Thursday, August 27, 2015

Healthy Snacking After the Workout

It is such a trap.  That feeling you get after a workout when you are hungry and you know you need to refuel your body.  You just finished a workout and you know that you burned a bunch of calories.  You have a choice to make. What do you want to snack on?!

There are two paths you can take at this point. You can choose to grab a healthy snack or you can choose to grab that sugar-filled, unhealthy treat.  You just worked out, right?  So it is easy to think that you can just munch on that unhealthy treat because of all those burned calories.  No.  Don't do it!!

There are some great options when it comes to post workout snacks.  The list of snacks that can replenish the calories while refueling your body is long, you just have to know what some good choices are.

Here are some that work great when you finish that sweat session:

A banana.

Whole wheat bread or bagel with peanut butter


Sweet potato

Steel cut oatmeal

Greek yogurt

There are awesome resources out there to find the best post workout snacks.  I've found some good ones through these websites: where they have a large variety of healthy snacks that you can take anywhere.
Pinterest, is there anything that you can't find on there?!
Blogs, there are so many that I have found to be very resourceful while getting to know other great fitness and health nuts like myself. :)

What are your favorite go-to healthy snacks?  Do you tend to crave certain ones after your workouts?

Disclaimer: I was not prompted or compensated for this post, the links and sites are posted at my discretion and I did not have a script to follow. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

That Time Already

Every year around this time, we all say the same thing...."where has the summer gone?" 

The days fly by as we plug away at the daily grind with the best intentions of doing fun, fabulous things all summer long.  Then we don't actually do those things because time escaped us as we are filling our weekends with parties, picnics and yard work. 

It is sad.  I always want to do so many things every summer and yet again, here we are mid-August with that long list still sitting there with nothing checked off. Sad panda.

The kids have their schedules and teacher assignments already, we've gotten the bus schedule so we know what time to be standing out there waiting for the big yellow bus. School supplies have been purchased and soon enough, we will be taking those first day of school pictures of our kids all spiffed up and ready for another year.  

I can't decide if I am excited for school to be back in session or not.  Usually I am so ready for the routine to be back in place and for my grocery bill to go down. I don't feel excitement or dread, I guess I am just sort of rolling with the punches so it is what it is. 

I am hopeful for a great school year for all of my kids.  I hope Lincoln enjoys his new teacher, this will be his first time having a male teacher so it will be interesting to see how he responds to him because he is used to the caring, motherly type teachers. The older kids will be adjusting to their schedules and getting used to having a class together....that has never happened before! 

I love summer and I am still hoping to get a few fun things in before the weather turns to colder temps and pumpkin flavored everything. 

Sometimes I swear I need a rewind button on life.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Calling All Ladies Looking for Fun and Community

There are a few online communities that I belong to that I absolutely love. One of the reasons why is because they are for women and the main goal is to encourage, support and uplift each other.

That is also one reason why I was so excited to sign up for the Muddarella challenge run.  The core goal of this event is to:

leave everything else in the mud
“Own Your Strong” is about empowering women to take pride in their strength – inside and out.

You can check out what they are all about here.

I LOVE that.  The organization is the same one that puts out the Tough Mudder challenges.  However, this one is to help women, specifically, find their strong and exude their confidence in their abilities, no matter what those are.

I am really looking forward to spending the time with my friends, having fun, getting dirty and conquering the obstacles before us.

If you have an event that is local to you, I suggest you do it.  Find out what strength means to you.  I can bet that when you cross that finish line, you are going to feel pretty darn amazing.

I have been training for this challenge and I know that I am getting stronger in doing so.  That makes me so happy to know that my body is changing to allow me to do things that I couldn't do before.  What a great way to get healthier and share in this experience.

Do you want to do this challenge but are nervous?  Don't be!! I promise you that you CAN do it and it is within you to push yourself to achieve your goals!

I will be at the Pittsburgh event and I really hope to see some familiar faces (other than those on my team haha) so that I can see the confidence and strength of others around me.

The obstacles look like so much fun and a good challenge to test yourself and prove to yourself just how strong you really are.

You don't have to be a fitness guru to do this event, I certainly am not a guru.  Go on, check it out and sign up today! You won't be sorry!!

You can find the event locations here.

Friday, July 24, 2015


How do we get so caught up in life?  Time seems so fleeting at moments and when we take the time to stop and really think about what we are doing, I mean really reflect on what we are doing, it can either bring a smile to your face or a deep feeling of regret.

