Recipe time

Power protein smoothies

Being a lacto-ovo pescatarian ( I eat eggs, dairy, and fish, but not other meat), I haven’t really found it hard to get enough protein. It’s one of the most common questions I get asked when people find out I’m not eating chicken, pork, or beef. My response is that it really hasn’t been an issue or something I’ve had to think hard about.

However, with the gym at my complex reopening, and having access to weight machines again, I went ahead and bought some protein powder. I felt like I needed something that is easily digested for immediately after a workout.

After reading some reviews, vanilla powders were getting the best reviews as smoothie ingredients, and I’m a smoothie lover.

On Friday, I decided to try it out after running 2.62 silent miles for Boston and hitting an upper body workout.

blender pic

smoothie ingredients

I threw a banana, about a half cup of pineapple, and four extra large strawberries into a blender with 4 ounces of almond milk and 4 ounces of plain yogurt along with a scoop of Body Fortress vanilla whey protein powder.

I would probably pare down to half a banana and add some more pineapple next time. It was really good, but the smoothie needed a little more fruit flavor to combat all the liquid. This kind of smoothie would be a meal at close to 500 calories, but it did a really good job of keeping me full for about 3-4 hours. The recipe also made a lot of smoothie—about 24 ounces!

protein smoothie

Pretty.

If I’m just going for a post workout snack, I’ll just mix the powder with a cup of almond milk for a 200 calorie protein shake.

This powder doesn’t fall into the “clean” category, but I do believe that it will be beneficial to my workout regime. I’m a big believer in women building muscle, so I need to up my protein intake some. I’m ready to burn some fat and reveal some hard-earned muscles!

Do you have any protein powders or other supplements you swear by?

What is your favorite kind of smoothie?

Get fit · Healthy living

Motivations and affirmations

If you follow my on Instagram (carolinedb88), then you’ve probably noticed I’ve been posting a lot of fitness quotes lately. In part, that’s because I’m bored and like exploring hashtags, but it’s also because I’ve found that these silly little phrases and sayings actually really help me stay inspired and motivated to get my fitness on.

fitness is about

I’m big on competing with myself and trying to improve on what I’ve previously done. I know a lot of people that count of “kills” or people they’ve passed while they’re racing, but that doesn’t work for me. I really have to focus on a new PR, or lifting a heavier weight than I did yesterday. Otherwise I drive myself crazy getting too competitive.

I will beat her

I love this. It’s incredibly motivating. I’ve blogged before about how I don’t regret the Old Me at all, but I do want to beat her into the ground. I’ve given up so many times, and this little meme is a great reminder to keep going.

www.blogspot.stoyfitness.com

When the Old Me starts talking, she’s the queen of excuses. All day, every day. It keeps me from realizing my full potential. She spoke up this week and I took two extra days off from working out. I still got in three workouts this week, but that’s not what I want to be doing. I want to hit 5 or 6. And that’s not going to happen if I keep making excuses.

If you haven’t noticed already, my motivators tend to be inwardly focused. I don’t really care about having a body like hottie X, or beating runner Y. I care about being the fittest I can be. If that’s a six pack, cool. If my body’s there now, that’s cool too. I care about harder, better, faster, stronger.

Am I doing everything I can to be the best I can be?

What are some quotes you use to motivate yourself?

Is you competition focused on other people or on yourself?

Running

Run the River 10k recap

When I finished my half marathon, I signed up for a few races in a frenzy to recapture that racing feeling. I was super motivated and ready to race.

I was not so ready to race when my alarm went off this morning at 6 am. I seriously considered bagging on this race, especially when I started feeling some tummy troubles. However, I dragged my behind out of bed, put on an outfit, stepped outside, and promptly changed into something warmer. Thirty-nine degrees is no joke.

run the river outfit

I really prefer to race in technical shirts, and I kind of wish I had, but it’s always good to prove to myself that running in a cotton t-shirt is not the end of the world. I also introduced my new Mizuno Wave Nexus’s to their very first race.

The course was billed as flat and fast, so I was hoping for a good race. I ran a 1:09 10k split in the half marathon, so I was hoping for a 1:08 or lower. Keep in mind, I died like crazy in the half, so the 10k time was a pretty reasonable guess on what I could do.

My goal going into this race was just to see what I was capable of actually racing this distance. Also, I was using it as a gauge to see if going sub 1:05 in the Peachtree is a realistic goal.

