Saturday, June 30, 2012

Having Fun Is a Workout

How has this weekend flown by so fast? I wish I could slow time down because a few more days and I'll be back to normal life. I have had SO much fun with my family this week, but man...having fun is a workout.
I was able to hang out with with one of my bestest friends in the whole world. I miss you all the time Benits!! 
 I've spent a lot of quality time with the fam.
 I sure do love this lil' guy.
 We have tried to beat the heat by relocating to the local shopping centers. I don't mind getting my walk on in mall form.
 I do wish Texas would give me this cute thing back as well.
 We somehow ended up at the biggest candy store I have ever been to in my life. Talk about temptation.
 Like I said, lots of shopping.
 Oh, and we have managed to fit in quite a bit of pool time.
Now do you see why I don't want this week to end? As you can see, we have been BUSY. Vacation is soooo rough ;) I hope you've had a great week too!

Some of you asked where my jeans were from in THIS post? I got them at J Crew a few weeks ago, and I kinda love them.  My niece actually bought the same ones today. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Importance of Fueling Properly

Food is such an interesting thing. We absolutely have to have it in order for our bodies to run, and yet we are so weird about it. We overeat because our minds tell us that is what we want to do. We pick foods that do NOTHING for our bodies nutritionally because our minds, and our taste buds, give us the green light. We want to feel great, look great, and perform great, and yet we aren't willing to eat in a way that promotes such feelings, body shapes, and performances.

I often times will discuss this with my clients...if someone was to give you a million dollar vehicle that looked AWESOME and ran like a dream, you would take care of it. If the person giving it to you instructed you that it was CRUCIAL that you put only supreme gas in this priceless vehicle, you'd do it. Because guess what, if you didn't...the car wouldn't run. It's as simple as that. EVEN IF your car is just a normal car, you would not fill that normal car of yours up with water, or with whatever other liquid you could find. Why? Because you know that without the right kind of gas, your car WOULD NOT RUN.

So why in the world, do we not do the same thing with our awesome bodies? Why are we putting crappy fuel in our bodies that barely allows us to run? Why do we constantly fill our tanks with useless calories that aren't doing much for us?

WELL, in training for the Utah Valley Marathon that I ran a few weeks ago I learned a lot about the way my body works and having the right kind of nutrition. I went into this marathon training eating Paleo. This meant that my macronutrient percentages weren't what the normal runner's would be. I had a higher amount of fat (albeit good fat), higher amounts of protein, and even though I still was eating a BOATLOAD of fresh produce, by removing all grains from my diet I had a lower percentage of carbohydrates. I researched a lot as to what endurance athletes who lived according to the paleo lifestyle ate, and I added more sweet potatoes, quinoa, and bananas to my diet before I would have my long runs. This worked fine for my runs that got up to about 8 miles, but past that I could feel my body running out of gas, and it felt crappy. I am a mentally tough person, and I can muscle through a workout even if I am feeling crappy and tired, but it got pretty brutal. I remember I did a 12 mile run that I thought was going to kill me. I realized very quickly that my carbohydrate percentages were too low. There are some endurance athletes that have been perfectly capable of running and staying very strict with the diet. For whatever reason I was not one of them, and I knew I didn't want to have to muscle through all of my runs, or else I would HATE the rest of my training.
So, I added in some of the foods I would eat before my long runs prior to my eating Paleo. Keep in mind I was still eating GOOD foods. I wasn't just binging on crap because I "could." I added in things like oatmeal with honey or a slice of whole grain bread to give my body the boost I needed. I can't even TELL you the night and day difference I felt. I would eat something that was a little higher in carbs before I went to bed on the night before a long run, and then I would eat a good breakfast that was higher in carbs. The difference between the way I felt during my runs was absolutely AWESOME. I also was sure to add in my usual Shot Blocks, or GU Chomps during my runs as well.

Now, when I trained for my races in the past I was eating more carbohydrates in my diet in general. But, I remember having the "carb load" mindset, and I would actually over do it I think. I didn't understand the importance of what I was fueling my body with, and how it would effect me. Because with this last race I knew that specific meals were helping to increase my glycogen stores, I was very conscious. It is also interesting to me to think back on the past races I trained for, I was very much in the "weight loss" mind set. I didn't want to eat a diet that was too high in carbohydrates because I didn't want to thwart the weight loss process. I have since realized that it is really important to eat the right amount of carbs, and to eat higher quality carbs to give your body what it needs. Here are some basic tips I'd offer if you are in training and would like to be sure you are fueling your body adequately.

