“WOW” is Right!

“WOW”! Is all I could say after tasting one of these delicious morsels.  I have definitely avoided gluten free cookies after trying countless crunchy, crumbly, gluten free cookies that are on the market, only to end up disappointed.  I don’t know about you, but I am definitely a soft and chewy cookie kind of girl!

So when my friend gave me one of WOW (without wheat) Baking Company’s chocolate chip flavored cookies to try, I was amazed at how chewy and delicious they were while still being gluten free.  They literally taste like eating cookie dough!  And they are the perfect sized treat to satisfy your sweet tooth while still being good.

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Along with their bagged cookies, WOW Baking Company also makes larger pre-made individually wrapped cookies, brownies, cookie dough, and cake mixes. So if you are a cookie-monster like me and are tired of those crumbly, crunchy gluten free cookies these are something to definitely check out.

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 3.23.28 PMClick here to check out WOW Baking Company’s website! 

 

Weekly Workout Wrap-Up (Week #1 of M2B training)

Hey everyone!

Hope you all had a great week last week, and a great weekend.  It was my first week back to training for my second half marathon: the Mountains 2 Beach Half.   It’s only 7 1/2 weeks away so I had to start off in the middle of my training schedule.  I was a little worried about this, and was hoping that my maintenance work was sufficient.  And to my surprise, I did pretty well with the higher mileage this week.  My race pace isn’t what I want it to be in order to PR (better than 1:38:24, a 7:30 pace), but it was pretty good considering that most of my runs included hills.

Monday 7 miles- threshold intervals

Tuesday spin class + planks

Wednesday 5 miles

Thursday rest day

Friday 9 miles (8:10 min/mi)

Saturday spin fusion class (which is a spin class with intervals strength exercises on a mat)

Sunday: 10 miles easy (8:21 min/mi)

Total Mileage: 31 (+2 spin classes)

 

I’d like to leave you all with this quote that my spin instructor shared with us this week.  It really inspired me and gave me that extra push to have a great workout week!  Hope it does the same for all of you, and you have a great rest of your week.



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Fueling Up for the Long Run

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Today was my first long run coming back to training, and boy was it a toughy!  It was a 10 mile run with lots of hills- which are my weak point.  So I picked this run in order to build some strength.  My schedule said “10 mile easy run” so I didn’t worry too much about my time, but rather just maintaining a steady pace while tackling the hills throughout the entire 10 miles.

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One of the most important parts about having a successful run is having the proper fuel.  If you’re a morning runner like myself, you want to eat a breakfast full of complex carbs for lasting energy, a little bit of healthy sugar for quick energy, and of course a little bit of healthy fats and protein.  If your running for about an hour or longer it should contain around 300-500 calories.  It’s recommended that you eat this AT LEAST an hour before your run for ideal performance.  I usually wait about two hours because I have a sensitive stomach.

Some of my favorite options that always sit well in my stomach are:

Oatmeal- My favorite lately has been my Trail Mix Oatmeal

It’s gluten free oatmeal topped with agave, cinnamon, crushed up trail mix (raw almonds, cashews, walnuts, and dried berries) flaxseed, and banana.

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Toast- This is what I had this morning and it worked great and it’s always one of my favorites: almond butter, honey, bananas, and cinnamon on top of gluten free toast.  Another one of my favorites is avocado toast.

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These two are my go to breakfasts before my long runs and they always seems to work best for me.  I don’t really stray from these options just because I know they work, and I don’t want to risk the stomach ache.  But everyone is different, and finding what fuel works for you is all about experimentation.

What are your favorite pre-run breakfasts?? 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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Register for Next Half Marathon: CHECK!

Hello to all my fellow runners out there!

I have to check in and share my excitement because I finally registered for my next race!  My last race was on November 9th.  I was planning on running my next one by February, but various unexpected things happened that kept me from racing and put me into a running slump.  Well, the slump is over and it’s time to get back into it!

