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Reflections on My 20s & My Thoughts on 30

So today I turn 30 years old! I’ll be honest, this birthday comes with some mixed emotions and I’ve struggled to write this post because of that. So I apologize in advance if this post is kinda like a word jumble and I hope you can get some insight out of it!

30 has always seemed like a milestone birthday to me….like by this point I should have accomplished certain things, should have the whole “adult” thing figured out. I think about what I thought 30 would be like when I turned 20 and in truth, what I thought couldn’t be further from the truth! I definitely don’t have this whole thing figured out. In fact, I’m starting to believe that every year I’m just going to realize HOW MUCH I have yet to figure out!

30th-birthday

And yet, with all of those mixed emotions, I find myself excited and hopeful. Both for what this year may bring and for what my 30s may bring! It’s only in the past 3 or so years that I have started to really get to know myself and to figure out what I truly want out of life. It’s taken even longer than that to start to really pursue those things!

A lot of my 20s was spent lost….I made a lot of poor choices and ended up in situations that I could have avoided had I been more thoughtful about things. My 20s included a lot of highlights and low points and they all taught me things about life and about myself.

before-fitness-journey

  • Married at 20
  • Suffered a miscarriage
  • Gained a lot of weight, ending up at around 240-250 lbs
  • Traveled to Peru (one of my most life-changing experiences)
  • Divorced
  • Started smoking again
  • Struggled with depression multiple times
  • Graduated college
  • Started losing weight
  • Got a job somewhat using my degree, only to lose it
  • Found the job I’m currently at, expecting it to be “temporary” and that I would move on to grad school
  • Started my relationship with Draz <3
  • QUIT smoking again (over 2 years now!)
  • Found a passion for fitness
  • Started this blog and my jewelry business
  • Started teaching group fitness at the YMCA

YMCA-Des-Moines

As you can see just from this, my 20s, especially my early 20s, were kind of a mess. But that honestly makes me even more excited for my 30s! I’m entering my 30s with a wonderful and supportive boyfriend and family, a good job, in the best shape of my life and with a passion for the things I am trying to build!

fitness-journey-30s

I’m not going to make predictions, since one major lesson I learned in my 20s is you can’t really prediction how life is going to go. But I do want to share some of my hopes and dreams for my 30s with you!

  • Get married and start a family
  • My jewelry business will grow and become more successful
  • The blog will grow and inspire others
  • Draz and I will go on at least a few trips together, one being to Japan
  • Continue to grow and learn in my fitness education and build a career that includes fitness
  • Be able to quit my current job and earn a full-time income from what I am building right now

I can’t say that any of these things will happen, but these are what I hope will be the highlights of my 30s. That said, I honestly believe that 30 and the entirety of my 30s will be amazing and life-changing and I can’t wait to see what happens!

To those of you in your 20s: Are your 20s like what you thought they would be? What do you think about your 30s?
To those of you who are 30s or older: Any advice? What were your thoughts as you entered your 30s?

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!!

Sunday Meal Prep 2/12/17

Hey everyone! This week’s meal prep was a little different, in that I actually prepped for most of 2 weeks worth of food at the same time. I knew the following weekend I wasn’t going to have much time for meal prep, so I planned ahead! That is one of the things I love about meal prep…you can make it work for you and your schedule! So along with the dishes I’m sharing with you today, I also made extra cinnamon bread and 3 main dishes that all went into the freezer.

Next week I will show you the second week’s freezer prep and let you know how that worked out, so make sure to check back in then! As for this week’s meal prep, everything turned out delicious and I can’t wait to share these recipes with you. While two of these dishes are new to the blog, we actually tried them out a few weeks ago, right before I got sick, so I never actually got to eat them! Thankfully, Draz liked them so much that he was happy for me to make them again a few weeks later so I could try them too!

Enjoy!

Weekly meal prep can help you maintain your busy lifestyle and still eat healthy! Click through to check out this week's meal prep and get your own grocery list to get you started!

food-prep

This week’s snacks were delicious! I opted to keep with our regular snacks this week, so I made Sweet Potato Banana Bites, 5-Ingredient Banana Bread Muffins, and Cookie Dough Protein Balls. Along with that, I made 4 mason jar salads! For now, I will be cutting down on the salads I’m making each week. Draz has requested no more salads for him for a while, so it will just be mine 🙂

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On to the main dishes! I am loving this week’s meals and Draz did too. All of these will definitely be made again! I don’t know that either of us could pick a sole favorite. They were all delicious in their own way! This week’s main dishes were Slow Cooker Italian Red Pepper Chicken, Low-Carb Sausage and Roasted Peppers Mock Lasagna Casserole, and Low-Carb Deconstructed PizzaBoth of the low-carb dishes were from a site that is new to me called Kalyn’s Kitchen and I have to say, I will definitely be trying out more of her recipes!

