5 Friday Favorites: Supplements

Yesterday I posted about how I pump myself full of healthy vitamins and foods. But someone asked exactly what do I take to get everything my body needs? When you’re training for a big race like I am or just working out hard for life, it’s important that you keep everything in your body working like a well oiled machine. While I try to get most of my nutrition from nutrient dense foods, sometimes I like to splurge on Mac and Cheese so I need a little assistance. Here are my five favorite supplements to use.

vitamin1. Daily Multivitamin. I like this gummy ones because otherwise I forget to take them. I tell all my clients they should be taking one, like I said above, I prefer that myself and my clients are eating a healthy diet to get all of these in rather than a pill. We are human and sometimes that doesn’t happen so a multivitamin just assures that it will. Taking one can help reduce anxiety levels and stress. It also helps our bodies do the daily tasks that is required like processing food into energy and keep our nervous system functioning properly.

iron

2.Iron supplement. I also added an iron supplement into my routine because this past summer I attempted to donate blood for only the second time in my life and for the second time I was turned down because of low iron. They advised me to eat more dark leafy greens and red meats, but I already do plenty of both. So I decided to try a supplement. It’s important (especially for us women) to keep our iron at a stable level because it can cause fatigue and weakness since iron plays an important roll in creating energy from nutrients. Female athletes are especially at risk for increased iron deficiency!

 

 

vegan3. Vegan protein. Every once in awhile I track my food and I noticed that I never eat enough protein, especially to sustain the life style that I do and while I would rather eat my food than drink it, there’s just so much I can eat throughout the day without feel sluggish. However, like many people my body absolutely cannot process the typical whey proteins that are so popular. I tried recently after a long hiatus and I became painfully bloated and embarrassingly gassy. So I decided to try a vegan protein, right now I am using Good for Life chocolate flavor and I like it a lot.  it’s creamy and doesn’t make me feel gross!

collagen

4. Collagen protein.  A couple years ago I read about this type of protein which is the most abundant type of protein in our bodies, you can consume this through bone broth. But I started adding this to my daily morning shake because of several reasons: it helps with joint pain and degeneration, which with my background as a dancer, cheerleader and runner I definitely need the help and boosts metabolism, muscle mass and energy output. Who wouldn’t want help? This type of protein is easily absorbed into the body and won’t cause any bloating like the whey.

super

5. Amazing grass green superfood. This lovely green powder is definitely not the tastiest, but it is really is a superfood. This stuff is a blend of wheat grass, barely grass, alfalfa, spirulina, spinach, chlorella and broccoli. This awesome combo helps create alkalinity in the body and decreases inflammation, plus all those greens can’t hurt!

 

 

Have any questions about any of these? Let me know!

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70.3 here I come!

Hey readers!

So I thought I’d give you an update on my training! I wanted to wait until I finished a full month, but I am just closing up week 3 and I’ve had a minor set back (of course). But it’s nothing serious, it’s just that it’s January in New England and despite pumping my body with vitamins and healthy foods, I am sick. I’ve kinda been in denial all week, hoping that I could will my body healthy, but alas that is not how the body works. So here I am wishing I could work out right now but I am pretty drained.
If you follow me on instagram (if you don’t you should! click here!) you know that I started training for my second attempt at a half ironman. If you’re not sure what that is, this race consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run. In that order equaling 70.3 miles. In 2016, I attempted one, but while I was physically ready I was not mentally ready and I dropped out after the bike. I was sad at the time but I’ve come to terms with it. I haven’t really done any triathlons since then though and 2017 did not consist of much swimming, biking and just a little running. 097
23415140_race_0.25631262029953683.displayThis month, I am really just concentrating on building back up my endurance in general because fitness is one of those things that if you don’t keep working at it then you lose it very quickly. I certainly have lost a lot of it. But it’s super important to look. FORWARD and not back. Yes, easier said than done. But I know just in 3 weeks I have seen a lot of improvement so that makes it easier to not get discouraged. I am very much a numbers person so I love keeping track and seeing those numbers change.
While those three sports are my main focus, I am still sticking to a lifting program. I always talk about balance and for me, lifting even though I am an endurance athlete is super important to me. I like being strong, and in the end that will help me prevent this body from becoming more injured than it’s already prone to and get faster! I used to have the mind set that it was all one or the other, but it doesn’t have to be if you make the time and both modes of exercise are a priority to me!
But for now I am sipping my tea and curling up into a ball until I can kick this cold and hop on my bike! img_0168

5 Friday Favorites: Beauty Products

If you ask my boyfriend I’m most comfortable laying around on the couch in what he calls my grandma sweater and sweatpants sans make up. But every girl (and guy!) wants to still feel pretty though right?

