feta Cheese
~or others include mozzarella & gorgonzola

Others include…
~Extra Virgin Olive Oil
~Coconut Oil
~Soy Sauce (lite, low sodium)
~Apple Cider Vinegar
~Balsamic Vinegar

~Spices (Cinnamon*)
~Chia Seeds
~Flax Seeds
~Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
~Honey/agave nectar (small portions)

~Vita Coco Water
~Hummus
~Lara Bars (only from 3-5 natural ingredients as it is a nut & fruit based bar)
~Coffee

So…that pretty much covers all elements of my kitchen and the other things I may purchase over time…gonna leave the other 10% to some dark chocolate cravings (and the luna protein bars that may have some artificial sugars in there…) OR for any upcoming dinner outings. Anyways, I won’t try and take advantage of the extra 10% BUT won’t beat myself up if I do eat something not on the list.
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Hope this helps wit your spring (break) cleaning!

“the only thing I like better than talking about food, is eating.”

And yet another post on some of the deliciousness from this past week! I’ve included all recipes and pictures as well! Enjoy and let me know what you think! ALSO, if you haven’t already and you are on instagram, start following my account at @Eatrunandallinbetween !! And…if you have an iPhone, but have not installed the instagram app…DO IT, you won’t regret it! That way you’ll get a constant day-to-day update of all my yummy foods! : ) One last thing…keep a look out for my next post on the Valentines Day dish I’ll be cooking for my boyfriend tomorrow night. I would have posted the recipe here…but it’s a surprise!

Here are some nutritious Breakfast options…
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In a bowl, MIX together:
~1/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
~2 Egg Whites
~1 scoop of 365 Vanilla Whey Protein
~About 1 teaspoon of baking soda
~1 mashed Banana
~Dash of Cinnamon
~Sprinkle Unsweetened Shredded Coconut and Blueberries on top!
~Cooked like a normal pancake (I used Coconut Oil to cook it!)
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For the image below…I used the same recipe as above…BUT added in 1 tablespoon of PB2 Powder and 1/2 tablespoon of some Cocoa! So delish this time and threw in some valentine day spirit ; )

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Made my usual bowl of oatmeal below here…However this time I pulled out some frozen banana I had in the freezer and melted it in the microwave. It ended up being a great thickener in the oatmeal and tasted awesome! I also added some PB2 powder to this bowl as well.
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Just a simple plate of 3 eggs whites with some spinach in the middle! And of course a good old cup of coffee! Hits the spot. IMG_1183
So in the image above, I made a summery tropical flavored smoothie. Made me feel like I was on the islands! I added some frozen mango, strawberries, and peaches. Then I filled half the magic bullet with some Vita Coco (Peach and Mango flavored) Coconut Water, and the rest I filled with water. Finally, topped it off with some chia seeds!

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<–This here is my FAVORITE Lean Green Smoothie Machine. Haha Ok lame. BUT, it's soooo good, I can't stop! I added my usual: Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Frozen Spinach, 1 whole banana, 1 scoop of Vanilla Whey Protein, 1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds, 1 tablespoon of PB2 Powder and Blend it!

And for Lunch….I usually switch it up between the wrap or salad everyday with a snack or two on the side!
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In the above image, I was out of Turkey Meat, So instead I made an Egg White omelette and threw it in the Whole Wheat, Flax Seed wrap from Trader Joe’s. I topped it off with some 3-layer hummus, avocado, feta cheese, and spinach!
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Here I had an early, 8am class, so I prepped my salad the night before! My salad included…
~Spinach
~Almonds
~1/2 Avocado
~Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Meat
~Blueberries
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese
~Chia Seeds
~Apple Cider Vinegar and Fresh Lemon for the dressing

