Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What I Ate Recap

Good morning everyone!  It's the best day of the week - not only is it hump day and the weekend is nearly here, but it's also What I Ate Wednesday!  Today is the day when everyone shares what they're eating, and I love getting new ideas on meals.

Today I'm going to be sharing what I ate last week.  This was a day that I went running before work and did yoga at lunchtime, so I felt like I was eating and starving all day long!  This is also my first WIAW that is all plant-based, and I'm so excited to share my trials and errors in vegan eating.  I hope you enjoy!



5:15 : Before heading out the door, I made some espresso and had a Mamma Chia packet.  I prefer drinking espresso in the morning because it's easier on my stomach and a lot faster to drink. I'm usually rushing out the door, so I don't want to drink a full coffee.  A small espresso is perfect!  The pouch is also a great way to get quick energy for my run.

Nespresso Espresso


7:15 : After my run, I made it to work and had some muesli.  I prepped this at home in the morning, but pouring in some coconut milk, and adding some chia seeds and nut butter.  At work, it was nice and fluffy, almost like over night oats.  I added some sliced strawberries and blackberries to get some sweetness!  I also drank my favorite recovery drink - grape amino acid.



11:00 : I had the first part of my lunch a little early!  This was my first time making a veggie burger, and it turned out really delicious.  I actually found this recipe thanks to Meredith and Laura, and would highly recommend it.  The burgers do take a lot of time to make, but I got a huge batch out of it and froze some for future meals.  In this case, I had it with some avocado and wrapped it in a lettuce leaf.



1:00 : I got back from yoga and had the rest of my lunch!  I made this quinoa Thai salad earlier in the week, and it was so delicious!  I added the other half of the avocado from my lettuce wrap, and this was a great snack.



6:00 : I've been trying out lots of new foods recently, and this week it was eggplant!  I found a delicious looking recipe on JessBeautician's YouTube channel, and paired it with some roasted potatoes and a kale salad.  It was so filling and delicious, and I made enough filling to use in another recipe!

I wish this photographed better!!
Kale salad


8:00 : I was happy to end my day in the best way possible - ice cream out on the hammock!  This is quickly becoming a favorite nighttime ritual of mine.  I'm planning on trying to make my own "nice"cream soon, but this day I had the So Delicious Coconut Milk Cookie Dough.  SO GOOD!!



All my vegans out there - how did I do!?  Any suggestions/critiques?
Have you recently changed your diet?
What's your favorite way to end your day?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Seawheeze Half Marathon Training : Week 7


I feel like I'm finally back on track with training, and it couldn't have come at a better time.  With only a few more weeks until race day, everything clicked this week and I'm feeling stronger than ever!  It's nearly time to start tapering, so I'm hoping for a few more solid workouts and a great race.  

Let's take a look at my workouts this week!


Monday

Rest Day!


Tuesday

5 miles / 45:30 / 9:05 pace

Felt great this morning! Beautiful start to the day- couldn't ask for anything more.

Lunchtime Yoga
My favorite yoga class!  Today we did a special flow for the full moon.  I've never gone to a teacher that mentioned the spiritual side of yoga and meditation, so it's always so interesting to learn from my teacher.  I always leave the class in a calm, happy mood with loosened up legs, and today was no different!


Wednesday

5 miles

Same course as yesterday but in reverse. About halfway through there was a guy running in front of me, a little faster than my pace so I tried to stick with him.  He stopped at the end of on of the bridges to downtown and gave me a smile and a good morning, so I wonder if he was pushing himself because I was right behind him. Another reason why I love the running community!


Thursday

Core and More
Another great, quick and easy class during lunch time.  Lots of core work with some cardio and arms thrown in.


Friday

Rest Day!


Saturday

4 miles
I slept through my alarm in the morning, which meant that I had to do this run while it was HOT out, and didn't get to join the group I was planning on going with.  I did two miles with Selma (who loves to go for runs) and two miles alone.  It was brutal out there, which I guess is my punishment for sleeping in!