- Start your race with your energy stores full. AKA eat something before you have an intense bout of exercise. Some people need 30-60 minutes to let their food digest a bit.
- Eat something beforehand that is easy for your body to process, but gives you a good source of energy. Some good examples would be, oatmeal, a banana, toast, or cereal.
- For individuals that are running intensely, 3-5 grams of carbohydrates per lb of body weight is a good rule of thumb. You can also look at it in percentages 60%-65% of your diet should be made up of carbohydrates. 
- During exercise, athletes need at least 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. If exercise is going to be more intense than 2-3 hours, upping your carb count to 45-90 grams per hour would be smart.
- Be sure to hydrate yourself before, during, and after your run. Water is a big part of feeling good while you are working out, and being dehydrated will be a quick path to feeling awful.
- The most important thing that I would suggest is to know before you go! Don't try out new foods or a new eating plan on race day. Use your lung runs to test out what works for your body and what will digest well!

Curious about what you should eat after the run? Read HERE about post workout meals!

What is your favorite way to fuel for your long workouts? Can you tell a difference between when you do and don't eat right to fuel your body, not just for races but all the time?  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ketchup. But not that kind.

I have some catching up to do from this past weekend to explain my lack of posting. This past weekend was spent in HOT and sunny St. George with all of my friends. It was so much fun! We pretty much made a weekend out of staying up late, laughing, and playing outside.
 We may or may not have been pulled over on the way there...don't worry, we made it out ticket free.
 Isn't Whitters beautiful? I know.
 I didn't have any control over the food, and I knew that breakfast would be rough with my paleo eating, so I brought along an Uber Larabar. It was soooo good. I love Larabars. This is what I call breakfast in bed.
 We took up residence poolside, and got away from the heat.
 Which was awesome...

My friends really are just the greatest.
 You know what else is the greatest...zippers on jeans.
 Takes me back to my 3rd grade days.
After St. George, SB and I had flights to catch in Vegas, so we boarded a shuttle bus that took us all the way there. It was verrry very hot, but sweating is good for you right?
And there we go. All caught up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

We Gone and Done It Again

Today was round two of our at home circuit workouts. This morning my fabulous sister Linds joined in as well. I love being able to work out with everyone! It is so much fun :)
Our workout today went like this...

3 rounds of the following...
- Jump Rope 100 times
- 20 front to back single leg squats on the right leg w/the TRX
- 20 front to back single leg squats on the left leg w/the TRX
- 12 squats, 12 rear rows, 12 bicep curls (with 15 lbs DB's)
- 10 inchworm push ups

2 rounds of the following...
- 30 seconds of mountain climbers
- 30 second regular plank
- 30 second elevated plank
- 30 toe pick crunches

finish with a grand finale of 15 pushups :)

It was a great workout that took us about 40 mins again. Keep in mind that in between some of these exercises we are wrangling children! I love that my sisters little kids want to be in on the workout with us. We got to talking about how having kids at home can make getting a workout in difficult. Leaving to go to the gym may be impossible, and little kids love to interrupt a good workout session at home. Obviously, I haven't ever dealt with this issue, but I asked my sis what helps her to get her workouts in.

Her answer was that she makes her workouts a priority. It is SO easy to have something come up, to give an excuse, and to let something else take priority over exercise, but you HAVE to decide how bad you want it! My sister tries to exercise when her kids go to school or nap, so that she can have some time to herself. She said it helps that she has a treadmill and some weights at home, because getting to gym is really hard to do. She does a lot of my at home circuit workouts that you can do ANYWHERE, and with just about anything. I loved her suggestions!

How do you get a workout in with kids at home, or when your real life schedule gets the best of your time?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

If You Were Wondering Where I Get it From...

I know that my family and I are very similar in our likes and our dislikes. However, last night was a definite representation of just how similar we are.

