Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Back at it Again

Hey! Well, It been a while, but I am back at it again.

Training for a 50K again. Now that school is back in session, Amber and I are training for the Turkey n Taturs 50k in Tulsa Oklahoma on November 4th. Turkey Mountain is calling my name! I miss that place and I left a part of me on the course two years ago. Wow, I can't believe that it has been so long!

This time, we are going in it wiser and smarter. Last time, we started out too conservative the first three miles. Plus, I wasn't wearing trail shoes but my favorite Brooks shoes. Everything was going great until six miles from the finish. You can read the full recap here to find out what happened.

To counter any injures, I will be uping my strength training and doing plyometric workouts to get me ready for the technical trail.

I am getting emotional just thinking about it! I am so pumped and a bit nervous. I have done it before, but you need to respect ultra races, especially trail ones. I grew so much during our training  physically, spiritually, and mentally. You can check out my post on how much you can apply training for an Ultra to life: Life Lessons from a 50k. In fact, I highly recommend it, but don't take my word for it. 😃

What races are you training for? Do you prefer trails or road races?

- Michelle

Sunday, August 19, 2018

2 Foods that Help with Muscle Soreness

This week has been a dozy in activities and the added stress has made recovery a little slower. To help aid in my recovery, there are a few foods that I  like to call upon especially when I am training hard.

1. Watermelon

Research has shown that the specific amino acid known as L-Citrulline, naturally occurring in watermelon, may help improve blood flow, while also reducing arterial pressure. According to a small study conducted in Spain on the bioavailability of L-Citrulline, athletes were given watermelon juice as part of their fluid-replacement regimen. Preliminary data shows that those participants that consumed the juice after a 24-hour period had a reduction in muscle soreness and recovery.

For a refreshing drink, place chopped melon in a blender with ice, lime juice, and sugar substitute such as stevia or agave nectar (to taste) for a tasty afternoon refresher or you can try my DIY Watermelon and Coconut Sports Drink

2. Cherry Juice

Concentrated tart cherry juice is my main go-to. Most grocery stores or Sams/Costco now carry tart cherry juice. Tart cherries are rich in phytonutrients and anthocyanins. They have natural anti inflammatory properties which fight free radicals, repair cell damage, and block the inflammation-causing enzymes which your body produces during exercise. Drinking tart cherry juice helps to reduce muscle pain following long runs or hard workouts, and aids in recovery. Tart cherries also contain melatonin which helps with falling asleep quicker and improves sleep quality.

Cherry juice tastes great blended into a healthy smoothie or mixed with apple juice.

 Have you ever tried a drink made with watermelon or tart cherry juice?


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Stinky Problem

It's embarrassing and sometimes unexpected.

It’s a taboo subject  to talk about in public but everyone deals with it. And sometimes it is the butt of many jokes. But today I am getting real on the blog. #realtalk



Tummy issues.

It brings with it discomfort and can stem from your gut health/bacteria overgrowth, and or food sensitives/allergies.

It can make you look five-10 pounds heavier or like you are pregnant. #foodbaby #megabloated
According to the American Nutrition Association, 70,000,000 people everyday suffer from some form of digestive issues.

Enter in the triple force from Plexus. 

I was originally a big skeptic about these products. There is a lot of over the counter  products that claim that they can do this and do that. Butt hey only took care of one area of gut health. They all miss a key ingredient. I know because I have tried everything, even staying away from certain foods. But nothing helped.

I was discouraged and felt like I would always have to feel this way. But I had finally had enough! I had enough with the chronic boating and discomfort, gas, always feeling full when I was actually hungry (if that could make any sense), having a distorted belly that couldn’t fit in any of my clothes ( if I bought a bigger size, then they would  fall of me), irregular bowel movements, running to the bathroom a lot during the day, and even constipation. And I felt tired ALL of the time with brain fog and concentration issues.

It made family functions uncomfortable, I preferred stretchy waist bands, and my work days seemed extra long as anything seemed to trigger the symptoms. Let me tell you, it is hard  and painful when you have to sit with people all day and have to  hold back, if you know what I mean. I am just thankful for scrub tops that hide my midsection really well.

Finally, I pulled the trigger and tried this  TriPlex Microbiome Activating Combo for 30 days and this is what it did for me.

I was down four pounds without making any changes to my diet or exercise. While I had a few flare ups,  I had more energy and felt the best that I have felt in a long time. My bloating was down, my skin cleared up a little. The constipation was gone, my mood was better, I was more productive and took less naps. 