Dinnnnnner TIME…!
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In the above image, I baked tilapia in Sesame Seeds to give it a nice crisp/crunchy flavor! On the side, I sautéed spinach, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, tomatoes in some E.V.O.O & Apple Cider Vinegar. Topped this all off with avocado, feta cheese, and some spices of course!
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Alright, so here I got home pretty late and was STARVING. So I needed something fast and appetizing to full-fill my needs! I quickly sautéed some brussel sprouts (if you couldn’t tell…these are my new FAVE veggies), spinach, onions, garlic, corn, and some egg whites (for PROTEIN)! Mixed a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and some lite soy sauce in it for flavaaa. For the side dish, I made some yummy sweet potato fries!
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Okay. Fine you caught me. I did not make my OWN sushi…sadly ;( BUT, I was having a huge sushi craving all week long, so I had to plan for a sushi date night! The good news is that I still got my carbs, protein, AND, veggies in! They even had BROWN rice sushi! Can’t get much better than that. I ended up having a simple tuna roll and a Cucumber, Avocado, Asparagus roll, and then split some tuna sashimi!
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AH, the best dinner dish for last…my lovely valentine creation and first time cooking shrimp (SECOND time ever eating it in my life…)! So here, I cooked…
~1/4 cup red quinoa
And Sautéed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil…
~garlic and onion
~cherry tomatoes
~spinach
~1/4 pound of small, already cooked shrimp
Topped this off with…
~Fresh Basil and Oregano
~Reduced Fat Feta Cheese

Lastly…we can’t forget Snacks and Desserts…THE BEST PART OF COURSE…

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<– This here was BOMB. I was craving ice cream so I made my own, healthy version! In my magic bullet I blended together…
~1 1/2 frozen bananas
~2 tablespoons of PB2 Powder
~1/4 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Topped it off with dark chocolate bites and cinnamon!
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Above, I finally made some Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding! Here I blended in a small mug…
~1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
~1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
~dash of cinnamon
~3 tablespoons of chia seeds
~1 1/2 tablespoons of unsweetened, shredded coconut flakes
Put this in the fridge over night, and indulged the next afternoon in it for snack! Check out my blog on chia seeds to learn about the great benefits!
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Here’s a peek into my cart from my recent food shopping trip. Lots of Color! Pretty much got my usual (refer to my food shopping list for an idea of what I shop for)! However, I did get a few new snacks that I am about to RAVE about.
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Alright so above I have regular pretzel crisps (last time I had the cinnamon flavor!), with a side of some spinach & artichoke hummus, as well as my favorite and NEW Chobani Bite! As you already know, I love my hummus and I LOVE this flavor by Sabra. As for the Chobani Bite, I got the coffee flavor with dark chocolate bits. For a little 100 calorie pack these things sure do hit the spot if you have constant sweet cravings like myself! They have other flavors to…try it out and let me know what you think!
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And, FINALLY…my new favorite bar…LARABAR! This one was the cashew cookie flavor but my god these things are GREAT and taste like a dessert! I also bought Chocolate chip cookie and Apple Pie flavor. These bars are super nutritious as they only use unsweetened fruits, nuts, spices, dairy, and soy free chocolate! They also provide a great source of fiber and protein. Lastly, if you look at their ‘cherry pie’ flavor, they only use THREE ingredients: almonds, dates, and unsweetened cherries…you certainly can’t beat that in a bar! Try em out!

Have a fantastic Valentines Day Everyone! <3 <3 <3

Forever Young: powerful super-foods your diet shouldn’t be missing out on…

So while my teammate Jackie and I were running the other day…we started to have a slight epiphany. As lame as this sounds, we realized our skin may not maintain it’s youthful look forever if we continue to treat it as we do on a daily basis. I don’t know about you, but my daily routine usually consists of me washing my face with my Clean&Clear Morning Burst face wash containing bits of lemon, papaya, and caffeine in the morning and once at night. I then moisturize with a simple face lotion by Neutrogena. This is all well and good, but it certainly is not enough if I want to avoid aging and wrinkles as much as possible, all the while fighting off blemishes that come as part of the harsh winter conditions. Not only does the winter typically make my face behave in odd ways, breaking out on random occasions or drying out to the point where I feel like I have botox…but our daily runs expose our faces to the strong whipping of the wind (during the winter), or dirty sweat dripping down our face in the warmer seasons. This only further dries out our skin and creates a clearly visible wind burn causing unwanted redness from our cheeks to nose to chin and so on.