Well, of course! Here are my favorite products to use so that I can feel confident in my skin and not load up on (too much) make up.

  1. Fre Skincare. OMG this face wash just after one use created miracles. My skin instantly glowed and the cracked skin on my eyelids from the cold quickly healed. It’s made for people that love to work out and protects your skin from break outs and damages caused from sweating it out. Want to try it out? Use my code CJOY for 20% off your first order!unnamed-2

 

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2. Dry shampoo. Specifically, Batiste dry shampoo. Sweating it out and washing  your hair almost everyday will take a number out on your strands. So I really try to only wash my hair when I go swimming because then you really need to get those chemicals out!

 

 

3. Burts Bees. I know most people have heard of this and use it, but why change what isn’t broken? Just like my eye lids, my lips crack bad. All year. This stuff is natural and saves lives from unkissable lips 😉images-2

images4. Too Faced Natural Eye Palette. I’m terrible with make up, once I realized my white eye shadow phase was not a good look, I kinda gave up. I don’t know how to apply it and I don’t like the overwhelming experience of make up stores. This one is fun because it comes with directions and I don’t look like a clown in these colors!

 

5. Biotin gummies. But this isn’t a beauty product you tell me? Well, think otherwise! Gummy-Bears-NutstopSince I started taking biotin gummies regularly, my nails are stronger and my hair is shiner and grows faster! Easiest beauty regime I’ve ever had!!

Why I don’t make New Years Resolutions

Last December, I took a big leap. I left an easy relationship (ie. not perfect) moved out of the area of Boston that I had lived in for 5 years and started over…again. Honestly, I’ve done this before because I am not the type of person to just settle if I’m not happy. I have never wanted to be one of those people that sticks with a job or a person just because it’s comfortable or easy. Sure, there have been hard times when I’m like, “Crap, I can’t afford groceries this week.” But I some how always make it through.

This is why I don’t make resolutions.

It’s a waste of time to wait for a certain day of the year to make a change. I make changes that are aligned with my goals and MY timeline, not the calendars. In the past when I have tried to make resolutions it was more like me going through the motions rather than really working towards a goal that is important to me.

What I prefer to do at the end of one year and the beginning of another is to asses how that year went and what I can work on throughout the next year. A lot of these things aren’t measurable and I don’t really know if I’m making progress until a certain situation may come up and how I react.

So what has 2017 taught me?

-I need to stop caring so much about what others think about me. It’s a huge source of my stress and it’s kept me from my own success.

I DO NOT NEED TO KEEP UP WITH THE JONES’. A lot of my friends in this industry are rocking it. They have amazing blogs and social media and are killing it. But as you can see I struggle to keep up and that’s OKAY. I have a different path, still fitness but I chose to go down a management path because it fits my end game better.

No days off is unhealthy. I did so many races in 2016, I was constantly training and missed out on some of the important things in life because I always had some race or training plan to stick to. Where did that land me in 2017? Over trained and injured so none of my races went well. 2018 I will be more selective so that I can live life.

-I love fitness, but there’s more to me than just fitness. Someone told me this year that they like me because I can talk about things other than fitness, I love musicals and ballet, I’m well read. I think I forgot this about myself because the first thing that everyone wants to talk about these days is health and fitness. How about that latest Ruth Ware book?

What am I working on in 2018?

Killing a 70.3. I’m not trying to keep up with anyone, this is for ME. I need to cross that finish line not because I’m trying to impress my followers, but because I crave it.

Reading more. Every year I set a goal to read 24 books a year, so 2 books a month. But it’s been just any book to get that number. This year, I want to read for fun, but I also want to read to grow. Whether it’s a classic I haven’t read or a self help book to help me grow, I want to read more so I can become the best version of me.

Travel more. Like most people I want to see places and learn things. But I’ve let other life things get in the way (work and races). So this year you get to see me explore the Mayan ruins, visit my family in the Philippines and traipse around Italy.

I’m excited for what the future months hold. I love that I can look back and see how much I’ve grown in a year because day to day it’s really hard to see and some times even I get discouraged. So when the clock strikes midnight on December 31, remind yourself how far you’ve come and that progress is still progress.