Lately I haven’t been running as much as I should be to be prepared for this race, so it may be kind of tough to start out in the middle of my race schedule that I used last time.  But I’m not starting from scratch!  Since my last race I’ve been in somewhat of a maintenance phase which consisted of: around 20 miles weeks, with at least two spin classes, and weights whenever I could fit them in (usually 2 days a week).  So we will see if I can get back into the swing of things.

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So if you’re in the area you should definitely check this race out!  I know it’s almost sold out now, I think there are only 69 spots left in the half as of today, but the marathon is sold out.

So today is my first official day back to training!  I am using my schedule I used for my last race, but I am starting out on week 4.  So just in case if you are interested in training for a half marathon I highly recommend this schedule.

Well off I go, wish me luck and let the training begin!

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What races are you signed up for? 

Do you have any advice for getting back into training after a maintenance phase?

 

 

A Power Up?…More Like a Power Down!

ss_bar-wrappersGuess what??…I’m finally on spring break!  I know it’s been a while since my last post, but it was for good reason.  I’ve been very busy lately studying for my finals, finishing up my quarter successfully, and taking care of my new baby furball (including potty training- so if any of you have any tips please let me know!) :)

But now it’s time for a post, that I’ve actually been meaning to write for a while now.

Because busy girls like us often get into a jam where we are out and about, or on the run and don’t have enough time to make a healthy meal or think of a healthy snack to grab, protein bars present a healthy option- IF they are chosen correctly.

There are many types of protein bars out there, but what really determines if one is a healthy option or just a glorified candy bar?  Yup, that’s right, many bars that we have thought of to be “healthy” are nothing more than just a candy bar in disguise. Although these bars claim to be healthy by adding vitamins and protein, you’re also getting just as much sugar as you would from eating a candy bar!

So here are some tips for choosing the best bar:

1) At least around 10 grams of protein.

2) Less than 10 grams of sugar. (Stick to natural forms of sugar.  Natural sugar found in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, beans, and nuts are referred to as simple sugars.  Simple sugars are good sugars because they come with added vitamins, fiber, minerals, and good additions to your diet.  Avoid bad sugars, which is anything added during processing, cooking, or at the table.  Bad sugars do not come with any good additions to your diet.  And if you have problems digesting sugar alcohols (more bad sugars), look out for the common ones listed below.)

Here are some key words to look out for: Erythritol, Maltitol, Xylitol, Sorbitol 

3) Less than 10 grams of fat- These should come from heart healthy fats, with absolutely NO TRANS FAT!

4) At least some fiber (3 or 4 grams is good).

5) Complex carbs that are mostly whole grain.

6) MOST IMPORTANTLY: Simple is best! Stick to an ingredient list to where you would be able to find almost all of the ingredients in your own kitchen.

These have been my favorite right now:

Cranberry White Chocolate Santa Barbara Bars

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KIND bars and Quest Bars are also some that I enjoy as well.

What are your favorite protein/ energy bars??

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Healthy Grab-and-Go Snacks!

Happy Thursday everyone!

Lately I’ve been SUPER busy!  Its like I’m a new mother!  But now that Dax is getting settled in and we’ve formed a routine I’ve found a little time for myself again to squeeze in a post.

Like many of you, one of the most dreaded times of the year are coming up..FINALS!  And now this time, not only do I have to figure out how to maintain a workout schedule, I have a little baby to think about as well.  But this little face makes it all worth it in the end…20140306-111648.jpg

I know that many of you also have this “on-the-go” lifestyle and struggle with fitting meals in, especially healthy ones.  Sometimes we get so busy that we forget that were hungry.  The all of the sudden when we have a break, this hunger monster attacks us and we eat everything in site!  Has this ever happened to you before?? It definitely happens to me!

Healthy Snacking is Important because:

  1. It prevents overeating at the next meal
  2. Keeps your blood sugar levels even: this is especially important for those with diabetes
  3. Provides nutrients
  4. Keeps you energized (when it’s a healthy carb paired with proteins and healthy fats).
  5. Enhances performance and improves concentration (whether it’s at school, work, or fueling for a workout)

Snacking Cautions:

  • Snack only when you are truly hungry, not out of boredom.
  • Make sure to choose healthy options (pair a carbohydrate-rich food like whole grains, fruits, or veggies with a protein food like nuts, dairy, etc.)

