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Shin splints and stress fractures are some of the most common running injuries. 

Unfortunately for me, shin splints have been something that I’ve had to deal with since high school (10 years ago) when I ran track and cross country. Over my running career I’ve seriously tried everything to prevent getting them (wearing compression socks, foam rolling, icing, stretching, strength training…etc but even with the best practices sometimes they’re inevitable. 

I bring up the topic of shin splints v. a stress fracture because yet again I’m feeling that all too familiar lower leg pain. Earlier this year I had to stop running for a couple months due to shin/calf issues, then crash trained for the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half (probably not smart) and recently started training for the Holiday Half Marathon. I’d been pain free throughout my entire SeaWheeze training but last week my shins started hurting SO BAD. 

What’s concerning is that the pain seems to be very localized, meaning it’s not my entire shin that hurts but one specific spot on my shin bone which is an indicator of an actual stress fracture. Also, I’m not just feeling pain when I run…my shins hurt when I walk and even are painful to the touch.

So what’s the difference between shin splints and a stress fracture?

Let’s get into it!

Shin splints v. stress fracture

Both shin splints and stress fractures are considered to be overuse injuries that can cause terrible pain in the lower leg area. However, they are VERY different injuries and must be treated as such. 

  • shin splints- shin splints occur when you get small tears in the area where the lower leg muscle attaches to the tibia, aka the shin bone. You’ll experience a shooting, aching pain in the front of your lower leg(s) when running, but the pain goes away when you lower your intensity, stop running, or after your run is over. When you suffer shin splints, you don’t feel the pain with other activities like walking, stretching, or climbing stairs. At this point it’s possible to prevent shin splints from developing into a stress fracture by resting/decreasing your running. If left untreated the muscles will continue to pull which may cause a crack to form in the bone, aka a stress fracture. The pain will go from being felt in your entire shin bone area to a more localize area of the bone.
  • stress fracture- stress fractures are caused by actual cracks or breaks in either of the bones in the lower leg, the tibia or fibula. If you suffer from this injury, you’ll experience pain that’s usually in the lower third part of the shin, tenderness or swelling in the specific injured area, and pain when you press on your shin in a very localized area. The pain doesn’t subside when you stop running, and regular activities like climbing stairs or jumping will cause pain, too.

source, source

To further explain the difference between shin splints and stress fractures and to address 3 signs of a stress fracture watch the video below:

Shin Splints? Or Do You Have a Stress Fracture? 3 Signs Tibia Fracture - YouTube

Diagnosis and treatment 

The only real way to know if you’re suffering from shin splints or an actual stress fracture is to go to the doctors office and have an x-ray done to see if there are in fact cracks in your shin bone.

If there are not cracks, you probably just have shin splints. If there are visible cracks in your shin bone that is a major indicator that you may have a stress fracture.

For shin splints I think it’s best to take a couple weeks off running to let your shins heal but in some circumstances you can still run. If you choose to still run it’s recommended to run shorter distances, on softer surfaces, breaking up speed work, stretching and doing strength exercises for the shin/lower leg area. 

In the case of an actual stress fracture, unfortunately the only way your bone will heal is to stop running completely for 4-8 weeks. During this time it’s important to focus on stretching, strength training and resisting that temptation of sneaking in just a short run. If you don’t give your body the proper time to heal your shin bone may never heal which can lead to more severe issues in the future. Once you’ve given your body proper rest it’s VERY important to very gradually ease back into running to avoid re-injuring yourself. 

So what does this mean for me?

I’m temporarily self diagnosing myself with a stress fracture in my left leg and shin splint in my right leg.

BUT, thankfully this is all happening at a good time (trying to stay positive here).

I’m flying out to San Antonio for work today, am home for like 3 days then fly to Tampa for work for an entire week. Traveling makes it challenging to run and so I’m going to take these next 2 weeks completely off running to let my body heal. Instead of running for exercise I’ll be doing strength workouts and really focusing on stretching. 

In 2 weeks I’ll reassess how my shins feel and make a decision on continuing to train for the Holiday Half or taking some time off running during the holidays to recover.

UGHHHHHH!

What’s the difference between shin splints and a stress fracture?
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Your Turn,

Have you ever had shin splints or a stress fracture?

If so, what did you do to heal your body?

Have you ever struggled with a running related injury?

The post What’s The Difference Between Shin Splints And A Stress Fracture? appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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Let’s take a minute and talk about Halloween candy shall we?

That sh*t is AWFUL for you!

Just how awful…check out these nutrition facts on some of the most popular Halloween candies:

  • Rolo Caramels in Milk Chocolate: 1 Rolo (6g): 27 calories, 0.9 g sat fat, 3.7 grams sugar
  • Wonka Mini Laffy Taffy: 1 mini taffy (8.6g): 30 calories, 0.3g sat fat, 4.2g sugar
  • Hershey’s Assorted Miniatures: 1 miniature (8.6g): 42 calories, 1.4 g sat fat, 4.4g sugar
  • Starburst Fun Size: 2 Starburst candies: 40 calories, 0.8g sat fat, 6g sugar
  • Smarties: 1 roll (7g): 25 calories, 0g fat, 6g sugar
  • Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Fun Size: 1 bar (0.49 oz): 77 calories, 2.7g sat fat, 7g sugar
  • Kit Kat Wafer Bar, Snack Size: 1 bar (0.49 oz/14g): 70 calories, 2.3g sat fat, 7g sugar
  • Reese’s Pieces Snack Size: 1 bag (13g): 67 calories, 2.7g sat fat, 7.3g sugar

  • Twix Fun Size: 1 bar (16g): 80 calories, 3g sat fat, 8g sugar
  • Butterfinger Fun Size: 1 bar (0.65 oz/18.5g): 85 calories, 1.8g sat fat, 8.5g sugar

source and full list of 40 different candies HERE

Now, I understand 4 grams of sugar may seem like nothing but what really is 4 grams of sugar? The food industry is so sneaky putting things like “grams” onto nutrition labels because guess what…NOBODY knows what a gram looks like.