Tracking macros? Here is how this week’s main dishes break down:

IIFYM-healthy-meal-prep

Want to try out this week’s meal prep for yourself? Get your grocery list here!

Have you tried any new recipes lately? Or tried prepping for later weeks using freezer recipes? I would love to hear about them, so please leave a comment below!

Finding Fitness: Sarah from Creating a Better Tomorrow

Hey everyone! Today I am so excited to introduce you to Sarah from Creating a Better Tomorrow! A personal trainer and group fitness instructor, Sarah has had an amazing and inspirational journey to where she is today. We can all learn so much from her! Enjoy!
There are so many paths to fitness and we can learn so much from hearing about others fitness journeys! In this interview with Sarah, there is so much to learn from and be inspired by! Head over to check it out and get inspired for your own fitness journey!

Background: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I’m first and foremost a mom and wife.  I’m a thirty something mom to twin two year olds and a wife living out in the middle of the country with our 5 chickens and 2 dogs!
I blog over at Creating a Better Tomorrow. I love helping show women that you don’t have to do it all to HAVE IT ALL.  Life is about living your best today and your better tomorrow.
I teach group fitness and do online personal training focused on strengthening mind, body, soul.  I love getting my hands dirty in the garden.  I need to rest more but goodness I just always want to be getting the most out of this blessed life!

How did your fitness journey start? What motivated the change? Along with that, what has kept you interested?

Throughout high school I was active but not really INTO fitness like I am now. I did it for fun and wasn’t very good.  Off to college I went, I like many gained 15-20 lbs and came home the next summer wanting to get it off.  Unfortunately like many, I also went to running tons and eating nothing to do so.  I lost the weight but also lost the love of my body and food.  I slipped into an eating disorder.
Thankfully I had an awesome support system that got me help and it has made me ALL the stronger!  I then couldn’t workout while recovering but it led me to learn how I love the STRENGTH of my mind and body.  Now I love working out but don’t track any calories burned…just weight lifted and the strength it provides my mind and spirit.
I now teach group fitness strength training and HIIT Cardio.  Now I truly workout for so many reasons OTHER than calories or weight…I don’t weigh myself, won’t weigh myself, and will never track calories eaten or burned.
finding-fitness-sarah-creating-better-tomorrow

What has been your biggest challenge in your fitness journey and how have you dealt with it?

HMMM…well I LOVE working out and eating healthy because of where I’ve been I recognize the strength of balance in both fitness and nutrition.  But for me the struggle is knowing when to just let it all go, when to REST, when to EAT junk, when to just let it GO!!!  Kids have taught me a lot in this area, I need to just be free, eat what sounds good with moderation and know that in the end if I eat whole food and move every day my body will end up right where it needs to be every single time!

Have you had any setbacks since starting your fitness journey? If so, how did you deal with them?

No real setbacks but pregnancy was a douzy!  I had to relearn how to move my body and how to love it.  My body wouldn’t and couldn’t do some of the things it did before carrying twins for 40 weeks.  And accepting that was HARD!  Giving it time was HARD!   But that taught me the amazing strength of my body when I give it the time it needs to heal and to gain.

What achievement are you the most proud of?

MOM and WIFE…may not seem like a big one but for me….it so is, oh it so is!

Outside of the physical, what have been some significant changes brought on by your fitness journey?

Mental, mental, mental.  I used to work out only for calories burned, heart rate reached, weight lost…but the changes the ones that really matter can’t be measured and will never be able to be measured!

 finding-fitness-Sarah-Creating-Better-Tomorrow

What are you working towards now? What are your goals and dreams, fitness-wise?

No real goals.  My goal is to ALWAYS workout to be healthy.  As a mom and wife I totally don’t care about anything other than working out and eating right to live my healthiest life and longest life for them!

What does a typical training week look like?