Um, it is. As long as I keep training hills and start incorporating speedwork.

run the river results

I walked through the water stations (3 of them) and for a few seconds on the one hill in the race when my breathing got erratic and I needed to get it back under control.

This was a fast race. Unlike my last race, where I placed well, this is a big, established, organized race that attracted a lot of high level runners. There were several Atlanta Track Club competition team members there, and a lot of people that clearly don’t run “just for fun” like I do. I was in the bottom two-thirds of the runners, but that’s okay. I ran my own race.

It was easy to start too fast with such a speedy field, and my first mile was around a 10:20. I settled into a pace around 10:45 per mile, and save for a slow 11:10 fourth mile, I held steady. That was my big goal, was to run steady splits.

Running along the Chattahoochee river was really pretty, but I was more focused on keeping good form and running an even race, so I didn’t enjoy the scenery as much as I probably would have during a training run.

One thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was that there was very little swag. The 5k race started an hour before the 10k did, so the freebies were pretty picked through.

The shirt is super cute, though.

run the river shirt

This race benefits the homeless population, and this was the twelfth running. The volunteers on the course were amazing, handing out water, cheering us on, and giving splits at every mile. Also, the post-race food spread was excellent. Bagels, oranges, bananas, and yogurt. I can’t eat immediately after a race, so I don’t know how it tasted, but it was certainly popular with the other finishers.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend this race to anyone looking for a PR-ready course and some speedy competition.

Running · Sports

Boston

I’m still reeling from the bombing at Boston. Qualifying for the Boston marathon has been at the back of my mind since I started taking running seriously, and I was super excited to check the results, particularly of a few bloggers I follow. So I was horrified and devastated to hear what happened at an event that I hold so dear to me.

Running is a community, and that increases the horror I feel. Whether I knew any runners at Boston or not, my heart breaks for all of them. For everyone who worked so hard to have their dream tarnished. For everyone who is hurt, and everyone who lost their life. My heart breaks.

The only thing I can think to do is keep running. Keep moving forward. There are a lot of Facebook events towards Boston relief and recognition. Personally, I’ll be running 2.62 miles in honor of the tragedy and wearing blue and yellow at my 10k race Saturday.

I hope some of you will join me.

Get fit · Healthy living · Recipe time

Clean(er) eating

I’ve mentioned before that I’m focusing on eating a cleaner, mostly vegetarian diet. I hear it over and over again: “abs may by formed in the gym, but they’re revealed in the kitchen.” So…Wendy’s is bad for showing my six pack? Who’da thunk it?

However, while I know that fast food is not waistline friendly, I’ve relied pretty heavily on highly processed foods for a long time. They tend to be super cheap and convenient, which was very attractive to a brokey like me.

As I’ve changed my focus from quantity of food to quality of food, though, those processed quickie meals don’t make the cut. I’m pretty tired of having absolutely no idea what I’m putting into my body.

Am I going to eat 100% clean 100% of the time? Hell to the no.

But I’m going to eat as clean as I can as often as I can—even if that just means choosing the apple dippers at McDonald’s that day. Whatever the healthiest option is in the situation I’m in is the option I’ll try to take. And sometimes the healthiest option will be to let myself have a treat. After all, I’m so not about depriving myself anymore.

With that said, I’m trying to get my fridge stocked up with healthy foods to make awesome, easy meals. Both of these meals took me less than 10 minutes to throw together and were pretty darn clean and natural.

Meal A:

easybreakfast

  • 2 whole brown eggs
  • 1 100% whole grain (no white flour!) English muffin
  • 2 tbsp all natural peanut butter
  • 1 large clementine
  • coffee with light creamer and raw sugar

Meal B:

sweetpotchickin

  • 1 breaded chick’n breast from Gardein
  • 1 medium sweet potato, baked in the microwave
  • 1/2 cup boiled edamame in the shell

Serious deliciousness. Because when I get home late at night, I’m not going to spend forever cooking, I need to have easy, healthy, quick options. Otherwise I’m going to say “screw this, I’m eating Thin Mints.” Talk about not waistline friendly.

What are some of your go-to healthy and easy meals?

I go either with meals like the above, or something that’s been cooking in the crock pot all day.

Do you try to eat clean or do you go for convenience?

Eating disorder recovery has made me focus a lot more on what I’m putting into my body versus how much. It’s a much more balanced way for me to approach my eating.

Get fit · Healthy living

Urban oasis

I didn’t used to like the outdoors. It was too cold, or too hot, or too dirty, or too buggy. Lame. My excuses were lame.