So let’s put it into perspective…

4 grams of sugar = roughly 1 teaspoon

12 teaspoons = 1/4 cup

Basically, if you consume 5-6 candies on Halloween night, the night after and after and after til all that candy is gone you’re EASILY consuming 1/4 cup of sugar (if not more) on a nightly basis. AHHH!

I’m not saying don’t eat candy on Halloween because let’s be honest I’m sitting here writing this blog post eating candy corn leftover from shooting pictures this morning but I think we all need to be more conscious about how much sugar we’re putting into our bodies…especially at the beginning of the holiday season.

Still want to be festive this time of year and skip the sugar? I’ve got you covered! That’s where healthy snack/appetizer options come in like this Candy Corn Veggie Tray, these 3 healthy Halloween snacks or my healthy-ish (not really but hey they have some protein) crescent mummy dogs.

Candy Corn Veggie Tray

Here’s how to make this fun, festive, healthy veggie tray…

ingredients:

  • 1-2 yellow bell peppers (washed and cut into strips)
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 small head of cauliflower (washed and cut into small florets)
  • dip of your choice (I like hummus or Bitchin’ Sauce)

directions:

  • prep all your veggies
  • arrange veggies to resemble a candy corn on a triangle shaped plate/platter or be super ghetto like me and cut a piece of cardboard into a triangle and cover it with foil to create your own perfect candy corn shaped serving tray LOL!

THAT’S IT!

So seriously you guys, this year be very conscious of all the sugar you’re consuming and balance it out with some healthy food. Your body will thank you!

 

How to create a candy corn veggie tray #HealthyHalloween
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Your Turn,

Do you love candy??

What do you do with all your candy if you or your kids go trick-or-treating?

What’s your favorite healthy Halloween treat/appetizer?

The post Candy Corn Veggie Tray appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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On this blog I like to talk about the big trends going on in the health, fitness and nutrition world. 

So far, we’ve discussed the Keto Diet, fats, Bulletproof Coffee, going gluten free, the 21-day sugar detox, collagen, kombucha, vitamins & supplements, how to read a nutrition label and so much more.

I’ve been meaning to write a post on today’s topic, intermittent fasting, for months but simply haven’t had the time to sit down and do the proper research to give you all a well written, informative post.

I’ll be honest the whole concept of intermittent fasting is very foreign to me.

My entire life I was taught to never skip breakfast, specifically to “break the fast” your body goes into while sleeping. I truly thought (and still do think) eating breakfast is one of the most beneficial things you can do to boost your metabolism and set yourself up for a healthy, productive day. However, research is emerging showing that intermittent fasting may actually help speed up your metabolism, prevent against disease, help with fat/weight loss, improve cognitive function and so much more.

So yes, intermittent fasting is a very controversial subject…Team breakfast v. Team fasting.

Let’s get right into it…

What is intermittent fasting?

By definition, intermittent fasting is a term to describe an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating. The foods you eat don’t matter, it’s more when you eat them.

Since the types of foods that should be consumed are not specified instead of being called a “diet” intermittent fasting is more accurately described as an “eating pattern”.

I think it’s important to address this right away…don’t think for a second that you will lose weight or better your health if you plan on fasting then eating pasta, cake, pizza, fried chicken and doughnuts during your eating periods. Specific foods are not outlined for intermittent fasting but obviously eating a healthy, whole food diet will give you the best results. 

How to do intermittent fasting:

The two most common intermittent fasting methods involve daily 16 hour fasts where you are given an 8 hour window of time to eat or fasting for 24 hours a couple times a week.

Let’s think about what a daily 16 hour fast would look like: Eat dinner at 6:00 pm (I wish), head to bed by 10:00 pm then wake up around 7:00 am at this point you’re already 13 hours into your fast. You’d then simply wait until around 10:00 am to consume your first meal and then would stop eating for the day at 6:00 pm again.

I know it sounds crazy to not eat for 16 hours but realistically I think a lot of people do this without even realizing it. 

Don’t think you could ever skip breakfast or not have your late night snack…I feel you. Know that while you sleep your body technically goes into a fasted state so even if you can’t commit to 16 hours without food maybe try waiting an hour or two before eating breakfast or skipping your late night snack a couple times per week and see how it goes before jumping all in for a 16 or 24 hour fast.

I only highlighted 2 of the different types of intermittent fasting. There are many other types of intermittent fasting that you can read about herehere

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

Most people choose to do intermittent fasting for weight loss/fat burning purposes. If done right it can help teach your body to use the food it consumes more efficiently, and your body can learn to burn fat as fuel when you deprive it of new calories to constantly pull from (if you eat all day long) BUT there are also many other potential health benefits associated with intermittent fasting:

  • Weight loss: Simply eating fewer meals will decrease your calorie intake making it easier to lose weight but fasting may also change your hormone levels to make weight loss and fat reduction easier. Studies have shown that fasting can help lower insulin levels (making body fat more accessible to burn), increase growth hormone levels (helps with fat loss and muscle building) and increases the release of the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. This turns your body into a fat burning machine and since you are not constantly giving your body food for fuel it uses stored body fat instead.
    • Working out- Studies suggest that working out in a fasted state may also help increase fat burn. Again, since you don’t have food in your system for your body to rely on it instantly taps into your fat stores for energy.
  • Insulin resistance: Studies have shown intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance and lower blood sugar levels which helps protect against type 2 diabetes.
  • Inflammation: Intermittent fasting may reduce inflammation in the body which helps fight against aging and the development of numerous diseases.
  • Digestion: fasting acts as a sort of “digestive reset” allowing the gastrointestinal (GI) tract relax for a bit. In practice, this produces both reduced intestinal inflammation and improved motility (the contraction of GI muscles in digestion). Both lead to improved nutrient absorption and better bowel movement quality.
  • Heart health: Though more research is still needed, intermittent fasting may improve numerous risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and inflammatory markers.
  • Autoimmine disease: More research is needed on this as well but according to a study done at USC during intermittent fasting cortisone is produced and that initiates a killing of autoimmune cells and also leads to the production of new healthy cells. This in theory could mean that fasting could help rid the body of disease or at least slow progression.
  • Brain health: Intermittent fasting may increase growth of new neurons and protect the brain from damage optimizing brain health.

source, sourcesource 

My thoughts on intermittent fasting:

This may sound terrible but I simply don’t think the majority of the population is educated enough about food and nutrition to do intermittent fasting correctly. 

