Wednesday, June 29, 2016

10 Healthy Recipes for the 4th of July!

We'll be away for the 4th of July this year which poses its own challenges to staying low carb, but if you are looking for some fun and healthy eats for this summer holiday then check out the links below. I personally want to eat the macaroni salad and caprese grilled fillet mignon right now!

Buffalo Ranch Deviled Eggs

Low Carb Macaroni Salad

15 Minute Greek Cucumber Salad

Low Carb Peach Long Island Ice Tea

Grilled Shrimp and Sausage Kabobs 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach and Cheese 

Caprese Grilled Fillet Mignon 

Mini Meatloaf Pepper Rings

Zucchini Tuna Cakes

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Guest Post: Creating Better A-Z Workout

Thanks so much Sabrina for letting me take over her little neck of the woods on the internet today! My name is Sarah and I blog over at CreatingBetterTomorrow  I am a mom to twin boys that are just about two years old.  So most days I don’t need a formal workout to keep in shape….I just have to chase them around.  BUT I have a strong passion for health and fitness and for EMPOWERING women to feel stronger, more confident, and healthier.  I have put together an at home workout EVERYONE can do with no equipment and you can do ANYWHERE!
You know how to spell your name right?  Ok, silly question I know.  But this is the alphabet workout.  So you will spell your name and find which exercises you have to do for your workout.  If you have a shorter name or more time, repeat for as long as you have time...I recommend 30 minutes in length.

Alphabet Workout
alphabet workout
Spell your name, make your own workout!
Thanks again to Sabrina!  I love putting workouts together JUST LIKE THIS for my online bootcampers.  I do monthly online bootcamps.  They are a great way to get a personal trainer without leaving your house and a much lower cost.  My next round starts August 1st and I’d love to have you join!

I’d love to connect with you more on social media

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Every Runner Must Do These Foam Rolling Moves

When I trained for my first half marathon, it became apparent about halfway through that I HAD to invest in a foam roller.  Upon the recommendation of the coaches in my Train Like a Mother 13.1 Club, I purchased a TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller X-Tra Firm and then I watched the video below.


This video is no joke and you might need to take breaks because once you start releasing those muscles it is intense.  But it hurts so good!  You will feel so much better in a short amount of time.  Plus, your arms get a good strength training work out too.

Enjoy!  Trust me, this is good for you.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Boston's Run to Remember 5 Mile Race Recap 2016

I started dreaming about running Boston's Run to Remember about 3 months after I ran my first 5K.  I loved the idea of running through the streets of my favorite city the most - you literally run straight down the street for both the 5 miler and half marathon.  I also loved that this race is organized to support local first responders since there are quite a few fire fighters and police officers on my husband's side of the family.

As the race drew near, I did start to dread it mostly because it was the morning after my daughter's first dance recital.  Unfortunately, this most likely means I won't be able to run it again because her dance recital will always be the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and so won't this race.  All the more reason that I took the time to really enjoy this one.

Some friends and I reserved a hotel room in Boston for the night before the race.  We stayed at the very nice Marriot TownPlace Suites Boston.  I hit the road around 9pm and there was hardly anyone on it because of the holiday weekend.  In fact, the entire city of Boston was pretty deserted so it was the easy ride in ever.

Staying at a hotel definitely had its perks - we didn't have to wake up nearly as early as we would have to make an hours drive for a 7 am start.  We had plenty of time to use the bathroom, stretch and roam around the Trade Center.  There were a TON of porta-potties outside of Trade Center and they were wonderfully clean too. What we didn't have time for was using the bathroom again in the last 20 minutes before the race because it was nearly impossible to get out of the convention center at that point.  With over 11,000 runners it was wall-to-wall people by that point.  I was thankful to only be running 5 miles.  There were porta-potties on the course so around mile 2.5 near The Boston Common I stopped to use one.  Again, I wasn't really worried about time for this race.

This race had a wave start and we were in the second wave.  I made sure to have my cell phone at the ready because I was going to take as many pictures as I could while I ran down the streets of Boston.  It was great because the streets were just for runners so there were no cars to dodge.

I used this race to just really enjoy the art of running.  After snapping a few photos I settled into my pace, albeit a little

slower than normal so I could really enjoy myself, listened to my music and just generally enjoyed my surroundings.  I was surprised to see a mom from our Greater Manchester Mom's Run This Town group holding a sign for us on the course!  She works in Boston so she took the time to cheer us on.  I loved it!

