When you get THE pasta craving…

Try this easy recipe out!20140423-213424.jpg

I know many of you have probably heard about spaghetti squash pasta, and zucchini noodle pasta already… and those options are great, and can be much more healthful than an entire plate of pasta.  But let’s face it, some of us don’t have the time to make these healthy, delicious alternatives.  So what I did tonight when I got THAT craving was something way easier.  All I did was steam one whole zucchini cut up into thick slices and then topped this with some marinara and parmesan cheese…BAM!  Craving satisfied, just like that!  I then paired this with a side salad with some tomato, cucumber, shredded carrots, and avocado topped with chunky blue cheese dressing.

Hope you all find this veggie-packed dinner just as satisfying as I did!Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 9.13.39 AM

 

21st Birthday Weekend

Hey Everyone!

So this weekend was a very special one because…. I FINALLY AM LEGAL! Woooo!

I didn’t get too wild this weekend because, unfortunately I have midterms next week.  And with easter and birthday plans, I had to utilize the down time I had by being in the right state of mind- and not hungover.

Sooo the festivities began when the birthday fairy arrived at my door the night before my birthday…20140418-074720.jpg

With white roses, balloons, and alcoholic dark chocolates!

On my birthday I went to a sushi dinner with Trev and my family.  I was super excited about this because I have been craving sushi for seriously, the longest time!  So now I got my sushi fix (even though I don’t think that’s possible), and ordered my first drink: a mango juice-infused sake, it was DE-lish!20140418-074702.jpg

On Saturday, Trevor planned a surprise birthday date for me!  He ended up taking me wine tasting in beautiful Malibu! He packed a picnic with gluten free chips and crackers, cheese, salami, grapes, and hummus- how cute is he?? Afterwards his family took us out to dinner in Malibu for my birthday.20140421-053313.jpg20140421-053327.jpg20140421-053343.jpg

Even though I still haven’t gone out with my friends and celebrated my birthday, I still had an amazing birthday weekend spent with my family and the people I love most.

And on Easter sunday I finished off my workout week with a 13 mile run on the beach!

Hope you all had a great weekend and a Happy Easter too!

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“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.

My next race: Clif Bar Mountains 2 Beach Marathon & HalfScreen Shot 2014-03-24 at 4.18.56 PM

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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