People are always looking for an easy fix to lose weight and what’s easier than the idea of simply skipping breakfast then eating whatever you want during a specific time window. Are you kidding me? Skip breakfast then have pizza for lunch, cookies for a snack then a giant bowl of pasta for dinner and lose weight…sign me up…NOT.

I think above anything people should be trying to fit in more lean proteins, veggies, nuts, grains, healthy fats…etc into their diets. Once they’ve mastered the whole REAL FOOD thing then maybe try intermittent fasting but starting with the basics is a must.

For me personally, fasting isn’t my thing. I run 4-5x/ week, do yoga 4x/ week and live a very active lifestyle. It works for me to eat a big breakfast, eat a big lunch, maybe a small snack before working out in the afternoon then a big dinner. I’ve found by eating like this I don’t worry about food between meals, feel energized, sleep great and don’t currently see a need to change anything.

BUT, I will say I think intermittent fasting can be incredible for some people. Bryce’s brother recently was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and in addition to taking prescription medication he fasts for several days at a time and during his eating periods focuses on eating a healthy diet. According to his most recent tests since being diagnosed roughly a year ago the MS has not progressed. So hey who knows if it’s the drugs, the diet or the combination of both but I’m seeing first hand how impactful fasting may be for those with autoimmune disease. Currently, studies are being done at USC showing very promising results that intermittent fasting may truly help improve the quality of life for those with MS. Pretty cool stuff.

What’s The Deal With Intermittent Fasting? Everything you need to know!
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Take home message:

At the end of the day please remember everybody is unique and different. What may work for me may not work for you.

If you’re intrigued by intermittent fasting and want to learn more I highly recommend consulting with a medical professional before giving it a try. I am not a doctor. In fact, I don’t honestly know anything about intermittent fasting other than basic researching on Google.

The point of this post is simply to inform you about a trend going on in the health/fitness/nutrition space- do your own research, talk to your doctor and always be cautious before altering your diet/eating patterns.

The post What’s The Deal With Intermittent Fasting? appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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If you’ve ever trained for a race you’ve probably experienced  a little something called “runger”.

What the heck is “runger” you ask? Let’s define it: “runger” = insatiable hunger you feel after running.  And boyyyyyy did I have a serious case of runger this entire past week.

When you start running or heck doing any type of exercise after not doing it for awhile it sends your body into shock. You’re extra sore, tired and yep…HUNGRY!

After experiencing this crazed sense of hunger last week it really got me thinking how important it is to not let it get the best of you. Running depletes your body of its glycogen stores which can cause you to crave carbs/sugar post run. This makes it really easy to fall into that mindset of “ohhhh I had an awesome run I deserve an doughnut/pizza/giant bowl of pasta”. 

NOPE! 

Instead try to adopt the mindset of “eating to run, not running to eat” and refuel your body with healthy complex carbs like sweet potatoes, whole wheat toast with avocado, quinoa, apples…etc. The more you fuel your body with healthy nutritious foods the better it will perform running, you’ll recover faster and if weight loss/toning up is your goal staying away from sugary junk will absolutely help you drop some pounds.

Preventing and satisfying “runger”

I have good news, “runger” can be somewhat preventable if you properly fuel your body and hydrate on your running days. The key is really taking care of your body and not being lazy with hydrating/fueling like me last week…ooops.

Here’s a few tips on preventing runger:

  • Properly fuel BEFORE your run. Check out my post on what to eat before a run HERE.
  • Properly fuel DURING your run. Check out my post on how I personally fuel myself during runs HERE.
  • Stay hydrated before, during and after your run. A lot of the time our bodies confuse hunger and thirst making us feel like we’re STARVING when in reality we just need to calm down and drink some water and maybe add in some electrolytes like a Nuun tab.
  • After a run try to eat some combination of protein and carbohydrates. Ideally it should be a 4:1 carb to protein ratio meaning for every 4g of carbs you should have 1g of protein. Here’s some ideas: apple/banana with nut butter, tuna/chicken salad or egg on whole wheat toast, greek yogurt, hummus and carrots, avocado toast, a Perfect Bar, chocolate milk…etc.

And if/when “runger” does occur here’s some healthy, filling snacks that I love munching on:

  • Perfect Bars
  • hard boiled eggs
  • baby carrots + Bitchin’ Sauce or hummus
  • 1 can tuna, 1/2 avocado and lemon + Mary’s Crackers
  • 1 slice Ezekiel bread, 1/2 avocado + a ton of black pepper
  • celery and almond or peanut butter
  • greek yogurt with nuts and fruit
  • edamame
  • sweet potato + almond butter and cinnamon
  • green apples and almond or peanut butter

How to prevent “runger” and what to eat when/if it strikes.
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Weekly Workouts

Despite my intense “runger” last week I had an awesome week of training. I completed all my runs, was 100% pain free and ended up running 19 total miles.

For this coming week I have a couple easy runs, a long run and a speed workout where I will be running 3 miles at my goal half pace + 10-20 seconds. So, guess that means I need to figure out my goal half pace doesn’t it.