It was only in the 50's and about 30 degrees cooler than the day before, but the cool weather just made for an easier run.  The wind afterwards?  Not so much fun, but again I just went into the Trade Center to wait for my friends who ran the half.

All in all, it was a great race with some great swag in the best city in the world - Boston.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Easy Warm Up Moves for Mother Runners

During my last half marathon training cycle, I followed the run plan from the Train Like a Mother 13.1 Club.    It was great!  The plan took into account that we are all busy moms who don't have an hour or two every day to work on running, strength training and stretching.  There were extra rest days built in if your heart just wasn't into it which I talked about HERE in a post about a month and half into my training.

Tonight I stumbled upon a new video posted on YoutTube from these running coaches.  It's a warm up video designed with moms in mind so the moves are effective, but meant to be done when you don't have a lot of time on hand, like when the kid needs a bath and dinner is burning in the oven.

Even though I wasn't going out for a run tonight, I gave them a try and I'll definitely be working them into my pre-run routine.  I especially appreciated the ones that target the calves since I have a lot of tightness and strain there.

The hardest move was the Tennessee Walking Horse for me.  It looks so easy but I had a hard time with it especially on my left side.  I wonder what that means?

If you try out the moves, let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Monday, June 13, 2016

10 Summer Essentials for Mother Runners

This giveaway is *CLOSED*
This post is sponsored by Aurorae.  I received a product sample in order to facilitate my review.  All opinions are 100% my own.  This post contains affiliate links. 

Who else is excited that summer is finally here?  Even though we had a pretty calm winter here in New Hampshire, I am looking forward to sun, BBQ's and trips to the ocean not to mention car trips, baseball games and amusement parks.  Even though we have a lot planned I'll still be running especially now that I have a half marathon planned for October 2.

I've compiled a list of my favorite products to get me through the summer months.  I'm even running a giveaway because who doesn't love free stuff?

Headband from Aurorae 

In the summer when I run I sweat. Nope, I don't sparkle or glisten, I sweat.  A ton. The temperature has just started to rise here in New Hampshire so I took this headband out for a test run. It held up to the pressure of the hazy, hot and humid weather. It soaked up my sweat before it rolled in my eyes and stayed in place the whole time. Aurorae is primarily a yoga wear company, but this headband is ideal for runners too.  It comes in 6 different colors.

Fruity Lush Lips from Pink Papaya

Truth time:  I'm addicted to lip balm.  Like I can't live without it.  I'm at the point that I have them stashed all over the house.  It drives my husband crazy because I can never find one when I need one. Recently, a friend recommended that I try Pink Payapa's lip balm called "Fruity Lush Lips."  There are 3 different flavors to choose from (I chose the Passion fruit).  Not only does it keep your lips moist for hours, I never once reapplied it during a recent 10 mile race which is amazing for me because that means it held up for over an hour and a half of running, but the ingredients are all natural and provide anti-oxidants and nutrients.

A Fancy Running Skirt from Sparkle Skirts

One of my very good friends who is a marathoner has always talked about her Sparkle Skirts to me even before I started running.  She not only wears them running but to work as well which is very frugal of her because they are not cheap but they are certainly worth every penny. I myself invested in this Swingstyle Blissful Blue for the summer months. I love the fact that the shorts underneath don't ride up on me AND I love all of the pocket space. I wore it during my first half marathon and I never once felt the bags of fuel in the side pockets. Oh yes, these beauties have many pockets perfect for your keys, fuel and phone. 

This is the softest tank top  I've ever felt!  It's like butter but without all the calories.  Not only is it soft, but it is functional and the flowy fit really lets you move.  I can practice yoga in it one day and the next I can run a few miles in it.  It comes in black, heather grey and navy.
All of the women in my running group started talking about these and because I stand on my feet outside a lot during the summer as part of my job, I knew I had to check them out. They are not the most attractive sandals I've ever worn but they are the most comfortable ones to wear all day. Hell, recently, I was in a situation where I found myself running 3 miles in these bad boys!  My feet felt better than they do in my running shoes. They really do support your tired feet. 