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5 Friday Favorites: Podcasts

1.Well-Fed Women (Formerly the Paleo Women Podcast)

This podcast is hosted Noelle Tarr and Stefani Ruper, who are extremely funny and you should expect witty banter (I laugh to myself on my long runs when I listen to it). But don’t let that fool you. They are EXTREMELY smart and well read. They cover topics from empowerment for women by women, health issues that most women don’t want to talk about, fitness and body image. With over 100 episodes there are so many topics that they cover, I’m sure you’ll find something that applies to you.

2. Mind Body Musings by Maddy Mood

I just recently discovered this podcast because I happened upon her instagram and her life experiences really speak to me. She talks a lot about escaping perfectionism and expectations, and stop wasting our lives with overthinking. She does talk a little bit about health and fitness because she comes from the body building world as well, but she really focuses on self care to be the best you.

3. The Body Love Project with Jessi Haggerty

The title of this one says it all. I share the same outlook as her when it comes to diets and body image in the fitness industry. My favorite episodes so far have been “F*ck your fitspo with Sarah Vance” and “Melissa Carmona on Body Image across cultures.” Jessi is real and honest and doesn’t try to sugar coat anything which I can really appreciate.

And lastly

4. Bigger Pockets

Not really my favorite, but I’m into it because it’s helping me learn about a different way of earning money without really having a traditional job. Can I please retire by 35? K thanks.

5. Case Files

Ok, this is my guilty pleasure. I love shows like CSI and Criminal Minds, but now that I have SUCH a long commute (compared to me 10 minute walk) I don’t have much time for TV. So this supplements that for me! This podcast covers real crimes, solved and unsolved that have happened all over the world. It’s pretty interesting because there are some that were really big in the news and others that I can’t believe that it wasn’t bigger news!

Chicken Zucchini Roll Ups

Growing up I was never a huge fan of vegetables. You can ask my mom about that. So she would have to either bribe me, some how force it into a meal (hello stuffed peppers) or sneak it in (veggie filled spaghetti sauce). Things have changed a lot since then, but getting enough vegetables in every day still continues to be a struggle for me because, if you’ve followed me for awhile you know, I don’t like salads. So I have to think of creative ways to slip it in each meal.

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini

2 cloves garlic

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

1 egg

Juice from one lemon

1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs

1 lb chicken cutlets

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Shred zucchini by hand or I used the food processor and drain out any extra liquid. Chop the 2 cloves or garlic and mix it in with the zucchini and cheese. Spoon mixture to center of one of the cutlets and roll up. Beat the egg and add lemon juice to it. Dip cutlets into egg  mixture and then into the bread crumbs, place in baking dish seam side down. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until juices run clear.

Five Friday Fitness Favorites: Christmas edition

It’s the return of my 5 Friday Favorites! This week is my Christmas edition for Fitness Junkies looking to add to their Christmas lists. Okay, maybe some of these things are just what want for Christmas but that’s just because I haven’t gone shopping for myself in awhile!

midnight navy

 

1.A versatile gym bag. This is personally at the top of my wish list this year. For the past couple years I’ve lived close to work so I usually load up a backpack when I’m walking around the city so that I don’t end up ruining my posture. But now that I’m not doing that anymore and I need to bring more with me for the day I want something that will hold my life. Gym clothes, lap top, chargers, books etc. I currently have my eye on this one: (Lululemon)

 

2. Fitness tracker. Okay, I know this may be so 2015. But in this world of technology, I love stats. I like to keep track of my runs, swims, bikes and other work outs. I like to know if I sat in my office too much during that day and didn’t move around enough. I do have a Garmin 920XT, but it’s huge and bulky so I don’t wear it a lot, something that is gym proof but slim is ideal for every day use. Particularly this one: Nike watch

 

Brooks Ravenna 8 Running Shoe (Women's)

3. Shoes. Basic. But really. You shouldn’t be wearing the same pair for everything. I don’t walk around the city in my running shoes and I don’t run in my lifting shoes. You need different support for every activity. This is going to kind of a personal thing, so I suggest you get  fitted and try on different pairs to know what you like. These are my go tos: Brook for running and Reebok for lifting

 

 

4. Nutrition. Whether you’re an endurance athlete or a power lifter, everyone likes some kind of supplement to help with their performance and we go through it quickly. Being an endurance athlete that likes to lift, I get a little bit of everything. My favorites: (nuun, BCAA and vega one).Image result for nuun

 