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My first thought was to go one obvious route. This would include spending 2 months worth of paychecks (from the occasionally rare hours I get from work) on “natural” and “organic” products from Sephora that claim to be the “number one skin remedy” out there. OR, I could choose to follow another route which would a) not empty out my wallet, b) would 100% be all natural and organic, and c) I would not only be benefitting my skin, but also my diet! So, recently, I did a bit of internet research and found some awesome, super-foods which contain nutrients and vitamins that are key to maintaining a youthful look for as long as possible…and let’s be honest, who would not want that…?

Below is a list of all the foods I’d recommend based on my research, with a simple reasoning and result of each individual food…

If you want to prevent the risk of skin cancer and harsh sun damage, eat this…

1.) Watermelon: Contains large amounts of lycopene → reduces skin damage and redness which is caused by over exposure of the sun; prevents wrinkles and lowers skin cancer risks.
Watermelon
2.) Canned Tuna: Contains selenium → helps with skin elasticity, therefor keeping the skin smooth and firm…can also can help protect against the sun.
3.) Sunflower seeds, sunflower oil: Contains Vitamin E → protects top skin layers from the sun, is high in essential fatty acids for dried out skin areas.
4.) Spinach: Protects against skin cancer → spinach helps maintain and repair DNA reducing cancer cell growth.
5.) Tomatoes: Contains lycopene → prevents sun damage (most beneficial when heated up and eaten cooked).
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6.) Dark Chocolate. Cocoa: Strong in antioxidants → reduces roughness of skin and protects sun damage, hydrates and firms skins – improves luminosity

If you want to reduce and calm skin’s redness, inflammation, even out complexion, and blemishes, eat this…

1.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds: High in Omega-3 fatty acids → fights wrinkles, erases dark spots, hydrates the skin, reduces redness, produces collagen to improve skin elasticity, the nuts especially contain Vitamin E (strong sun blocker)
Nuts
2.) Kidney Beans → gets ride of zits! High in zinc content (correlation between low zinc levels and the combination of blemishes), zinc is great for healing
3.) Soy beans, Soy milk, Edamame beans → Contains minerals and proteins that have been shown to help even out skin complexion
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4.) Green tea: Contains antioxidants which help to reduce unwanted redness on the skin/face area, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
5.) Water with Lemon

If you want to reduce wrinkles or reduce pre-mature aging, eat this…

1.) Broccoli: Is loaded with 65% of your daily vitamin C → improves wrinkles and sagging in the skin by absorbing the free radicals and removing the DNA damage they create, also a sun-protectant.
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2.) Watermelon
3.) Canned Tuna
4.) Carrots, Oranges: These lovely, orange superfoods are great for the skin, containing Vitamin A and vitamin C → prevents overproduction of cells in outer skin layers → good for the eyes and clearing breakouts; vitamin c decreases the rate of skin aging by firming the skin.
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5.) Oatmeal: Contains lots of vitamins and keeps blood sugar levels stable (because it takes long to break down this complex carb), stable blood sugar levels help to keep hormones constant, therefore lessening the likely hood of wrinkles, keeping your skin youthful (hence why people often try natural home remedies including oatmeal face masks).
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6.) Greek Yogurt: Prevents wrinkles → the large amount of protein helps skin to firm and calm irritation or dryness
7.) Sweet potatoes: Contains Vitamin C → reduces wrinkles through production of collagen.
8.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds

If you want to get rid of dryness or improve the skins luminosity and glow, eat this…

1.) Mangoes, papaya, & apricots: Filled with pigments called carotenoids → illuminates skin, puts color back into your face.
2.) Dark Chocolate. Cocoa
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3.) Flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, almonds
4.) Greek Yogurt
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5.) Sunflower seeds, sunflower oil
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6.) Safflower Oil: High in Omega-6 fatty acids; keeps cell walls hydrated → for extremely dry, flaky skin (especially those with eczema).
7.) Water with lemon: Water helps clear toxins that cause blemishes, hydrates skin and spreads nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells (dehydrated skin can lead to premature aging), the lemon contains large amounts of Vitamin-C → great skin cleanser to reduce dark spots, diminishing acne scars, keeps skin youthful looking, so many great benefits!
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Hopefully you all take advantage of these great benefits that the list of super-foods have to offer for wonderful, youthful looking skin by adding them to your next grocery list! Again, there are so many delicious recipes out there that incorporate these nutrient-rich foods, so try out some new ideas! Enjoy your YOUTHFULNESS!! ; )