Ideally, I’d love to set a new PR at the Holiday Half and get a sub 1:50:00 half marathon time. This would require me to run about a 8:20 min/mile pace AHHHHHHHH!

Achievable, yes. But, it’s going to required a ton of hard work.

  • Monday: yoga + foam roll + stretching
  • Tuesday: 3 mile easy run + yoga sculpt
  • Wednesday: 3 mile easy run + yoga sculpt
  • Thursday: rest + foam roll + stretch
  • Friday: speed workout-  3x mile at goal half pace plus 10 sec-20 sec, with 1-2 min rest in between + 1/2 mile warm up and cool down
  • Saturday: yoga + foam roll + stretch
  • Sunday: long run- 7-8 easy miles
Your Turn,

Have you ever experienced “runger”?

What do you eat after a run?

What are some of your favorite healthy snacks that are actually filling?

The post Holiday Half Marathon Training: Week 2 + Managing “Runger” appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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We’re about 4 days into October which means it’s FINALLY appropriate to eat all things pumpkin!

Growing up I never liked pumpkin. I hated the texture, thought it tasted disgusting and was always the one eating the apple pie instead of the pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.

But boyyyy have things changed.

Now I simply can’t get enough pumpkin in my life. I’ve been putting Pumpkin Pie Spice in my coffee every morning, eating Pumpkin Yogurt for dessert, enjoying PaleOMG’s Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie for breakfast and can’t wait to go to Trader Joe’s this afternoon to buy more pumpkin products after drooling over A Cup of Kellen’s Favorite Fall Trader Joe’s Finds.

But pumpkin isn’t just a fun, festive, trendy thing to eat during the Fall. It’s also packed with healthy nutrients…let’s discuss…

Health Benefits of Pumpkin

There are SO MANY healthy benefits of consuming both pumpkins and the pumpkin seeds but here are just a few important ones:

  • high in fiber- 1 cup of pumpkin is only about 50 calories and has 3g of fiber to help keep you fuller longer on fewer calories
  • high in Vitamin C- 1 cup of pumpkin contains roughly 20% of our daily vitamin c needs which can help keep you healthy during the crazy Fall months
  • high in Vitamin A- 1 cup of pumpkin has almost DOUBLE your daily recommended Vitamin A intake. Vitamin A helps keep your eyes, skin, teeth and bones healthy.
  • Can help lower blood pressure- Pumpkin seeds, more specifically, pumpkin seed oil contains phytoestrogens which are beneficial for fighting off hypertension
  • high in beta-carotene- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants that may help prevent cancer and are also beneficial for your skin and hair.

After reading those health benefits…bring on the pumpkin!!

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Dip

Quick rant…

Last weekend I wanted to whip up a fun fall dip for Bryce and I to enjoy while watching football and I kept searching things like “healthy pumpkin dip” “healthy pumpkin snacks” “healthy pumpkin pie dip” and 898745943 recipes came up but guess what?! 99% of them were loaded with refined sugar, cake mixes, pudding mix and other crap.

How is that healthy?

I finally stumbled across a recipe on the amazing Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog for Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Dip that wasn’t filled with junk. I immediately went to the store and bought all the ingredients to test out the dip 2 ways: one dip using cashew cream and the other using the Tofutti cream cheese.

Both turned out absolutely delicious and with a few modifications I think I’ve found a way to make the healthiest, most delicious Pumpkin Pie Dip!

This stuff is seriously addicting. Try dipping fresh fruit (strawberries, apples), graham crackers or my favorite, Trader Joe’s cinnamon sugar pita chips in it and get ready for a little taste of pumpkin heaven.

Enjoy!

All your Healthy Pumpkin Pie Dip essentials. I found the Tofutti cream cheese at Sprouts but the rest of the ingredients can be purchased at Trader Joe’s!

Enpe Car

Healthy Pumpkin Pie Dip
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 can pumpkin (15oz)
  2. 1 container of cream-cheese style spread (Tofutti non-hydrogenated) OR *1 cup of cashew cream
  3. 1 tbsp cinnamon
  4. 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 3 tbsp maple syrup (start with 3 then add additional until you get to your desired sweetness)
  7. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and combine until smooth. Taste as you go to add additional spices/maple syrup until desired flavor is reached. You can also add a little water/almond milk to thin out the consistency if you want.
  2. Serve with fresh cut fruit (I love it with apples or strawberries), graham crackers or my favorite, Trader Joe's cinnamon sugar pita chips
Notes
  1. *To make cashew cream boil 3 cups of water then pour it over 1 cup of raw, unsalted cashews and let them soak for 1-2 hours before draining and rinsing. Place soaked cashews into a high speed blender or food processor with 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. Add additional water to thin out the consistency (if needed). For this recipe the cashew cream should resemble cream cheese.
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog http://liveleaneatgreen.com/

Healthy pumpkin pie dip recipe #pumpkin
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Drooooooling!

Your Turn,

Do you like pumpkin?

What’s your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

Have you ever made pumpkin pie dip before?

The post Healthy Pumpkin Pie Dip appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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Happy 1st day of October!

There’s always something about a new month that makes me want to sit down, plan and get my life in order anddd that’s exactly what I did today.

Looking at the next few months I’m SO BUSY with travel for work, friends coming into town, football games…etc OH and the holidays.

It’s so easy to use being “busy” as an excuse to not workout. We’re all busy and yet people still find ways to train for half marathons, lift weights or fit in a yoga class. It simply comes down to if it’s important to you or not.

So, to help keep me focused on my health and fitness during these very busy and challenging holiday months I’ve decided to use Kara Goucher’s Half Marathon training plan (again) to train for the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon on December 16th.

Call me crazy trying to balance a pretty rigorous training schedule with work, life, the holidays…etc but I’m up for the challenge and know I’ll thank myself when come December I haven’t lost my motivation to workout/ eat healthy.