Monday – Sprints 30 minutes, Teach PUMPED
Tuesday – 30 minute HIIT Cardio at home (from my online training programs)
Wednesday – Sprints 30 minutes, Teach PUMPED
Thursday – 30 minute HIIT Cardio at home 
Friday – Teach 30 minute Cardio Bootcamp, Teach 30 minute piloga
Saturday – REST
Sunday – REST

What does an average day of eating look like for you?

SO MUCH FOOD
Breakfast – Overnight oats with banana and tons of nut butter
Snack – Protein Shake 🙂  egg white protein, fruit, spinach
Snack – apple and nut butter
Lunch – Roasted Veggies, sweet potato, big burger!
Snack – pear and nut butter
Dinner – Paleo Beef Stew!
DARK CHOCOLATE and tea always before bed!

 finding-fitness-Sarah-creating-better-tomorrow

Do you take any supplements? If so, could you tell us a little about what ones and why? If not, why not?

Probiotic keeping my gut healthy
Magnesium to help keep me calm and sleep soundly
Fish Oil for my joints 🙂
Maca powder – for support for adrenals during stressful life periods

What is your favorite exercise? Your least favorite?

Teaching Pumped for sure!!!  I am not not not a yoga person!

What do you do if you find your motivation lacking?

Honestly if I am lacking motivation I usually NEED TO LISTEN and to rest, I used to push through but then I’ve come to realize that I actually love working out and if my body is saying no I probably need to listen and you know that is NOT the popular message today but it is the message I know I’ve learned the hard way!

How do you balance fitness with work/life/social/etc? How do you “find the time” to workout?

Working out ALWAYS happens for me in the morning. My boys know when I go to work at the gym it is for exercising and helping others.  When i work out at home it has to happen before they get up.  For me it is on the schedule every day!

What are your top 3 tips for someone just starting their fitness journey?

1.  Be patient
2.  Forget calories and pounds
3.  Throw away any and all scales (including food scales)
Sarah, thank you so much for joining us today and talking with me about your fitness journey!
finding fitness Sarah Creating a Better TomorrowSarah is a full time stay at home mom who blogs at Creating Better Tomorrow.  Her twin, 2 year old boys keep her active and fit no matter the day but she also enjoys teaching group fitness and training clients one on one.  She has a love for the garden and dirt…and eating all the things from the garden.  Her and her husband live on 7 acres out in the country where she can get her hands dirty and the boys can chase their chickens.
Sarah suffered from anorexia in college and through that experience has grown stronger in her relationship with her Lord, her body, and her family.  She know shares through her blog and fitness work a balanced approach to loving your body and moving in ways that make your body and mind stronger than ever.

Where to find Sarah:

On her blog at CreatingBetterTomorrow.com

Twitter: @CreatingBetter

Instagram: @CreatingBetter

Facebook: Creating Better Tomorrow

Pinterest: Sarah @creatingbetter

Sunday Meal Prep 2/5/17

Hey everyone! Have you been missing my weekly meal prep posts as much as I have missed doing them?! 🙂 I am so happy to be getting back to my normal schedule and a big part of that is being able to do meal prep again! This week’s prep is pretty small, but expect a really big one next week!

Enjoy!

Meal prep is my best tool to eating healthy the whole week! Come check out this week's meal prep and get your own free downloadable grocery list to get you started!

Things stayed pretty basic this week for our snacks and salads. I think I might try a new protein ball recipe soon though. This week’s included No Bake Maple Vanilla Latte Protein Bites and Cookie Dough Protein Balls Any suggestions?

One thing that didn’t stay the same: our containers! Just check out those pretty glass Pyrex containers! I finally gave in and upgraded our sad old collection and invested in some quality containers and I gotta say, I’m loving them!

healthy-snacks-and-treats-salads-weekly-food-prep

For our main dish this week, I decided to go with one of our recent favorites: Healthy Slow Cooker Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Chili. Pretty easy to get cooking, delicious and healthy, this recipe has quickly become my go-to! It turned out wonderful, as always.

weekly-food-prep-red-pepper-chicken-chili

And that is it for this week! This meal prep is perfect if you just want to spend a bit of time to make things a little easier on yourself the coming week.

What are you making for your meal prep this week? What is your favorite go-to recipe? I would love to hear about them, so drop an answer in the comments below!

January in Review, February Goals

Wow, what a start to the new year!! January was full of ups and downs, but I’m feeling pretty positive about what is to come! I promise that this coming week we will be back to normal here on the blog, with meal prep posts and everything.

