Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Breakfast and Summer Smoothies!

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. 
Although the product was provided by the company, all opinions are my own and no compensation was provided. 

Happy Hump Day!  It is my first day off in over 3 weeks and I am SO excited to have the day to get things ready for my trip HOME tomorrow!  I am SO excited to see friends, family, the horses, and THE WATER!  

The key to getting through these busy days and busy weeks is starting off on the right foot.  When I only have a few minutes for breakfast in the morning and need to grab something I can eat on the go, I almost always make a breakfast smoothie.  

I always keep frozen bananas in my freezer.  Unpeel them, break them in to smaller pieces, and throw them in a tupper ware container into the freezer and you have instant frozen bananas for smoothies- no ice cubes needed. 

My go to smoothis is frozen bananas, peanut butter, and almond milk.  I am not a fan of real milk so I always use almond milk or coconut milk.  My favorite brand by far is Almond Breeze. I usually use the unsweetened variety (45 calories!), but also enjoy the sweetened almond milks for my coffee and a milk shake.  I was SO excited to sample the Almond Coconut blend for my smoothie.  

On an unexpectedly snowy day in April, I decided to whip up a fun smoothie for breakfast using pineapple.  Whenever pineapples are on sale at the grocery store, I grab one, cut it into chunks, and throw it into the freezer for smoothies.  

(Olive was very interested)

This banana pineapple smoothie hit the spot on a snowy Salt Lake City day !  If I have spinach or kale in the fridge, I will throw that in there too and make a delicious green smoothie that is sweet, tasty and packed with some veggies :)

Thankfully spring is back in Salt Lake City, well, maybe even summer now that it is 80 degrees out today.  Try one of these smoothies on a hot summer day or for a great breakfast treat. 

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Motivational Monday 4/20 to 4/26

It was another busy week.  Like CHAOS!  I had finals, last week of classes.  Just chaos!  I am officially on 3+ weeks without a day off.  BUT THE END IS IN SIGHT!  Wednesday is my first day off and Thursday I fly home!

So lets talk about my running! 

I only got in two days this week.  Tuesdays 4 miles and Fridays 16.  I moved my long run to Friday morning because I knew I was going to be working long hours all weekend. 

Monday:  Off 
Tuesday:  4 miles 
Wednesday TIU HIIT workout 
Thursday: Off 
Friday: 16 miles 
Although I didnt get to run this weekend, my phone tracks my steps and clocked about 6 miles each day from all my running around at the restaurant.  That has to count for something! 

I am really excited for things to SLOW DOWN.  The past few weeks everything piled up.  It has been a hard semester for graduate school.  One job started before the other one could end.  I was still nannying twice a week, waitress on the weekends and on Tuesdays, as well as working for the consulting firm, coaching Girls On The Run, and finishing my certification to teach fitness classes.

Fitness training over, no more nannying, and my semester ends Wednesday!  Things are looking up! 

And.. some views from my run.  Because 16 miles is really far and lots of time for pictures. 

Happy Spring from Salt Lake City and Happy Running! 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tabata Thursday # 4

This week's Tabata round is inspired by some awesome moves I saw on the Tone It Up girls Hitty Bitty Bikini series.  I have never really followed any Tone It Up plans or workouts....Don't get me wrong, I think they have some great workouts, I am just a little confused by girls working out in bikini with their hair perfectly curled and that much makeup  I get it, I get it they are walking advertisement for their program, but it is just a little odd to me and always kind of threw me off.

Anyways, despite the bikini thing, I really liked some of the moves they did on their new video so I decided to do their routine. The HIIT workout was 1 minute of each exercise and ended up being about a 20 minute workout.  While it was a killer workout and I was dripping in sweat from a 20 minute workout, I really prefer the Tabata timing 

THIS sweaty from a 20 minute workout.
  I had to take a picture to prove it to myself!

 I am going to take some of these great moves and make it into a 30 minute tabata round for my class. I really liked these moved and loved how they targeted a bunch of different large muscles groups, and often in one move. But I really struggled with the 60 second interval for some of these moves, so we are going to Tabata them!

Click Here to see their original workout on the 1 minute HIIT timer.  It is also a great place to see them demo all the moves for perfect form!

Grab a set of hand weights and a mat, and lets get to work!

Here are the visuals for the moves from the TIU girls. 