My sister and mom were determining what we should have for dinner, and they decided that a salad bar sounded good. I, of course, agreed. I am never one to turn down a salad bar.
 I think this is SUCH an awesome idea to feed a group because everyone can make their salad however they like it. We had rotisserie chicken, kidney beans, hard boiled eggs, cucumbers, avocado, pineapple, tomatoes, olives, beets, carrots, diced almonds, and sunflower seeds. SO, SO, GOOD! I had everything except the kidney beans. My family hardly has a meal without a fruit platter.
 Doesn't that just look awesome? It was. I can vouch for it's awesomeness. My salad looked a little something like this...
 Yum right? After we all ate we decided our night wouldn't be complete without a little bit of frozen yogurt to top it off. Like I said, surprised as you may be, this wasn't my idea either! My family and I really are just one and the same. No wonder I like them so much. ;)
 Aren't these ladies just beautiful? I sure do love them, and their stripes.
 My sister had a look-alike walk in, so we tried to be very sneaky and get a photo of them together.
 It is very clear that we really like our frozen yogurt, and that we have great balance.
As I was thinking about how similar I am to my family members, I began to think of the positive effect we have on one another, and that all families can have one each other. One family member can have such a great impact on the rest of the family as far as introducing healthy food items and even getting others involved in exercise and physical activity. My challenge to you would be to evaluate yourself and the role you are playing with your family. Are you having a positive influence on those who are around you, or are you having a negative influence? What can you do to change the influence your are having? Just some food for thought...

What does your family love to do together? Do you feel like you are an active and healthy family, or an unhealthy one? Have you tried to implement healthy habits in the lives of those you love?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another At Home Circuit Workout

I started out this morning a little crazier than usual with some bread. Well...bread to me. :) I had some eggs with a slice of the paleo bread that I made yesterday. It was so tasty!
 After breakfast we managed to have a very difficult morning/afternoon filled with shopping and laying by the pool. It was so much fun!
Post swim, I have been gone all weekend without much of a chance to work out, so I was ready to get my sweat on! My mom and sweet little niece joined me for a great at home circuit workout. I love that my mom has a TRX at home.
We did three rounds of the following...
- Jump rope 100 times
- 20 squat curl presses with 15 lb DB's
- 20 burpees
- 20 push ups with the TRX (you could do regular push ups here)

and then two more rounds of the following...
- 20 rows with the TRX (this could be replaced with DB rows)
- 20 air squats (as quick as you can)
- 1 minute plank hold

It took us about 40 minutes and we were sweating!

It is usually about 90 degrees by the time I get up, (and you know that I refuse to run in the heat), so getting up to run in bearable temps would require a 5 or 6 AM wake up time. Heaven forbid I wake up early on my vacation week...this means that the chances of me getting up to go run or do anything outside does not seem very likely. Because I know this I am already planning on a week full of circuit workouts like this one. I'm not mad about that at all! You know I love a good circuit!

I know a few of you said you were trying the Paleo Bread today! What did you think!?!? I hope it turned out as good as mine did! Do you workout on vacation, and if so do you get up early to get it done?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Delicious & Easy Paleo Sweet Bread

Whenever I come home to Arizona I always love to try out new cooking experiments. My mom always has all the ingredients, and let's face it...her cookware is just WAY better than mine is. I have a friend who has some health concerns that causes her to eat very closely to the way I do. It makes it fun when you have someone to bounce ideas off of, and share recipes with, and she and I definitely do that. She brought home some of this delicious paleo bread a few days ago, and I just know I had to replicate it. So I did, and it's AWESOME!
Easy Paleo Sweet Bread

1/2 cup of creamy roasted almond butter
2 eggs
2 Tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp stevia
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs cinnamon

In a large bowl mix almond butter until creamy and smooth. Add in eggs, honey, vanilla, and stevia, and mix. Add salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to this mixture. Mix well until everything is combined well. Pour batter into a greased 8x8 baking dish and bake at 325 for 15-18 minutes, (or until a inserted toothpick comes out clean.)

I am already dreaming of the variations that could be made with this recipe...It was really, really delicious, and I think it could make some GREAT muffins as well! Try it out!