I love that there is a healthy alternative to sugary sports drinks!  Nuun hydration tablets are easy to use. You just drop one into about 17 ounces of water and let it fizz for about 2 minutes then you have a yummy, hydrating drink for your next run or workout. They are low in carbs and come in many different flavors so there is something for everyone. My husband even tells me that they taste good mixed with vodka. 

I purchased these on the recommendation of my marathon running friend (she is full of great information) when I complained of developing blisters on my feet when the weather turned muggy. I was really worried that having each toe separated would be annoying, but I used them during my first 10 miler and I didn't even notice. I didn't develop any blisters during that race either. They are now my go to socks during summer long runs.

I purchased this pack once the spring weather arrived and my weekly long runs got, well, longer. I tried holding a bottle but hated it. I felt like it threw off my arm swings. I found this one on and decided for the price I had to check it out. I've since taken it on many long runs, a 10 mile race and my first half marathon. It's been great and hasn't failed me yet. I like to throw some Nuun hydration tablets in there too as a precaution especially since I'm a salty sweater.

If you don't do this already, do yourself a favor, got to your local dollar store and pick up some Epsom salts for your bath after your weekly long run. It's a cheap yet effective way to rest and relax your tired legs after a good run. You and they deserve it. 

One reason runners develop blisters is because their feet are dry. Dry skin rubbing against your socks and shoes causes friction which leads to blisters. Head to your local drug store to pick up this brand to calm those cracked heals. It makes a works of difference.

*Giveaway Yoga Mat Flip-Flops from Aurorae*  

You didn't think I could stop at 10 did you?  Nope.  Aurorae sent me these super comfy yoga mat flip flops to try out and they are giving away a pair to one lucky reader.  Just enter below!

Why do you want a pair of these flip flops?  They are super comfy for one and stylish to boot.  For my job I spend a lot of time on my feet so those $2 flip flops from Old Navy are killer after 8 hours and as a runner I can't have sore feet.  Sore feet leads to tight hamstrings and angry calf muscles.  Now these flip flops I can wear all day with no pain.  They can get wet, dirty and sweaty but they hold up great.  You need a pair for your collection.  Trust me.
Open to US residents only.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Easy Low-Carb, High Fat Lunch Menu

How is it June already?  It really snuck up on me which is why I am getting this out so late.  May was incredibly busy and kind of a blur with all of myraces, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world.

Are you ready for some healthy eats?  Me too! With the weather heating up this month, I tossed in some cold dinner options.  My husband also requested lots of beef and being a lover of red meat I couldn't deny him that request.

As always, tell me what you made and how it turned out!

Bon appetit!

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Friday, June 3, 2016

My First Half Marathon Recap: Gate City Took Me for an Emotional Ride

 Anyone close to me, my parents, my husband, my friends that are my family, know that I'm notorious for holding myself back in life. Whether it's in my career, my schooling or just getting ahead I do things to sabotage myself. My weight is a prime example of this. I know how to eat healthy and exercise, but I can go long periods of time where I consciously abuse myself with food.

My running is not safe from my self-sabotaging.

And this is exactly what I did to myself during my very first half marathon, the inaugural Gate City Half on Sunday, May 15. The race I'd been training 4 months for. 

All that training, all the time away from my family, all of my hard work and effort that I put in and I fell back into old habits and held myself back. I kept myself from running the race I knew I could. I let myself down. 

Let me just say that before we go any further I don't want you to think I'm going to be all emo about my race results. These past few weeks I've gone back and forth between feeling extremely proud of myself for completing a half marathon when less than a year ago I couldn't stand running and extremely disappointed in how I ran that race, that I held myself back and didn't run the race I was capable of. 

At the start of it I was nervous, scared even. The enormity of what I was about to do got to me. I tried to tell myself it was just another long run but my brain knew better. I was nervous but excited too. After the gun went off I spent a good 5 minutes slowing my pace down. I couldn't run a 9mm half marathon. I wouldn't make it past 5 miles. I managed to get myself down to an 11 minute mile where I knew I would be comfortable for the first 5 miles or so of the race. Then I needed to pee. 

I tried not to think about it but as I was completing the first loop (it consisted of 3) back to the start I remembered where the porta-potties were and made a break for it. I didn't care that it would add 2 minutes to my finishing time. I wanted to be comfortable for the next 7 miles.

