Monday, October 29, 2012

Dress the Part

It does not take much to get me to go shopping. I love it. However, my friends would categorize me as a frugal Francsis, meaning I have a hard time actually spending money sometimes. One time when jean shopping, Mekenzie litterally had to push me to the register to get me to purchase a pair of really great (but kinda expensive) Hudson jeans. She kept telling me that I would not regret the investment because they will last forever and actually fit my booty right :) 
She was right. I love those jeans with my whole heart. I bought them over a year ago and they haven’t changed since the day I purchased them. I love her philosopy in shopping. “You get what you pay for,” is her favorite moto when making her newest splurge. This idea is also true when it comes to your race day gear. You must dress the part and invest in the proper attire. I’ve made a few new purchases lately for the Malibu Half Marathon coming up and I’m really excited to share with you my newest finds, plus some essitial must haves for race day. 

Head to Toe

Ok, so maybe it is not something that I purchased but here’s how I’m doing my hair for race day. Braids are best. Keeps all the little bands pulled back and it super cute! 

Upper Half

Sports Bra:

There are so many fun colored and exciting sports bra designs now. They aren’t just the boring white ones any longer. Just make sure you are getting the proper support. If your more well endowed, try the Women’s Armor Bar by Under Armor. This bra offers additional support and allows you to choose your cup size, instead of trying to squeeze into a small of falling out of a medium. 

Maybe you are not so worried about the “girls” bouncing around so a sports bra with thinner material and straps might be suitable for you. Try the Nike Pro Core Compression in Dark Plum. Absolutely love this print!

Shirt/ Tank:

Please do not wear cotton when running a half...or ever, if your working out hard. It keeps the sweat close to your body and does not dry fast. Depending on the temperature of race day, you can wear anything from a loose fitting, breathable tank to a water resistant zip up jacket. 

Warm Weather:

Emma Singlet from Ascis

Cold Weather:

Under Armor UA Escape Zip Up

My Better Half

For those sexy legs you need to have something comfortable and that you can easily run in. Wearing the latest “yoga” pants from Victoria’s Secret with “Love Pink” in sequens on the butt are not going to be a wise choice for a 13 mile run. 

Here are the shorts I’m wearing!

If its cold out try these Lululemon Running Tights. They have made my Christmas wish list!

Fancy Feet

I just bought these gorgous, super loud Mizuno Prescesion 13. I love how light they are. And the fact that the name of the color is lightning makes me feel like I am running so fast. 

There it is fom head to toe, the perfect race day woredrobe. I am excited to sport loud colors and I am confident in knowing that the investment I made in good quality gear will pay off on the day of the race. Not only do I think the outfit is pretty cute, it is more importantly the proper attire for such an event, as a Half Marathon. "You get what you pay for," is quickly becoming my shopping moto to live by! 

If you could win a shopping spree to any sports company, where would it be?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Freshman 15? What about the desk doubler?

Going into college I remember the ominous phrase "freshman 15" all too well. I received multiple warnings of those late night munchies and far from nutritious dorm food options and on top of all that, your mom isn't around to tell you not to eat dessert after every meal.

Unfortunately, I didn't get quite the same warnings when I accepted my desk job at DRI. The truth is, it's the same story. Working at a desk means you are sedentary all day long sometimes getting up only to refill your water glass or when needing a quick coffee break. College life turns into a blur and you forget you lived a far more active lifestyle simply by walking on campus from your parking spot,  racing across campus to make it to your next class 10 buildings away and doing daily workouts. I even biked to class from my house when the weather was nice. The lack of movement is only the beginning of the desk doom and gloom.
Often times I don't know if I am hungry or just bored so my desk time snacking has gotten out of hand at times. I even grab my food to enjoy at my desk on occasion when I'm wanting to finish up a work project at lunchtime. THIS IS BAD. (Please reference my 'mindful eating post.') That, my friends is called desk time dining and its a major no-no.

Before you know it, its the freshman 15 all over again....

I've gotten serious about the desk doom lately out of pure frustration and necessity. So far, these have become a few of my weekly workday goals.

1) Plan ahead: Usually on Sunday before the week has begun I like to plan  lunches and snacks for the entire week. This way I only pack what I need and all the options on hand are healthy choices measured out to ensure I'm not bringing more than I should eat.

2) Set an alarm or reminder for you snack times and don't deviate: I know I've shared this before, but I have to remind myself daily. I eat at 7,10,1,4, and 7. 10 and 4 are snack times. When I'm sitting all day, its hard to differentiate between feelings of hunger, boredom, and stress so setting an alarm/reminder to notify me when its time to eat again keeps me from intaking too many calories throughout the day.