Have you ever had paleo bread before? If so, how did your ingredients differ?  Do you have a kitchen you prefer to cook in like I do?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Viva Las Vegas!

I'm sitting in the Las Vegas airport for approximately 2 hours while I wait for my flight to AZ. No legit blog posts until then...for now you can see what SB and I look like sitting on the dirty airport floor. (You do what you have to do when you are in need of outlets.) keep in mind that our day has consisted of sitting by a pool and sweating in a shuttle van for 2 hours. I may or may not look a little rough...BUT, I have had an awesome weekend, and the fun only continues. Have a happy, healthy weekend!
Xoxoxo megs

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Who said playgrounds were just for kids?

I always like to try and mix things up for my clients. I have an awesome client named Tycee that is super tough, and always do willing to be my guinea pig. In the spirit of mixing things up, I took Tycee to a local park to give her a tough outdoor workout. It was so much fun, and she absolutely ROCKED it. I always hate people's excuse that they don't exercise because they don't have access to a gym. You can work out anywhere! Our workout included...

Box jumps
Pull ups
Hanging crunches (knees over the bar)
Shuttle runs (picking 2 points and sprinting between them)
Pushups with feet up on bench
Rows with the bar
Mountain climbers with feet up on bench
Monkey bars (have you tried them lately? Not as easy as you think)
Air squats
Crazy planks

It was such a fun and tough workout, and all of it was done without a single dumbbell or machine. Proof that playgrounds are not just for kiddies!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shabby Apple $50 Giftcard Giveaway Winner!

I loved this contest...and I think all of you did too. So, we'll just cut right to the chase and announce the winner of the $50 Shabby Apple Gift Card...
Thanks to EVERYONE who participated, and thanks to Shabby Apple for the great contest!
Congrats to #47 Shelly Gajus!! 
Email me at megolina21 at with your info, and we'll get your winnings to you!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Papa Les & a Weekend Workout

Happy Father's Day! I most definitely have to give a shout out to my one and only, Papa Les!
My dad is the absolute greatest! He has always been such an incredible example to me of hard work, kindness, determination, achieving goals, and making the most of life. He is such a positive support to me in all that I choose to do, and he has always been my number one fan. I love getting to spend time with him, and I constantly feel like I am learning from him, which I love. I am so grateful for an awesome father who has instilled so many important principles and qualities in me. My awesome dad is cruising the French riviera with my fabulous mama cita, so I don't even get to talk to him today...but HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!

This past week has been so weird for me. I have really been trying to listen to my body, and take it easy. I was really sore through the beginning of the week, but by Wednesday my soreness was practically gone. The only thing that has been lingering is my foot...I'm praying for a miracle there. I did some light lifting on Thursday, but nothing too taxing. Yesterday was my first real workout since the race, and it was still nothing too crazy. This is kind of my go-to workout when I am short on time and need to hit all the muscle groups. It's quick and easy, but still a great workout!

I started with twenty minutes of intervals on the elliptical. 2 mins high speed/high tension. 1 min recovery speed/high tension.

12 squat curl presses with a 40 lb bar
12 bent over rows with a 40 lb bar
15 pushups
2 minute plank
repeat as quickly as you can 3-4 times depending on how much time you have

I ended with
15 sumo squats with the kettle bell
15 kettle bell squat thrusts
x2 and then I had to jet.

I was sweating, but it felt good to get moving. I tried not to do anything that put too much pressure on my right foot, so this workout didn't have as many leg sets as I usually do. Nonetheless it is a good workout if you are needing to get your sweat on fast!

I got the rest of my cardio in walking around the chalk art festival at The Gateway, and shopping at City Creek. The best kind of cardio if you ask me :) The average 150 lb person burns 156 calories while walking around and shopping. I'll take it.
Don't forget you have until tonight at midnight to enter the giveaway for a $50 giftcard to Shabby Apple!

How are you celebrating Father's Day? What was your weekend workout? Are you a shopper?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

$50 Shabby Apple Giftcard Giveaway!!

Ohhhh I have the best news! I am so excited about this. If there are two things that seem to always boost my spirits I would say that one is exercising, and the other is shopping. I absolutely love it, and I know a lot of you do too. I think it runs in my family or something. Can a love for shopping be genetic?

