The Key to Success is Nutrition

When I attended DC Fit a couple weeks ago I ran into Marina the founder of Get Lean Life LLC.  She had conducted a nutrition workshop at Roam Fitness many months prior.  My running into her was serendipitous as I’ve been dealing with the remnants of this foot injury.  As much as I tried to stay on top of my fitness and nutrition habits, I let being injured hamper my efforts.  nutrition success

After listening to her nutrition panel I caught up with her and said I could use her guidance (ok, I may have made a pleading sound and puppy dog eyes).  In any event she gave me some supporting words, telling me my fitness base was strong and to focus on how I am fueling myself (not diet!!)  After a follow up via email she offered her “12 Weeks to Fabulous” program to get me started.  I agreed to give it a try and will work through the first 2 weeks of the program, evaluate and review here.  After reading through the initial documentation of the plan I am actually pretty encouraged. GLL

The food listing was familiar as I could point to most of the items in my refrigerator right now.  Things like lean ground turkey, fish, and chicken breasts, a variety of veggies, and fruits.  I’m a huge green veggie eater and just rediscovered brussel sprouts (my 6 year old self is like, what?) I gave up ”white” carbs many years ago and enjoy my brown rice, quinoa, and wheat tortillas.

Ok, so then what’s the problem Mar?!  Well, while in general the foods I eat are relatively healthy, as a runner and fitness enthusiast I struggle with consistency (and probably sugar and you might as well throw coffee and portion size in their too).  I *know* what I should do but during my sedentary phase I feel like I lost the ”how to” and motivation with nothing to train for (and added several pounds!)  accomplishment

The idea in “12 Weeks to Fabulous” really is to not eat processed or refined foods.  She suggests reducing sugar and sodium intake, eat consistently to fuel your body not deprive it (she recommends every 3 hours), drink plenty of water (she suggests a gallon a day), and portion control.  Where I will need to improvise is “healthy fats” as she lists many nuts, coconut, and avocado – all of which I’m allergic to.  The packet contains shopping lists, sample meals and a checklist for each day which will help me stay accountable the next couple of weeks, on top of my personal training sessions.

GLL_MOTR

Marina @ Get Lean Life, LLC

Day 1 begins today and as I mentioned I will follow up with a full review of the program in a couple of weeks.  I’m feeling pretty good getting back into the swing of workouts - I just need this nutrition push to follow.  I’m coming for you Pittsburgh, as healthy and strong as possible! :)

RRCA Certification Weekend + Workouts

Is it Friday yet?  What, it’s only Monday? Really?  Wow… ok, back to reality.  This past weekend was a blur.  It was pretty packed with travel to and from Richmond, traffic (ugh), coaching classes, and a missed long run (sort of).

Starting with Friday I took my lunchtime scroll as planned to see the Cherry Blossoms.  I knew if I didn’t go then I’d miss them.  And they did not disappoint!!  Some were even still a little green:blossomsJeffersonUnfortunately, there was some kind of accident on I-95 Friday that led to 20 mile backups ALL DAY.  It took me over 4 hours to travel to Richmond and it was nearly 11 pm when I checked in.  Ugh.  This was my first visit to Richmond so I didn’t have a chance to view my surroundings but all was right with the world when they handed me a warm chocolate chip walnut cookie upon arrival.  Rest easy indeed… (and THAT is true customer service!)  cookie

Day 1 of RRCA Coaching Certification class began bright and early at 8 am Saturday and it was held on the VCU Campus.  The one gripe I have is we weren’t given a class roster and they skipped introductions, which was a bummer.  It would have been great to try and connect with local participants ahead of time or even attempt to carpool.  As luck would have it, I was joined in the class by Danielle, of Yoga Hikes DC, which was a fun surprise.  I also met quite a few DC locals which was great but we had to find each other.