Sunday

10 miles / 1:37:50 / 9:46 pace

This was the best run I've had in a long time!  Going in to this, I just wanted to finish out the 10 miles since my long runs have been really challenging in this training cycle.  I headed out at 6AM to beat the heat, and set out on a more challenging course.  It was hilly with not a lot of shade, so by the end I was sweating everywhere!  I felt really strong the entire run and kept picking up the pace each mile.  By the end, I was hitting sub 9:00 paces and felt like I could have kept going!


linking up with Holly and Trisha!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Top Five Friday #62

Good morning everyone!  How was your week?  Mine completely blew by, and I can't believe it's already the weekend!  Work has been absolutely crazy, so I'm looking forward to a relaxing and fun weekend.  I have a few friends coming in to visit and some active plans with Dan (to go along with his health goals) so it should be great!

As usual, I'm going to share my favorites of the week today.  I hope you enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Linking up with MarCynthia and Court 
as well as Heather and Momfessionals


Jess Beautician

I just discovered this YouTube channel, and I'm hooked!  Jess shares natural beauty products and vegan recipes.  She recently did a daily series on her channel called Vegan June, where she shared what she ate every day.  All of her food looks amazing, and I love the fact that she shows how to prepare it as well as the recipe for everything!  If you're wanting to try out the vegan lifestyle, I would highly recommend checking her out.


CrossFit Games


Earlier this week the 10th CrossFit Games started.  While I don't do CrossFit, I love watching any kind of competition and this one is so fun to follow!  I watched for the first time last year (and even wrote a post about it), and this year I followed the entire "season" much closer.  I'm so excited to see what events they throw out and how some of my favorites will do!  I'm hoping for a huge comeback win for Iceland Annie on the women's side, and an upset from the hilarious Sam Dancer on the men's side.  (I wrote this earlier in the week, and so far both athletes are doing great with some event wins in the early rounds!)  P.S.- you can find out how to watch the events here!


Play! by Sephora

This month I got my first Play! by Sephora box!  After being on the wait list for a few months, I was so excited to get it in the mail.  Since I go to the gym before work every day, I've only been using my travel sized products, so this box is really useful to me.  I haven't bought any new makeup so far this year, so I thought this was a great way to try out new products without spending a ton of money (each box is only $10!).  Here's what came in my first box:

Play by Sephora July 2016 box review

Benefit Dew the Hoola : This is the only product that I don't like so far. I don't really use bronzers much, and this one is really orange.

Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Primer : A great, basic primer!  This has been a cult favorite for years, and I like it as well.  It's a silicone primer, which really smooths out the skin and leaves it feeling so soft!

beautyblender blotterazzi : In the summer, my skin gets really oily, so this will be useful for me.  The idea of this sponge is to use it in place of blotting sheets.  I already use and love the original beautyblender, so I was excited to get this product!  This alone is $20, which already makes this box worth the money to me.

Ouai Wave Spray :  I've heard a lot of hype about this brand (which was developed by the Kardashian's hair stylist) so I was really excited to try out this spray!  I've been taking it to the gym to use after showering, and it smells SO good.  It also gives my hair some volume, but not too much wave.  What I really love is the fact that this doesn't make my hair feel crunchy, like a lot of wave sprays!

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser : I love this brand, so I was happy to get a travel size to take to the gym.  This is a basic cleanser that doesn't irritate my sensitive skin at all!

NEST Citrine Perfume : Every box comes with a perfume sample, and I really liked this one!  It's a citrus scent with notes of Lemon Blossom, Lotus Flower, Freesia, Dew Drop Accord, and Precious Wood.


Hammock Update


I promised to update you all on our hammock after I got it and tried it out- and I'm in love!  I've been spending time relaxing (usually eating ice cream) in the evening, and it's so comfortable.  It's also really roomy, and Dan and I are both able to fit in the hammock with room for Selma.  It was easy to set up and looks great on our deck!  It's no longer on sale, but I would still recommend it if you're looking for a cheap, high-quality hammock!


Big Brother


I've been awful about keeping up with my favorite TV shows lately, but one that Dan and I both enjoy and watch weekly is Big Brother!  This season is so entertaining thus far, but I keep flip flopping on who I like!  One minute I like Frank, then I hate him, then I love Da'Vonne, then I can't stand her, etc etc etc.  One thing is for sure- I can't wait to see who's coming back into the house!


What are your plans for the weekend?
Any other BB fans out there?  Who are you rooting for?
Any YouTube suggestions?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Dan's Journey to Health : Goals

Hello!  Dan here, Gretchen's lucky husband.




Last post, I confessed that I haven't been the healthy young adult that I should be. I don't put much thought into what I eat and I don't work out or run because I'm generally lazy and because I can entertain myself endlessly by researching random topics online.