Below are a list of some of the sources I used beyond my own prior knowledge:
http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/superfoods/best-foods-for-good-skin/?page=10
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2012/05/16/9-best-foods-for-your-skin
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/perfect-skin-diet?page=9

woo! Very Inspirational Blogger Award

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I was nominated by http://fitbit8.wordpress.com for the Very Inspirational Blogger Award. This was an exciting and unexpected surprise, but I’m thrilled to be getting it! I’ve always been a relatively active person, participated in sports my entire life, and have always loved food. Anyways, it wasn’t until I started this blog that I found a way to share my motivation and inspire others of all ages through fitness, healthy eating, and just living a happy lifestyle! Thanks again Fitbit8 for the nomination! ☺

Here are the rules:
◾Display the award logo on your blog
◾Link back to the person who nominated you
◾State 7 things about yourself
◾Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them
◾Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Things about me
1. I can probably out-eat anyone in ANYTHING. Just saying. 😉
2. I love my college XC and track & field team more than anything!
3. I lived abroad in Spain for an entire semester last spring and miss it more than anything.
4. I have a passion for sailing, the beach, and anything summer!
5. I plan on training for a marathon at some point after graduation this spring.
6. I am an International Business major and want to someday travel the world!
7. I love to shop…

I nominated the following 15 bloggers:
1. http://moderngirlnutrition.wordpress.com
2. http://willrunforglitter.com
3. http://brittanyraeyoga.com/blog/
4. http://www.hungry-runner.com
5. http://wineanddash.wordpress.com
6. http://feistyveggiesaurus.wordpress.com
7. http://allicatcooks.com
8. http://skinnywannebediaries.wordpress.com
9. http://juicejamandjoy.com
10. http://fit-n-fancy.com
11. http://healthadvocation.wordpress.com
12. http://foodisfuelforme.wordpress.com
13. http://nutritionhealthlife.wordpress.com
14. http://mindbodyrudy.wordpress.com
15. http://healthaholics.wordpress.com

The Countdown to your Best Spring Break Bod yet (this goes for you guys too..)!

Hello Everyone! This post that I’m currently writing is aimed towards the majority of college students, high schoolers, or adults living in that dull, post-grad world, looking to take a break from the day-to-day routines of a stiff work life. This post is for those who are counting down the days until SPRING BREAK. Personally, I can tell you that I now have 22 days exactly until I get to escape from this frigid and depressing winter weather. My body is lacking a severe amount of vitamin-D (ok…fine, I just miss the sun), I’m tired of layering up in multiple sweaters a day, I can’t stand coming back from a run looking like I was burnt on the face (where in reality it’s just brutal wind burn). In case you couldn’t get the picture, I HATE the winter and I’m ready for the beach, sun, and some serious relaxation.
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On this note, anyone notice the increase in number of students at the gym on a daily basis or the lack of ellipticals and/or treadmills that are available when you arrive at your usual hour? Welcome to spring break preparation! Everyone is quickly working to get in shape and eat right in just a short month, in order to avoid the self-conscious feelings that we all feel as we tan, drink, and dance around in our bikinis (or trunks!) in front of half the student body. Basically, my point is that you’re not alone, I can guarantee ALMOST everyone is feeling the same pressures that the media promotes in achieving a perfect spring break bod. Honestly, I would love to be the kind of person to say who cares what other people think, but I’d be lying if I said that. However, I do feel that your goal should be to feel comfortable in your own skin NO matter what shape or size you are. A great way to begin accepting your body is to start eating right and “clean” leading up to your final departure for your spring break destination. The second step is to create a workout plan that works for you. Once you’ve established these two steps, KEEP IT UP and MAINTAIN it while you’re on spring break and THEN once you are back, stick to that plan! Summer’s right around the corner…!