I won’t go into the entire course curriculum but it was jam packed both days with instruction and information related to:

  • Coaching History
  • Runner Types and their Training Needs
  • Physiology
  • The Business of Coaching
  • Nutrition
  • Building Training Programs

classIt was a LOT of information and I’ll leaf through the materials again to keep it all straight and prepare for the online exam (which we’ll get a link to in a couple of days).  Our instructor, Randy Accetta, was great.  He was knowledgeable and funny and had plenty of anecdotes to share!  Again, it was a lot of information to cover and we probably could have used an additional day (or less anecdotes!) but the most was made of what we had.

Randy

Day 1 ended late, after 6 pm, but there was enough daylight to take in the sights of Richmond.  Danielle and I took a 3 mile stroll, visited some historical sights and had an amazing pasta dinner at Tarrant’s Cafe (blogger fail, no pics – but I assure you it was delicious!  Here are a few real pics though!

VA_capital

80 degrees, Capital building!

Richmond waterfront

???????????????????????????????On Day 2 we spent a great deal of time on a case study building a training program.  This was an interactive exercise which was good to get us moving about.  Upon conclusion of the day we took a group pic and were given the book “Running Formula” by Jack Daniels.  ???????????????????????????????

Danielle from Yoga Hikes DC!

I left immediately after class ended on Sunday to get back to DC at a reasonable hour.  Day long class + 2 hour car ride + hopeful 8 miler = not a brilliant idea.  I did run but it ended at 5 as I was too tired.  I am looking forward to getting back to a routine this week!  Here’s my week in workouts:

  • Monday:  REST (from Sunday long run)
  • Tuesday: 3.1 mile run
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes elliptical
  • Thursday: 60 minute personal training session (ball slams, squats, lunges, Tabata rowing – yay!)
  • Friday: Rest / Cherry Blossom walk
  • Saturday: Rest / 3 mile walk
  • Sunday: 5 mile run, 1 mile walk

How was your weekend weather?  Here’s to the start of a great week!!  

Friday Five: There is Good in Every Day

Can I get a whoop whoop for the end of an overwhelming and exhausting week?!  Every day was something new and different to challenge me but I suppose it balances out somehow.  Case in point: I attended a work event Saturday evening but headed to the Four Seasons instead of the Ritz Carlton.  “First World Problems.” D’oh. goodFor today’s Friday Five along with Cynthia and our travel butterfly Courtney, we went “Free Friday” again.  Even in chaos I’m fortunate enough to have an awesome social circle and other positive forces in my life.  So when my world gets a little crazy I’m able to just keep going.  DC_linkup

Here are 5 positive things I’m taking away from this week:

1) Monday night I taped my podcast for the Lifestyle Accountability Show.  It’ll be episode 183 so probably another month before it goes “live” but it was so FUN!!  It was motivating and inspiring to participate and I hope it does the same for you!  I’ll keep you posted on the air date.

2) The cherry blossoms have peaked!!  As of yesterday morning we are at peak bloom.  Yay!  I have plans to take a lunchtime stroll today to see them and couldn’t be more excited!

Blossoms_WUSA9

source: WUSA9

3) UPMC Sports Medicine invited me to participate in a Google+ Hangout for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  I had a little introductory chat with one of their communications peeps yesterday and will let you know the exact details as it gets closer.  In the meantime, please circle the lunch hour on Tuesday, April 23 if you’re interested in joining!  I’m so grateful to be an official blogger for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  So many cool opportunities have come my way as a result for a city and a race I LOVE.

4) When I landed in foot brace jail I thought I’d be able to keep up with my fitness using the bike and other low impact activities.  Yeah, that didn’t really work out so well.  My non-conditioning set me back (by my standards) so I enlisted the help of my Roam Fitness family.  Last night started a new round of personal training for me to get back on track, in addition to my running.  It felt awesome!Slamming!

5) And finally, the WEEKEND!!  Aside from making it to Friday I am overjoyed as RRCA Coaching Certification weekend has arrived.  Squee!!!  Full report on that next week :)

TGIF, who’s out and about this weekend?!

