Thursday, April 30, 2015

Easy Coleslaw Chicken Salad

This delicious chicken salad comes with only 245 calories! Recipe can easily be doubled or quadrupled! :)



Easy Coleslaw Chicken Salad
Serves 1

3 oz canned chicken
1 tbsp light mayo
1 tbsp plain yogurt
¼ apple diced
1 cup plain dole cole slaw mix
2 wasa crackers or reduced fat wheat thins.

Mix salad serve with crackers

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

5 tips to get healthy

There's a lot of conflicting information out there! From no carb, to low carb, to vegan, to paleo, to Zumba, and crossfit (on and on and on) it can all be very overwhelming! I think being healthy can be pretty simple though. My thoughts are pretty much what you've probably always heard, "eat right and exercise". I do not think you should do either of those to extremes.  



Here are my 5 quick tips to help you get healthy.
  1. Find your WHY. Why are YOU doing this? If you're not in it 100% or if it's not your goal it is going to be a lot harder to succeed.
  2. Educate yourself. Learn more about nutrition and healthy eating. Research new exercises that you might enjoy. Sign up for a nutrition class or try a new exercise class at your gym.
  3. Set goals. Find something you want to work toward. Better yet find someone to work with you. Having a partner join you will greatly increase you success rate!
  4. Start small and work up. Don't go overboard at the start because you might get discouraged and want to give up quickly. 
  5. Don't quit! You'll probably want to quit, you'll probably not see results right away, but if you stick to it you will see the results come!
Merri

Monday, April 27, 2015

What I learned from the Boston Marathon


Last Monday I ran in the 119th Boston Marathon! I'd have to say it was one of the most amazing things I have done so far in my life. I loved/hated the run, and I learned a few things that I wanted to share.

1. Prepare and plan for all types of weather! I was watching the weather carefully for 10 days before the race. I knew there was going to be rain, but the days of rain kept changing. I packed my bags Friday night for a race on Monday. I did not pack good enough. 

I ended up buying a long sleeve running shirt to wear over my tank top. I bought a sweater for $1.99 at Sears to wear before the race and then donated it. I also bought a beanie to keep warm with before the start. I also ended up using socks for gloves for the first few miles to keep my hands warm.



I did do a few things right though! I put duct tape on my shoes and it did help for a little while. I had a few runners step into puddles and splash into my shoes through my ankles, but I think the duct tape worked well for a bit. I also wore a visor. It was so helpful to have a hat while running in the rain. 
I ended up covering the laces as well. 
If I could do it again I would wear shorts, tank top, long sleeve layer top, gloves (that I could throw away and not care) and a hat. It's better to over pack than under pack. 

2. Wear your bib # somewhere visible at all times. I was so unsure on what to wear! It was a chilly 48 degrees, 20 mph winds and rain! So I wore a tank, the long sleeved shirt I bought, and my long sleeve shirt I got at packet pick up. I wore my bib # on my top layer, however because I was getting too warm I shed my top later and tied it around my waist. So I have no way of seeing my pictures b/c my number was on my back. I have been manually searching through the unmarked pictures and it is not easy to search though that many photos. :) 


3. If you are running with an iPod check to make sure it's working. I always have a few tough miles in marathons so I listen to music to help me through. I had just bought a new album on iTunes and was so excited to listen to new music while running. But guess what? The songs did not work. I called iTunes after the marathon and got it all fixed, I wish I would have done it before the race.

4. You are stronger than you think! I can't tell you how many times I wanted to quit. I was cold and wet, my legs hurt, my music wasn't working and I wanted to just stop. I had to tell myself to just run one more mile, or I would tell myself if you make it to mile # whatever then I could stop. But I never did. At each new mile I would start it over with one more mile. I was so happy to be done and so proud I didn't quit! Yes my time was way slower than I wanted, but I finished and I can feel good about that!

And I am pretty sure I'll be back!

Happy trails,
Merri

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

When and what to eat after a workout

I hear this question often. 


"I know I do the whole eating after a workout wrong. I am horrible at working out and then waiting hours to eat. Who knows the rules on this?"


I love this topic! For an endurance athlete (marathoner/triathlete) your ratio is 3 carbs to every 1 protein. So that's why chocolate milk works well for endurance athletes, or a whole banana with a half scoop of protein whey is about 10 grams protein, to 30 grams of carbs (3/1) 

if your goal is to lean out or build muscle then you eat as much protein as your body will absorb (around 25 grams normally for us Chicas) and then you have it with a simple sugar. A fruit like banana or strawberry is great but try to avoid fat and fiber (if possible green smoothies) your workout is like an insulin shot making the gates of your muscles open so they take in nutrients more quickly. This window of opportunity closes about 45 minutes after your workout. So the sooner the better. 

Fat also inhibits absorption of the protein and carbs in your gut which may make it so the nutrients don't absorb in that window of time) protein repairs and carbohydrates energize your muscles) so - low fat, low fiber high carbs and depending on your goals if it is endurance or building the protein amount will change. 

I truly believe for endurance the post workout meals are extremely important and even more important than the typical carb loading that some do the week of a race. the post-workouts will keep the shelves of your muscles stocked with energy. Your muscles pull most the energy from your workouts directly from your muscles and a workout can deplete that. Just eating normally for a non active person will restock the shelves but for an active person a post workout is best!!


Follow up question: "You're saying no green smoothie after a workout? Stick with milk or protein shake instead?"

This is a subject I like and wanted to know more about so I spent a lot of time on it! Green smoothies are great but they don't optimize post workout nutrition so if your trying to max out nutrition and increase sport performance then a low fat, low fiber with carbohydrate and protein meal is better. So yes if your doing endurance a low fat chocolate milk is great!


2nd follow up question: "How do you balance the protein shakes and eating breakfast while trying to lose weight? I feel like if I do that then I will barely have calories left for lunch or dinner and will be hungry later."

It's a good concern that many of us ladies share. Why add calories? It's a principle of nutrient timing it's not just about the calories but about when our bodies best use the nutrition and how it influences hunger. Even though I add calories (around 160) with post workout it also ties over my hunger and keeps my blood sugar in line so I make more calculated decisions at my next meals. Otherwise I can become ravenous and I make poor decisions and I end up eating a lot more in calorie cost than the post workout meal was. 

But everyone is different and I think we get familiar with how our own bodies respond so after giving it a good try if it doesn't seem to help in any way then it may be good to go with what does work. 

Here are some links to my favorite post workout snacks.

Greek Yogurt Lean Treat

Strawberry Vanilla Protein Shake

Dessert for Breakfast

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Peanut Butter Fudge Shake

Happy Healthy Eating!

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