FIRST EXERCISE - 8 rounds of 20 second work, 10 seconds rest
Deadlift + Upright Row + Tricep Extension.
3 part move. 1. Dead lift, hinging at the hips to bring the weight from shin level to a normal standing position. 2. Next, upright row, weight from thigh height up until your forearms are parallel with the ground, and then 3. a tricep extension-basically unfolding your arms from that parallel position to straight out like the image 

SECOND  EXERCISE - 8 rounds of 20 second work, 10 seconds rest
Jump Tuck Burpees
This is combining two killer moves, a Jump Tuck, and part of a Burpee.  Instead of a little "hop" to start the burpee, do a Jump Tuck- Jump as high as you can driving your knees to your elbows.  Land, plant your hands, and shoot your feet back into a plank.  Jump your feet back in towards your hands, jump up and start again with the Jump Tuck.  

THIRD  EXERCISE - 8 rounds of 20 second work, 10 seconds rest
Curtsy Lunge with Side Raise.
Instead of stepping straight back for a normal lunge, step back and to the side (diagonally) as seen in the picture.  In this position, dip down to complete the lung.  Return to center and with your palms facing your thighs, life your arms straight up, with your palms now facing the ground.  Switch legs and curtsy to the other side, return to center, side raise and repeat. 

FOURTH  EXERCISE - 8 rounds of 20 second work, 10 seconds rest
Classic speed skaters
 Here, you're going to lunge from side to side as you reach across to touch 1 hand near the opposite foot, shifitng from side to side, keeping the back leg int he air and staying low in a lunge position. 

FIFTH  EXERCISE - 8 rounds of 20 second work, 10 seconds rest
Plank Tuck and a Side Plank
Starting in plank position, jump your knees in towards your hands, and then back to plank position.  Once back in plank position, shift your weight into side plank pose.  Return to plank, tucking your knees into your hands, back out to normal plank, and then a side plank facing the other side. 

I may use this routine for my first class next week, I will let you all know what they think! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Chef Gao - Salt Lake City, Utah

Chef Gao 
488 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

If you are looking for great Chinese in Salt Lake City, look no further.  This spot is not fancy, by any means, and inside and out it looks like your typical Chinese restaurant.  However, it is so much better. 

The portions are HUGE and the prices are cheap.  But the best part is there diverse menu with unique options.  We ordered a lamb dish, a noodle dish, and the famous spicy boiled fish.

It was all delicious, with huge huge portions.  Be warned, if you order the soup, it does not come in a normal soup bowl, it comes in a GIGANTIC bowl enough for 4 people. 

Huge portions, unique items, all for cheap,  ff you are in Salt Lake City and want to escape the downtown crowd and stay on a budget, head to Chef Gao!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Salt Lake City Half Marathon Race Review

                        Salt Lake City Half Marathon is Half Marathon #7 in the books!

I signed up for this race for a few reasons.
A. convenience- the expo, the start and finish were all very close to my apartment, I would not have to drive anhywhere.
B. It fell at a great time in my marathon training
C. It was a mostly downhill course
D. The medal was a belt buckle and the shirt was also awesome. 

I started the weekend by heading to the Quality of Life Expo at the convention center. The expo was decent, with a lot of great vendors, clothes for sale, freebies, and information. They even had someone from the UTA TRAX station there to answer questions on how to get to the start of the race on the public transportation system, a really great resource for out of towners. I picked up my number, my goodies, some freebies, and headed back to the apartment. 

Saturday morning I was up early, 5:40 to be exact. I woke up, had half a bagel with cream cheese, a few sips of coffee, and water before heading to the Trax station. There were trains every 10 minutes from my station to the Fort Douglas station up on the University of Utah campus. There were plenty of port o potties at the start line, the race started on time, and everything went pretty smoothly. I didn't cross the finish line until about 10 minutes into the race and I wasn't even in the back.

Course Info:

"Starting off at the Olympic Legacy Bridge at the University of Utah, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympic Athlete Village, the gentle course works its way toward the base of the towering Wasatch Mountains. Next, runners travel through the Federal Heights neighborhood and the scenic 11th Avenue before dropping into downtown near Temple Square through Memory Grove. The route then snakes through Salt Lake’s legendary wide streets, passing by cozy neighborhoods and elegant estates on the way.

Finish off with a run through the gorgeous Sugar House and Liberty Park until culminating on 200 E between Library and Washington Squares. Here, the music is rocking and energy surging as crowds of enthusiastic spectators cheer on participants. You won’t want to miss the celebration of the thousands of lifetime achievements being created in the heart of Salt Lake City. Fun and excitement await all who attend!