 

Stat What?

I am mesmerized by stats.  No, not in the “it’s the only thing that matters” or defines me kind of way, but I have always been a numbers geek (a degree in Accounting will do that to a person).  I excel at Excel and charts and graphs make me giddy.

LOL... How I Met Your Mother

LOL… How I Met Your Mother

So from time to time I spend some moments looking at the various analytics both WordPress and Google provide.  I find this fun (just me? ok, then…) but also necessary as a blogger as well as interesting, and sometimes downright comical.

These are the Top 10 sites that refer traffic to me (in order of #):  

  1. Facebook.  As annoying as the FB Page algorithms have become, this stands to reason.  I belong to a few Facebook groups that have daily link love posts where you share your blog posts.
  2. Google search.  More later about the most searched terms.  But for someone who knows nothing about SEO, I’m impressed by this being so high!
  3. Twitter.  When I first started blogging, I didn’t understand Twitter. Now, I love it and use it often to share and engage with others.  It’s probably my favorite social media platform.
  4. Bloglovin.  Thanks for subscribing peeps!
  5. Refinery29.com:  you remember that little online mention?
  6. PittsburghMarathon.com:  as a result of being a Run Home Blogger!  Thanks for visiting!!!
  7. Eat Pray Run, DC.  Yes my BRF sends me a lot of traffic – thanks, girl
  8. Inlinks.  This is the site we use for our weekly linkups.
  9. You Signed Up for What?!  My second fellow DC Trifecta buddy, thanks, girl!
  10. Active Life DC.  Another site where I’ve been featured (here and here) and continue to receive traffic from.

You saw Google search was #2 on the traffic list and the most searched for term to get here is simply “Mar on THE Run” (though many like to type ”teh” haha, whatever works autocorrect!)

google_motr

puzzled? me too, Google, me too…

 However, I do see some funny or just plain random searches:

  • funny things to post on instagram (this is a big one and I can’t figure out why…)
  • take a break to sleep (bloggers note: LOL!)
  • marine marathon route water fountains handles taken off is on shutdown list (one of my favorites!)
  • Yancey Thigpen gets married (because of this perhaps?)
  • dirty your ecards (bloggers note 2: LOL!!)
  • pedicure ticklish
  • it’s going down I’m yelling Timber (well, yeah…)
  • And this one isn’t funny but it totally melts my heart someone found my blog this way:  “inspirational marathon friendships” AWWW!

Spam.  I use the Askimet plugin to catch and rid my site of SPAM comments.  I will occasionally go through them before they are permanently deleted for 2 reasons.  One is in case any real comments get caught and two, because some of the comments are simply high comedy:  SPAM

  • “I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I don’t know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already   Cheers!” (wow, famous?! *blushing!*)
  • I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist.  You deserve it friend!” (umm, thanks?)
  • “The very next time I read a blog, hopefully it won’t fail me as much as this particular one.  I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely thought you’d have  something helpful to say.  All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could fix if you weren’t too busy looking for attention.” (ouch!! this would hurt if it wasn’t attached to a fake Louis Vuitton website and spam email address, lol)
  • It’s ɑ shame уоu don’t have a donate button!  ӏ’d mοst certaіnly donate tto thіs outstancing blog!  Ӏ suppose for now i’ll settle fоr bookmarking аոd adding ƴoսr RSS feed to my Google account. Ӏ look forward to fresh updates andd աill talk aboսt this blog witҺ my Facebook ǥroup.   Talk ѕoon!” (hmm, donations – never thought of that! and sooo many typos) ha!

Where’s everybody from?! My visitors come from all states and countries but these are the Top 5 places:  DC, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York.

Ok, thanks for letting me get my geek on.  And thanks for all the blog love :)  Happy Wednesday!!