Sunday runday spent at Torrey Pines beach!

My Training Plan

I attempted to do Kara Goucher’s Half Marathon training plan earlier this year to chase down a PR at Rock ‘N’ Roll San Diego. However, after running the La Jolla Half Marathon and injuring my calf I had to completely stop running for a few months.

After letting my body heal I crash trained for the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half and shockingly did great buttt after that let my busy schedule get the best of me and until this past week really hadn’t done much running at all.

Long story short…I’m pretty much starting this training cycle in okay shape but nowhere near where I want to be for the Holiday Half.

Kara’s plan is broken down into 2 categories: Plan A (20-30 miles per week) and Plan B (30-50 miles per week). Being realistic I’m going to follow plan A and really keep things low key through this training cycle. I want to focus on doing the workouts as designed and not letting my competitive nature get the best of me.

Here’s a look at the full 10 week program:

Hard to read? Check out the plan HERE

Weekly Workouts

Heading into this first week of training I actually have a pretty mellow work week but then have a good friend coming into town over the weekend.

Since I know I’ll be doing some partying over the weekend I’m going to flex my usual Sunday long run to Saturday and avoid all possibilities of being too hungover to run.

Yep, real life problems over here haha.

  • Monday: stretch + Kara’s core routine
  • Tuesday: 3 easy miles + yoga
  • Wednesday: 3 easy miles + yoga sculpt
  • Thursday: stretch + the “dirty dozen” routine
  • Friday: fartlek run (4-5 miles)
  • Saturday: 6 miles 
  • Sunday: rest

=17 total miles

Yes, I know 17 total miles for the week is super low but it’s so important to me to ease back into training to avoid injuring myself again. Once I’m confident in my ability to handle a higher mileage I’ll push it up more towards 25-30 weekly miles.

Your Turn,

How do you keep yourself motivated to workout during the busy holiday months?

Are you training for any half marathons during the holidays?

Have you ever done Kara Goucher’s half marathon plan?

The post Holiday Half Marathon Training: Week 1 + Weekly Workouts appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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Long time no talk…

If you follow me on Instagram (which you should) you know I’ve been out in Austin, Texas this past week for work. While I didn’t get to do much exploring in Austin I did manage to sneak in a delicious lunch at Picnik, splurge on gourmet tacos at Velvet Taco and got to walk around The Domain to experience a little bit of nightlife.

As many of you know I work for Perfect Bar, the original refrigerated protein bar, in the field marketing department. I was out in Austin helping to generate awareness that Perfect Bars are now sold in select Costco locations in Texas WOO HOO!

After spending countless hours inside Costco it got me thinking on my flight home about all the healthy products I always purchase from Costco. It’s so easy to go in there and leave with chips, dips, frozen pizzas, mini wontons, ice cream…etc but there truly are some incredible healthy products hidden in there among all the crap.

So besides the obvious healthy purchases at Costco like meat, fruit and veggies here are 11 of my favorite healthy products I purchase from Costco just about every time I go!

1. Chosen Food’s Avocado Oil Mayo ($6.99)

When I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox back in January it was shocking to learn how much crap is hidden in condiments like mayo. Chosen Food’s Avocado Oil Mayo was the only mayo I could find that had clean ingredients and actually tasted good. The only issue was purchasing it from a traditional grocery store was really breaking the bank. A small jar of this stuff easily goes for almost $10 so when I found the GIANT jar at Costco for only $6.99 I was thrilled. I highly highly recommend this stuff for anyone looking for some clean, healthy condiments.

2. Chosen Food’s Avocado Oil ($7.99)

Another incredible product from Chosen Food’s! Just recently I learned about the different smoke points of oils. To my horror I discovered that roasting my veggies in olive oil probably wasn’t the best idea since it has a very low smoke point of about 300 degrees. When oils are heated above their smoke points they actually may be harmful to human health. EEEK! On my hunt to find a neutral tasting oil with a high smoke point I found Chosen Food’s Avocado Oil at Costco and have been in love ever since. This stuff tastes amazing and is safe for temperatures up to 500 degrees…hello fall roasted veggies.

3. Italian Volcano 100% Organic Lemon Juice ($7.99)

This product is totally random but is an absolute lifesaver. I’m obsessed with putting fresh lemon juice in/on everything but it’s a pain to always have fresh, organic lemons in my house since they go bad so quickly. Italian Volcano Lemon Juice actually tastes like fresh squeezed lemon and will last you FOREVER in the fridge.

4. La Croix Sparkling Water ($7.79)

If I had it my way I’d only drink sparkling water buttttt that’s probably not the most cost efficient way to stay hydrated. La Croix, in my opinion, is one of the most delicious flavored sparkling water brands on the market right now. Normally a can can cost anywhere from $1.00-$1.50 but this 24-pack from Costco brings the cost per can down to only about $0.30…are you kidding me!?!? Bring on the sparkling water!

5. Kirkland Organic Hard-Boiled Eggs ($8.99)

Okay, maybe I’m just lazy but I always seem to buy a ton of fresh eggs with the intention of hard boiling them for snacks for the week and it never seems to happen. That’s why I’m obsessed with these organic hard-boil eggs from Costco. They’re organic, cage free, peeled and ready to eat plus are packaged in convenient snack sized 2-packs. For only $8.99 you get 32 hard boiled eggs without any of the work…yes please!

6. Perfect Bar Organic Variety Box ($20.99)

I may be a little biased on this one but Perfect Bars are hands down the best protein bar on the market. They’re organic, non-gmo, gluten free,  soy free, kosher, contain 20+ super foods, are high in protein and only contain fresh real food ingredients! Normally a bar will cost you $2.99 but with this variety box at Costco you get 12 bars for only $20.99…that’s only about $1.75/bar for the freshest most delicious protein bar out there.