The course was okay. I only say okay because it was all so familiar to me. The course started on campus, climbed up a small hill, down through Federal Heights, down into Memory Grove park, and into Sugar House, Liberty Park, and then back up to Washington Square. It was pretty, but all sights I see nearly every day so not as exciting for a "local". The course had a lot of downhill which was nice, but more uphill than I see on that map. I felt strong and powered up the hills while many people walked. I just remember there being more hills... I swear.... 

I pushed along with some great splits . I was on target for a PR and came in at 1:55, 4 minutes faster than my Colchester Half at 1:59. That 1:54 was even including a stop to pee at mile 4. I was really happy with this time and was glad to see my training pay off.

927/3,119 finishers
408/1,916 Female
82/334 Female 25-29

This was a fun race for its location and convenience for me.  I am not sure if I would run it again, but I am sure it is a much more scenic and awesome route for out of towners.  Thanks for the PR SLC!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Motivational Monday and Weekly Recap: 4/13 to 4/19

Well, we are back to another Monday!  Womp Womp.  Well, that means another recap of my running week to keep myself accountable and hopefully you all inspired!

Monday: Tabatta

Tuesday: Off 

Wednesday: 3 miles

Thursday: 4 miles 

Friday: Bike ride 
Saturday: 13.1 miles Salt Lake City Half Marathon!
Sunday: Off 

TOTAL:  20 miles 

I had some GREAT RUNS this week.  I did not want to run at all this week as work and school have been really overwhelming.  I just started a new job waitress at the brew pub next door as a way to pay for tuition and save up for the travel fund.  Training for that has been Saturday and Sundays, followed by my instructor training Sunday nights.  Add that into working my normal job for the consulting firm, nannying twice a week, and being a full time graduate student and your head will start to spin too.

None the less, I got in a 3 mile run and a 4 mile run and had great times.  

Wednesdays 3 miler was a hill workout up to Memory Grove and back, while Thursday's 4 miler was a flat  1 milex1x1x1 square around the city.  I was really happy with my pace for both runs.  

Saturday I ran my 7th half marathon, the Salt Lake City Half Marathon and will tell you ALL about that tomorrow.

Happy Monday! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

This ones for the girls

I don't know if it's something that happens in your late twenties, or something that comes with moving across the country.  What I do know is as time goes by, my petty, negative or childish comments are few and far between and I find myself, well, wanting everyone to succeed more.

em·pow·er     əmˈpou(ə)r/     verb

give (someone) the authority or power to do something.

* make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

I am not sure if that makes sense, if that makes me a terrible person, or if I just have some pre race excitement (half marathon number 7 tomorrow!) but I just want to motivate people.  I want to empower other women.  If this is sounding a little "koom bye ah" then I am sorry.  Last year I had this word "empower" monogrammed on a necklace as a daily reminder to be the girl complementing others instead of passing petty comments on someones outfit choices.  With that being said, I still have my weaknesses and still have a strong hate for crop tops and women wearing them (and have a hard time controlling these feelings).  But I digress.  

Image result for empower

As I looked through all my race review posts you can find them all here  I noticed how lucky I am. How lucky I am to have a support group of such amazing, powerful and supportive women who push me to run, to workout, to be faster, to be slower, to go farther, or just plain be better.  

If it wasn't for all these women, I would have probably slept in on all those Saturday mornings with a mimosa and a large breakfast. And while there is nothing wrong with that, I am so thankful for all of those early mornings, silly costumes, sweaty pictures, and race medals.  

And I think how its sort of bittersweet that here I am, heading to the expo for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon with another group of amazing women.  They are the only reason I signed up for this half, and the ONLY reason I signed up for the marathon (because that is a lot of running).  I was so eager to make friends here that when I got in touch with this group of women who had signed up for all these races, I couldn't help but send in my race fees too.  Now here I am, with some new friends, in the best shape of my life, and with more confidence. 

As a graduate student, I really don't have the time, and I definitely don't have the money for these races.  But I did it anyway because it is such a great feeling to be surrounded by some awesome people who motivate you to get out of bed at 6am to run some hills.  To be around a group of people who are just trying to be motivating and just plain better too. 

So this post is for all of my lady running friends, old and new, near and far.  I am so thankful for every single training run and every single finish line.  You all rock and I am so thankful to have you all empowering me to run faster, farther, and be better.  

See you at the finish line.