Friday, May 25, 2018

Portugal and Spain - Food, Fitness and Fun!

A month is a long time to be away from home but I certainly made tons of great memories and met amazing people along the way.

This trip certainly had it's challenges for me dealing with my eating disorder thoughts, living arrangements and household responsibilities, completely uprooting my routine, etc. etc. The blessings and memories far outweigh the challenges I had to overcome and I'm glad I did challenge myself. Challenge leads to growth.

I spent the first three weeks in Portugal near the capital, Lisbon. I engaged in volunteer ministry work there. We did a ton of walking but I did run several times as well! The cobblestone streets were a new experience but I managed okay and it was fun to have a change of scenery.

Running on Cobblestone!
We took a few day trips into nearby cities and even did some hiking near palaces.

The last week we spent in Spain. We spent a few days in Barcelona and a few days in a nearby coastal town. Again,we walked and walked and walked! It's a good thing I brought comfortable socks and shoes. We saw many sights in Barcelona including works of Gaudi, the arc de triomf and the monument to Columbus. We went out to eat more in Spain since it was harder to grocery shop for just a few days. One night we enjoyed tapas and sangria! The patatas bravas were amazing!


Though I wasn't able to do much weight training, follow my macros, or run on a regular schedule, I was still able to be active, eat good foods and have fun. Traveling is always a good reminder of the truth in the phrase: "memories over macros".
Paddleboarding in the Mediterranean Sea! 

Have you traveled abroad? Do you find it challenging to break routine? Where should I go next?

25 de abril Bridge at Sunset (Portugal)
Boca de Inferno (Portugal)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Suppdate!

Hello there!

It feels like forever since I've sat down at the keyboard to do a blog post. In case you didn't know, I went to Europe for a month! More on that later.

I thought I would do a post on what supplements I've been using lately which is a bit ironic since I fell off the supplement wagon a bit while I was away. I don't think supplements are necessary, hence the term: supplement. I do feel they can be used to fill in gaps you may have AKA to supplement your diet.

First up: Collagen - it's so hot right now. Collagen is a protein found in connective tissues. In it's pure form, as a supplement, it can be easily absorbed. Some benefits of collagen include skin health, bone health, gut health, hair and nails, etc. I haven't taken it consistently enough to notice any real effects, however, I've heard many testify that it has made a difference in those aspects I mentioned.

Biotin - I want long, luxurious hair! Biotin is a vitamin that helps with hair, skin and nails.  I've been struggling with my hair health for some time now so I'm eager to restore it to being healthy and strong. I'm currently taking Healthy Delights biotin chews which are so tasty! When I'm out of those, I take generic biotin in pill form. It gets the job done.

Probiotics - Probiotics are living microorganisms that are good for the gut! They boost the immune system and aid in overall gut health which is shown to impact so much! I think I've mentioned Smarty Pants Vitamins before, but I'll say it again. They are delicious! They seem to be high quality and I love their gummy probiotics. However, I don't take them every day. For instance, if I have a Lifeway kefir cup, I may not supplement with a probiotic that day. I'm not a doctor so I don't know how that works out, but it's what I do.

Creatine - Creatine is a organic acid in our bodies that facilitates recycling of ATP (energy) in muscle and brain cells. Creatine is found naturally in our bodies and in a carnivorous diet, however, supplementing with creatine has been shown to improve performance in anaerobic exercise and increase muscle growth. I use Slap Nutrition Sangria creatine monohydrate which is naturally flavored and sweetened and tastes really good! Find it at weslap.com and use code HAPPY for 10% off.

Do you take any supplements? Do you like your supplements to taste good or do you stick to the basics? Let me know!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Teriyaki Zoodle Bowl

All aboard the zoodle express!
I'm back at it again with another zoodle meal, but how can I resist when they are so tasty and so simple especially when I use Cece's Veggie Noodles. So easy a caveman could do it. (Anyone remember those commercials? lol)

Teriyaki is a a flavor that I just love on chicken, shrimp, beef, or zoodles! This meal is so simple and could probably even sway some veggie haters. Come to the zoodle side. 

Teriyaki Zoodle Bowl 

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Cece's Veggie Noodle Co. zucchini noodles
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 6 oz precooked shrimp or chicken 
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • green onion or chives for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat,  add precooked shrimp. Cook for 5-6 minutes. 
  2. In a small dish, combine soy sauce, ginger and garlic. 
  3. Add zucchini noodles and red bell pepper to the skillet. 
  4. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the top. 
  5. Cook for 5-6 minutes on medium heat or until all ingredients are heated through. 
  6. Remove from heat and garnish with chives or red onion. 
Close your eyes and you'll be in Japan. Maybe. Probably not but you will be enjoying some easy, peasy Japanese inspired zoodles! 

I've never been to Japan but it seems beautiful! What places are on your travel bucket list?





Friday, May 4, 2018

Friday Finds

Here we are again! Finding things on Friday!

USPS Informed Delivery - Sign up for this on USPS.com and you can see what mail is heading your way complete with a scanned image of the mailpiece! It also tells you when to expect packages! I think this is so neat! I have been getting way too much enjoyment from seeing what's coming in the mail! Sign up here: https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action

From lifewaykefir.com
LifeWay Probiotic Elixir - If you haven't tried LifeWay Kefir yet, what are you waiting for? I seriously love the stuff and its high in protein, probiotics, has live active cultures that support healthy digestion. I'm not here to talk about the kefir though! LifeWay has released a new probiotic goodie! They call it elixir - perhaps because they're so good you'll think it's magical? They come in four flavors: tangerine, ginger, hibiscus, and elderberry. If you're looking for a probiotic beverage but kombucha just isn't doing it for you, try this out! Read more about it here: lifewaykefir.com.