These days I love getting active outdoors. I don’t know when that change happened, but I think that getting more comfortable with who I am has made me feel happier and more whole outdoors. Plus, not being able to see how many calories I was burning while exercising used to be super anxiety producing, and now it’s really liberating. I get to focus on just having fun instead of how much longer I have to work out.

The other day, I took a walk down my road with a friend and discovered a hiking trail that starts less than a mile and a half from my house. So of course I had to go back and explore!

Saturday morning I ate a yummy clean breakfast, then headed out the door to get in touch with the natural world. I was walking just after sunrise and it was absolutely stunning.

hiking

One of the cool things about a new hiking trail is not knowing what to expect. You have no idea what the trail is going to be like, and that’s part of the fun. This trail was straight up a huge hill so I spent the next half a mile or so navigating a series of switchbacks that inevitably led to views like this:

benchsunlight

I suddenly didn’t even feel like I was in the city anymore. Awesome. Although I may be a city girl at heart, I love getting quiet time away from the hustle and bustle.

The harder part of the hike for me was the downhill on the other side of the hill. It was still switchbacks, but I definitely had to watch my step! I nearly faceplanted twice. Yes, I am that graceful. Why do you think I didn’t make it as a ballerina?

However, the slower pace and constant vigilance (thanks, Mad-Eye) paid off when I came off the trail and onto this view.

bull sluice lake

Um, is this really tucked away in the middle of Atlanta? I’m not telling where…it’s my secret for now. But seriously, I felt like I was somewhere completely different. I walked halfway around the lake before turning around and heading back to my apartment and reality.

But I found my urban oasis.

Do you prefer the city or the country?

I prefer the city, but I do love to escape for a little while, either to the beach or the mountains. It helps me come back to city life with a new perspective.

Animals

Pet parading

Let’s take a break from the workout updates, crafting, and random bathroom mirror selfies to talk about something near and dear to my heart: animal welfare. On my “About Me” page, I mention that I work at an animal shelter. The job is amazing, and it has only increased my love of animals and my awareness of the issues and struggles our shelter dogs and cats face on a daily basis.

Did you know that it costs a lot of money to get a dog or cat onto the adoption floor? They need vet checkups, vaccines, and multiple tests run to make sure they are healthy and don’t require further treatment. They have to be spayed or neutered. They have to be fed and cared for every single day from the time they come to the shelter until the time they are adopted. All of this costs, on average, about $300. That’s for an animal that comes to the shelter healthy. For our guys who need additional treatment, who are sick, or who need surgical procedures, this number goes much, much higher.

For instance, Roxy here had to have one of her legs amputated because she had a previous injury that had incorrectly healed and was causing her a lot of pain.

roxy one leg

That’s an expensive surgery, and the recovery time is extensive, but it has improved her quality of life tremendously. Now she plays like the big puppy she is and lives a pain-free life. How amazing is it that a shelter was able to provide this for her?

The Atlanta Humane Society is one area shelter that, between two campuses, adopted out nearly 10.000 animals in 2012. At an average of $300 dollars an animal, that’s almost 3 million dollars helping animals get ready to find their forever homes.

How do they fund that kind of care? Through awesome donors and super fun events that raise money.

They hosted their annual Pet Parade this morning and host all kinds of events to raise money and spread awareness throughout the year. Please check their website if you’re interested in helping out or getting involved.

Animals like this:

lizzycatwinkyface

brindle pupbrinndog

alexdogsenorita

All of these cuties are available for adoption as of April 10th. If one of them catches your eye, please check the website to see if they are still available, then come down to meet them!

If you don’t live in the A, but want to help out your local shelter, ask them what kind of donations they take. Old towels, paper towel and toilet paper tubes, old pill bottles, and newspaper are just a few things many shelters need that most people have laying around their house or throw away every day. All of these are used on a daily basis where I work to help keep the animals warm, healthy, and happy while they’re waiting for their turn to find their new family.

Or volunteer! Where I work, our volunteers help make sure that every animal can get one-on-one attention on a daily basis. How cool is that? We have volunteers that only come in a few hours a month, and we have some that are there as much or more as the full-time staff.

I’m a firm believer that every time we pour out love on our furry friends, we get more love back into our own lives. Yeah, I sound like a total hippie philosopher right now, but I’m really just saying that good begets more good. And our shelter animals everywhere need our help and love.