7. Bitchin’ Sauce ($7.99)

The addiction is real with Bitchin’ Sauce. I discovered this stuff years ago at my local farmers market and completely feel in love with it. The only ingredients are: Water, Almonds, Expeller-Pressed Grapeseed Oil, Lemon Juice, Nutritional Yeast, Bragg Liquid Aminos (soy protein), Garlic, Spices, Sea Salt and let me tell you this stuff is delicious! I love dipping veggies, fruit, crackers and pita chips in it and it’s also absolutely amazing on sandwiches, with eggs, on burgers…etc. Normally a tiny container is about $5 so this giant one for only $7.99 at Costco is such a good deal. Hello guilt free dipping.

8. Taylor Farms Organic Cauliflower Rice ($3.99)

Let’s be really honest here…making cauliflower rice is a pain in the ass. It’s messy, requires 834795 kitchen gadgets and still never quite turns out right. I stopped making it for awhile since I just wasn’t willing to put in the effort but got very excited when I started seeing pre-riced cauliflower all over the stores. This giant bag of Taylor Farms Cauliflower Rice will easily give you “rice” for a couple meals and requires 0 prep. No more excuses for not eating your veggies.

9. Honey Smoked Salmon

My manager turned me on to this stuff from Honey Smoked Fish about a month ago and it has quickly become a staple at my house. The ingredients in this stuff are SO CLEAN and it may be the best smoked salmon I’ve ever had in my life. Bryce and I love throwing this stuff in eggs, eating it with crackers, combining it with some Chosen Food’s mayo for a quick lunch/dinner or shit just eating it plain. Try it and thank me later.

10. Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots ($6.99)

I’ve loved Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots for awhile now and if you want to learn why they’re so good for you check out this post. Long story short…keeping your gut healthy is one of the most important things you can do to avoid illness, help with allergies, aid digestion…etc. Just 1-2 gut shots a day of this delicious drink truly has made a noticeable difference for me and the fact that it is basically but a bottle get one free at Costco makes it so easy for me to get my daily dose of probiotics.

11. Kirkland Creamy Almond Butter ($12.99)

I put almond butter in/on EVERYTHING and easily go through 1-2 small jars per week. Almond butter isn’t cheap, especially for one that doesn’t contain a bunch off added sugar, preservatives and crap. This Kirkland brand of almond butter comes in a GIANT jar that lasts an almond butter addict like me easily 2 weeks and has 1 simple ingredient: roasted almonds. Doesn’t get much better than that.

11 healthy products I always buy at Costco!
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Your Turn,

Have you ever been to Austin?

What products are always on your Costco list?

What’s your favorite healthy product Costco sells?

The post 11 Healthy Products I Always Buy At Costco appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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Hi guys, long time no talk.

I want to apologize for my lack of posts this past month. Out of nowhere work got CRAZY! Yes, I know everyone has a crazy busy schedule but I’m really struggling to find time to sit down and blog after working 10+ hours per day, sneaking in a yoga class then having an hour to kiss my boyfriend hello and throw something together for dinner. 

I love blogging but for the next month or two I may only be able to give you guys 1 post per week since unfortunately my full time job has to but put first and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. In fact, I just found out yesterday that I’ll be flying out to Austin, Texas NEXT WEDNESDAY to activate Perfect Bar in the area.

It’s all very exciting and the experience of working for a start up company is something I’ll cherish forever but WOAH this stress and workload I have right now is just a little bit overwhelming.

Rant over.

Aright let’s talk about something a little bit more fun shall we?

SWEET POTATO FRIES + FOOTBALL!

Yes, I’m a HUGE football fan. We’re talking the girl who in a perfect world would sit on my couch all day Saturday and watch college football then sit there on Sunday watching NFL RedZone until my eyes bleed.

After last Sunday I wanted to pick up some snacks to bring home so Bryce and I could munch during the night game so I went over to Sprouts to do some shopping.

Immediately I was drawn to the bags of frozen sweet potato fries. I thought to myself how perfect that these are already ready to bake with 0 effort from me. Being the psycho that I am I grabbed a couple of the bags to read the ingredients and you guys SO FREAKIN DISAPPOINTED.

I won’t call out the brand but this specific brand has gorgeous packaging and called out all the healthy lingo “non-gmo”, “kosher”, “all natural”…etc yet here’s the ingredients: Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil and/or Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil, Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Natural Cane Sugar, Cornstarch, Tapioca Dextrin, Sea Salt, Chili Pepper Powder, Salad Mustard (Distilled Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, Turmeric, Paprika), Xanthan Gum, Gluconic Acid.

SAY WHAT??? NO THANKS!

Immediately I said F that and grabbed a couple real sweet potatoes and headed home to make my own fries that weren’t filled with crap and yet that’s how this post came to be haha.

Super Simple Sweet Potato Fries

I want to stress to you all again to ALWAYS read the ingredients on products at the store. It’s so easy to get into the mindset of “oh it’s sold at Sprouts/Whole Foods so it’s probably healthy”. Uhhh wrong!

Food companies sneak so much junk into products and it’s so easy to recreate a healthy version at home. Yes, it takes an extra 5-10 minutes but I promise your body will thank you when it’s not getting extra “natural cane sugar”, “tapioca starch” or “xanthan gum”.

So grab a knife and let’s cook up some Super Simple Sweet Potato Fries that are so naturally delicious and only require a couple ingredients.

ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes or yams
  • 2 tbsp oil of choice ( I like avocado or coconut oil)
  • sprinkle of seasoning of choice (I like using pepper, Trader Joe’s seasoning salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder but you can use whatever you want to flavor them)

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. Wash and peel (optional) the sweet potatoes then cut them into 1/4 inch thick sticks/wedges. Check out THIS video if you’re a little bit confused
  3. Throw your potatoes, oil and seasoning of choice into a bowl and toss together until the potatoes are evenly coated
  4. Place the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (without is fine) and bake for about 30 minutes flipping them once with a spatula half way through- do not use foil to line your baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle some extra seasoning on top if you wish and enjoy!

I’m currently OBSESSED with this seasoning salt on everything…especially sweet potato fries!

Roasted to perfection…crispy on the outside and soft on the inside

Super Simple Sweet Potato Fries
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 sweet potatoes or yams
  2. 2 tbsp oil of choice ( I like avocado or coconut oil)
  3. sprinkle of seasoning of choice (I like using pepper, Trader Joe's seasoning salt, cayenne pepper and garlic powder but you can use whatever you want to flavor them)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. Wash and peel (optional) the sweet potatoes then cut them into 1/4 inch thick sticks/wedges. Check out THIS video if you're a little bit confused
  3. Throw your potatoes, oil and seasoning of choice into a bowl and toss together until the potatoes are evenly coated
  4. Place the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (without is fine) and bake for about 30 minutes flipping them once with a spatula half way through- do not use foil to line your baking sheet
  5. Sprinkle some extra seasoning on top if you wish and enjoy!
Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog http://liveleaneatgreen.com/

Super simple sweet potato fries perfect for game day!
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Your Turn,

Are you a football fan?

Who is your favorite football team?

What’s your favorite thing to snack on while watching a football game?

The post Super Simple Sweet Potato Fries appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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I hope you all day a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

Mine was spent doing a little bit of work and a whole lot of relaxing and recharging before the craziness of September and October begin. This coming month I’m going to 2 music festivals; KAA BOO and then CRSSD at the end of the month then during October I’ll be traveling for work back and forth from San Diego to either Texas or Florida almost every single week THEN poof it’s the holidays AHHHHH!

With everything I have going on it got me thinking about how important it is to have a workout schedule in place so I don’t start skipping workouts and ending up weak and 5 lbs heavier before the holidays even begin.

Thankfully, I’ve always been pretty good about scheduling my workouts and committing to them like I would any other appointment but I know this is a struggle for a lot of people simply because they don’t know where to begin or think they don’t have time for a quality workout so they do nothing.

In this post I’m sharing 5 tips on how to create a workout schedule that you’ll actually stick to. If you have any to add please let me know in the comments since we can all use a little extra motivation this time of year!

1. Remember workouts don’t have to be 1+ hours or done at a gym

If I had $1 for every time I heard someone say they didn’t have time to workout I’d have $9849594385.

There’s a big misconception that workouts need to be 1+ hours long when in reality you can get an AWESOME workout in less than 30 minutes. Don’t believe me? Try doing a Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide workout and tell me you’re not sore after those 28 minutes are up. EVERYONE has 28 minutes 2-3 times per week to sneak in a workout.

Also, even if you don’t have a gym membership or don’t have time to get to the gym on certain days there are tons of workouts you can do at home or you can simply go out for a 30 minute walk/run to get in some cardio.

NO EXCUSES.

Some of my favorite quick workouts that can be done at home or at the gym are the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide workouts which you can try HERE, Tone It Up workouts, PaleOMG’s travel/hotel workouts, the T25/ Insanity video series and apps like Nike Training Club.

2. Schedule your workouts like you’d schedule an appointment

I’m a PSYCHO when it comes to my calendar. I legit put everything from 10 minute breathing breaks to my workouts on there because when you’re working 9+ hours per day it’s VERY important to be organized and efficient with your time. 

At the start of every week I like to look at my schedule and see which days are realistic for working out/ what types of workouts I’ll have time for (remember from tip #1 workouts don’t have to be long). Also, if you’re just getting back into a workout routine don’t stress yourself out and try to workout 6x/ week. Simply working out 2-3x/ week on a consistent basis can give you awesome results then you can increase it from there.

After scheduling workouts for while you’ll see that you start to develop a routine where your workouts just start to naturally fit into your busy life and you may really like the structure they bring to your schedule.

Just as an example for this coming week let’s take a look at what I have going on:

  • Monday: Labor Day- Afternoon BBQ
    • Realistically I can fit in any type of workout in the morning
  • Tuesday: Normal work day 
    • Realistically I can fit in any type of workout morning/evening
  • Wednesday: Working up in LA
    • Honestly probably won’t have time with traffic/work to workout
  • Thursday: Normal workday
    • Realistically I can fit in any type of workout morning/evening
  • Friday: Normal work day
    • Realistically I can fit in any type of workout morning/evening
  • Saturday: Yoga event in the afternoon and probably having drinks after
    • Realistically I can fit in a short workout in the morning and the afternoon yoga is just an added bonus
  • Sunday: work from 8:30-4 pm
    •  I know I won’t wake up early enough to workout and after work will want to watch football so no working out 

So after I’ve established what’s going on in my week and when I have time to workout I’ll simply put 30 min- 1 hour blocks on my calendar and set those times for working out. I’ll say it again you HAVE to treat these workout appointments like you would work meetings, hair appointments, happy hours…etc. You can’t skip them unless something VERY important comes up.

Here’s what my week for workouts is going to look like:

  • Monday: bicep & tricep workout at the gym (morning)
  • Tuesday: yoga sculpt (evening)
  • Wednesday: rest day
  • Thursday: yoga sculpt (evening)
  • Friday: morning run
  • Saturday: yoga sculpt + yoga at event
  • Sunday: rest day

Checkout my bicep and tricep workout HERE

  3. Discover workouts you actually enjoy doing

There are SO MANY different types  of exercise out there these days: yoga, pilates, running, weight lifting, zumba, walking, barre, Orangetheory Fitness, h0me workouts…etc. so there has to be something you enjoy (or don’t hate) doing a couple times a week.

I’m telling you guys if you start DREADING your runs or spending your entire day looking for excuses to skip pilates that night you’re going to fall out of your workout routine very quickly. 

So instead of forcing yourself to do workouts you hate take advantage of free 1st week deals, complimentary classes or memberships like ClassPass that let you try out a ton of different studios/gyms in your area until you find something you enjoy.

4. Find a workout buddy/ accountability partner

You’re so much less likely to skip your Thursday yoga class if you and your friend planned to go together at the beginning of the week right?

I think it’s so important to set dates with friends/family to workout together. It holds you and the other person accountable and makes working out even more enjoyable. 

Personally, I almost always set aside Sunday mornings for runs with my mom and Bryce. It’s so much fun to catch up about the week and gossip while running…honestly sometimes it doesn’t even feel like working out sometimes. During the week I’ll try to coordinate yoga classes with friends so that way at the end of the day when I’m exhausted I’m a lot more likely to actually go to class.

Working out with friends/family not only holds you accountable but makes working out way more fun

5. Connect with your “why”

Why are you working out?

What goals do you have for working out?

How does working out benefit you?

It’s so important to connect with your “why” to keep you motivated to workout throughout the week. For me a lot of the times I’m motivated to workout because I have a race coming up and I want to do well other times maybe I’m going on vacation or to an event and it sounds vain but simply want to look good in a bikini/ crop top and sometimes I’m motivated by simply wanting to be the healthiest version of myself.

I promise having a reason for working (even when you really don’t want to) will help keep you motivated.

How to create a workout schedule you’ll actually stick to
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Your Turn,

How do you stay motivated to workout during the week?

Do you create a workout schedule for yourself at the beginning of the week?

Any fun plans this Fall?

The post How To Create A Workout Schedule You’ll Actually Stick To appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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This post is going to be kind of a buzz kill right before Labor Day Weekend but whatever it’s been on my mind and I wanted to share.

A few weeks ago I was listening to Juli Bauer of PaleOMG’s podcast and she did an episode called Abstainers v. Moderators. The episode was based off an article posted by Popsugar all about these 2 very different approaches to eating and how understanding which one you are can help you have a better relationship with food and help you reach your health/fitness goals.

Before we go any further let’s discuss the difference between an abstainer and moderator. According to  the Popsugar article here’s the difference:

You’re a moderator if you:

  • Find that occasional indulgence heightens your pleasure and strengthens your resolve
  • Get panicky at the thought of “never” getting or doing something

You’re an abstainer if you:

  • Have trouble stopping something once you’ve started
  • Aren’t tempted by things that you’ve decided are off limits

Let’s clarify the difference further by thinking about dessert time and use chocolate chip cookies as an example. A moderator will bake a batch of cookies, have 1 cookie then put the rest away any will maybe have 1 cookie per night that week without any temptations to have more. An abstainer will bake those cookies, eat the entire batch and then crave sugar for the next 3 days sending them in a spiral of shitty eating.

So are you an abstainer or moderator?

Why “everything in moderation” may not work for everyone

In the article a woman named Brooke Barnett is interviewed about how she lost 100 pounds and how simply recognizing that she was an abstainer not a moderator helped her achieve this incredible success.

“I’m an abstainer,” she told us. “I would love to actually be a moderator and to be able to moderate my intake, but that’s just not how I’m wired.”

“Once I started experimenting with the idea of abstinence [from food], I realized that having none was often easier than having one,” said Brooke. “I no longer had to use mental energy or willpower to play the ‘Should I? Shouldn’t I?’ game of moderation.”

“After abstaining from foods like sugar and refined carbohydrates, I no longer have the same taste for them, and not eating them is a nonissue, whereas moderating these foods felt like a constant struggle. Now that my body has weaned off its drug-like response, I don’t really crave sweets or snacks, and I enjoy eating real food.”

-Brooke Barnett

You see, “everything in moderation”, “balance” or an “80/20” type outlook on food may work for some people but for others one taste of a cupcake or 1 slice of pizza may send them into a downward spiral of unhealthy eating.

Will Brooke ever eat pizza or a cupcake again…probably. But while she’s on this weight loss journey and lifestyle transformation she’s figured out what helps keep her focused on her goals and achieving incredible success.

This doesn’t just apply to food…

Oh no…food is only half the battle because BOOZE is another huge thing you’re either an abstainer or moderator with.

I often fall into bad habits where I start having a glass of wine at night then the next night I crave it again then the next night shit I may have 2 glasses and all of a sudden I’ve created this habit of having 1-2 glasses of wine per night and actually craving the alcohol to help me relax after a long day of work.

Is a glass of wine a couple times a week an issue…no but if my goals are to lose weight, tone up, get better sleep, eat better…etc having wine every single night certainly isn’t going to help.

So ask yourself can you limit yourself to a drink or two a couple times a week or does that drink cause you crave more alcohol more frequently?

 

Personally, I’m an abstainer…

Like Brooke, I recognize that I’m an abstainer.

I can’t have chips/crackers/cookies/ice cream/alcohol…etc in my house because simply knowing that those foods/drinks are available causes me to instantly crave them and we all know once you start munching on some chips it’s impossible to stop.

Instead my house is stocked with fresh veggies, hummus, nuts, sparkling water…etc. This sets me up for success because I really only snack when I’m truly hungry not craving junk for some emotional reason.

Do I ever eat bad foods? YOU BET! But I limit it for special occasions like my family coming over for a BBQ, catching up with friends or date night.

My goal with eating like this isn’t to lose weight…not at all actually. It’s more to focus on fueling my body with healthy foods that allow me perform my best when I workout, that give me energy throughout the day, that make my skin glow and prevent me from falling into bad habits of eating crap.

Your Turn,

Are you an abstainer or a moderator?

Are you a salty or sweet person?

What to you find to be the hardest part of reaching health/fitness goals?

The post Are You An Abstainer Or Moderator? appeared first on Live Lean Eat Green - A Healthy Food & Lifestyle Blog.

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