January Review

Highlights:

vegetable-food-prep-process

  • I did a full meal prep photo session! I can’t wait to show you all what I have planned for a lot of the pictures. They turned out great.
  • My jewelry shop is now set up to sell at 5 upcoming markets! It’s just a start, but a great one!
  • I launched a new series on here that I am super excited about. Sharing Sabrina’s story with you was wonderful and I think you are going to love the ones that are coming up!

Low Points:

  • I got sick with the flu and two ear infections for around half of the month. Needless to say, this made a lot of things I had planned pretty difficult. I’m getting better now, but my regular routine is still really off and I’m having a hard time getting back into things.
  • I strive to be honest on here, so I will share this with you all….I’ve been having a hard time this month with feeling pretty down about my jewelry business and the blog. I love them both, but neither are where I would like them to be. I’m not quitting, not by any means! But it’s been a rough month. Some of that is probably from being sick, but regardless, I’m having a difficult time feeling upbeat about my work lately.

January Goals:

Personal

  1. Spend a day taking down old decorations and putting up new. Put on some music and make it a fun and relaxing day!
  2. Have one “date day” with Draz
  3. Have one day where I spend at least 3 hours on self-care
  4. Go to yoga class once a week

I really did none of these, although up to getting sick I was doing great with the yoga class. And I suppose I spent a lot of time on self-care, but it wasn’t really by choice, so I don’t think that counts.

Blog

  1. Shoot new photos for a planned meal prep project
  2. Shoot photos for an upcoming fitness project

The photos for the meal prep project are done! The fitness shoot ones…nope. These aren’t even set yet, though I am hoping to do them this month.

Business

nymph-in-the-woods-jewelry

  1. Contact 2 bloggers about possible collaborations
  2. Make 10 new pieces of jewelry – This one is only if physically possible. My fingers are still healing from some lingering symptoms from when I was sick back in September.

I’m going to call this one a win! I did make 7 new pieces of jewelry and contacted 4 bloggers. 7 isn’t 10, but considering I was sick half of the month, I say it counts!

Overall, January didn’t go how I hoped it would, but all things considered, it didn’t go to bad. I have high hopes for February though! I have a lot of exciting events coming up this month, so I think it’s going to be great! Due to all of the stuff going on this month, I’m going to try to be a little more reserved in how many goals I set.

February Goals:

Personal

  1. Yoga once a week! This was the goal that I was the most disappointed about not being able to do last month, so that is being carried over.

Blog

  1. Contact 2-3 people about the big project I have in mind about design and implementation

Business

  1. Finish up 10+ new pieces before market on the 10th
  2. Get studio cleaned out for remodel

That’s it for this month! Hopefully this month goes better, with no horrible flu or anything!

How did January go for you? What are some of your goals for February? I would love to hear about them!

5 Reasons Runners Should Practice Yoga – Sabrina from Love, Run, Yoga

Hey everyone! I am so happy to welcome Sabrina back to the blog! If you didn’t catch my interview with her on her fitness journey 2 weeks ago, you can check it out here! Today, she is going to be sharing with us 5 reasons why she thinks that all runners should practice yoga. And as someone who has ran 17 races since starting running in June 2015, I think she would know! Enjoy!

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Having worked for almost a decade for the YMCA, I’ve dabbled in my fair share of yoga classes. I would even incorporate age appropriate yoga poses into my preschool curriculum, but I never truly appreciated the benefits of it until I started running.

When I started training for my first half marathon, I would practice yoga on the days I didn’t run. It was more than just stretching for me – it taught me to appreciate my body and, most importantly, to listen to it – something that as runners we don’t always do.

So, without further ado, here are 5 reasons why I think all runners should practice yoga.

Improves Flexibility

This one seems like a no-brainer to me.  Isn’t this the whole point of yoga?  As a beginner, you can barely hold any of the poses but over time you are all pretzeled up like a true yogi, right?  Why do runners need to be flexible?  To begin with increased flexibility reduces the risk of injury.  It also helps improve posture and increases blood flow to your muscles.

why-runners-should-practice-yoga

Protection from Injury

According to Ashlee Willaman, a certified running coach and yoga teacher, “”Yoga does a great job of pointing out imbalances that can indicate injury is not far away.” Yoga can help a runner identify issues such as muscle imbalance.  Overuse of one muscle, and subsequently underuse of a complimentary muscle, can lead to overcompensation which opens the door for injury.  Yoga addresses all muscle groups which allows a runner to tune-in to their body to see what changes need to be made.  While a runner may complain of knee pain at the start of a yoga class, by the end she had learned the pain actually stems from the hip.  Certain poses can then be done before a run to open up the hips and reduce the risk of injury.  Learn how to identify pain and then work to fix and reduce it.  Don’t push yourself through it!

