How To Stay In Shape When You Are Injured & Can’t Run

How To Stay In Shape When You Are Injured & Can’t Run

Let’s talk about injuries and running. It’s one of those dreaded situations that no one likes to think about, however is part of the sport (or in my case, life).

A few weeks ago my 3-year-old left his duplo blocks out on the porch. This is a common occurrence and usually something I’m more mindful of. As I was chasing him out the door I forgot…and I rolled my ankle. Ultimately it was diagnosed as a sprain so I’ve been pretty quiet on any form of movement for just over a month.

For the last few weeks I’ve taken this time to slow down (literally and figuratively) and try some different exercises. Injuries suck, there is no doubt about it. Luckily this week I have been able to ease my way back into running, slowly.

If you’ve found yourself frustrated or injured lately, I have a few ideas for you!

Other Exercise Ideas

The first week I could barely put pressure on my ankle, so I took it extremely easy and stuck to just getting around the house. However, as I felt like I could move more I dove into a few new exercises.

Yoga is something I’ve never been able to commit completely to. This injury has been a wonderful excuse to change that. Between a local yoga in the park (with social distancing measures in place) and Yoga with Adriene, I have managed to start finding my confidence in Yoga. This will for sure stay in my routine as I start running again, it feels wonderful!

However, I felt like I needed something else as well. I wasn’t quite ready for 5 days a week of Yoga. Luckily, one of my favorite gymnasts had just kicked off a daily 15 minute abs. I’m sure they are geared towards young gymnasts (haha, not me) but they have been a humbling 15 minutes with some sore abs afterward.

One thing I’ve read over and over again is that the way your legs turn over while riding a bike is the closest thing to running. I tried going a few times while injured but my ankle had a rough time still.

How to Stay in Shape When You Are Injured & Can't Run

If you are looking for something else to do more long term, Youtube and Pinterest are LOADED with at home workout ideas. I also have loved Beachbody workouts in the past, although they are more high intensity, there were only a handful I would recommend while injured!

It’s not the same as a quiet run but injuries need rest… at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

What is your favorite non-running exercise?

How To Make A Green Smoothie (That Actually Tastes Good)

How To Make A Green Smoothie (That Actually Tastes Good)

For the last 6 years, smoothies have become a staple in our household. It isn’t normal if you don’t hear the blender going as everyone is getting ready to get out the door. However, over the years I’ve had to cater our smoothies to different tastes (picky), diets (low fructose) and need (filling).

One thing I noticed is that my personal green smoothie tastes were changing throughout the year. In the Summer I prefer a more tropical smoothie (vanilla with pineapple, peach, mango, etc) but in the Winter I like going down the chocolate strawberry route.

Throughout many years of testing and trying I’ve come to find that everyone just has their own preference when it comes to smoothies. So instead of sharing with you my perfect smoothie recipe, I built out a guide of all of our different ingredients for making green smoothies.

Why are there so many ingredients?

A common misconception about smoothies is that all smoothies are healthy. Wrong. Many smoothies from restaurants and fast food places (hi, dairy queen) are made with ice cream, sugar filled yogurt and flavored syrups that are basically high fructose corn syrup. In our house, most of that stuff doesn’t fly with anyone’s digestive systems.

However, green smoothies can be healthy, delicious AND filling by including the right ingredients. Let’s break down each category.

How to Make A Green Smoothie

Fruits

The cornerstone of a smoothie. No smoothie is complete without a fruit but be careful how much you add into your smoothie. We keep it to about 1 cup of fruit at the most since fruit is good but also fairly high in sugar.

Fats

I love talking to new smoothie makers about this category of smoothie ingredients. It is actually fairly important usually the most skipped category. Not only are they packed with some good vitamins and minerals, (good) fats will help fill you up and keep you full longer. If you’re going to make a smoothie for breakfast, this is key to staying full until the next meal!

Protein

Another important ingredient when it comes to staying full is protein. Not only will it help keep you full but protein is an important part of building up bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Protein powder is usually the easiest way to get it in, we love Garden of Life as its high in protein and not filled with sugar like some we’ve tried in the past!

Greens

Parents take note, this is BY FAR the easiest way to sneak spinach into your child’s diet. For a long time my kids thought it was AWESOME that their smoothies turned green. The hulk is green so it must be a good thing. Load up all of the vitamins with your favorite greens as you usually can’t taste them!

Liquids

There’s nothing I play around with more in smoothies than liquids. We’ve tried all different kinds of milk, water, yogurt, etc. Truthfully, it comes down to personal taste. My family prefers heavy on the yogurt while I prefer heavy on the almond milk. There is no wrong way to do this category.

Add-Ins

Here’s where the magic happens. This list could go on for pages and pages. There are so many other things you can mix into your smoothies. To me it all depends on the need. Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, high in fatty acids and stocked with fiber. Flax seed can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Cocoa can help mood and lessen depression symptoms.

The. list. goes. on.

What are your favorite smoothie ingredients? I can’t wait to hear about them below!

 

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