WIAW – National Strawberry Parfait Day

I still haven’t had a chance to replace my son’s cell phone. I realize that if it were my cell phone that somehow landed in a pool, I would have found the seconds to sit at Verizon but it wasn’t mine, he is only ten and being unfaceplanted from FaceTime for 48 hours isn’t the end of the world.

And, you should know that once again my suggestion to use a regular landline phone was shot down because, “those phones aren’t normal”.

If a regular phone is considered not normal, I have lost all perspective on what normal is. It’s not like I said use a phone with an actual cord or even a payphone. Do they still have payphones? I haven’t noticed one recently.

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I know I eat a lot of the same things (and I know you do too, just admit it already) but sometimes there is reasoning behind why I choose the foods that I do.

Pre-Run Breakfast:

Last week I was all excited about my switch to the Ezekiel raisin toast topped with peanut butter/banana mash and blueberries.

After a couple of mornings, as much as I love that combination, I found it not to work for me before I run.

When I say it didn’t work, it left me hungrier than my routine bowl of oatmeal.

oatmeal

They always said that oatmeal sticks to your ribs.

Perhaps the water content in a bowl of oatmeal makes a difference or maybe it’s the rate at which we digest the oats versus the bread? Whatever the reason, I find I run happier without a grumble in my stomach when I choose a small bowl of oatmeal with some fruit and a little PB2 or peanut butter (or both).

I would probably need two slices of the toast in order to feel “right” but while that may satiate me for a longer period of time, I know that it would also overfill my stomach before running.

It’s a tricky thing when you need to eat before a run. You don’t want to be hungry but you certainly don’t want to be too full.

Determining what too full means to you is all by trial and error and cannot be based on what may work for someone else.

Post-run breakfast:

My blender made a short appearance last week after my runs but it has since been placed back where it belongs in the cabinet.

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Cold oats with fruit, plain greek yogurt and peanut butter always leaves me satisfied.

Lunch:

I have added a terrific summer salad to go alongside my usual chick pea/avocado mash on toast.

summer salad

Roasted asparagus and kale combined with chopped cucumbers, plum tomatoes and avocado.

I refer to this salad as a summer salad because it contains a good mix of vegetables that won’t poof and bloat my stomach.

Not to mention, the healthy fats and potassium in avocados (more than in a banana!) helps to reduce water retention as well.

I have no patience for that overly full feeling, especially during the summer.

Mentally I like to feel full but not actually look full if you know what I mean.

Water of the week:

camelbak filtered water

To my surprise, I received a special package from Fitness Magazine which contained a new Camelbak Water Filtration Pitcher, a few hair ties and a notice about the upcoming Meet and Tweet scheduled for October.

I am absolutely in love with this Camelbak pitcher! It blows away the Brita pitcher in terms of size and the speed at which you can fill it up and the water is filtered – WOW.  It is so fast!

water pitchers

I use the Camelback filtered water to pour into the Fruit Infusion pitcher which this week is flavored with strawberries and lemons. So far this combination is our favorite.

Dinner:

I take saving money seriously. I try not to eat out during the week and do my best to throw together easy dinners when I need to, even if it means making them portable in order to avoid stopping for take-out more often than I should.

chickpeas rice stir fry

The other night when I needed to set up and attend my son’s class graduation party, I knew I would be hungry. Before I left for the party, I quickly put together a Pyrex container of Trader Joe’s brown rice medley, chick peas, a steam bag of vegetables and avocado flavored with sweet chili sauce.

Find me something easier, cheaper, more balanced and portable.

Dessert:

This never disappoints.

fruit peanut butter chocolate chips

Fruit bowls such as this have been making appearances throughout my day, not just at night for dessert.

Blueberries, strawberries and bananas in a bowl with peanut butter and chocolate chips.

Mix it all up and then wonder why you ever crave anything else.

Oh wait, before I go, I just found out that today is National Strawberry Parfait day!

I think that means I deserve a Red Mango parfait, don’t you think?

red mango parfait

I am really proud of my parfait-making ability. We all need to be good at something and this might be my something.

Be sure to check out what everyone else is eating today!

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Do you use a filtered water pitcher? Which one?

Which foods work for you before you run? Does one extra bite affect you if you eat too much?

Do you still have a landline phone in your house?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Weather Workout Essentials 2014

 

I was so excited to put together my favorite apparel and accessories for running in the warm weather until I realized something kind of crucial which may or may not hinder my ability to make recommendations…

We are all so different.

warm weather workout essentials

Not only are our bodies completely different in terms of size, we are structured differently in that my legs may be shorter than yours and your torso may be shorter than mine even if we are the same height and weight.

And, to complicate things even more, finding the right fit isn’t the only issue we have.

Important athletic apparel requirements:

Will the pants stay up when you run?