The Halfway Point

After kissing my family and hugging a childhood friend who surprised me by coming out to watch me run, I was off for loop 2. The wind really beat me up here. I knew that I needed to crank up the pace but I just couldn't. I felt like I was running in place for most of it.  I also had lost my pack so I was running solo. I felt incredibly lonely. Usually, I prefer to run by myself but today this really bugged me. I did pass a runner here and there, but I noticed even the water stops didn't have many volunteers. The vibe was different. It was desolate.  

Surprisingly, it took me until mile 8 to believe I could finish the race that no matter what happened I would get it done. This was another proud moment and I think it shows in my time for the following mile. 

By mile 9 Florence and the Machine's "Dark Days are Over" came on over my headphones and I was finally able to crank my pace up. Incredibly,  this was my fastest mile of the half marathon. It still wasn't as fast as I knew I could go this late in the game though. 

Let me say that again:  Mile 9 was my fastest mile. I'm proud of that. 

By mile 10 "AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" came on which was perfect because my left ankle started to go and I felt like I was on my way to hell. Searing pain radiated up from it. I stopped at the next water station to stretch it out but it didn't help. I pushed on. 

By this point I just floated on the realization that I was going to see my family for the second and last time before the finish. 

Mile 11 took me back to the start/finish line. While grabbing Gatorade the volunteer looked at me, looked at my bib and said, "Sabrina!  Look over there!"  My family was screaming and cheering me on to keep moving.  I also saw my friend Ang and called to her.  She had been wanting to run a leg with me and I knew she would catch up with me at the end which is exactly what she did.  She told me to hurry up and we were off for the last 2 miles.

Now miles 12-13.1 were uncharted territory for me.  My training had only taken me as far as 11 miles.  In retrospect, I really wish I had made the effort to get the full 13.1 miles in.  It would have lessened some of my pre-race anxiety.  I really feel like my nerves just zapped me.

I expressed my concern to my friend and told her that my pace was waaaay off.  She quickly replied with what I kept telling myself in my head but my heart didn't believe, "No, it's not.  It's your first half marathon.  Whatever you get is a PR. You don't want to set the bar too high on your first time out because then you can't PR the next time."

I kept moving.

I hit mile 12.5 and it sucked.  In order to complete the last 2 miles of the race I had to re-do part of the first loop I ran.  The volunteers warned us that some of it was going to look familiar and not to worry.

I let out a loud, "Ugh. Not this again." when I saw where we were.  This part of the course wasn't bad, it wasn't scenic either, but I just had no desire to be back where I had started.  I just wanted to be D-O-N-E.

At this point I really wanted to walk.  I was hurting.  I felt like I was just walking fast and barely moving.  But my friend just kept encouraging me and taking pictures of me to document the moment. It kept my mind off the pain in my left ankle.

When I hit the mile 13 marker the volunteers started clapping and other runners that were done racing gave me thumbs up.  I started singing out loud, "My quads are in fire!" as I approached the finish line.

But I did it.  I hobbled to the finish line.  As soon as I was done the race director gave me my medal and told me she loved my Wonder Woman headband because she has the same one.  I told her it was my first half marathon and that earned me an extra congratulations.

I limped back to my family who immediately sat me down.  My best guy friend who had driven down from Maine to cheer me on asked, "Um, you do realize you are limping, right?"  Right.

My 3 year old daughter gave me my Train Like a Mother 13.1 medal that I had earned for completing the half marathon training program through Another Mother Runner.

Friends from my running group, Mom's Run This Town, came over to congratulate me.

Ang handed me a jello shot.  I had earned it.

I spent the rest of the day relaxing and trying to figure out what happened, why my pace was so off.  Why couldn't I ever seem to speed it up?  Why did I hold myself back yet again?  Surely, I did something to sabotage this race for myself.  Why can't I live up to my potential once and for all?

Then I looked at my Garmin, specifically at the elevation chart. One look at it told me all that I needed to know.  This wasn't a flat course.  It was fairly hilly with an elevation gain of over 300 feet.  My poor ankle that sustained a ligament tear in the fall was put to the test with all the of rolling hills.

Realizing this gave me some reassurance that I ran the best I could on a hilly course while being battered by wind gusts of up to 30 MPH.

I'm proud to be a half marathoner.  I didn't run like I knew I could but there were circumstances out of my control.  You can't train for wind for one.

There was only one way to make myself feel better about this race.  I signed up for my next one on October 2.  Smuttynose Rockfest here I come!

It's billed as being flat and fast by the way.  

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