Over the past few years, I have been putting myself at the top of my priorities.  I have read so many times that we need to do that for our own health and well-being. I decided that I was important enough to be my main priority and the rest would fall into place.  I have been so busy finding myself and gaining control of my life again.  I have found out so much about myself and I have gotten stronger as a person.

What I didn't count on was the fact that I would lose focus on my other priorities.  I would say it all the time and I could write it down, but what the hell did that do?  Words are just that, words.  Yes, sometimes words are enough but when it comes to the main priorities in your life, words are not enough.

Life is about so much more.  We have our marriages, our children, our careers, our homes, etc.  There is so much to account for in our lives.  How in the world do we fit it all in and keep a smile on our faces?  It's tough.

I am guilty of not being able to balance it all. I got hit very hard with a dose of truth.  Truth that, honestly, rocked me to my core.  My priorities weren't what they should be.  At least not in action.  On paper, they were but not in my daily life.  I forgot to put others at the top of  my list.  I took for granted the things that mean so much to me. People and things that are the base of who I am.  How did that happen? I got caught up in finding myself and building myself up that I didn't make time to show others what they mean to be, or how important they are to me.  I hurt them.

I have been reading a lot of personal development books to try to come to terms with how I can better myself.  The one I am reading now is by Joel Osteen and there are so many paragraphs and passages that have spoken to me.  I have been highlighting like crazy and in the midst of all of that, I am learning.  I was reading about how if someone is with you but not for you, maybe they shouldn't be in your life.  Meaning, if they are not helping you, encouraging you, or by your side; maybe  you should cast them aside and move on.  I took that as if it were speaking to me directly.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  The same meaning goes for how I am with others.  If I am with them but not for them, they should cast me aside.  I don't want to be cast aside.  I want to be there.  I want to be for them, not just with them.

I know this seems sort of vague but if you know me and you know my priorities, you may be able to guess whom I am talking about.

Today is a new day.  Today I said, "I don't just need you, I want you." Now it's time for action.  It's a terrible feeling to hurt someone you love.  It's horrible to know that you caused them pain.

When I started reading personal development books, I expected to see how I needed to change my life to be more successful, to gain perspective of how others influence me and how I can move on.  I didn't expect to see it from a different perspective to see how I influence others and how they could move on, without me.

Life is such a bitch sometimes. The many twists and turns are not for the weak. In an instant, things can change and when they do, you have to think about what is truly important. What drives you, what makes you happy, what is your priority? The answers should come easy, and when they do come easy, so should expressing them.  Be of action, not just words.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Owning My Strong

I think everyone knows by now that I love a good challenge, that I enjoy running, being active and pushing myself to the limits to see if I can do it.  I have fun doing that.

So, when a friend posted on Facebook about the Muddarella run/challenge, it got me thinking.  It looked like a lot of fun.  It involved running, mud, obstacles and teamwork.  They stress that this is not a race, but a challenge where you can own your strong while having fun and teaming up with others to reach your goals.  Who wouldn't love all that?!

You can check out the details here  This is not one of those fun runs where you can just sign up and go and get it done.  They suggest training for this challenge as there are physical challenges, heck, you have to run about six miles to do the challenge!!  I love that their site even has a legit training plan and you can follow it to prepare for your big day! 

The obstacles look fun and I can see how having your friends by your side would make it that much more fun.  I will be doing it with a group of ladies from the gym and I couldn't be more excited.

I really like looking at the obstacles and trying to figure out just how much I might struggle with them.

The local one that I am doing is in September so I have some time to make sure that I am physically ready for it.

I am hoping to have even more friends sign up to do it too.

I will leave you with more awesome that the creators of Muddarella are featuring, stories of strength as women share their stories of how they own their strong.

Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post.  All opinions and expressions are my own, I was not scripted for this post. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Race Recap: 2015 Pittsburgh Half Marathon

I did it!  I reached my goal of running my first Pittsburgh Half Marathon and earning the title of "Runner of Steel."  This is a goal that I have had for a very long time. I spent years wanting to be one of those runners.  I wanted to run those 13.1 miles all over the city.

I was very intimidated by the course though, I had always heard about how tough it was and all the hills along the course.   I decided that in order for me to prepare for the course, I was going to incorporate strength training and cross training into my training. I have to say, that it worked!

I went in to the half with a plan.  I had tried out intervals of running/walking to figure out what timing I wanted to go with so that I could keep a steady pace.  I have done intervals before for a half marathon but the timing wasn't quite right and I wanted to make sure that I got it right this time.  I decided on a 4:1 interval.  Four minutes of running and 1 minute of walking....the entire course.