Will the shorts stick to your legs or even worse, do your legs stick together because the length at which the shorts hit your leg when you move is bad?

Will the shirt stay in place when you pick up the pace or will it ride up?

Do the socks bunch in your sneakers?

Are the socks too thick or too thin for your sneakers?

Does the built-in bra offer enough support and if not, is there room under your top for another sports bra underneath?

Is the material see-through? Does it wash well?

Are there pockets for jelly beans, GU packets, your keys and license?

 

It’s not easy to find the perfect workout gear. In fact, I had an easier time putting together the winter weather workout essentials posts than this post for warm weather necessities.

Finding winter layers is less challenging for me than finding the right fit for shorts and even for tank tops.

I haven’t bought much of anything new for this season and it may just happen that I stick with some of my favorites from last year.

With that said, here are the few things I have come across worth checking out:

New Multi-Strap Tank from GapFit:

GapFit tank

Not only does this Multi-Strap tank fit really well and have a built-in bra (with removable padding!) it looks good too, especially because of the pretty straps in the back.

I always go a size up in GapFit tops because I find their clothing will shrink should I put it in the dryer. GapFit tops normally don’t thrill me because they never have a built-in bra or at least not a bra with padding but this one meets all of my requirements so I bought two – one in the black and one in a charcoal gray. It’s now on sale too!

The pants in the photo are GapFit GFast crops but I don’t recommend them because they slide down as soon as I try to run, however, maybe they would work for you.

I am really picky when it comes to what I wear on my lower half.

running shorts

I don’t like any of the shorts I have tried on for this season. Even the Lulu shorts don’t thrill me. They meet my requirements for pockets and a good waistband that won’t slide down but there is something about the fit of the leg that bothers me.

luluskirt

My new Gap tank goes well with my favorite Lulu skirt so I have a feeling shorts may not enter my wardrobe. I have no issue rotating the two skirts I already have with my favorite running crops all summer and saving some money.

Favorite Socks:

gap socks

I don’t mess with a good thing. These Gap socks are the best. I just bought another round because I can never have enough. Never too thick or thin, these Gap Performance Athletic Ankle socks are super soft, stay in place as well as stay dry and the tab in the back always protects my heel from rubbing against my sneaker, regardless of which pair I have on my feet.

Sunvisor:

A visor makes a huge difference when running in the summer sun. Not only does it give you added protection from the harmful rays but it keeps the sun from beating down on your face.

juicy visor

I am sticking with my Juicy visor from last summer but I did see cute visors at Lulu Lemon last week worth checking out.

Along with a visor, a good moisture-wicking headband is necessary as well. As I mentioned recently in a previous post, a good wide headband will help keep the hair from getting too sweaty in the event you want to get away without shampooing after a workout.

headband

I really like the Lulu Lemon Fly Away Tamer headbands because they stay in place and are loose enough to forget you have something around your head. They also fit well under the visor.

Sweat Cuffs:

Lulu sweat cuffs

Lulu came out this year with Sweat Cuffs which are sweat-wicking wristbands designed to hold your key/candy/whatever-else-you-can- fit in case you don’t require mandatory pockets in your clothing like me.

Water Bottle:

My favorite CamelBak water bottle with filter from last year broke and I need a new one!

camelbak

I love the filter feature because it allows me to refill from anywhere and trust that the water will taste good.

I find that when I have a water bottle I love, I fill it up and take it with me wherever I go.

Hydration is crucial all year but especially now as we approach the summery temps, making sure you are sipping your water all day long as well as during workouts is mandatory.

Sunscreen:

I did a few posts last summer about the importance of picking the right sunscreen that not only offers broad spectrum protection but is free from harmful ingredients.

 

skinceuticals sunscreen

I love this sunscreen from SkinCeuticals. A little bit goes a long way and is perfect for running or the beach or wherever you are outdoors. It is a bit pricey compared to your drugstore brands but worth every penny.

I will focus more on sunscreen next week again for National Sunscreen Day.

Bottom Line:

I try to spend my money wisely. I figure out in advance which pieces mean the most to me in terms of comfort and fit and spend what I need to on those items.

For example, I don’t need to worry so much about the right sports bra like I stress about the right pants that won’t slide down or the shorts that I won’t feel moving and sticking to my legs when I run.

Once I have the mandatory pieces covered, I seek out deals from the following stores:

Target Champion makes a majority of Target’s athletic apparel and seem to have many knock offs of the same cuts you see at Lulu and other stores.

Forever 21 Their sports bras have been just fine for me, no complaints. Wash well and seem to be durable. Be careful with what you purchase though, only store credits are offered as refunds.

Old Navy Active – I haven’t bought anything yet but my friend does and loves whatever she has selected

GapAlways runs a sale and offers many discounts and specials for Gap credit card holders. I always search the sale rack and buy items that I can put away for the following season. Note- I size up in tops and as small as possible in pants since they slide down.

