It’s Okay To Be Afraid of Running

It’s Okay To Be Afraid of Running

Not long before my Sophomore year of high school my friend Nathalie showed up at my door and asked me to join the cross country team. For some reason, I said yes.

For three years I fought injuries (mostly) from gymnastics and ongoing ankle problems. After a three year running career I said goodbye to running forever and transitioned to throwing shot-put and discus on the track team.

Or so I thought that was the end of my running career. 

Fast forward a decade to early 2014.

I was a new(ish) mom struggling to lose that pesky baby weight. We had joined a gym and I was ready to use that membership to become the healthiest mom ever. Okay, maybe I was a little too competitive back then. 

One snowy February day, I found myself face to face with a treadmill. The ellipticals were full and I didn’t have the patience to wait for one to clear up. Up until this point I swore I would never run again. It had been a decade since I had run any distance but for some reason I pushed start that day.

The speed was nothing to write home about. With no background of how to build up mileage I told myself to run as long as I could.

I ran one mile.

To be a runner, you don’t have to run fast, you don’t have to run far.

“If you put shoes on and run, you are a runner.” – Kara Goucher (Strong)

By the end of 2014 I finished a half marathon and numerous 5k’s. After years of being scared of running, it changed my life. 

Over the years I’ve found that the hardest part of running, is putting on my shoes and getting out the door. It’s okay to be concerned about a route, fear the unknown of a race or wonder if your body can handle the miles. You never know if you don’t give it a try.

It's Okay to be afraid of running

Running can give you so many things that you would never expect a sport to give.

A Greater Appreciation For Your Body: This is something that took me a few years to realize. Running doesn’t require fancy equipment (but please get a good pair of shoes) it just requires you to put one foot in front of the other for a distance. It’s incredible what our bodies can do when our mind goes to work. Let’s not forget the extra toning and fat burning that comes with a run.

More Discipline at Planning: As a full time working mom I have to make the conscious effort to plan my running time. Whether it be (extremely early) in the morning, on my lunch hour or while the kids are off with dad somewhere… I know that planning is key. I know ahead of time how many miles I have time for and what type of workout I’m going to do.

More Love For H2O: Just getting out and going for a run I find myself already in the mood to drink more water. Finishing up a run makes it to want to chug a drink as soon as you get home. The more water you drink, the more toxins you flush out, the better you’ll feel.

I promise you, that by giving running a chance you are opening up a whole new world for yourself. So next time you find yourself afraid of the run, just try it… or as I like to say lace up and go.

 

A Summer Quesadilla (Gluten Free)

A Summer Quesadilla (Gluten Free)

As I’ve previously mentioned I’m spending a lot of time this Summer playing around with vegetables in the kitchen. This summer quesadilla has been a quick and easy lunch packed with lots of different veggies.

When it comes to cheese goat cheese seems to be my go to right now. I tend to rotate between different ones but right now I find myself putting it on as many foods as possible…salads, eggs, pizza, quesadillas, etc.

A few weeks ago I was making Little Man his plain old quesadilla for lunch and a quesadilla sounded so good. Except, I was determined to get as many vegetables packed into it as I could for my lunch.

I managed to mix in kale, onion, avocado (I realize that’s not a vegetable) and sweet peppers. Not bad for just throwing something together. By taking the cooking low and slow the corn tortilla shells get extra crispy and stay together with the goat cheese on either side as it melts into the shells.

The chicken is optional, but I like it for more a more filling lunch. It goes great with some chips and salsa or veggie and hummus on the side!

Summer Quesadilla

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Corn Tortillas
  • 3 tbsp Goat Cheese Crumbles
  • 4 oz Shredded Chicken
  • 1/2 cup Kale (Chopped or Full) If You Don't Have Kale, Spinach Works Too!
  • 2 Mini Sweet Peppers Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
  • 1 tbsp Red Onion
  • 1/2 Avocado (Optional)

Instructions
 

  • Turn frying pan on LOW heat. Add in one corn tortilla & top with 1 1/2 tbsp goat cheese.
  • Layer in chicken, kale, sweet peppers & onion.
  • Top with the rest of the goat cheese. Place second tortilla on top.
  • Let cook on low heat for 7 minutes. Flip to the other side for an additional 7 minutes.
  • Top with avocado. Enjoy!

What’s your current go-to cheese? What else would you add to this quesadilla?

 

Summer Quesadilla
Sweet Potato & Egg Bowl

Sweet Potato & Egg Bowl

With Summer on the horizon, fruits and vegetables are much easier (and cheaper) to get our hands on. I am always looking for new ways to incorporate them into every day meals. 

A few weeks ago I started making this Sweet Potato Egg Bowl and I cannot stop making it daily. I’ve tried a few variations but regardless of how you mix and match, it is delicious!

My current version of the bowl is made with veggie sausage but I’ve made it with bacon, chicken, turkey sausage & regular sausage. Sometimes I add extra ingredients (last week kale was our veggie of the week) just to change it up. This spiralizer makes it so easy to get the sweet potatoes cut up and ready to go. 

 

Sweet Potato and Egg Bowl

It's easy to mix things around and change it up with what you have in your fridge. For starters the three main ingredients are sausage, eggs and sweet potatoes.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Servings 1

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Sweet Potato (Spiralized)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Veggie Sausage Patties (My Favorite is MorningStar Farms)
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/4 cup Goat Cheese CrumblesIn your frying pan melt 1tbsp of coconut oil. While that is melting, spiralize half of a sweet potato (this is my favorite tool for spiralizing). Add the spiralized sweet potato to the coconut oil and let cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes.