The reason why it worked is because of several actors. Chitosanas, an enzyme only contained in this probiotic, actually breaks down the barrier protecting the yeast. The ProBio5 kills off yeast overgrowth, which prohibit vitamin and minerals from being absorbed. Yeast overgrowth can make you feel sluggish, crave sugar, feel bloated, and can cause constipation or other IBS symptoms.

Slim’s microbiome formula helps feed the good bacteria helping it flourish. It increases Lactobacillus by 365 times and the Bifidobacterium by 290 times. It supports a healthy glucose metabolism, balances out your blood sugar from the Alpha lipoic acid and other ingredients, helps with your energy, and increases the metabolism microbes by 257 times. Not to mention the drink tastes amazing and only has 5 calories. I really enjoyed the convenient single serve packets.

The BioCleanse really helped get things moving and balanced out my bowel movements. I stopped having upset stomach followed by constipation.

Our gut health is directly tied to our immune system, mood, and overall health.  I plan to keep on taking the ProBio5 to completely heal my gut. I am really looking forward to being able to enjoy social functions more and not having 90% of what I eat end of causing me discomfort.

Have you ever tried Plexus? Are you a skeptic too? 

Disclaimer: I was not paid or endorsed for promoting these products. This post contains my views and personal experiences with Plexus. It is to take the place of any medical advice. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Warm and Satisfying Chicken Soups

The weather outside is frightful....

Brrr! I am not a cold weather person. In fact, I would rather be burning up than cold. I can't wait until the birds are singing again, the warmer weather, and it staying light longer. I mean, hello more running outside and less time on the treadmill!

During the colder months, my family eats a lot of soup. Soups just seems to warm your body and soup, and it is so filling. Not to mention it helps warm up the house and it just smells so good.

Here are some chicken soups you can make that are both warm and satisfying (because I am on a chicken kick). This is more of a round of delicious soups from other bloggers to get you started. My own recipes are to come in future posts.

Looking for soups that you can prep ahead and freeze? Then check out these (chicken and non-chicken)

Stay warm my friends! 
- Michelle

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Survival Guide for the Holidays

Christmas has a way of sneaking up on you. The hustle and bustle adds stress and takes atoll on your health and well-being. When it is all said and done, you are partied out, have sampled dozens of cookies and pies, and are feeling frazzled.

With Christmas around the corner, I have complied my holiday tips together along with 2 fun and quick workouts to create a holiday survival guide to help you survive the holiday hustle and bustle.

Also, you can read more about 10 Ways to "Take 10" for Healthy Holidays here.

While celebrating in the Christmas festivities, take time to warm your belly with homemade peppermint hot chocolate and clean eating whipped topping. Nothing says Christmas like peppermint and hot chocolate! Looking for more holiday recipes, try my Healthier Holidays Sampler that can be downloaded as a PDF to your computer.

Tips 1 & 2

Don't forget to take care of your health.Taking care of our health can help decrease the holiday slump, extra weight gain, and stress that the season brings along with it. Give your self a gift this year by making your health a priority. Instead of baking cookies or candy for co-workers, friends, or family, try making other homemade goodies so you wont be tempted to nibble while baking, or try making healthier edible gifts such as roasted nuts. 

Do what you can do. It all adds up and every little bit counts. No time to go to the gym or fit in a full workout, try a fun circuit workout such as this one. Repeat it 2-3 times throughout the day or break up the circuit while cooking dinner, doing laundry, or wrapping presents. Stretch between your tasks, do some jumping jacks when the cookies are in the oven, or do calf raises while brushing your teeth. Just try to do something.

Or try this workout if watching the Grinch with your family. 

Workout from heandsheeatclean
Tip 3:

Never leave home without a protein packed snack. Traveling, shopping, and running errands during the holidays can increase chances of ordering fast food, skipping meals, or falling prey to the sweet aroma of Cinnabon. Choose foods made with real ingredients to energize and fill you up until meal time. On-the-go high-protein snacks such as portable peanut butter, a handful of nuts, a "healthy" or homemade protein bar, string cheese, or a protein shake can help you feel full and satisfied. Better yet, have a snack before you even leave the house. Hummus with veggies and pita bread, half a sandwich, or some Greek yogurt are great options.

Tip 4:

This may may hurt you in the long run! Not eating can cause you to want to binge at the party. Low blood sugar which also raises your cortisol levels. Raised levels cause you to crave sugary,fatty, and salty foods. Instead of saving up on your calories, nibble on healthy snacks like nuts, raw veggies, and fruit throughout the day to keep you from binging at Christmas parties or giving into less than healthy snacks during the day.

Tip 5:

Rest is important. Make sure you listen to your body! It can get crazy busy and stressful. Try to get a good nights sleep of at least 6-7 hours. Rest or take naps when you need to. Lack of sleep or rest can be harmful on your immune system. Our immune systems are already vulnerable this time of year. Added stress, no sleep, and lots of sugary treats can knock you down, cause you to feel sluggish and cranky, or depressed.

Christmas time can be a wonderful time of year if you don't neglect to take care of your health or get caught up in the hustle and bustle. Here's to surviving the holidays!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

10 Ways to "Take 10" for a Healthy Holiday

Holidays can be stressful. Busy schedules, Thanksgiving get togethers, Christmas parties, gift buying, meal prepping, presents to make or wrap, and holiday baking can leave you feeling worn out and stressed. This can put a toll on our minds and bodies leaving us vulnerable to burn out, sickness, and weight gain. Here are 10 ways to take 10 minutes away from the holiday "festivities" to de-stress.

1. Taking a break as little as 10 minutes can make a big difference in your attitude and clarity. Regular breaks can help fight off colds and other infections.

2. Take a walk to clear your mind. Moving for 10 minutes may help with holiday weight gain and help maintain a healthy attitude. Taking three 10 minute walks a day benefits your heart as well.

3. Take a snack break to ward off over indulging in the holiday pies or cookies later on when your hungry. Sit down for 10 minutes and enjoy a healthy snack such as fruit and cheese, a handful of nuts, vegetables dipped in hummus, or half a sandwich.

4. Take a music break to lift your mood. Put on come feel good tunes that you can dance along to. This not only gets your metabolism going, but is a good stress reliever. If you don't feel like dancing, make your self a cup of hot tea, and just relax as you listen to your favorite tunes.

5. Naps may seem counter productive, but they are not. A power nap helps your immune and nervous system when you are feeling frazzled or lose focus. Taking a break away can help you refocus on the task at hand, or give you energy to get through the rest of the busy day.

6. Make your health a priority. By being more mindful of what you eat, and making time for exercise 3-4 times a week; it helps your body respond better to stress and helps you maintain your weight during the holidays. You feel better mentally and decrease the risk of seasonal depression.

7. If you are too busy to hydrate, you leave your body at risk for dehydration. Too much alcohol can further dehydrate your body, increasing the risks of headaches and muscle fatigue.

8. Gift buying, baking, decorating the house, traveling, and busy schedules can make us tired and snappy at each other. We spend all our energy on "giving" we forget to give our time and affection to those closest to us. We  don't have the time or energy to enjoy each other's company. The best gift you can give this year, is giving yourself to others. Take time to make memories with your friends and family.

9. As I mentioned earlier, eating healthy is important during this time of year as we eat lots of not so healthy meals and treats. Keep a healthy balance, so that you feel healthy, have more energy, and to reduce the risk of chronic infections. Keeping a balanced lifestyle during the holidays keeps us from falling off the wagon, feeling guilt and throwing in the towel, or gaining weight.  When January 1st comes,. healthier "resolutions" will be easier to maintain.

10. Take time to reflect what the true meaning of the season is. Above all, surround your self with family. As our bank accounts start to dwindle, remember, the best gifts are memories that last long after the cookies are gone, the tree is put away, or the gifts stop working.

It is my prayer and hope that you fully enjoy this time of year. Remember to give yourself the gift of nurturing your well-being. There is only 1 you. Take care of your self so that you can take care of others.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! - Michelle

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Homemade Peppermint Hot Chocolate with Clean Eating Whipped Cream

When the weather starts to get cold, I love making homemade hot chocolate with cool whip for my kids after school. During the holidays, nothing says Christmas like peppermint hot chocolate. Warm up today with this clean eating peppermint hot chocolate and whipped cream.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate with Clean Eating Whipped Cream

½ cup stevia or agave nectar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups milk
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

Mix sugar or agave, cocoa, and salt in medium saucepan; stir in water. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling. Stir for 2 more minutes. Stir in milk and heat, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add peppermint extract. Top with whipped topping (see next recipe). Yields 4-6 servings.

Clean Eating Whipped Topping

¾ cup light agave nectar
3 large eggs whites
½ teaspoon cream of tarter

Add water to a medium saucepan until ¼ full, bring to a boil. Beat together agave, eggs whites, and cream of tartar in a large glass or metal mixing bowl (make sure it will fit on the top of the sauce pan) on medium-high until blended. Place the bowl on top of the pot of boiling water (bowl will get very hot). While wearing oven mitts, beat for 7 minutes occasionally scraping the side of the sides for any mixture, or until stiff peaks form. Remove and continue beating for 5-7 minutes while rotating the bowl, until mixture is thick and very fluffy with very stiff peaks. Use topping within a day or freeze extra topping for several weeks. Yields 6-8 cups.