Wild Friends Almond Cashew Super Butter - Super Butter to the rescue! I'm definitely a lover of many nut butters, but recently opened a new-to-me jar of Wild Friends Almond Cashew Super Butter which is chock full of honey, chia, and flax for an added dose of omega-3's, protein, and fiber with an ultra creamy texture you're going to love! Check it out here along with the "Save the Bee" mission this nut butter supports: WildFriendsFoods.com.

I used Wild Friends Super Butter to top my Square Bar!

SomniFix
- This is a mouth-tape to encourage nasal breathing while you sleep. I never imagined such a thing! By properly breathing through the nose instead of the mouth, it helps you get deep, quality sleep, along with eliminating snoring and eliminating exposure to airborne particles (and spiders?! lol). I haven't tried it yet, but I have a pack and plan on trying it soon! Read more about the science and the benefits here: SomniFix.com.

Which of these things sounds most fun to you? Did you make any discoveries this week?






Friday, April 27, 2018

Mushroom Zoodle Dinner - Whole30, Easy, and Delicious!

"Megan, party of one."

That's me! Though I still live at home (shout out to Mom and Dad), I often cook for me, myself and I. Miss Independent. Miss Self-Sufficient, ya know what I mean? 

So I tend to opt for easy, one pan meals that I throw together but that doesn't mean they're not delicious! Make this even simpler by using Cece's Veggie Noodle Co. organic zucchini noodles which are now available at Costco's in Socal!

Mushroom Zoodle Dinner for One

Getting started and smelling good!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package Cece's Veggie Noodle Co. zucchini noodles 
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp ghee butter
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp bone broth 
  • 3 oz precooked shrimp
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion
  • pink himalayan sea salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat skillet on medium heat. 
  2. Add ghee butter and minced garlic. 
  3. Once the ghee butter is melted, add the red onion and mushrooms, saute for 5-6 minutes until tender. 
  4. Add bone broth, zucchini noodles and pre-cooked shrimp. Cook for 6-8 minutes until shrimp is warmed through.  
  5. Remove from skillet, top with pink salt to taste, and enjoy!
See how easy that was? 

Macros: 205 calories 12c/7f/25p

Do you cook for one or for a family? Sometimes I cook in bigger batches and save the leftovers! 



Thursday, April 26, 2018

Workout Program for Athlete's...and Me?

There's two types of people in the world: people who love to workout and people who don't know they love to workout. 

That's how I feel, anyway. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I sit in my car contemplating if I really want to go in the gym today. You should always listen to your body and rest as needed. However, when I'm in the gym, I love it. I'm not thinking about problems or stresses. It's just me and the weights. 

That being said, I do like to have a program to follow. Otherwise, I end up bopping around the entire gym doing a little of this, a little of that and often spend too much time. Following a set program keeps my workouts concise and effective IF you choose a reliable program. 

I formerly did the MAPS Anabolic program focused on strength building. I actually did it 3 times through because I was too cheap to buy another program! lol This program is from Mind Pump Media - Mind Pump is a podcast hosted by three fitness professionals: Sal, Adam and Justin. They are raw, real and informative (but definitely not PG, oops). They totally sell me on their programs. After three rounds of MAPS Anabolic, I made several PRs and really enjoyed it, but I wanted a change. 

In comes MAPS Performance - a program designed to build a functionl, symmetrical, powerful body. It's phased for maximal adaptation. The first phase seems very short which is uncomfortable for me. What will happen to me? These thoughts can be pretty irrational. I'm going to trust the process and hopefully improve my mobility and decrease risk of future injuries! 

I'm excited to follow this program and see where it takes me!

I think working out can be anything from walking, yoga, lifting, cycling, etc. Do you like to work out? Let me know!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Stress Fracture Rehab - A Stressful Process

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

I recently had a stress fracture in my right tibia bone (right ankle up the outside of calf). The fix: wearing an orthopedic boot for 4 weeks, no running, no impact. Sounds simple, and relatively fast. However, just because I'm free of the boot doesn't mean I'm ready to hit the pavement.

The doctor told me to take it easy, perhaps reduce the support in my running shoes (this shocked me) as the support was putting more pressure on the outside of my leg/ankle. Regarding resuming my activity, he recommended things like the rowing machine, elliptical and stair climbers to keep up my cardio vascular endurance while transitioning to a treadmill and eventually back to the road.

My mom's research revealed that returning to running might involve taking shorter, easier runs to start.

I was eager to hit the road so I laced up, put on my new compression socks, fully confident that I would feel like my old self.

Not so much. I felt awkward and uncomfortable and like I was really exerting myself. I ran 2 miles on a fairly flat surface with a 7:33 pace. Not too shabby, but it felt all wrong. Afterward, my ankle was really aching. I was so disheartened.
"I will never run again." 
Those are the words I spoke to my mother. How silly! This is such a small bump in the road and it was bringing me down so much!

Hitting the Dreadmill in my Brooks Ravenna

I WILL run again, but I need to take it easy. So, I returned to the trusty stationary bike for my next cardio. After that, I felt like trying the treadmill. For my next cardio, I did 5k on the treadmill and guess what? No pain.

My following two cardio workouts were 4 miles on the treadmill and I had some minute achiness but I feel like I'm progressing. Healing is a process that can't be sped up like the belt on a treadmill.

So while I still lovingly refer to it as a dreadmill, it's proved to be another step in my road to healing my stress fracture. That's where I currently am.

I am running. I am healing.