3) Stash some tea: I have never been a tea girl until said desk experiences became the norm. I'm more of a coffee drinker. My coffees are strong enough to chew so handing me a cup of tea feels like a joke. I found a favorite though, Yogi Kombucha green tea does the trick. (Whole Foods) Tea combats desk doom like you would not believe. You can drink it when you are bored, or cold, or tired etc.

4) Stay away from break room snacks and treats: Fall is clearly upon us when I show up to work and there are cupcakes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies and other sorts of fabulous treats to be shared in the break room. Stay away. If you start (If IIIIIII start) you/I can't stop. Its better to not start at all. No not even the courtesy cupcake is an excuse.

5) Anything that can be purchased in a vending machine is not in the healthy food group pyramid and therefore should not be purchased or consumed. Enough said.

6) Don't eat at your desk: Its juts a bad habit. You eat too fast, you don't monitor your quantities, and your body isn't processing what you are doing leaving you hungry sooner than later.

As for exercising....

1) Lately I have been taking walks lunch time walks. Grab your sneakers and get your legs moving.

2) Make sure to get  up from your desk AT THE VERY LEAST once an hour to stimulate your muscles AND your brain.

3) Try and stretch a new muscles group every hour. Focus on legs in the morning, arms in the afternoons, and neck and back at the end of the day.

There it is ladies and gentleman. Dig yourself out of the terrible desk tendencies and get motivated for wellness in the workplace.

YOU CAN DO IT! Enjoy your week.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Falling in Love with Fall

Fall is in full swing here in Colorado. Bright leaves, football games, pumpkin everything and crisp cool morning air. I love everything about fall. The mild weather has been prefect for my long runs outside and I have enjoyed taking advantage of the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. Truly one of my favs. Fall means, foot ball games and parties and pulling out my favorite scarves and boots that have been locked away for months. These things bring a warm happiness to my heart and soul. I love it. 
However, with fall comes lots of baked treats, greasy game day food, holiday binges, and a more sedintary lifestyle. I want to enjoy everything this wonderful season has to offer. But I dont think one of those things should be adding my own layer of a winter hibernation coat to my body. It can be challenging but trust me- it is possible to enjoy this season while staying healthy.  I want to give you some helpful tips to staying on track with diet and exercise. As well as, give you some healthier fall recipes that will be sure to satisfy your craving for pumpkin and will make you feel like your cheering on the home as much as the next guy!

Remember This...

When Baking
 You dont have to use the full sugar amount or sugar at all, actually. Substituting white sugar with a healthier, natural sweatener like, agave, will cut calories as well as make the recipe “clean.” This natual sweatener is about 1.5 times sweeter than sugar, therefore you can use less when baking. Another alternative is an all natural, zero calorie sweetener, like steavia. 
-There are also great substitutes for butter and oil. Almost any fruit puree (mashed bananas, apple sauce, etc.) will work great in place of butter- saving you hundreds of cals. 

When at the Football Party
Stay away from or limit your intake of dips and sauces. Queso dip is a very popular game time appetizer but can pack as many as 360 calories for 14 chips with queso. 
-Instead, opt for the veggie tray with hummus or stick to the chips with salsa which is closer to 180 calories for 14 chips with salsa. 

 When Exercising
Keep it interesting and be adventurous. Just because it is getting colder doesn’t mean you can’t be active outside. Bundle up in running tights, mittens and your head band and your ready to hit the trails with an easy 3 mile run in the crisp fall morning air. 
-Grab a friend and walk around a pumpkin patch for an relaxed Sunday afternoon activity. 

Healthy Fall Recipes 
Pumpkins Turkey Chili 
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 can black beans
2 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
few drops hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium saute pan, brown the ground beef. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until the onions are translucent.
In a medium slow cooker, combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and hot sauce. Stir to combine. Add in the cooked beef and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
I made this last night and it was incredible. I put avocados and a spoonful of plain greek yogurt on top! YUM!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes 
I got this recipe from the amazing site: Skinny taste! 
12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
2 large egg whites
1 tbsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup pumpkin pie filling
Heat oven to 350°
Line cupcake tin with liners. Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner.
Gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in fat-free yogurt, egg whites and flour. Do not over beat. Pour into cupcake liners filling half way.
Top each with 1 tbsp of the pumpkin butter. Using a toothpick, swirl the pumpkin butter into the cream cheese mixture for a marbling effect.
Bake 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool to room temperature. Chill a few hours in the refrigerator before serving.