I know this all sounds well and great right now, but it’s not the easiest thing to just suddenly alter your diet significantly. Creating a balanced meal plan does not mean cutting your calorie in take in half for just the month leading up to spring break. I can promise you that if you limit yourself to calories, post spring break will bite you in the ass, as you will likely devour every sweet or salty, high calorie item that you limited yourself to, leading up to spring break. My suggestion for you is to stick to a clean diet, but eat as often and as much as you normally would. This way, your giving your body the calories it needs and the important nutrients it deserves, yet you’re not starving yourself or shocking your body in a drastic way. This meal plan is important if you want to maintain this healthy lifestyle in the long run. So you may be wondering what “clean” foods are. Basically, it’s just anything that isn’t highly processed! This means consuming foods that are naturally grown or fed (land and sea animals for those who are not vegetarians) and foods made with fresh, nutrient-filled products, NO added chemicals or preservatives! I’ve reblogged a fantastic list I found of “approved” clean foods to munch on. Check it out and be creative with it. Also, check out my recipes under the ‘Food and Nutrition’ category on my blog for ideas.

List of ALL CLEAN FOODS! Check this out!

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Once you have accomplished and began to understand the key to this truly simple and life changing meal plan, your next step is to find an exercise plan that works for YOU. For me, it means running 5-10 miles a day with my team, while incorporating 2 days of lifting and HIIT training in the AM. However, this high cardio to strength training may not be for you. And that’s why it’s important to discover an exercise routine that you can A) enjoy, B) maintain (even while enjoying the sun and sand on your spring break trip), and lastly C) achieve results from. The below image is a perfect example on how your diet is THE most essential part of your day, while your exercise routine makes up (approximately) the other 30% as shown in the image.
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Like everyone else, I too understand the struggles of keeping up a daily exercise routine while balancing everything from school work to a social life to community service to work. But, there are solutions to this that allow you to even get in a 30-minute workout with the same benefit! So if you’re time’s limited, I would suggest looking into HITT (high interval intensity training) to burn calories, in the shortest amount of time. However, with this it’s important to note that this workout HURTS and I can guarantee you will not enjoy it the first time. It takes hard work and dedication, but I can assure you it will get easier over time. Running is another great option for those who have limited time in their day, as you can set your running time according to your time constraints. For those of you have more time in the day, check out your gyms fitness class schedule! It’s a great option for those who have an hour in their day, but are unsure of an exercise routine that works for them. Another option that really focuses on cutting and toning your body is an hour long strength training routine. There’s plenty of training plans throughout the internet, but if you are new with this, make sure to find a partner who is familiar with the weight room and guide you for the first few times. Lastly, if you can’t find time during the day, wake up an hour early and get moving…it will pay off!

BRING ON SPRING BREAK!
BRING ON SPRING BREAK!

Hopefully this helps you all and motivates you in time for your best spring break and beach body yet!

going HAM for instagram

HEY! So, I have some exciting news to share (at least for me it is)… Eat, Run, and Everything in Between is finally on instagram! This means more food photos from just about every meal I devour during the day, PLUS my snacks (since I obviously need to be eating every 2 hours…), inspirational/motivational quotes, and even what an average day at track practice/meets may look like! As much as I try, it’s hard to put EVERY meal up on my blog, so I figured instagram would be a fun way to share with you all what a normal day for me looks like as far as nutrition and fitness goes. Of course, i’ll still be posting regularly on my blog…this is just one other way to spread the wealth to everyone! : )
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If you’re interested, follow me @EatRunandAllinBetween on instagram and let me know what you think! Also, I figured since I’m already on here earlier in the morning than I would have liked (i can’t ever sleep!! Too much on my mind, ah!), I would share yesterday’s meals with you all, because they were on PAR might I say.
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Breakfast was a big old bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, bananas, cinnamon, agave nectar, and PB2 powder! Delicioso!