DC Fit + Workout Recap

My week of getting back to fitness ended with DC Fit.  It was fun, informative and a great way to spend a Saturday.  Held at Long View Gallery in the Shaw neighborhood of DC, it was organized between 30 minute fitness classes and health and fitness panels with great healthy food options and other vendors.DCfit The classes included: Barre, Tabata, Jump and Tone, Dance Trance, and Yala as well as Yoga and Pilates outside.  The panels included a nutrition talk with Marina of Get Lean Life (who you may recall from my lesson in nutrition here!), Lauren at Whole Foods and moderated by Allison of Wicked Healthy Washington.  There were also panel conversations on lifetime fitness and healthy cooking.DCFit_nutrition healthy cookingWhen looking at the schedule my plan was to take several workout classes.  But if there is one thing I discovered about getting back to fitness, I need to be cautious as my feet aren’t quite ready for high intensity workouts!  My first fitness session was with Ingrid Nelson (pictured below), one of DC’s best and most sought after personal trainers.  Her 16 minute Tabata workout totally kicked my tail (in a good way!)  I later tried out Reebok FitHub’s Jump and Tone.INGnelson

Yoga on the Terrace

Yoga on the Terrace

The food and drink was also a bright spot.  I was able to try Jrink Juicery which offers raw cold pressed juices.  Unfortunately they were only giving out one sample per person so I wasn’t able to try the variety of flavors, but the Pear, Kale, Cucumber I had was amazing.  Juices are only available online for now but they’ll be opening a juice bar in Dupont Circle soon.  JrinkI also chatted with and tried out the salads from Sweet Green.  The Kale Caesar, mmmm!!!  sweetgreenWorking out and walking around for a couple of hours tired my feet out so I ended up leaving before the fashion show and final workout classes and was handed a nice swag bag as I exited.  IntheCapitalThe idea of a fitness focused event where you are able to try out classes (that in some cases hadn’t been released yet), listen to experts and have healthy food options was great.  The only thing that gave me pause was the noise factor.  The open loft style of the gallery made it difficult to hear the panelists when the expo was in full swing and people were transitioning from working out.  Small item that I’m sure can be addressed somehow. Overall though it was a fun fit day!  So, thanks InTheCapital and I hope to see this again!!

Weekly Workout Recap:

I haven’t done one of these in a loooong time! Yay.

  • Monday: Training session at KICK Fitness
  • Tuesday: 3.1 mile run
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: BodyPump
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: DC Fit
  • Sunday: 6 mile run  workout

Who else got active this weekend?! Spring is finally here and dare I say, to stay – woot!!

Friday Five: Countdown #RunHomePGH

2014_Run_Home_Blogger_BannerIn exactly one month’s time I will be lining up at the start of the Pittsburgh Half.  Eek!!  I’m pretty excited at this stage but also nervous.  On February 1st I ran my last 7.5 miles, getting injured before I could complete 12.  Then this week on April 1st, exactly two months since my last run, this happened:

no April fools joke here!

no April fools joke here!

Can you feel my joy through the screen??  Even though it’s just really getting started for me I’m also in countdown mode.  Today is “Free Friday” with me, Cynthia and Courtney - join us!  My Friday Five is all about how I’m approaching my 13.1 mile Run Home:

1.  Yoga:  Last week I began my “conditioning” process by doing several sessions of yoga.  My hand still wasn’t 100% and I wanted to rid my body of toxins, stretch the foot and start to regain some flexibility.  Hot yoga is my weapon of choice and I’ll continue to do that at least once a week.

2.  Building mileage:  My plan is to get in 3 quality runs a week from this point forward.  I was encouraged by my Tuesday 5K.  For someone who hadn’t run in 2 months a 31 minute 3.1 felt pretty darn good!  This weekend I’ll attempt a long run of 6-7 miles and increase weekly to 8, 9, 10 and then race day! 

3.  Strength:  This week I wanted to focus a bit on strength.  Monday was my visit with KICK Fitness which I reviewed on Wednesday.  I also got in a BodyPump sesh yesterday and tomorrow I’m heading to DC Fit (which recently announced the full schedule, join me!! ‘marontherun’ for 15% off).