Improves Balance

The practice of yoga increases proprioception (the ability to feel what your body is doing and where it is in space) and improves balance.  For runners, better balance means fewer falls (oh, it does happen).  It also means less knee and back pain.

Boosts Your Immune System

Contracting and stretching muscles drains your lymphs (a colorless fluid containing white blood cells, that bathes the tissues and drains through the lymphatic system into the bloodstream). Regularly doing this helps the lymphatic system fight infection and destroy cancer cells.  Who doesn’t want to do that to their body?  And if you are a runner training for a big race, you can’t afford to get sick!

 

Relieves Stress

This one is near and dear to my anxiety-ridden heart.  The breathing techniques taught in yoga teaches your body to slow down and relax.  It lowers your breathing and heart rate and lowers your blood pressure too.  It also lowers your cortisol levels which helps anyone suffering from adrenal fatigue (the reason why I wake up at 2 AM wide awake and ready to party).  Your body releases cortisol when it senses an acute crisis.  When cortisol levels remain high, it can compromise your immune system and over time lead to brain damage.  Stress is dangerous – do yoga.

There you have it – my top 5 reasons for why runners should practice yoga.  What do you think?  Are you ready to try?  Remember, you don’t have to go crazy when first starting off.  As a busy working out of the home mom, I rely on DVD’s for my yoga practice.  If you are not ready to commit to that then just incorporating a few poses such as “Pigeon Pose” (see picture) after a run will help your body.

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Further Reading:

Why Runners Should Do Yoga

Yoga for Flexibility

38 Health Benefits of Yoga

 

13394135_285492808462874_7750457502689943236_nSabrina is a wife, mom and avid runner. Since starting running in June 2015, she has run 17 races! To learn more about her and check out all of the wonderful things she posts, check out her blog Run, Love, Yoga!

To follow Sabrina on her social media, here are her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Update

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a lovely week! I just wanted to pop in and say that I have not disappeared! I did, however, come down with the flu and 2 ear infections, which is why you haven’t heard from me all week 🙂 I do have some exciting posts coming up, so make sure to check back in on Thursday for an awesome guest post!

Next Sunday will be a bit different, since I wasn’t able to do any meal prep this weekend (yes, I was THAT sick!), but I think you will enjoy what I do have for you instead!

Sunday Meal Prep 1/15/17

Hey everyone! I don’t know about you, but I think the New Year energy is still keeping me super motivated right now! The great thing about this week’s meal prep? It works perfectly for that! Pretty quick to make, budget friendly and fit pretty well within my macros too!

Enjoy!

Eat healthy all week with this quick and budget-friendly meal prep!

This week’s lunches and snacks were pretty basic! One thing that has been changing lately? The salad dressing I’m using! I am having a lot of fun trying out new ones right now, all from Bolthouse Farms. This week’s is a Carmelized Sweet Onion Yogurt Dressing and is delicious!

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The other thing I’m loving right now? These new 5-Ingredient Banana Bread Muffins! They are so tasty and fit pretty nicely as a treat for my macros, at least sometimes 🙂 Our other main treat for this week was my favorite Sweet Potato Banana Bites! They taste like a dessert, but are much healthier.

For our main dishes, I picked a household favorite and a new one this week! The household favorite: Thai Peanut Chicken! Draz was very happy about that and so was I. This is still one of our favorite meals and I love how easy it is to prepare too! The only changes I usually make to this recipe:

  • chow mein noodles instead of thin spaghetti
  • I use more cabbage. Usually around 4 cups instead of 2

thai-peanut-chicken-jalapeno-chicken-chili

For the new dish, I picked this Slow Cooker Paleo Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili. Now, the recipe calls for a mixture of chicken and ground beef, along with sweet potato. I used all ground turkey and a russet potato. The potato part was fine. For the meat, I have to say that the original recipe probably had it right! This turned out ok, but probably not nearly as tasty as the original recipe would have. Sometimes that happens when you play around with recipes, trying to make them healthier! So for the grocery list this week, I have included the original recipe’s ingredients instead of my substitutions.

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Want to follow along for your own meal prep? Download your grocery list for this week’s main dishes here:

Have you ever tried to substitute ingredients, only to realize that the original was probably better? Ever done it and made the recipe even better? I would love to hear about your experiences, so please leave a comment below!