The problem with snacking is that sometimes we don’t have the healthiest one’s available to use when we are busy and on the go!  So here are a couple of my favorite snack options for you busy girls out there!

1) Trail mix- stay away from salted and added sources of sugar.  Stick to raw nuts/seeds (not salted) and sugar-free naturally dried fruits or this snack can quickly become an unhealthy one packed with calories.  Some trail mixes are so sugary and salty that you would be better off eating a candy bar.  This is why I stick to the already portioned bags of Trader Joe’s trail mix.

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2) Banana or Apple + nut butter pack (Justin’s Peanut Butter or Almond Butter Packet’s that I’ve featured in a 5 Fab Finds).  There are many other brands that also put out there own to-go packets.  Choose a nut butter with very few ingredients: nuts and salt(optional).20140306-111714.jpg

3) Bars: this is a great on the go snack, but you also have to be very careful about selecting a healthy option instead of a glorified candy bar. ( I’ll discuss this further in my next post).  Look for something with a lot of protein, low sugar, and few ingredients.20140306-111702.jpg

4) Carrots: Carrots, celery or any vegetable are always great options!  If you like to pair them with hummus, this is a great option as well.

5) Greek yogurt (no added sugar): top with agave, honey, cinnamon, or fruit for natural sweetener.  You can also top with nuts, granola, or nut butter.

6) Turkey and Cheese slices (make a quick roll up with some pepper or hummus if available) also can wrap with veggies

If you forgot to take something with you… These are the stops I usually rely on while running errands:

1) Starbuck’s Protein Box: I frequently grab one of these if I’m on the go because I am usually stopping for a coffee pick-me-up while I’m out and about anyways!  This is a great option if you ditch the little bread/muffin thing that’s inside the pack.  You get two small pieces of cheese, a hard boiled egg, a small Justin’s peanut butter pack, a couple apple slices and grapes.  This is a great sources of healthy proteins, fats, and carbs!protein-box-starbucks-462x242

2) If your at a grocery store, near a Target with a grocery section, or at a snack store at school, pop in a grab a healthy snack option (fruit, veggies, bars, greek yogurt, etc.)

Happy Snacking!

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I’m A New Mommy: Meet Dax!

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Yup, that’s right!  I’m a new mommy to this little raging ball of fur.  I have been dying for a puppy of my very own since I was a little girl.  I LOVE animals, especially dogs.  While other little girls were playing with Barbies and dolls, I was playing with stuffed dogs and watching Animal Planet.  I knew all of the dog breeds ever since I was eight or nine years old, and every holiday I would beg my parents for a pup but I never got one.  I’ve always had family dogs, but I wanted one that was all mine.  And finally, for my 21st birthday, as an early birthday present, my wish finally came true and my parents surprised me with this little boy!  It’s the best present I could have ever asked for.  I was so happy that I started sobbing!  I know what you’re thinking: this girl is kind of odd!  Most girls would want a huge 21st birthday party or a trip to Vegas, but I am happy with a puppy for my birthday ;)

Anyways, meet my new baby boy Dax, the yorkiepoo.  He’s 8 weeks old and 2.3 pounds, and he has no clue he is that small.  He is fearless and super smart!  He walked right up to my 60-70 pound labradors the first time he saw them, and he loves to play with them.  I think they might be more afraid of him to be honest haha!  I just got him yesterday afternoon and he slept all through the night without a peep, and he’s already getting pretty good at the whole potty training thing…Yes, I know, I am one proud mama!  He’s spunky, loves to cuddle, and is super playful…he really is the perfect little puppy and I already love him to death.  He my not be the ideal running partner because his little legs might not keep up, but he will be my biggest fan!  So you all will be hearing a lot more about this little guy, I just thought that I would properly introduce you to my new best friend!

Well, it’s off to bed for us.  We’ve had a long day of playing, going to the vet, and snuggling.  Hope you all are having an awesome weekend as well!

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