Okay, so training was done, a plan was in place and I was ready to go!

The process of getting into the corrals and waiting for the race to start is almost torture.  You are mentally getting ready and the anticipation is rising.  You just want to get going.  There are thousands and thousands of people all around, there are helicopters flying overhead and again, the anticipation is rising.  This is when most people are hoping that they don't have to go to the bathroom from all of the anxiety.  It is something that most runners experience and some people don't tell you about that haha.

The race is getting started.  My excitement is building as I am frantically messaging with another runner that is farther up in the corral.  We are supposed to run the intervals together but I've never met her and I have no idea how I am going to find her.  We were messaging back and forth for a few minutes as my corral was walking toward the start line.  She stops near an Arby's to wait for me.  Thank goodness, I didn't really want to run alone.  We are walking in the sea of people all there for a common goal.  Rock this race course.

And we are off!!  We are trying to jog/run but it is kind of hard when there are so many people.  I found that to be the hardest part for me.  I wanted to speed up and go but we really couldn't.  I asked her around mile 1-2 if and when the crowd thins out and we can move...she said, "never."  Oh. I was sort of frustrated because even though my goal was to simply finish the race, I had a time goal in the back of my mind.  I really wanted to finish around the 2:20-2:30 mark but it wasn't happening, not at the pace we were going.  It was then that I decided that I need to stop looking at my watch.  I needed to stop being fixating on the pace.  My second goal was to enjoy the run and take in the surroundings.  I did that.  I am so very happy I did that.

I was loving the run, I was loving the surroundings and I just kept saying how much I love the intervals we were running.  It was perfect.  The weather was great, the crowd was great and I couldn't have asked for a better run.

My parents were there to see me run and they said that they would be somewhere between PNC Park and Heinz Field....well okay then.  Amazingly, I found them and was able to give my mom a hug and high five my dad. I love that they were there to support me.  It really helps me keep going.

Okay, back to the run.  As the race went on, I actually was feeling better and better.  I was getting into the rhythm of what we were running, the hills weren't strenuous and the scenery was amazing.  I was really enjoying the run. My running buddy and I were able to talk about our families, our running history and all sorts of things. It's funny that I met up with her minutes before starting and we ran together for over two hours.

As we kept going, the temperature was rising, which was one of my concerns.  I hate running and being overheated so I said a little prayer that I would finish before it got too hot.

We were approaching the part of the course where the runners split.  The half marathoners go to the left and the full marathoners go to the right.  At this point, I was getting excited because I knew that my race was almost over and I was getting so close to saying that I finished!

I had some final hills to tackle and then it was all downhill to the finish.  I sped up a bit at that point because the crowd was very thinned out and I had the open road ahead.  I could see the finish line!!  I continued on at a steady pace and ditched the intervals and decided that I could run the rest of the way.  It felt so good to cross that finish line and be done!  I felt great, no soreness, no pain at all.  Thank goodness!!

All in all, the experience was a wonderful one.  I was a bit surprised by how I felt because I almost felt as though it wasn't as much of a challenge as I thought it would be.  That means two things...I was very well prepared for it physically and that I most likely could have run at a faster pace.

I am already excited to run it again next year and I will run the same intervals but I think I will challenge myself to run faster and get a PR.  It is quite possible that if I continue training well and smart, I could get a much better time.  I finished in 2:39 and although that isn't a bad time, I know I can push myself to bring that down to 2:20.  That is my goal for next year!!

You can see my race photos here 
I love them all, too bad they are insanely expensive to buy!! :(

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Five Days

I am always nervous about a run.  It doesn't matter what the distance is or whether the course is easy or hard, I just get nervous.  I have run two half marathons in the last two years.  I am proud of that and I plan on doing more. 

The Pittsburgh Half Marathon is only five days away and I am so super nervous.  I am trying to remain as calm as possible and just trust that I will do well and I am going to enjoy the experience.  This is my first Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  Last year, I did the relay and when I was done and saw all the excitement and the finishers, I decided right then and there that I would do the half this year.  There was no hesitation at all.

So, here we are....five days out from the race.

I am nervous but I am also very excited.  I can't wait to see all the cheering crowds, the awesome bands and all the spectators.  The atmosphere of this race is amazing. The cheering is so awesome and it really does carry you through the course.

I cannot wait to reach that finish line and receive the finisher's medal.