Anyways...on to the good news. The FABULOUS people over at Shabby Apple have offered to give one of you lucky readers a $50 gift card!! Awesome right?
 I love Shabby Apple because they have such a fun vintage flare that is present in all of their clothing. They have some adorable swimsuits, right in time for summer! OH...and did I mention that they also have a line of fitness wear. Yep, it's to die for.

Here's a little sampling of what I'm loving from them right now...

I'm jealous that I can't enter...

But, guess what? YOU can. 
Here is what you have to do...

1) Visit and "like" Shabby Apple's Facebook page HERE & leave a comment telling me you've done so.
2) Visit Shabby Apple's Website HERE and then leave me a comment to tell me which item you're swooning after (leave a separate comment from above please)
For Additional Entries:
3) Become a Muncher Cruncher Follower and leave a comment telling me you are one!
4) Blog about this giveaway, mention it on Facebook, or tweet about it. Leave a separate comment for each, so each will count as an additional entry.

This contest will go until Sunday, June 17th at midnight! The winner will be chosen through and announced on Monday June 18th. This contest is only available to those who are U.S. residents. GOOD LUCK!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Plan for the Aftermath

Is it Wednesday already? Sheesh. This week has speedily flown by. I have had a lot of people ask me what my "now what?" plans are since the marathon is over. Well...I will tell you.
My friends like to talk about me as two separate people, old Megan and new Megan. (Or as they jokingly say, Fun Megan and New Megan.) They say that "old megan" ate treats, and pizza, and whatever else. New Megan has a boring diet. They say this totally jokingly, of course, and they also realize that I have been eating this way for over three years now, so it is nothing new to to them.

Anyways, SB asked me on Saturday what the one menu item I'd been DYING to have since I've been in my "new life" was...and since I'd finished a marathon she thought I should probably have it. I thought about it, and guess what I was craving more than anything else? A Pizza Factory Salad and some frozen yogurt.
Truth. Crazy right? You would think after running 26.2 miles I'd feel at liberty to eat a house. BUT it wasn't that I didn't feel like I could. I just didn't want to.
I have been eating Paleo for over nine weeks now. I ended up having to add in some carbohydrates before my long runs, because I didn't feel like I was getting enough energy from the paleo carb choices such as sweet potatoes and quinoa. I plan on doing a post on my thoughts on race nutrition because I learned a LOT this past training go-round. The three days before my race I added in carbohydrates as well. There was a DRASTIC difference in the way I felt. One of the things I have noticed in cutting out grains is that I do not feel bloated like I used to. I feel more tight and compact. I like the difference. I could physically tell what the grain carbohydrates that I was eating were doing to the way I felt.
With that being said, once the race was over I was already thinking about how I was excited to get back to my paleo eating. I think it is because I have found a groove of how it works for me. I don't feel like I am being deprived. I have felt the benefits it has had internally, and seen the benefits it has had physically.

Here is my projected outlook for the next few months as far as my exercise and eating routine is concerned.

Back to Paleo
I'm going to try and share more of the details of what my diet looks like with y'all so you have a better idea of what I'm eating, and I will surely continue to tell you if its working for me or not. :) 
Lunch today consisted of my favorite, Avocado Chicken Salad and Roasted Veggies. Divine.
This is where I get really excited.
Circuits, interval training, cross-fit-esque type workouts, and TONS of functional exercise. This is the type of stuff that I LOVE to do. It is fun. It is fast. I'm done with the long arduous cardio sessions for a while, and we're going to see how I do! I have been doing this with all of my clients for sometime now, and they love it. I've been adding these workouts into my marathon training as well, but I couldn't ever do it fully how I wanted to. Now I can, and I seriously can't wait!

Post Race Report:
I have been REALLY sore all weekend. I actually haven't worked out since the race because I'm trying to do this thing where I listen to my body :) Soreness-wise I am feeling awesome today. The only negative thing I have to report is I think I re-injured an old stress fracture in my foot. You may remember last year when I ran too far/too much in my Nike Free's and got a stress fracture. Wellll.. I think he's back. :( I am trying to stay off of it and let it heal, but I'm bummed about it.