BodyPump

BodyPump for the win!

4.  Goals:  The UPMC Pittsburgh Half will be my 15th half marathon (OMG!!)  As of now I have one goal for the race - my “A” goal – and that is to finish strong.  Luckily my body knows what 13.1 feels like so I think I’ll be able to adjust.  I’ll look to set a ”B” goal based on time as I get through the conditioning cycle but it won’t be my primary focus.

5.  Having Fun:  If you’ve been here awhile you know I always like to keep things lively!!  Life is too short otherwise.  One of the best parts about this upcoming race is being a Run Home Blogger.  I’m happy to be a part of generating so much excitement for the weekends activities.  I was recently interviewed for WHIRL Magazine’s marathon edition so look for that in the next few weeks.  (and don’t worry about missing it, I’ll tell ya!)

My fellow Run Home Bloggers and I will have a group dinner to start marathon weekend.  Hitting up the expo and catching a Pirates game with friends Friday is also in the works and then it’s race time.  My dad has already downloaded the RaceJoy app to track me :) .  It feels good to be getting back at it and hope you continue to stick with me on this journey!!

If you are running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler this weekend, look for me and Cynthia at the Expo behind the ZOOMA Women’s Race Series booth Friday!  Who else has fun weekend plans?!  

DC_linkup

K!CK It: a Review of KICK Fitness

When I moved last summer I had two basic requirements for amenities outside of locale and the space itself:  easy access to laundry and a fitness facility (easy, right?)  I did not know about KICK Fitness at the time but if I had, perhaps my home search may have ended a bit differently.  This week I had the opportunity to meet and greet the man behind KICK, learn more about the facilities and have my very own personal training session (in short, awesome!!)

Hi, Ryan!

Hi, Ryan!

Before I go any further, let me explain.  Ryan Stitt started KICK Fitness over a year ago.  He has taken the “gym” and made it available literally in your own backyard.  KICK is a fully functional fitness facility that serves the residents of several JBG property communities.  KICK is now in three locations:  the Alaire in Rockville, MD; Sedona/Slate in Arlington, VA; and the latest, Sky House in the SW DC Waterfront.  Classes are available in VA and MD but not yet in DC as it’s still fairly new.  I was offered an opportunity to check out KICK at Sky House and boy was I impressed.  waterfront

As soon as you exit the Waterfront Metro the building is within eyeshot to the east and  there is also a grocery store right in front of you (convenient).  The residential building is secure and staffed by a front desk.  It was nicely decorated, luxurious and quiet.  Small disclaimer: I was there to check out the fitness facility only so cannot speak to the actual living quarters but the common spaces were impeccable.  I think there will be an open house in a couple of weeks.  The gym is 2 floors, state of the art, and really inviting.  KICKfitness1

Ryan and I met up and after introductions chatted a little about my own goals.  Since recovering from injury is pretty much the only thing I’m thinking about right now, we focused on that (and losing these injury pounds that have crept up!) and took some weight and body fat measurements (le sigh… could be worse but some work is required!)  The workout portion of the session began with a 3 minute step test to measure my recovery heart rate.  stepFollowing the step test we worked on some push, pull, leg/core activities.  Three sets of push ups on the bar, pull ups on the bar, wall squats with an exercise ball (and weights for more oomph).  We started on the lower floor so moved upstairs following the first round to do another set of push, pull, leg, and core work.  KICKupstairsThe second round included shoulder presses on the exercise ball, pull ups on the assisted pull up machine (first set at 40 pounds net second at 60 – woo hoo!!)  followed by dead lifts.  Ryan’s expertise truly showed during my session and he advised me on strength training through my recovery period.  He was thorough, easy to talk to and the time flew.  Again, really impressed with the facility and personal attention and given this was my first real workout in awhile, sore on Tuesday ;) KICK_cover

As I mentioned KICK Fitness is available for general use of residents only in the respective communities and membership is included as part of your rent.  However, non-residents can contact Ryan (ryan.stitt@kickfitness.com) to learn more about personal training options.