Instructions
 

  • In your frying pan melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil. While that is melting, spiralize half of a sweet potato (this is my favorite tool for spiralizing).
  • Add the spiralized sweet potato to the coconut oil and let cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes.
  • Cut up the (precooked) sausage and add it into the pan with the sweet potatoes.
  • Move the sweet potatoes and sausage to the side of the pan. Crack two eggs into the empty spot left on the pan. Cook the eggs over easy.
  • Once the eggs are cooked, the sweet potatoes are tender and the sausage is heated up, remove everything from the pan into one big bowl.
  • Top your bowl with goat cheese crumbles and sliced avocado.

Do you ever change up your breakfast? What’s your go to?

Sweet Potato and Egg Bowl
How To Entertain Yourself While Running

How To Entertain Yourself While Running

One of the biggest objections I hear to running is “oh my gosh, it’s so boring.” You know what that means? It’s time to try something different. When you’re starting to experience running for the first time, it can take a bit to settle into your running entertainment.

Through the years I’ve learned that everyone has their own way of entertaining themselves through a run. Whether it’s one mile or twenty-two miles, you have to figure out what works best for you. Our brains are all different!

Some runners choose podcasts, others prefer to stream a tv show (if they’re on a treadmill), some like music, others like silence.

Spotify Playlists

Personally, I’m a pop on some music and let my brain wander type of runner. Spotify is my go to music solution, mainly because I’ve found so many other playlists I love on there. There is something for everyone and you can find pretty much anything.

Years ago I started a playlist called upbeat running. Not understanding the ins and outs of Spotify it never occurred to me that others could follow it.  I add to it on occasion and others have added to it as well. I will warn you, it is explicit so I don’t recommend blasting it on the treadmill if kids are around.

I have playlists in my rotation for pretty much every type of mood. Generally I stick with upbeat running since it is over three hours long, but I will change it up on occasion. These are a few of my other running favorites.

How To Entertain Yourself While Running

Bonus, you can absolutely break out into song with ANY of these playlists. Have you ever run down a hill singing “I’m Super Girl” with your arms out wide? Okay, maybe that’s just me.

Podcasts

Everyone is different when it comes to running and I know many runners who cannot stand running with music because it can affect their pace. Podcasts can be another source of distraction if you need something to listen to on your runs. Here are a few of my favorites right now that would make for great running distractions:

  • The Rambling Runner
  • I’ll Have Another
  • Ali On The Run
  • Off The Vine
  • Coffee With Kate and Kri

Some of these are running focused and some are not. I like a good conversational podcast if I’m taking it for a walk. I have another group of podcasts that are perfect for working or winding down in the evening that I love spending more time focusing on.

Take Time With Your Thoughts

This one is the hardest for me, but something I think is important to do every once and awhile. Ditch the headphones and just listen to your surroundings. Say good morning to everyone you pass, listen to nature around you, hope that someone out there is blasting some good music early in the morning…. etc.

Lots of runners prefer this time alone to run in silence. There is nothing wrong with it!

When it comes to entertaining yourself on a run, it’s something that might take trying a few different things out. It didn’t take too long for me to realize that music is what gets me through a long run. Yet there are days where my headphones are just not hanging in there and I use the time to run with my thoughts.

The most important part is that you enjoy your run.

How do you like to run? Music? Podcasts? Quiet?

Why Should I Eat Kale? Health Benefits & Recipes For The Plant With The Worst Reputation

Why Should I Eat Kale? Health Benefits & Recipes For The Plant With The Worst Reputation

Of all plants, kale somehow has developed the worst reputation. Chances are you’ve seen a meme about kale and how someone hopes it is not the way to solve their problem. While it has a bad reputation, kale is actually a plant you should consider adding into your weekly produce selection. It has a number of benefits and is actually pretty delicious if you learn to cook it the right way!

Why Kale?

Here’s the thing, Kale is a superfood and it has super powers. Okay not really super powers but it is packed full of vitamins, minerals and all of the good things we need to be consuming on a daily basis.

Let’s take a look at one cup of raw Kale (thanks to WebMD for the facts):

Calories: 33

Protein: 3g

Fiber: 2.5g

Vitamins: A, C, and K

Additional Nutrients: Folate, Alpha-linolenic Acid, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin

Minerals: Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, and Zinc

What does all of this mean?

Let’s start with the Fiber. On average women under 50 should be getting 25g of fiber a day. Yet, the average American diet falls significantly short of that number (track your fiber intake for a day, I promise you’ll be surprised). One of fiber’s most important jobs is to help manage your blood sugar levels. Fiber is also is a huge factor in helping you feel full after a meal. Adding just one cup of Kale to a smoothie in the morning (or salad at lunch) can help propel you much closer to that goal.

Protein is another hot topic in diet trends (btw, I hate diet trends) these days. While everyone is different in the amount of protein they eat in a day not a lot of leafy greens are high in protein as well as vitamin and minerals. Kale’s looking pretty good right about now, isn’t it?

Why Should I Eat Kale?

I think vitamins, minerals and nutrients tend to speak for themselves when you look at what is in them. Everyone loves an excuse to eat more vitamins and your body can be much happier when it’s loaded up on the best nutrients. The nutrients found in kale can help with brain development, protecting against macular degeneration and cataracts…you know the basic things in life.

Kale Recipes

As much as everyone seems to despise kale, a lot can come from how you prepare it. For awhile, I ONLY used it in a smoothie because I couldn’t handle the taste. Eventually I took to Pinterest and realized there is a whole world of kale recipes out there. Do you know how delicious kale is in a salad with the right dressing?

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Next time you find yourself staring at the produce section of a grocery store (or Instacart order), branch out from the normal lettuce and add in a bunch of kale.  If you are like me and not too sure about it… start by just putting it a smoothie.

Kale comes with too many benefits to live out its life as a meme.

Are you pro kale? What is your go to way of cooking it?