Finding Fitness: Sabrina from Run, Love, Yoga

Hey everyone! I am so excited to finally be sharing this with you! With this new year and some changes in my life has come a renewed focus here on the blog. More than ever before I want to help you along on your own fitness journey! My love of fitness has grown so much over the years and I want to inspire you to find that love of your own, in whatever form it may take!

But I only have my own story to share and that is why I am starting this new series! Each month I will be bringing you someone else’s story! I am interviewing different people about their journeys….where they started, how their lives changed, their daily routines and so much more!

To start this series off, I’m happy to introduce you to Sabrina from Run, Love, Yoga!

Today I'm talking with Sabrina about her fitness journey and her advice for others just starting out! Come join us as we talk about running, staying fit through pregnancy and so much more!

Background: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? How did your fitness journey start?

I’m a 38 year old wife, mom and runner. After the birth of my daughter 4 years ago I found myself completely in love with my baby and my husband, but I hated the way I felt and looked after gaining 81 pounds during pregnancy. It took me experiencing horrific stomach pains on a weekly basis to realize that it was time to stop putting myself last and it was time to do something. Little by little, I cut out soda, coffee and cut back on my beloved red wine. I cut back on carbs and gluten. Then I started practicing intermittent fasting. 4 months into this I felt better but still not great. Something was missing. It was time to exercise again. June of 2015 was when I became a runner. Since then I’ve run 17 races including 2 half marathons.  I am currently pregnant with my second child and I’m determined to have a healthier pregnancy this time around.

Fitness-interview-running-marathons

What has been your biggest challenge in your fitness journey and how have you dealt with it?

Plantar Fasciitis!  It is the worst.  I’ve been dealing with it on and off for 8 months now.  It didn’t get really bad until I started slowing down my training after my first half marathon.  When I started to kick it into high gear for my second one, I was in excruciating pain and could barely walk.  I’ve tried just about everything except surgery which my podiatrist highly recommends.  Unfortunately, I’ve had to tone down my training a lot.  My feet still hurt but I’ve learn to manage the pain.

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Have you had any setbacks since starting your fitness journey? If so, how did you deal with them?

Besides the PF, I’ve had to deal with losing my running mojo.  I suffer from anxiety so sometimes the pressure of the training can get to me and turn me off from running completely. It becomes more of a chore and burden at this point. When this happens, I cut back from running which allows me to find the joy in it once again.

What achievement are you the most proud of?

This is a tough one!  I feel like I really should say completing one of my half marathons as they both presented some pretty unique challenges.  The run I am most proud of though was my first 10 Miler.  I just ran the race I knew I could and enjoyed every moment of it.  I feel like I was at my peak level of fitness then and really showed myself what I could accomplish.

Outside of the physical, what have been some significant changes brought on by your fitness journey?

For one, I am happier.  I feel better about myself and I just plain feel better physically which lifts my mood tremendously.  Also, I think I am a better wife and mother when I am consistently running.  I am more patient. I don’t snap or yell because I have these wonderful endorphins running through me.  When I am running, I am just a better version of me.

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What are you working towards now? What are your goals and dreams, fitness-wise?

Right now, I am working on staying active and healthy during this pregnancy.  During my first one, I was a coach potato who gained 80 pounds.  I am determined not to let that happen again.  I realize that I have some medical conditions that might keep me from running for the entirety of my pregnancy, but I figure I’ll keep at it until my doctor tells me to stop.  At that point, I will be rowing my heart out in our basement on my “husband’s” rowing machine (that he never uses).  Long term, I am hoping that by staying fit during the next 7 months that I’ll have an easier recovery and that I’ll avoid the health problems that I developed after my last pregnancy.

What does a typical training week look like?

Typically, I run 3 days a week with a long run on the weekend.  If I am half marathon training, then my long runs are 8-10 miles long.  When I am not running then I am strength training and practicing yoga.  I follow the strength training moves taught by the Another Mother Runner Training Programs.

What does an average day of eating look like for you?

Now that I am pregnant I tend to eat every 3 hours starting as soon as I wake up.  Prior to being pregnant I practiced Intermittent Fasting which helped heal my leaky gut.  Typically, I am low carb to the point that I would eat less than 5 grams of net carbs every 5 hours.  Being pregnant, I have to up my carb intake and I am still trying to find that happy medium of not too many and not too little.  I’m heavy on the protein and the veggies that I do not have a sensitivity too – I have 15 food sensitivities that I try my hardest to avoid.