Lulu Lemon We Made Too Much All sales are final so make sure you know your size!

Remember, it’s not a fashion show. Of course we all like to look cute but it’s also okay to repeat your workout clothes in order to save some money  for the clothes you wear the other 90% of your life.

I put together a handy checklist of our basic requirements that apply regardless of brand, style and fit to keep in mind while you are shopping.

warm weather workout checklist

If you have written your own workout essentials post recently, please share the link in the comments! Not only am I interested in what you are liking or not liking, I am pretty sure everyone else is curious too.

And, if you have a pair of running shorts you swear by or any other apparel, accessory or brand you love, please tell us in the comments as well.

I would love to put together another post based upon your responses to give us a broader idea of popular opinion regarding summer workout gear!

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So tell us, what are you loving?

Share your links!

Which do you prefer, running in a skirt or shorts or pants?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Tip Tuesday- Pool Bag Essentials

Don’t you just love when the week begins on a Tuesday?

It throws me off a bit, but in a good way! It is always best to think it is Monday and find out it is already Tuesday.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable, long weekend.

As a member of Healthy Living Blogs, I was given the opportunity to contribute to their Healthy Living Tuesday series.

The theme for this month’s Healthy Living Tuesday series is Healthy Mind, Healthy Body.

Click here for the link to today’s post where I discuss my opinion of calorie counts on menus.

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Some people like to know the calories in the food they are about to eat.

Not me. Especially when I am selecting a cupcake.

Tell me the type of filling in my cupcake. Not the amount of calories it will cost me.

Anyway, I was so happy when the weather finally perked itself up this weekend.

Yesterday was perfect for spending the day at pool.

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My view for the day looked something like this.

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It was so gorgeous out without being too hot or humid that we remained at the pool until I had to drag the boy out.

Outdoor activity makes him nice and tired so I really can’t complain.

Being at the pool and in the sun all day requires my favorite pool bag to be packed with the essentials.

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Even though the pool is in my community and is a short walk to my house, I still need to have the important stuff with me.

THREE ESSENTIALS TO HAVE IN YOUR POOL/BEACH BAG:

1. SUN PROTECTION – Are we tired yet of the sunblock discussion? I know I am! Finally though, I made my choice for the season and I am highly recommending you purchase these products (or just one of them).

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On the left we have Babyganics sunscreen available at Target for the low price of $8.99.

Do not be afraid to use a bottle of sunscreen that appears to be marketed to kids.

It is perfect for adults as it is a broad spectrum SPF 50 UVA/UVB protection mineral based formula containing NO PABA, PARABENS, NANO-PARTICLES, RETINAL PALMITATE OR FRAGRANCE.

In addition to all of that wonderful news, the sunblock goes on as smooth as moisturizer. I was in shock actually yesterday when I felt the texture as I applied it all over the boy.

The product on the right is a bottle of sunscreen I purchased last year from the brand SkinCeuticals. It is a pricey sunscreen, however, I still highly recommend it.

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense is another broad spectrum SPF 50 UVA/UVB Protective Fluid that has a universal tint that enhances your natural skin tone while also being water-resistant and free of parabens, and chemical-filter free.

I like that I can use it on my face  without the fear of clogging up the pores. I had bought this sunblock for outdoor running but use it at the pool/beach as well.

DON’T FORGET YOUR LIPS!

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Dior makes a fabulous lip product called Lip Glow. It moisturizes and contains an SPF while special ingredients in the lip product respond to your chemistry and enhance your natural color.

It retails for $31 but I swear it is a must-have product. I love it so much that I have purchased it as gifts for my a few of my friends.

2. GREAT TOWELS- Just because we are considered adults now DOES NOT mean we have to resort to the solid, striped or mature looking beach towels.

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Have some fun people. Express your inner child. Remain youthful.

I purchased these adorable Hello Kitty beach towels a few months ago at Forever 21. While stores like Target sell Hello Kitty and other licensed character towels, I prefer Forever 21 for their patterns (and price).

3. SOMETHING TO READ (AND DRINK):

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I had been saving what I thought were two different Fitness Magazines  to read at the pool. I received one Fitness Magazine in my swag bag as well as one in the mail  (since I ran the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half in April, part of my race fee included a year’s subscription to the magazine).

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If you look closely, you will notice the covers appear different but contain the exact same material.

Same exact magazine – I guess they just issued two different covers? Not so sure.

In any event, a good read for the pool (or beach) is a must.

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I am ABSOLUTELY obsessed with the Camelbak water bottle. You need it.

I take it with me everywhere and it is perfect to bring to the pool or beach since you can easily refill it from any water fountain or sink and trust that the filter will give you fresh, clean water.

What’s in your beach bag?

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