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Lunch was a super powerbowl of mixed greens and spinach, topped with avocado’s (one a day keeps the doctor away…), sliced almonds, blueberries, chicken, onion, and reduced fat feta cheese. I dressed it with just a little bit of Apple Cider Vinegar and a few squeezes of fresh lemon!
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Made dinner for my boyfriend and I, personally I think it tasted better than Chipotle’s burrito bowls…just saying! Anyways, cooked up some brown rice, while at the same time through some chicken breasts (sprayed in E.V.O.O and covered in some spices) into the over on 375. While both of those were cooking, I sautéed some yellow pepper, mushrooms, onions, garlic, spinach, brussel sprouts, and lots of corn!! Of course, this meal would not be right without some soy sauce and spicy condiments (chili powder, pepper, dash of salt and cayenne pepper!) yummmmyy!
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And let’s not forget dessert…I don’t know what it is lately but i’ve been having AWFUL sweet tooth cravings!! And, it doesn’t help that our room is always stacked with baked goods and chocolates…ahhh! Anyways, tried to subside this craving with a little spin off of the PB&J dessert I posted last time. Sliced bananas, topped with PB2 (powder mixed with water), some cinnamon, unsweetened, shredded coconut, dark chocolate chips, Ezekiel Granola (from whole food’s), a side of Trader Joe’s Greek Yogurt, and lastly drizzled in just a little bit of agave nectar! That did the job!

Anyway, look out for a post later in the day or tomorrow morning…I’m feeling up to a new challenge that I’m planning on sharing with everyone else as well!

Post superbowl and a preview of my meals for the week!

Hey Everyone! So I wanted to start off by saying…although I am a true AND loyal Patriots fan…I also go to school in Baltimore and for that reason, I feel obligated to say CONGRATS RAVENS ON THE SUPERBOWL WIN!
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If you all are like myself, you may have indulged a little more than usual in “cheat” foods yesterday and are looking to get back on track for the week. That is OKAY! It’s totally fine to indulge here and there, just make sure the next morning you’re back to a healthy diet and normal exercise routine! On that note, that also means to wake up and eat a hardy breakfast, even if you feel like you ate (or drank) more than usual yesterday for the game. A balanced breakfast and a lot of water will kick your metabolism into gear and speed up your digestive system, ultimately flushing everything out.
To follow up on last weeks post, I am posting my meal plan for this week! As mentioned before, it helps a TON to write down your plan for the week in order to try and stay on track. Again, I wrote down my meal on my iphone notes, so they’re a little scattered and messy!

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If you couldn’t tell, my meals near the end of the week become less creative due to the fact that I’ll pretty much be out of fresh produce and a few other things by that time! However, I try to make due with what I have as far as dry foods go in my pantry. For the most part, it’s nice to know that I can deal with what I have in my kitchen for a full 2 weeks before making another food shopping trip! It also helps to keep a good amount of frozen fruits & veggies in your freezer, as well as oatmeal and canned goods (like beans, soups, and sauces). Anyways, hopefully this is helpful for you and inspires to try and plan ahead! Also, if you do plan ahead and something comes up, don’t sweat it! Like I said before, one meal will not throw you off! Enjoy!!

Oh and I guess…go ravens!

a snippet from this weeks past meals!

In my last post, I gave you all a preview of my food shopping list for Monday’s grocery store trip along with my meal plan for the week. So today I thought i’d share with you all some thoughts and pictures on how some of the meals turned out! I didn’t end up taking a picture of everything, however, you can refer to my other posts for my breakfast protein pancakes, smoothies, and oatmeal recipes!