Hot Spinach and Artichoke 
13.75 oz artichokes packed in water and drained
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
4 oz shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
salt and fresh pepper to taste
olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 375°.
In a small food processor, coarsely chop the artichoke hearts with the garlic and shallots.
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Place in an oven-proof dish and bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes, until hot and cheese is melted. Serve right away.
Can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator before baking. Makes about 3 3/4 cups

Enjoy everything this season has to offer. Bake treats, crunch the falling leaves under your feet, wear your favorite scarf and cheer on your team. I hope these tips and recipes give you ideas on how to love everything about fall while staying motivated and on track. 
Cheering for my home team all season! Just missin' Tebow a bit ;)

What's your favorite way to enjoy this season? 
Share your favorite fall recipe with us! 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Serious Case Of Fall Mouth

Gabrielle and I discovered we have a serious case of fall mouth these days. Fall mouth, ladies and gentleman is the need for all things pumpkin in your mouth at all times. This fall mouth comes on especially in the months of October and November. Pumpkin spice lattes, various fall breads,  pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes. PUMPKIN PUMPKIN PUMPKIN.

This weekend I had fall mouth that couldn't be stopped. Fall mouth is what drove the car to the grocery store and fall mouth was the driving force behind bake city in the kitchen and way too much bread consumed in one night.

If you too are struggling with fall mouth, you can cure it with this!

Crackly Banana Bread

- 3 large ripe-to-over-ripe bananas
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup virgin coconut oil warmed until it liquifies
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/3 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa or millet (found at your local health food store)
- *dark chocolate chips: optional, but always a MUST

Making the Magic:
- Preheat your oven to 350F
- grease your 9x5 loaf pan
- Mash bananas until smooth
- whisk in eggs, then oil, brown sugar, syrup, and vanilla extract
- sprinkle baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves over mixture and stir until combined. Stir in flour until just combined, then millet/quinoa.
- pour mixture into prepared pan and bake until a test comes out clean, about 45 minutes
- cool loaf in pan on rack


if you really knew me

If you really knew me....

You'd know peanut butter is my weakness

You'd know I feel most like myself when I'm with my friends in Colorado

You'd know I love wearing dresses, heals, and lipstick as much as I like wearing tennis shoes, tempos, and t-shirts.

You'd know I love making time in the mornings for big breakfasts

If you really knew me....

You'd know I like a lot of creamer in my coffee 

You'd know that on a hard day all I need is a a phone call from someone on my home team

You'd know that I feel most creative when I'm cooking

You'd know that sitting on patios and porches is one of my favorite things

If you really knew me....

You'd know that hosting a dinner party makes me feel fully alive

You'd know that my favorite show is the Bachelor

You'd know that Id rather be outside than inside every second of the day

You'd know that I love to write

If you really knew me....

You'd know that I constantly have to monitor confusing my dream land with reality and it gets me in trouble a lot

You'd know that Bittersweet is my favorite book and I reference it at least 5 times a week

You'd know that mornings are my favorite part of the day

You'd know that a healthy meal, a hard workout, and a great quiet time constitutes a successful day

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Do's and Dont's of Fall Fashion

The leaves are turning, a chill has swept across the state, pumpkin everything sounds delicious, and wardrobes are transforming from sundresses and sandals to boots and sweaters.. this can only mean one thing; Fall has arrived! I don't know about you but the change of season this year has brought a new excitement all its own. I daily crave a pumpkin late, pumpkin oatmeal muffins, or pumpkin soup. Not to mention the beauty that Fall brings... orange and yellow never looked so good!

Each year Fall introduces us to new trends or re-introduces us to old ones. This year is no different. As your style guide I am here to take your hand, and walk you through what is sure to be one of the most exciting fashionable Fall seasons yet!

Walking off New York Fashion Week's runways and into your closets are theses trends....and don't forget, every fashionista knows to modify every trend to what works for your body.. just because it's in style doesn't mean it will work for you. Pick a few trends you identify with and rock the heck out of 'em!!

DO glam up those cozy knits

                   Don't be afraid to mix rustic and chic! Just be sure not to go too crazy mixing colors.

DON'T save bright colors just for Spring

                    Do pull out that tangerine trench that makes you feel like dynamite this fall!

DO play with fun textures in your wardrobe

                      Don't shy away from mingling with pleats, fur, and mohair all in one outfit.

DON'T pass on the statement collar

                        Do express yourself in a new way this season, from neck to toe!

DO sport oversized vintage jackets and sweaters

                           Don't get swallowed up by this trend, still show off those sexy legs

DON'T turn your back on peplum

                             Do continue to explore this wearable style in everything from dresses to pants & tops

DO patterns

                           Don't be afraid to wear patterns from head to toe

DON'T stick with the typical handbag

                          Do make a statement with you bag, opt for a classic shape with a rad pattern!