Before I get too far into this though, I have to say THANKS to everyone who commented on my last post. You were all very encouraging and had lots of good tips. You all taught me to start small and to find healthy activities that I enjoy. So I might as well start with a list of things that I know I enjoy:


  • Rock Climbing
  • Table Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Ice Hockey
  • Small amounts of running
  • Kayaking

I DO NOT like going to the gym or lifting weights.

I have already joined my work's ice hockey league and we play about once a week. I've been meaning to find a local table tennis club and playing there once a week as well. I went rock climbing twice earlier this year and plan on getting a membership to a local climbing gym (the only kind of gym I like!).

If I can commit to all of these activities that I truly enjoy and sprinkle in a little 5K training, then I'll be active just about every day of the week! So my goals for August are:

  • Get a rock climbing gym membership
  • Try out a local table tennis club
  • Run twice a week for 15 minutes each


My dad and I used to play table tennis all the time when I was growing up and I've always been meaning to get back into it.

I also need to do some fitness workouts outside of sports. I can easily do sit-ups, push-ups, and planks several times throughout the day. In the interest of starting small, my goal for August is to do 1 set of 20 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, and 30 sec planks per day.

This sounds like a lot, but it truly is just a lot of little things I can add here and there. Then as time goes on, I can increase the reps and frequency. Gretchen and I have a friend who is into rock climbing too, so that'll be extra motivation to head over to the gym (the climbing gym!).

Next post, I'm going to talk about my progress with my new goals, what changes I plan to make diet-wise, and how I picture my healthy self 1 year from now.

Take care!


What are some of your favorite ways to stay fit?
Do you make monthly goals?
What other topics do you want Dan to cover?

linking up with Amanda

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Seawheeze Half Marathon Training : Week 6

Hi everyone!  What a busy week this was for me.  Does anyone else seem to have nothing going on for a while, then get TONS of plans all at once?  This was definitely a "tons of plans" type of week!  

I was lucky to get most of my workouts in, and my hamstring is finally feeling better!  I think a combination of lower mileage, slower miles and lots of recovery work helped out, and I'm hoping for no more issues during training!  Let's take a look back and see how the week was:



Monday

2 miles
I wanted to go out for a short run just to see how my hamstring was feeling, and to loosen up a bit.  It was still sore, but going super slow on my run seemed to help!

Tuesday

Lunchtime Yoga
I went to my favorite yoga class this week!  It was another amazing class.  The stretches felt so good, and some of the moves really pushed me.  As usual, this is the most perfect way to spend my lunch break!

Wednesday

3 miles
I went for three more slow miles, and had some more soreness in my hamstring.  At night, I've been heating with a heating pad and doing some stretches and rolling, which seems to be helping.  Keeping the pace nice and slow!


Thursday

3 miles
This was the first run in nearly a week with no pain!  I still kept it slow, but finally didn't feel any pain at all in my leg.  I was going to keep going and try to get in 5 miles, but my legs started to feel a bit sore so I ended up stopping at three.


Friday

REST DAY!


Saturday

5 miles
Saturday was a really busy day, so I woke up nice and early to get in a run!  It was really nice out, and I felt so great on this run.  I stayed in my neighborhood and got some hills in, which was definitely challenging!  When I run before work, I typically run on a treadmill or around downtown which is relatively flat.  My body definitely forgot how to run steep hills!

After my run, Dan and I went to an anniversary party at his work.  It was great to see where he works (it was my first time seeing it) and there was a ton of delicious food.  Afterwards, we stopped at the Picklesburg festival on the Rachel Carson bridge!  This is the second year of the festival, and it was packed.  We only stayed for about an hour but it was a gorgeous day for it!

Later in the evening, we drove up to Harmony (where I set my half marathon PR!) to celebrate with my sister and her husband.  They just bought their first house, so my family went out for dinner!  We ate at the Harmony Inn, which was delicious.  They had so many types of beer to try, so I had to get the sampler!


Sunday

9 miles / 1:28:24 / 9:49 pace
This was my longest training run so far in this cycle, and I felt surprisingly good!  I started out later than usual (almost 10:00) so it was already warm out.  I brought along my handheld water bottle and had some salt tabs along the way as well.  I was really starting to feel tired and sore around mile 7, when I happened upon a race in progress on the North Shore!  That gave me a second wind, and I spent the next mile and a half trying to keep up with the 9:00 group.  They came along at the perfect time!