Do you take any supplements? If so, could you tell us a little about what ones and why? If not, why not?

Thanks to my food allergies and sensitivities, plus the adrenal fatigue, I take a ton of supplements most of which I had to stop taking due to being pregnant.

In the mornings, I take a multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D and a probiotic.  The fish oil is to help reduce inflammation which I suffer from and the probiotic is to help with the symptoms of Leaky Gut.
At night, I take melatonin, valerian root and magnesium all of which are to help me go to sleep and stay asleep.  I also take Zyrtec due to my environmental allergies.

What is your favorite exercise? Your least favorite?

Running and running!  Haha!  Nothing gets my heart rate up and makes me feel as good as running, but on the other hand when I’m just physically and mentally depleted nothing makes me feel worse than going for a run.

fitness-interview-happiness-running

What do you do if you find your motivation lacking?

I take a break and remind myself of why I started this fitness journey.  I also belong to a local running group with a heavy social media presence so just reading their posts about their personal running accomplishments is usually enough to get me lace up my sneakers.

How do you balance fitness with work/life/social/etc? How do you “find the time” to workout?

Well, I used to wake up really early, like 4:30AM early to get a run in, but I quickly developed Adrenal Fatigue so I had to stop that.  My only alternative was to work out in the afternoons/early evenings after work.  It did mean missing out on some family time, but I firmly believe exercise makes me a better mother.  In order to get all of my normal chores done, I did have to rely heavily on my crockpot for meals and my husband found himself helping out more.  I’m a mom so I don’t have much of a social life outside of my running group!

What are your top 3 tips for someone just starting their fitness journey?

My number 1 tip is to take baby steps.  Don’t go whole hog when it comes to revamping your diet and exercise routine.  You’ll burn out and quit before you ever get started.

Anything else you want to share?

Thank you for letting me talk about my fitness journey!

I love getting to hear about other people’s fitness journey and I hope you enjoyed it too! Thank you for sharing it with us Sabrina!

13394135_285492808462874_7750457502689943236_n Sabrina is a wife, mom and avid runner. Since starting running in June 2015, she has run 17 races! To learn more about her and check out all of the wonderful things she posts, check out her blog Run, Love, Yoga!

To follow Sabrina on her social media, here are her Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Sunday Meal Prep 1/8/17

So how was your first week of the new year? Did anything wonderful happen? I had some great things going on this week, like seeing an old college friend who I haven’t seen in years, working on a project with another blogger friend and meeting for coffee and computer stuff with a friend from my business book group! All in all, a fun and productive week!

One of the things I love about meal prep is the flexibility that it allows be during the week! Most of these things came up kinda last minute and I was just able to say “yes!” and enjoy them! All while still keeping my eating (mostly) on track 🙂

For this week’s meal prep, we are fully out of the holiday craziness and back into the swing of things. I had a lot to prep this week, but it was well worth it! Enjoy!

Want a quick and budget friendly meal prep? Check out this week's meal prep with Healthy Baked Smothered Chicken and Cabbage Sauteed with Chicken! You can even download the grocery list to get you started even easier!

For our snacks and lunches, we had all the normal stuff, but we also had a new addition: 5-Ingredient Banana Bread Muffins! These things are amazing! I love that not only are they tasty, but they are macros-friendly enough that I can have one most days if I want to…and trust me, I wanted to! These are definitely going to be made again.

Healthy lunches, snacks and treats to make your week easier and healthier!

 

We were also completely out of breakfast burritos, so a batch of those were definitely in order! I also made up some cinnamon bread and some extra Turkey and Bean Burritos for Draz to have in the freezer. We didn’t particularly need the extra burritos, but they are nice to have around just in case. Check out the bottom of the post for the Cinnamon Bread and Breakfast Burrito recipes!

Freezer breakfast burritos and homemade healthy cinnamon bread make a quick and healthy breakfast a snap!

 

And now, on to our two main dishes of the week! The Cabbage Sautéed with Chicken was a repeat dish, but actually went over much better this time! When I made it last time the recipe called for a lot more paprika than it does now. And while I like dishes all kinds of spicy, Draz was not too fond of the heat! This time the flavor was much more mellow and I really enjoyed it.

Baked Smothered Chicken and Cabbage Sauteed with Chicken make healthy, flavorful meals easy!