On a side note...this is me facetiming with my parents from the NY airport yesterday. They are on their way to the French Rivera. I think they forgot to invite me?
 What are YOUR summer workout plans? Are you switching anything up, or are you already in a good groove? Are you liking the circuits/workout I've been posting? What would you like to see more of?  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Utah Valley Marathon Race Recap

It's OVER!!! I made it! Holy Hannah, I'm glad that it is over with.
3:30 AM - Wake up, get dressed. Breakfast of a cinnamon sugar WHITE bagel (Who am I, right?) and a banana.
3:55 AM - Picked up by my brother-in-law and sister to head to the Provo Marriot. My brother-in-law dropped my sister and I off and he headed to where he was supposed to meet for his 1/2 marathon bus. My sister's running partner is friends with the race director, so instead of riding up on the buses, we got to ride up in his car with him. Yes please.

Me, my sister Nichole, and her friend Amy were able to snap a quick pre-race photo!
6:10 AM - Started the run from Wallsburg! I don't like to start with the crowd when it's chip timed. So, we took our time getting ready to take off. The race scenery is BEAUTIFUL. Absolutely gorgeous. Every time I started hurting, getting tired, or feeling negative for any reason I just tried to remind myself of what a great opportunity it was to be able to do this...and that I had to get down somehow and the sooner the better, right? ;) 

The first half of the race flew by pretty quickly for me. I was able to meet some darling readers along the way which was AWESOME. I love getting to connect with people! It makes this whole blogging experience much more fun. I saw some friends that I knew were running. In case you were wondering, I totally yelled my whole way through the tunnel. 
Now, whoever said..."oh that race is easy it's all downhill"...was totally lying. Yes, there are some definite down hill portions, but MAN there are some definite uphill portions too. I thought that the course was difficult. It was pretty hard on my body, and there was a total headwind too.

Another really unique thing about this race is that due to the nature of the course, there are hardly any spectators until mile 20! I couldn't have been happier to see some of my AWESOME supporters at the bottom of the canyon! 

My SWEET friend Amanda was waiting at mile 21, and planning on jumping in with me just for a mile or two. She has had some major knee problems, and so I knew this was a total sacrifice for her. At this point I could feel my body getting tired, and seeing familiar faces cheering me on totally lifted my spirits!
 Soon after I saw some of my family, and my mom jumped in and ran with me for a sec. Isn't she the cutest?
Amanda ran with me to mile 24, and she was going to jump out but I started to struggle. I could tell that I was really dehydrated, which annoyed me because I was VERY particular about my nutrition/refueling the whole way. I knew I was getting so close, but I could feel myself slowing down. She ended up staying with me until the end. She seriously was my little running angel. She talked me through the last five miles, and helped me to keep my pace up. I really don't know what I would have done without her, and I don't know how she ran for that long with her injuries. Miracles people. MIRACLES! :)
There really is no better feeling than running across the finish line. I was so ready to be there!!
 I crossed the finish line with a time of 4:10!
I REALLY wanted to get in under 4 hours, but I am so glad to just have it finished. We spoke with the race director afterwords, and he told us that because of the headwind, most people were coming in with 10-15 minutes added to their time. I don't know if this is true or not, but I feel good about being done! 
It was a tough race, but I made it. I have several friends who are much speedier than I am, and all I could think about the whole time was how much respect I have for these people! Marathons are hard enough, but speedy marathons? UNREAL.
 My awesome sister, Nichole, and her training partner Amy came in at 4:39:20! I am SO proud of them!! Such an accomplishment :)

I even got to see a bunch of friends that finished around the same time as me. How cute is Julia?
I can't thank my family and friends enough for all of their support. I SERIOUSLY have the best support group ever! It made my cry! Having all these fabulous people cheering me on made all the difference!
Going through this training experience with my awesome sister has been something I'll never forget! I loved being able to have my mom and dad there too! They are SO great!
 There you have it!
 26.2 miles completed! My second marathon, done. I'll be honest. I am one sore girl today! I can't wait to tell you what my plan is from here forward!

Did you race? How did you do? What did you think of the course? Tell me ALL about it! Do you like having family and friends there to support you when you run??

Thanks again for all the love, support, well wishes, and happy smiles and words along the way! DONE AND DONE!