After my run, I stopped by my parents' house.  They've been renovating their entire house for the past few years, and are on the final room- the dining room!  Dan and I have been helping out, and on Sunday we finished the floor.  I can't wait to see how the room will look once it's cleaned up and has all of the switches and baseboards up

linking up with Holly and Trisha


Friday, July 15, 2016

Top Five Friday #61

Hi everyone!  How is your week going?  I'm excited for the weekend, and have a lot to share with you today!  I'm also going to be sharing one thing that is most definitely NOT a favorite, so stay tuned for that.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Linking up with MarCynthia and Court 
as well as Heather and Momfessionals

Olympic Trials

source
I still can't get over the excitement of the Olympic Trials from last weekend!  Track and Field had some incredibly exciting races (heck- all of them were nail biters), but the top moment for me had to go to Brenda Martinez diving to the finish line to make it on the 1500m team.  In case you didn't hear, she was so close to making it on the 800m team earlier in the week, but got tripped up in the last  few hundred meters to lose her place.  Her attitude afterwards really inspired by me.  Instead of feeling down and out about what happened, she moved on and said that the track doesn't care about her feelings.  I was cheering for her so loudly during the race, and I can't wait to see her in Rio!

Another event that had trials last weekend was women's gymnastics.  This two-day event was filled with tons of highs (Simone Biles dominating every apparatus) and some lows (Gabby Douglas falling off the balance beam twice, but luckily nailing every other event).  Earlier in the week I watched the documentary The Ranch, which gives a great inside look at all of the gymnasts, so I was thrilled to see who ended up making the team!  I'm hoping more gold is in Team USA's future!


Recent Sales

Well, guys, it's officially sales season!  Earlier this week was the annual Prime Day on Amazon, and I decided to buy a Hammock!  It's always been a silly dream of mine to sit on my back deck, sipping a glass of wine, listening to jazz music while swaying in a hammock.  Now that dream can be a reality and I'm super excited about it!  I'll be sure to report back as soon as the hammock comes in.

Nordstrom also just started early access to their Anniversary Sale!  I've never shopped it before, but I need to pick up some staples after going six months in a no buy.  Here's what's on my wish list (including some things that I will never buy, but a girl can dream...right?


Hunter Rain Boots : My rain boots are really old and have holes in the soles, so I'm thinking it's time to get a new pair!  Hunter rain boots are supposed to be really high quality, so I might invest in a pair while they're on sale.

Kate Spade Stud Earrings : I don't wear earrings very often, but these are so gorgeous!

Nike Juvenate Sneaker : I usually just wear my old running shoes to cross train, so it might be a good idea to get a specific pair for other activities.  I absolutely love the rose design on these, and they're a terrific price on sale!

Rails Plaid Shirt : I have a few cheap plaid shirts, but I've been lusting after this one for the past year!  I've seen a few people wearing it, and they all rave about the quality.  It looks really cozy and I feel like it would be a staple in the fall!

Billabong Plaid Shirt : For a more budget-friendly option, I love this flannel from Billabong!

Joe's Curvy Skinny Jeans : Skinny jeans are a staple in my wardrobe, and I don't really have any high quality pairs!  The majority of the ones I wear now are from Forever 21 that stretch out after one use, so I think it's time to get a better quality pair that will last for years.  These look promising, but I'll have to try them on in person to see how they fit!


Walnut Grill Dinner 

On Wednesday, Dan and I went out for dinner at the Walnut Grill!  There are a few locations around the Pittsburgh area, but this was the first time that we went.  Ever since Dan moved to Pittsburgh three years ago, we haven't really gone on "dates" very often.  I decided we should make an effort to have monthly dates, where we take turns planning something special.

This month was my turn, and I chose to go to the Walnut Grill on their half-priced wine night.  We split a bottle of Peach wine from the local Narcisi Winery, and had delicious meals!  It was a great night and I can't wait to see what he plans next month! On the way back, we noticed this gorgeous sunset, and I had to take a picture:


UN-Favorite : Pokemon Go

I apologize to any die-hard Pokemon Go fans out there, but I hate this game!  I think it's great that people are getting out and exercising, but all I see when I go for a lunchtime walk is people staring down at their phones (sometimes walking into things) and not paying attention to anything else.  Everyone on my team at work plays and talks about it a lot, and I feel like I'm the only person in the United States right now that can't get into it.  The more people talk about it, the less I want to download it!  What do you all think?  Are you Pokemon GO or Pokemon NO!?