The Healthy One-Dish Baked “Smothered” Chicken was a new recipe and a complete hit! Both Draz and I liked this dish and I will be making it again, probably soon! The flavors blended together wonderfully and it was very filling and tasty. Plus helped me hit my protein for the day! Overall, a win in my book!

Smothered Chicken and Cabbage Sauteed with Chicken are perfect for a quick and healthy meal prep!

Both of these main dishes can be served with rice, but I ended up ricing some cauliflower and sauteing it up right before eating. It turned out great and I think I’m finally starting to get this whole “cauliflower rice” thing down! It was a great way to enjoy the dish with rice without killing my carbs for the day. Draz opted to just have both main dishes with no rice and enjoyed them quite a bit on their own, so you can really go either way with this one.

Want to follow along and make these main dishes for your own meal prep? Get your grocery list here!

How was your first week of 2017? What are you making for your meal prep this weekend? I would love to hear about it!

Healthier Cinnamon Bread
Print Recipe
I have loved having cinnamon bread as part of my breakfast for a long time now, but I wasn't always happy about how healthy it was. Not so with this recipe! After a lot of adapting and experimenting, I created this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Healthier Cinnamon Bread
Print Recipe
I have loved having cinnamon bread as part of my breakfast for a long time now, but I wasn't always happy about how healthy it was. Not so with this recipe! After a lot of adapting and experimenting, I created this recipe!
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Servings Prep Time
2 loaves 20 min
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
Servings: loaves
Instructions
  1. All of these directions are using an electric stand mixer. If you are using something else, adjust as needed.
  2. In your mixing bowl, add bananas, eggs, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla essence. Mix on low until combined. Add unsweetened almond milk, then lemon juice; continue mixing on low.
  3. One cup at a time, slowly add whole wheat flour while mixing on low, scraping sides of bowl between each cup. After adding the last cup of flour, add the baking soda. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix on low briefly to fully combine.
  4. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and the cinnamon to make a cinnamon sugar mixture.
  5. Spray two loaf pans with cooking spray. Put 1/2 of the batter (or a little less) into the loaf pans; 1/4 in each pan. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon mixture on top of the batter in each pan.
  6. Add remaining batter to pans, then sprinkle with last of the cinnamon topping. Swirl with a knife.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

Nutritional Information according to MyFitnessPal: 141 calories - Carbs 32 g, Fat 1 g , Protein 3 g , Cholesterol 16 mg, Sodium 116 mg, Potassium 120 mg, Sugars 17 g, Vitamin A 1%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 5%, Iron 5%

Nutritional Information is for 1 slice. Each loaf, for us, comes to 13 slices.

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2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Print Recipe
These breakfast burritos are a staple in our home! Tasty and filling, they are our favorite breakfast. Pair with some healthy homemade cinnamon bread and cottage cheese and you have a breakfast that will start your day off right!
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Print Recipe
These breakfast burritos are a staple in our home! Tasty and filling, they are our favorite breakfast. Pair with some healthy homemade cinnamon bread and cottage cheese and you have a breakfast that will start your day off right!
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28-30 burritos 45 minutes, split
Cook Time Passive Time
20-25 minutes 10-15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: burritos
Instructions
  1. Brown sausage over med-high heat in a large skillet. When sausage is almost cooked through, add bell pepper and onions. Saute until tender. While sausage is cooking, beat eggs and any desired seasonings together.
  2. Once sausage and veggie mixture is cooked, add egg mixture. Cook, stirring regularly, until eggs are almost set. Add cheese and salsa; cook 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted and eggs fully set. Remove from heat and allow to cool, 10-15 minutes.
    freezer sausage breakfast burrito filling mixture
  3. Once mixture is cooled, spoon into tortillas and fold into a burrito. Wrap in cling wrap (my preference) or aluminum foil.
    2 sizes freezer breakfast sausage burritos
Recipe Notes

Our burritos have two sizes. Mine have 1/3 c filling wrapped in a FlatOut wrap. Draz's have 2/3 c. filling wrapped in a larger (burrito-size) white tortilla. This recipe usually makes 30 burritos in total, 15 of each size. If you are just making the smaller burritos, it should make roughly 54 burritos.

To Heat: Remove from freezer and allow to thaw overnight. Heat in microwave 1.5-2 minutes, flipping once. (You can heat straight from the freezer, but I find it's harder to heat evenly that way)

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