I love this concept.  Gym memberships aren’t always affordable or convenient and it’s nice to have an at home option that is a step up above old equipment in a basement.  Extremely impressed by KICK Fitness.  Hmm, when does my lease expire? :)

When Life Gives You Lemons…

As we approach the end of the first quarter of 2014, I realize this year has kicked me around a little bit.  Between lost luggage, foot injuries, missed marathons and falls… um, yeah.  BUT…

*TRUE STORY...

*true story…

I’d like to think I have been patient and positive (mostly) and tomorrow starts a new month.  There is no better time than now to look at my goals and take stock:

  • Become a marathoner.
  • Get my RRCA coaching certification.
  • Write a Business Plan.
  • Volunteer.
  • Run a sub 2-hour half.
  • Participate in 14 in 2014.

While the timing of some of these goals has been altered (ie marathon in fall instead of spring) I can say they are all still on track with one exception.  I have chosen NOT to do 14 in 2014.  After the injury I simply want to focus on the quality of my running and making sure I get and stay healthy.  If it happens, it happens but there are other more important things I want and need to turn my attention to, namely:

AHEM...

AHEM…

First things first is getting ready for Pittsburgh which I’ll outline my plan for later this week.  I already know I won’t race in June and July so I can focus on strength and summer enjoyment in prep for the marathon training process.  I’ve opted to utilize the same training plan I had for Shamrock starting in late July and have rounded out my racing calendar for the foreseeable future:

*Pittsburgh 5K and UPMC Pittsburgh Half, Pittsburgh, PA, May 3-4.  As an official run home blogger this is my foray back to racing!  It may not be fast, but I’ll get it done at home, yay!  2014_Run_Home_Blogger_Button

*Girls on the Run DC 5K, Washington, DC, May 17.  I’ll be participating as a volunteer and running buddy.  logo_girlsontherun

*ZOOMA Annapolis, Annapolis, MD, May 31.  I’m undecided on the 10K or half and will play it by ear after Pittsburgh but the half is what I’d aim for.  Either way I’m thrilled to participate with my fellow ambassadors!  logo_annapolis

*Arroyo Creek Half Marathon, Simi Valley, CA, August 10.  I’ll be in the midst of marathon training and in Cali for Blogfest so of course I’d find a race that fits!  And possible for sub 2 :) arroyo-creek

*Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, Washington, DC, September 14.  Courtney twisted my arm on this one (kidding, sort of) but excited to run it together and it falls into my training plan.  I’ve done the 5-miler before and always wanted to participate in the half.navyhalf

I remain focused on the present and looking ahead to bigger and better things - it’s time to leave the injury riddled past behind!  Stay tuned this week as I am checking out and reviewing a new DC fitness facility plus DC Fit on Saturday.  Getting back at it!!  Have a marvelous Monday!

Friday Five: Favorite Fitness Activities

Happy Friday party people! I don’t know about you but I’m glad to see the end of what was a loooong week.  Whew!  DC_linkup

First off, because we continue to get questions, I wanna say that you do NOT have to link up every week nor follow the theme.  We announce on Twitter, Facebook or one of our blogs IF there is one and they are always optional, so make sure you’re following one of us to find out.  Ok, now back to regularly scheduled programming.  fitness

Cynthia, Courtney and I went for a Friday Five this week all about our Favorite Fitness Activities!  So – here goes:

1.  Running.  Duuuuuh.

2.  BodyPump.  I enjoy strength training in general but this particular class I just love.  I usually take it 2 times a week at my local Gold’s Gym but it was developed by Les Mills so you can find it at other fitness facilities it’s distributed to.  I could clean and press all day long!  BodyPump

3.  Yoga.  More specifically, I have become a huuuuge fan of hot yoga.  Core Power Yoga recently opened in the DC area and I’ve taken to many of their classes, all of which are heated.  There are also a few variations, including sculpt which is hot yoga with weights (yes, please).  This week alone I’ve been there twice with plans to go a couple more times this weekend.  keepcalm

I have tried to enjoy yoga before but find the stillness of a regular class counterproductive to its purpose for me (because I can’t be still).  But the effects of Yoga for runners is incredible so I’m glad I’ve found something that works (and can’t wait for Yoga hikes to start again!!)