Fashion

I just got this dress from J Crew Factory (on final sale) and I absolutely love it!  It's loose fitting and comfortable, which is just what I want to wear when it's close to 100 degrees outside.


What is your favorite Olympic sport?
Are you going to shop the Nordstrom Sale?  Get anything with Amazon?
Are you into Pokemon Go? I promise- we can still be friends if you are :)

post contains affiliate links.  thank you for your support!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Seawheeze Half Marathon :Training Check-In

I can't believe it (and it kind of freaks me out to say) but training is halfway over for the Seawheeze Half Marathon!  Miles have been run, rooms have been booked, planes have been scheduled, and now this race is feeling very real.  Today, I'm going to be sharing a check-in so that you (and I!) can see how I'm doing so far.


Training By The Numbers

114.2 - Total Miles
I'm happy with where my overall numbers are, but I would like my long run to be longer!  I was hoping to hit 10 miles by this point, but that will be my goal for this weekend.

63 - Current songs on my workout playlist
I usually only listen to music during speed workouts, or the second half of long runs!  I only use Spotify, and you can find my playlist here!

21 - Podcasts in my rotation (current favorite is Young House Love Has A Podcast)
Most of the time I listen to podcasts on 1.5 speed, and I've been listening to so many lately.  It seems like most of the blogs that I follow are also coming out with podcasts!

5 - Weeks to go!
How did that happen...

4 - Yoga classes
Sadly none of them were in Belize, like the picture above!  I joined a new gym and found one class that I really like!

3 - Races completed (Riverview 5k, Peace Love Run 5k, Butler 5 Miler)
Somehow I ran the same exact time in both of the 5ks.  The 5 miler was a bit tougher, but I made it through three races in a row!

2 - Shoes I rotated between (Brooks Pureflow 4 and New Balance Boracay)
These are both older shoes but are holding up really well.  I wear my New Balances for shorter runs and speed workouts, and my Brooks for anything over 5 miles.

1 - Injury scare (hamstring)
It's already feeling better, but this weekend was agony!

Diet Changes

I started my second round of Whole30 when training started, and I maintained it really well (except for the occasional glass of wine!).  During the Fourth of July weekend, I went away and didn't restrict anything that I ate, and could definitely feel the effects.  I discovered (thanks to reintroduction) that dairy and gluten bother me the most, so I've cut them out completely.

About a week ago, I also decided to switch to a vegan diet.  This is a lot easier for me to maintain than staying perfectly Whole30-compliant, and my body responds fine to whole grains and legumes.  So far it's going really well, and I'm hoping to share some tips and recipes soon!


Recovery Favorites

Except for my cranky hamstring that always gives me issues, I've been lucky to have relatively few aches and pains during training.  Here are a few products that I've been using that seem to help:

Spand-Ice Recovery Wrap - I get some soreness in my lower back and hips from running (and sitting at a desk all day), so this wrap is perfect.  I love how I can just strap it on and go about my day!  Most of the time I wear it with the ice pack, but it can also be warmed up as well.

Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts - I never used to be a bath girl, but soaking in a warm bath at the end of a hard week of workouts is amazing!  These salts help to ease muscle soreness, and I love the scents.  I've only tried the lavender kind, but I'm getting more! 

Trigger Point Foam Roller -  Foam rollers are runners' best and worst friend.  They help you recover so well, but they hurt so bad!  I try to foam roll every day, and luckily my gym has tons of rollers to use.  I keep telling myself it's 5 minutes of pain to prevent injury!

Tart Cherry Juice - My mom got me hooked on tart cherry juice a few years ago, and now I swear by it.  She prefers the concentrated form and mixing it with water, while I prefer it ready to drink (I find it at Trader Joes).  This is great for recovery and helps ease muscle soreness!


What Now?

I'm pretty happy with the first half of my training!  I have a good foundation and fitness level, and I've been cross training consistently.  The areas that I need to improve are my long runs, and more race pace workouts.  I also want to stay injury-free for the final 5 weeks and make it to the starting line healthy!


Now I need help....What should I do while I'm in Vancouver?!
Who else is training for a race?  How's it going so far?
Have you ever run an international race?