5. Sweet tunes. Last but not least. I have no idea who doesn’t work out with music. A crazy person I guess. But a Spotify or Itunes gift card would definitely come in handy.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Tacos are definitely a staple in our house, and not just Taco Tuesday. There can basically be tacos any day that ends in a Y. But on our mission to eat healthier we’ve been trying out different recipes and since I’m not a fan of following directions (hence why I don’t really bake…that would be a disaster!) I like to change things up and make them my own.

tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1.5 tsp sugar
  • .5 tsp cayenne pepper
  • .5 tsp red pepper flakes
  • .5 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp ground pepper
  • juice from 1/2 of a lime
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • avocado
  • Mango salsa (I used Newman’s Own, but you can make it homemade or buy it)
  • cilantro

Combine Chicken, garlic and all the spices with orange juice and lime juice in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours. Once cook, shred the chicken while still in the juices. Warm the corn tortillas on both sides in a skillet over low heat. Spoon the chicken onto tortillas and dress with salsa, avocado and salsa!

Getting faster and stronger!

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated all my lovely followers out there on my own fitness journey. I left you last when I was getting ready for the Chicago Marathon, ready to train and kick some butt. Unfortunately, that race kicked my butt instead.

During my training I found myself dealing with an old nagging injury in my right hip, which left me unable to run, let alone walk or even sleep peacefully at night. I tried to keep my fitness up best I could because there was NO WAY I was going to Chicago and NOT running this race. But what little I could do just didn’t compare to full on marathon training. I thought about writing a race report, but it would have been sad and miserable and I decided to just move on to the next!

So what does an endurance athlete that has been injured almost all race season do in the off season? Well, get faster and stronger of course! So here are some things I’m focusing on to get back to where I was.

foamrollMobility. This is why I got injured this year in the first place. I really ignored warming up and treating my body right. So for two-three weeks after the marathon this is what I focused on, getting my body to move without pain. I foam rolled, focused on stability and mobility in my joints through a range of movements and stretched a lot.stretch

 

 

 

 

 

 

strengthStrength training. For the past month or so I’ve been working on building back up these muscles. Who ever said that endurance athletes didn’t need to be strong was WRONG. You’re using the same muscles over and over whether you’re swimming, biking or running so they need to be able to with stand all that motion!

 

 

watch

 

Base training. For an endurance athlete, I did very little of endurance this year. Actually, I did very little of anything, but you already know that story. So I’m paying the price now. My mile times are slower, swimming feels like I’m going through mud and my legs are lead on the bike. But I’m slowly, slowly working on building back up my base, mostly in swimming and running because biking is my strong suit and will come back fast.

 

It’s a hard road to go down starting over, but whenever you’re feeling discouraged, remember where you started and know that every day you’re moving forward. You have to love every step of the journey.

 

jummping

 

 

Eggplant Rollatini with Sausage

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It’s tough eating healthy during the holidays. I know that I for one had 3 Thanksgiving dinners over the course of the past weekend alone and more wine than I care to remember. But we all slip up, and we should during the holidays. It’s not a time to stress out over food and weight, it’s a time to enjoy spending time with people that you care about. But if you don’t want to completely fall off track, I’ll be sharing some of the recipes that I’ll be cooking up to stay healthy during the week.

For one, there won’t be any salads. It’s cold in Boston and the last thing I want to eat is a cold salad. That’s just doesn’t appeal to me, sometimes even during the summer months it doesn’t either. I’m just not a salad person. So last night’s meal was cheesy, and full of vegetables and protein!
Eggplant rollatini with sausage
Serves 4
Per serving:
Calories: 344
Carbs: 27
Protein: 21
Fat: 19
Ingredients:
1 16oz container of Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggplants thinly sliced the long way
1 egg
1/2 pound of Sweet Italian Sausage (can also use chicken sausage for a low fat version)
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Parsley
10 oz of Partly Skim Mozzarella Cheese
2 cups Hearty Marinara sauce (homemade or store bought)
1 tbsp garlic
Directions:
Cook sausage until all the way browned and set aside.
Pre-heat over to 400 degrees
Grease cookie sheet and lay out sliced eggplant, once oven is preheated, bake Eggplant for 10 minutes or until softened.
Grease baking dish and coat bottom with 1 cup of the marinara sauce.
While the eggplant is in the oven mix together the ricotta cheese, 8 oz of the mozzarella, basil, parsley, egg and cooked sausage.
Remove eggplant, once it’s cool enough to touch, add 1.5 tbsp of the ricotta mixture to middle of eggplant and roll up the short side, place in baking dish. Top with the rest of marinara and mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes.