Workout recap and meal planning

We made it home from our Thanksgiving trip late last night.  It was a great trip seeing both sides of the family, meeting two brand new baby cousins and eating lots of good food.

Meeting new cousins

This was week two of relative rest from running although I got in a few short, easy runs on vacation.


Monday: 30 minute weight circuit + 30 minute spin

Tuesday: spin class + body weight circuit

Wednesday: 6 mile vacation run with my husband

Thursday: 3 mile run with my 10 year old neice

Friday: off

Saturday: 6 mile easy run with my husband


And now we’re getting ready for another short week before taking the girls back to Houston to visit!

Meal Planning

Sunday:  Chicken Pesto edamame pasta

Monday: Stuffed acorn squash with quinoa and turkey

Tuesday:  Crock pot Vegetarian Chili

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday:  Early morning flight to Houston

Friday: trip

Saturday: trip

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Did you travel for Thanksgiving?

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food?

No Bake Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal

I have three Halloween pie pumpkins staring at me from the top of our piano, waiting to be either thrown into the compost or the oven.

Have you baked a pie pumpkin? It’s super easy.  I typically cut it in half, scoop out the pulp, and put each half face down on a baking sheet.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-50 minutes, depending on the size of the pumpkin.

It’s done when soft.  Let it cool and peel the skin, and then you can cut it in chunks or puree it.  Freeze it or throw it into soups like Pumpkin Chili or Pumpkin Bisque

I’m not a huge pumpkin fan but I do love it in oatmeal and my girls do too.

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal is always a hit, as well as …

Pumpkin Baked Quinoa (mixed with plain yogurt above)

This is the only way either girl will eat quinoa, which reminds me that I really need to make it again!

But if you don’t have time to wait for something to bake, this week I also created a new favorite:

No Bake Protein Oatmeal

No Bake Pumpkin Protein Oatmeal


1 c. quick or rolled oats

1 c. pumpkin puree

4 scoops vanilla or chocolate Shaklee Life Shake

1 tbsp cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and press it into a container.  Eat immediately or chill and eat later cold or warmed up.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!

Have you cooked your own pumpkin or do you prefer canned?

Where are you celebrating Thanksgiving?

Get Fitter and Stronger in the Off Season [Challenge]

I recently spoke at a health event along with a US kettlebell competitor and trainer, Rick Martins.  My focus was on nutrition for runners and his was on the strength training piece.

Rick kettlebellsHe leaves today for Dublin to compete with Team USA!

He had some amazing tips and I came away completely inspired to get stronger in the off season! It’s always a goal… but now I have the “how to” and the tools to make it happen.

For the last two years, I’ve been hosting a 21 day reset challenge in January with about 50 women and I’ve been thinking about how I could make it even better this year- so I approached Rick about incorporating some of his training advice for runners and, good news, he is IN!

January 2016 Reset

The reset will continue to contain all of the pieces we’ve loved in the past…

  • Meal plan templates and sample meal plans
  • Healthy, easy seasonal recipes with lots of crock pot ideas
  • Emails with tips and motivation
  • Group accountability through the private Facebook group

But this year the reset will have an extra focus for runners who want to get fitter and stronger in the cross season, including Rick’s tips for:

  • Nutrition tweaks to maximize your fitness and strength
  • How to incorporate the four phases of strength training into your running plan
  • Workouts to become a stronger runner

How awesome is that?! I want to jump in and get started right now!

But I won’t.  My “off season” is beginning now- other than the possibility of a 5k or two, I’m taking it easy.  My training season will pick up in January for a March half and I’ll be adding this strength program in.

Wherever you are in your training cycle in January, we’ll talk about how to maximize the benefits from strength training to be a stronger runner.

Esprit de she yikes face at finish

I’ll host two live calls for runners looking to kick things up a notch:

  1. One on how you can incorporate phases of strength training to maximize it’s effectiveness and get stronger this winter
  2. And one on nutrition details to eat for strength and performance

A strong spring is made in the winter

Note: You do not have to be a runner to join the challenge! The live calls and bonus materials for runners are optional.

Are you in?  Have you joined me for a 21 day reset in the past? If you’re brand new, check out what others have said here.

Or jump straight to the registration page to join us.

As always, you can choose to do the reset only OR you can choose to include vitamins and protein to boost your results. If you want even more personalized attention, you can add that as well.

(I highly recommend you incorporate a whole food based vitamin, pure Omega 3s and a probiotic with this challenge to cover nutrient gaps, reduce inflammation and boost your good gut flora.)

Registration is open and the first 15 can use promo code “earlybird” for $10 off!

Questions? Email me! I’m always happy to help..

How does your training change in the off season?

What are your goals for the winter?

Weekly recap and meal planning

Hey everyone,

How’s your weekend going? Ours has been a bit more laid back as we get ready for some busy weekends ahead, especially with Thanksgiving this week.  We went ice skating yesterday for L’s first time ever and I got some Christmas shopping done (online).

I took it easy this week.  I shared on Tuesday that I’ve learned the hard way in the past from not taking enough recovery time after races so I actually really enjoyed mixing it up this week without running (after Sunday).

Sunday: 9 mile run with the MRRT group

Monday: 30 minute weight circuit + 3 mile walk

Tuesday: spin class

Wednesday: 30 minute resistance band circuit + 3 mile walk

Thursday: 3 mile walk

Friday: 30 minute weight circuit + 4 mile walk

Saturday: off6 Signs of Over Training

I don’t want to venture into the danger of over-training… these are 6 signs to watch for if you feel your body telling you to slow down!

This is a really short meal planning week as we get ready to hit the road to see family in just a few days…

Meal Planning

Sunday:  Quinoa Minestrone

Monday: Baked salmon with roasted acorn squash and broccoli

Tuesday:  Travel day!!

Wednesday: Thanksgiving family time

Thursday:   Thanksgiving

Friday: Thanksgiving family time

Saturday: More family time before heading home

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Do you enjoy taking a break from running, or dread it?

What are your Thanksgiving plans?

15 months baby and mom update

I enjoyed doing post baby monthly check-ins last year so I’m going to try to do a few quarterly ones in the second year of baby J’s life.  Here’s the first one!

We’re already at 15 months, soon to be 16 months.  In one year we went from this…

2014-11-18 07.51.45to this….

DSC_3294So what’s happening these days?


She is definitely falling into the stereotypical younger child “ham” of the family – she loves to be silly and make us all laugh. She and big sis will “wrestle” and their shrieks and giggles are so contagious!

She loves being outside and will often bring me her shoes and coat, and “ask” that they be put on (with lots of pointing and emphatic grunts.)

Baby J outside

I know moms aren’t supposed to compare, but she is nowhere near her sister’s verbal skills at the same age – she prefers to communicate with sign language, hand motions and grunts or squawks.  I’d prefer words but we’ll get there!

However, she is further along in other areas.  She likes order, stacking, and putting things back where they belong (hooray!!) She notices details and will imitate everything we do (sweeping the floor with her mini broom, trying to put clothing on dolls, or throwing things in the trash can.)  She will patiently try something over and over again (like putting a lid on a container) and is not easily frustrated.

Along with the fun personality, her ability to voice dislike has also grown stronger.

Baby J dislikesPut the camera down and find me more food!

With kid #2, I find it more entertaining than stressful when she’s upset.  The poor second kid!


She is still taking two naps most days, but can skip the morning nap if we have to.  Typically she’s up between 6:30 and 7am, naps from 9:30/10 until 11:00ish.  After lunch we do errands, take walks, or play and then she naps again either before or after kindergarten pick up somewhere around 3pm.  Bedtime is usually 7pm.

Mama updates

Looking back at previous months, I think with each new update I felt more and more “normal” and if it’s possible, I feel even more so now! One of the biggest indicators for me that I’m back to my old body is when my race paces start hitting their previous numbers.  More than the number on the scale, that seems to the measurement I watch for and I’m happy to have hit those paces again in my fall races.

DSC_3211Interestingly, I’ve focused a lot on strength training this past year and the number on the scale is a few pounds higher than it used to be (pre-kids) but my clothes fit better and are even a bit loose  I really like focusing on strength rather than the scale- I might write more on this soon if I can get a post together.

If you have more than one kid, what were some differences you noticed?

How do you measure when you’ve successfully bounced back from pregnancy?

Post race recovery lessons

Some times (most times?) runners learn a lesson the hard way.  We often work right to the edge of the line of injury and flirt with it.  We don’t know exactly where it is until we cross it, which happens to most of us at least once.

Personally, I’ve found the time I’m most injury prone is immediately after a big race.  My body is busy recovery and healing all those micro tears and I feel recovered before my body actually IS recovered.

Recovery run

I’ll never forget my first marathon.  I was so proud of myself for finishing, and within just minutes of a Boston qualifying time.  I felt great through the whole training cycle.  I felt great afterwards (after the first few days of sore quads).

We moved to Houston just a few weeks later and I was still running, and jumped back into double digit long runs almost immediately.   After that first 13+ long run, I came home and knew I was in trouble.  My left shin was so sore it hurt to walk! Sure enough, I had finally crossed the line my body had set for me and I was forced to take off a few months to heal.RW having fun


This fall after the Maine half marathon, I felt great! I backed off a little and then ran the 4 races at the Runner’s World Festival and was amazed at how good I felt.  I took it really easy that next week in preparation for the Perfect ten mile race, and had a new pr. And again thought, I’m feeling so good!!

And then I jumped back into a busy week with a mix of spin, strength training and a little running.  I thought because I was running so little I’d be fine, but a week ago my shin (yep- the same one!) began to feel a little achy.  It’s no where near “injury status” but my body let me know that if I continue pushing it, it will be.

So I’m taking this week easy in the running department, and possibly next week too.  It’s a beautiful time of year to be out running but I’ve learned my lesson and really don’t want to repeat it.

Hopefully by playing it smart now, I’ll prevent a longer recovery time or forced time off.

Have you learned where “the line” is for your body?
How much recovery time do you take post race?  How does your body let you know when it’s time to back off?

Meal Planning and Workout Recap

How’s everyone’s weekend going?

We finally had a quiet weekend to catch up on yard work and some chores around the house.  We also spent the morning yesterday buying a car! It feels so good to have that done after trying to look in 2-3 hours chunks when we had babysitters.  We finally found what we were looking for and finished all the details yesterday to drive it home.  Yay!

Car shopping

L was with me and I found this selfie on my phone afterwards.  At one point during the paperwork explanations, she blurted out “blah blah blah blah blah” – and everyone cracked up.  Our rep afterwards pointed out the video camera in the corner and said he was going to have to share her outburst with his colleagues- the thoughts everyone has at a dealership but never actually voices them.  :)

Car shopping trumped my running plans so I’m hoping to get my longer run in this morning with the MRTT group.  The weekly recap…

Sunday: 7 mile run with the MRRT group (8:45 ave)

Monday: 20 minute no equipment strength training from Sarah with the Fresh Fix group + 3 mile easy stroller run

Tuesday: 6.2 mile run with 9 x 90 seconds hard with 2 minute recoveries

Wednesday: Sarah’s 20 minute resistance band workout + long walk

Thursday: 6 mile run with 4 @ 7:25 pace

Friday: off

Saturday: 30 minute spin with intervals + 20 minute circuit workout

Fall walkingPrana giveaway ends tomorrow!

Meal Planning

Sunday:  Spiralized Zucchini “zoodles” with chicken sausage, broccoli and red sauce

Monday: Chicken Fajitas

Tuesday:  Butternut Squash Curry

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday:  Crock pot Vegetable and Bean stew

Friday: Family pizza night

Saturday: Out

Flyjoy barsI’ve also been enjoying some new bars lately from Flyjoy.  These are a chewy bar with ingredients like quinoa, chia and flax and some really creative flavor combos.  I really liked the Cherry Coconut Macaroon and the Peanut Cacao. They’re dairy free, soy free, gluten free and nonGMO.

I also just learned from their website that they support Hope International, a company where one of my good friend’s works and that does a lot of good in the world battling injustices and poverty.  Another reason to check them out!

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What are your favorite bars?

How are you spending the weekend?

Why do we love to take things to the extreme?

This question has been on my mind this week.

Lately, I’ve noticed on my instagram feed that it tends to be the extreme behaviors that are applauded or admired.

The 100 mile races.  The “no room for moderation” diets.  The daily 10+ mile runs.  The intense strength training for body figure competitions.

I don’t want to say that there is anything wrong with these pursuits.  I am all about setting big goals and going for it! It energizes me like nothing else.

Yet I noticed how easy it is to compare myself to these feats… should I be up at the crack of dawn every day to squeeze more miles in? Maybe I should cut out my dark chocolate habit and grab some heavier weights to see if I can find that six pack.  Should I pick a really BIG new goal and go for it?

Gah! No, thank you. There are times and places for that and I will likely have moments of “extremes” in my training (choosing another marathon to train for, etc.) but I love this place of balance right now.

What is it that is so enticing about the extremes? The extreme physical pursuits and extremely clean diets?

I have to consciously talk myself back into reality- I like my routine and my goals are big enough for me.  I like not running every single day.  I like not being a high mileage runner.  I like that I can enjoy eating popcorn when I feel like it and finishing dinner with dark chocolate or grab a piece of leftover Halloween candy without guilt.

And then it makes me a little nervous.  These images have so much power! And as a mom of two girls, that worries me.

Some of you may remember the series I did on body image:

And the follow up step (part three) is to notice WHERE the negativity or comparison stems from and cut it out of your life whenever possible.  This can apply to social media, magazines, certain websites, etc.  If something makes you feel bad about yourself, unsubscribe or unfollow or limit the time you have to compare.

Focus instead on filling yourself up with as many affirmations and positive balanced people as possible.

Best way to eat

The bottom line is the healthiest you can be is with the sustainable lifestyle that makes you happy and full of life!

How do you avoid comparison and stay positive?

Where do the negative voices or comparisons come from in your life?

For more powerful reading, check out:

Loving my red pants and a PrAna Giveaway

Disclaimer: As a Stonyfield Yo-Getter, I received free products from Stonyfield and prAna in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

I’m not usually one to go bold with my clothing.  Maybe it’s because my whole life I was told that with red hair, I’m safest to stick to blues and neutral colors and to avoid anything too bright or clothing in the pink/red/orange family.

So over the last few years, I’ve had fun rebelling against that “rule” – bright orange in my running gear, reds and pinks in my wardrobe, and now I’m loving these red pants!


Stonyfield and PrAna offered me a pair of pants and I couldn’t resist having fun with my choice.  PrAna is known for their sustainability, versatility and stylish clothing that can be worn for adventures, too. But I had no idea how comfortable they would be. I would love to live in these pants….now I need to add a more neutral color so I can get away with it!

DSC_3376These are the Kara Jean, in Redberry

Besides finding clothing to express ourselves, we got to match our favorite Stonyfield item and I am a big fan of the Oh My Yog! options… full fat yogurt, which many of you know is my preference for staying as natural as possible with food.

The Quebec Blueberry uses wild blueberries and is layered with lightly sweetened whole milk yogurt, blueberries and cream on the top.  These are perfect for my girls, too.


If you want to check out PrAna for yourself, I have two fun ways to do so…

Enter to win ANY (in-stock) PrAna Organic Cotton Collection item up to $99!

To enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling me if you’ve tried PrAna before and what your favorite Stonyfield product is.
  2. Leave a second comment if you tweet or share this post in any way.

I’ll announce the winner one week from today, on Monday November 16th.

OR you can use this COUPON CODE: JBYF15MRF for 15% off at through December 15th.

Do you have some “fun” pieces of color in your wardrobe?

What’s your favorite Stonyfield product?

Workout Recap + Meal Planning

Hello from another busy weekend!

I think this was the last very full weekend for a few weeks, so I’m looking forward to a few quieter ones ahead.  But I soaked up an amazing day at the Shaklee conference yesterday in NY.  Most of you know I’ve partnered with them after having many clients ask what the best probiotic, Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D or kid’s vitamins are, and I continue to be amazed at their obsession with purity, scientific research, and desire to do build health naturally.

Dinner made

I took notes like crazy!  And then I came home to happy girls, lentil soup and fresh sourdough bread.


This was week two of recovery from the month of racing in October.  Ironically, I felt more like I was in recovery mode this week than last week- I think I probably didn’t take it easy enough the first week off.

Sunday: 5.5 mile run with the MRRT group + 2.5 walk

Monday: 5 rounds of this workout (tough!) + 3 mile walk

Tuesday: 7 hilly miles, easy pace (8:50 ave)

Wednesday: 30 minute spin with intervals + 5 minute core

Thursday: 4 easy miles + 2 mile walk

Friday: 20 minute spin with intervals + most of Jillian’s NMTZ

Saturday: off at conference

MRTTI’m meeting these ladies again to run this morning!

It’s the second week of the month… time for another round of the Fresh Fix with lots of clean eating recipes!

Meal Planning

Sunday:  Detox Lentil Soup

Monday: Chicken Salsa in the crock pot

Tuesday:  Butternut Squash Curry

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday:  Stuffed Peppers in the crock pot

Friday: Family pizza night (one on cauliflower crust)

Saturday: Friends over for dinner (thinking Indian chicken curry + greens + fresh sourdough)

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How long does it take you to feel fully recovered after a half or full marathon?

Do you have go to meals you make when you’re hosting friends?