Anyways, I cooked dinner for my boyfriend and I on Monday night. The dinner menu was Zucchini “Pizza” with a side of Sweet Potato Fries! So delicious and totally hit the spot for the weekly greasy, pizza cravings I get…

Zucchini Pizza Recipe (for 2):
IMG_1051

Ingredients:
Two large Zucchini’s (slice vertically in half)
365 Shredded Low-Moisture, Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Sautéed chopped Mushrooms, onions, and spinach
Sliced Tomatoes

*I sprayed my Zucchini using Olive Oil spray and placed in the over set to 350 degrees. Place the zucchini in the oven while you’re prepping all of the other ingredients too soften it a bit. After about 10-15 mins (check every now and then just to make sure your zucchini isn’t burning!), pull out your zucchini. First, place the sliced tomatoes along the zucchini, then add the sautéed veggies, and lastly sprinkle your mozzarella cheese. Add salt and pepper for taste!*

Sweet Potato Recipe (for 2):
1 large sweet potato sliced into small pieces
Salt & Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*Set the over to 375 degrees. On a oven-safe tray, place the sliced sweet potatoes, cover them in about 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil (depending on your tastes), and finally sprinkle salt and pepper. Throw them into the over for about 25-30 minutes. Again, keep your eyes on the potatoes to assure they don’t burn. Once they begin to look well cooked and ‘soft’, set your oven to broil for about 2-3 minutes to get them crisp like fries!*

Oh and the best part is that my boyfriend ACTUALLY enjoyed this healthier version of the pizza and completely destroyed the sweet potato fries. That’s how you know it’s a good meal 😉

Stuffed Pepper Recipe:
IMG_1054

 alllll gooooey and delicious! NOM NOM NOM
alllll gooooey and delicious! NOM NOM NOM


Ingredients:
1 red pepper
1/4 cup dry Quinoa
1/2 can of diced tomatoes
1 cup dry spinach
finely chopped sweet onion
365 Shredded Low-Moisture, Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
spices (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper,crushed red pepper, basil)

*Carve out the red pepper and put it in the oven on 350 degrees. While the pepper is softening in the oven, prep the quinoa (once water is fully absorbed) with the diced tomatoes, sautéed onions and spinach. Once you’ve mixed all of those ingredients together, fill the pepper with as much as you can and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Place this back in the oven for about 5 mins or until the cheese is melted. Enjoy!*

Pasta with sautéed veggies and chicken recipe:
IMG_1068

1 cup of dry pasta
1 zucchini
1/2 Tomato
finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup dry spinach
1/2 can diced tomatoes
1 chicken breast
minced garlic

*Spray chicken with olive oil spray, sprinkle with pepper and other spices you like. Place that in the oven on 350 degrees. While thats cooking, boil your pot of pasta and in a large sauté dish, mix together your zucchini, tomatoes, spinach, onion, and garlic on med/high heat. After about 10 mins, add in the diced tomatoes and extra spices. After another 2 mins take it off the burner and add in the chicken. For the chicken, you want to keep an eye on it to make sure not to overcook it. When you cut through it should be relatively soft, just check for no pink areas! Mix your veggies and chicken with your pasta and enjoy!*

Turkey Veggie Wrap Recipe:
IMG_1065

Ingredients:
1 Whole Grain Flour Tortilla (I prefer Trader Joe’s w/ rolled oats & flax seeds)
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
chopped sweet onion
handful of spinach
1/2 sliced avocado
Oven-roasted turkey breast
Trader Joe’s 3-layer Hummus (Cilantro, roasted red pepper, & traditional)
Reduced Fat Feta Cheese

*On half of the wrap, spread the hummus and then layer all other ingredients on top. Fold the other side over and place in the toaster oven in order to give it a nice crisp texture. Enjoy!*

PB&J “dessert” recipe:
IMG_1066

Ingredients:
1 whole banana
cinnamon
agave nectar
blueberries
PB2 (powdered peanut butter from Whole Food’s)
Ezekiel 4:9 Golden Flax Sprouted Whole Grain Cereal (whole foods)

*Slice the bananas, then once you’ve made your peanut butter (2 tablespoons of PB2 mixed w/ 1 tablespoon of water) layer that on top of each slice. Sprinkle this with cinnamon and drizzle with agave nectar. Then sprinkle the granola/cereal/whatever you may choose. Finally, place a blueberry on top of each one and if you’d like, add a side of Vanilla Greek Yogurt! Enjoy this dessert which I can guarantee will subside your sweet tooth craving!*

Hope a few of these dishes appealed to you and you give them a shot in the future! They’re easy to make, taste awesome, and are all “clean” and healthy for your body! Let me know if you have any questions!


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