4.  Walking.  Running is my “thing” but I can never pass up a good walk.  I’m fortunate to live in a very walkable city like DC.  I’m within walking distance to Rock Creek Park and many shops and grocery stores, and with a bevy of monuments and historical buildings there is always a tour to be had.  I have also been known to hop on over to the White House on my lunch break.  So when the weather gets nicer and, a walking I will go!

look kids, the White House!

look kids, the White House!

5.  Hiking.  I love me a good mountain :) But seriously… I enjoy the outdoors and exploring different trails and terrain.  On my list for sure locally is getting to Great Falls for a scenic hike!

Rocky Mountain National Park!! Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park!! Colorado

What are some of your favorite fitness activities?  Do you prefer being inside or outdoors? #TGIF!!

Mmm, Mmm, Good!

I very rarely talk about food on the blog (unless of course it’s Fro-yo, that’s always worth a mention!)  I do not consider myself a big foodie and my cooking is sporadic.  I eat to live, not the other way around.  While I love spicy foods and trying new restaurants/cuisines my overall food selections can be quite boring.

the exception to every rule ;)

the exception to every rule ;)

However, as I’ve been working through my injuries and gearing up to start the “conditioning” process for the Pittsburgh Half, I realize I need to get back to focusing on nutrition.  I have gained some weight from my limited fitness routine and the hand injury did me no favors.

To jump start my brain to this process, I began the week by crocking one of my favorite dishes: Chicken Tortilla Soup!  It’s healthy, and easy to throw in the crock pot then divide into containers for quick heating.  chickentortillasoup

Naturally yesterday I forgot to grab a container for lunch so went with a salad at a local café, which was delish (and always no dressing or on the side).  asianchickensaladWhile waiting for my salad I discovered Way Better Snacks in SNACK size!! I had only seen them at Whole Foods in the larger bags.  The sweet chile flavor was amazing and is now a new favorite.  WayBetter

Over the weekend I decided to invest in the Runners World cookbook (via Amazon, Kindle version).  While paging through I’ve already found some great recipes to try and glad I made the purchase!  For dinner (and lunches to follow) last night I made “Chicken and Quinoa Soup” from the cookbook.  It’s no Campbell’s but it was mmm, mmm, GOOD!  (and yes, I’ve made a couple soups this week because Mother Nature decided to give us winter in spring!) chickenquinoa

Another new find is Nature Box.  In one of my fall race goodie bags I received a snack size of Peanut Butter Nom Nom’s (mmm, mmm, GOOD!) and stalked the interwebs to find out how to get them.  Unfortunately they only come through subscribing and because I was testing out StrideBox at the time, didn’t want to commit.  After cancelling that I decided to give Nature Box a try (new subscribers get 50% off the first box).  NatureBox

I was never sure how I felt about monthly boxes but this one I’m keeping!  My snacks have included Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Nom Noms, Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper Pumpkin Seeds (YES!!), French Toast Flavored Granola, and Dried Pears.  I have since learned you can customize your box to specify which products you want.  I may try that once I test out some more stuff and garner a few favorites.

these? favorites!

these? favorites!

I’m now more motivated to get back to meal prepping.  I’ll try picking out some items from the cookbook to plan around.  All in all I think I have all the ingredients to getting back on track and who knows, maybe I’ll start posting more about food :) (or not…)

What are some of your go to healthy dishes or snacks?? or are you a Fro-yo fan too?

**If you are joining our Friday Five linkup, our theme this week is “Favorite Fitness Activities!!