ALSO!!!... don't get trapped into wearing the typical brown and orange color tones for Fall. While those are not bad, they are just too limiting for Fashionistas like us. Here is Pantone Fall 2012 Color Palette~
      ---Colors from top left; French Roast, Honey Gold, Pink Flambe, Tangerine Tango, Ultramarine Green, Bright Chartreuse, Olympian Blue, Titanium, Rhapsody, & Rose Smoke

Now go out there and show this Fall what you've got!! My favorite trend this season is the statement collar!.. What's yours??

{Picture credit to} 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Turkey Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash

Hey ya'll! I've got a great new recipe to share, just in time for the fall season when squash is coming into season. This recipe is SUPER easy, super delicious, super cheap, and super healthy of course. Its "man-approved" too, Hubs loved it and we were both stuffed after eating our respective stuffed halves of squash.

Turkey and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash (serves 2)
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1 box wild rice
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 T. thyme
  • Mozzarella cheese- optional (Parmesan would be good too!)
-Preheat oven to 350. Slice squash in half, scoop out seeds and insides, placed face up on baking sheet. Back for 1 hour.
-During the last 30 minutes of the squash roasting, prepare rice according to the box
-In a separate pan, saute diced onion until slightly brown. Add ground turkey and thyme, cook until browned.
-Add turkey mixture to rice and mix well.
-Once squash is done remove from oven, fill each half with turkey rice mixture, sprinkle on some cheese, and bake for 5-10 minutes until cheese is golden brown.
-Serve and enjoy!

*Using the 1 lb of turkey and the box of rice will make lots of great leftover turkey rice mixture for lunch the next day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Overtraining....OH PLEASE NO!

Conditioning requires a balance between overload and recovery. Too much overload and too little recovery may result in both physical and psychology symptoms of overtraining syndrome.
Overtraining is exactly like it sounds. Terrifying!! It happens when athletes training competitvely or for a specific event train beyond their body's ability to recover. Overtraining can result in decreased performance.

During a run earlier this week my entire body hurt. Hip flexers, tight calf muscles, heavy legs....the whole bit. I'm over halfway through my training and this week was completely discouraging. My mileage has been low and my pace slow. I've been hearing about this overtraining shenanigans and thought I should bite the bullet and check into it. Here's what i've learned....
  • Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
  • Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Sudden drop in performance
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Decreased Immunity 
  • Decrease in training capacity / intensity
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Depression
  • Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased incidence of injuries
  • A compulsive need to excercise
After skimming through the list I realized I'm facing about 8 of those symptoms. Still refusing to believe I am in fact physically "overtrained," I did realize I needed to take a step back and remember the purpose of my training. When I started in August I wanted to run my fastest race. I'm now realizing a full time job, moving to a new state, moving into a new house, making new friends and the overall adjustment of life is taking its toll and requires a lot more of my time and energy than I anticipated. I really love to be busy, but I've also realized I've been losing touch of some of my passions for fitness and clean eating amidst the 24- 7 schedule I've been maintaining. My training got to be a chore finishing was a relief when I could check it off the day's to-do list. I had to scold myself a bit and put things back into perspective. 

I love running, and clean eating, and racing, and Kara Goucher, and new running shoes, and hard trails, and cross training.







When did this become a burden? So I went to the grocery store and bought ingredients for green smoothies, laid my running clothes out for the next day, researched a new trail to explore, drank an extra tall glass of water and went to sleep excited for training again!! During my 5:30 a.m. weekly run sesh with cousin this morning, she reminded me that when you push through the tough stuff it makes you stronger. So here I am a month till Malibu and I'm back... game face on taking along with me some helpful hints I learned from my research on overtraining. 

1) Rest and Recover: If I find myself overtraining I need to reduce my exercise and allow myself a few days of rest. I need to get my full 8 hours of sleep in and allow my muscles a break. 
2) Hydrate: Drink plenty of water. I make myself drink at least a glass before every meal just to make sure I'm getting in that H2o. 
3) Get a sports massage: This helps athletes relax mentally and physically. This happens to be on my weekend list all in the name of "overtraining syndrome"....I'll take any excuse I can get for a massage. 
4) Begin cross training: When suffering from mental fatigue or overworking the leg muscles sometimes you just need a good spin sesh. Its hard for me to take a break out of the training plan and do this instead, but I must remember I'm still working my muscles and my body will thank me for it in the long run. 

So there it is. As ominous as it sounds overtraining is the real deal. Get your head back in the game, but also make sure to listen to your body. Don't make it a chore, and rest when you should! 

Lastly, for your pleasure and mine....I present to you a medley of inspiration to get out of your training slump!