Category Archives: Running

A Runner’s Delight: Meals on the Run

Whether you are a runner or not, if you are passionate about eating to fuel your body, if you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you’ll want to check this out!

  •  Do you need HELP in making decisions to feel confident in the food choices you’re making? 
  •  Do you want to prepare meals that contain natural foods and minimally processed ingredients?
  •  Do you struggle to find the time to make meals for yourself and your family?

In training as a runner, a close second to questions about training programs and how many miles this week, us runners are always talking about nutrition. Lets face it, we are experimenting and sharing all the time what is the best for pre-run, mid-run (including at what intervals we need to eat to support our energy) and post-run (what foods will help us recover faster and repair muscles). I was honored to be contacted by Runners World to read and review their new book just released last week from Rodale Publishing, Meals on the Run.

*While I received a complimentary digital version for purposes of review, all opinions expressed and subsequent taste testing are my own.

mealsonrunREVIEW

Meals on the Run contains 150 recipes that can all be prepared in 30 minutes or less so that alone was enough for me to be drawn in and loving this cookbook right from the start. From page one, the foreward by Kara Goucher caught my attention too, she calls this book a bible of nutrition for runners with full lives. As a mother and female athlete I follow her and find that having her collaborating with this project really resonates with me. Here is the breakdown of the 9 chapters in the book.

  • Chapter 1 Breakfast
  • Chapter 2 Smoothies and Juices
  • Chapter 3 Snacks and Sweets
  • Chapter 4 Salads
  • Chapter 5 Soups and Stews
  • Chapter 6 Pasta and Noodles
  • Chapter 7 Vegetarian Mains and Sides
  • Chapter 8 Seafood Mains
  • Chapter 9 Meat and Poultry Mains

The first few pages include an extensive Pantry List which I was happy to see I am already stocked up on a lot of the items! The other COOL TOOLS:  Smart Shortcuts for fresh fruit and Produce and Time Saving equipment to have in your kitchen, on the “need” list for me is a 5qt Dutch Oven. I am all about convenience and love that it can go from the stovetop to the oven and then straight to the table for serving.

Did I mention the book is color-coded? Nice, right? Searching for Vegan meals, look for recipes with Purple Banner. I am a browser when it comes to meal planning, these eye catching details will help you find what you need QUICK! Two other categories that really caught my eye was 5MIN FIX & 10 MIN TOPS! Really? I can pull a healthy meal together that fast? Lifesaving for those mornings you oversleep your alarm or take a little longer in the shower or for us moms, packing healthy meals for the kids for weekend extra curricular activities.

I have a long list of recipes to try, this is the ONE I did this week for dessert after sitting down to dinner with my family. Everyone grabbed an apple, a plate and made their own! I resisted grabbing a scoop of vanilla on top but if you REALLY wanted to indulge I’d say this was as good as warm home made apple pie!

bakedgranolaAPPLE2

All in all I found these meals included simple ingredients and am looking forward to trying more!! Meals on the Run retails for $26.95. I usually browse my library for new cookbooks before purchasing, but I highly recommend that if you are a runner and looking for nutrition support in one of the three areas of Pre-Run, Fuel during the Run & Post-Run this book is worth it’s weight in gold! Cannot wait to hear what recipes you try out first! Thanks so much for providing us runners with great tools for success Running World!

I cannot wait to hear about your favorite recipes and what meals you prepare first from this incredible cookbook!

Jenn

New Running Book: Meb for Mortals is a MUST read!

One thing I’ve learned is improving as a runner doesn’t happen overnight……

What it takes to improve is dedication, commitment, physical and mental training and celebrating in the joy of your journey. Im right now preparing for my 4th marathon and got super excited when I was contacted by Runners World to review the newly released book just out THIS WEEK: Meb for Mortals written by 2014 Boston Marathon Winner Meb Kefelgzighi.

Alex Aristei

Disclosure: I received an advanced digital copy of Meb for Mortals by Meb Keflezighi and Scott Douglas through Runner’s World Magazine. No compensation was received and the opinions stated here are my own.

This book is PURE MEB. Each chapter really breaks down Meb from the inside out and the steps he took to becoming a world class runner including his challenges and triumphs.

Chapter 1 Think Like Meb
Chapter 2 Run Like Meb

Procrastination never helped anyone reach their goals!

Happy Monday! New Year is around the corner and there’s only THREE more days left until we ring in 2015! I am getting excited for all that awaits me in the upcoming year, but there’s still so much to do to finish out 2014 which was an AMAZING year in my book!

Today I was procrastinating on getting out for a run—I let myself laze around on Saturday and Sunday and so I missed my opportunity to get that last LONG run in this year. Today’s culprit: I looked at my phone and it said “FEELS LIKE 18 DEGREES.” Now I ran all last winter in temps sometimes below zero and crazy wind chills so this really should not have been a challenge but today it was—we have been experiencing more mild temperatures here in Chicago and well, my body was revolting against rolling out of bed and into the chilly temps this morning!

IMG_0186Here’s the screen shot, taken while cowering under my covers and tweeting my friends this morning. This was taken after I had hit snooze at least 3 times–yes it was definitely feeling like a MONDAY morning!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love social media—thanks to seeing other running friends and fitness friends posting that they actually made it to the gym or even had FINISHED their early morning workout, I knew I would feel like a schmuck if I didn’t get out for a run. Plus, 3 days left in the year–right then and there I made the commitment to myself that I would run EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! Oh Yeah!

IMG_0187First, I needed to warm up from the inside out and so drank a cup of hot Lemon Water! Ahh….it hit the spot! I then put on my neck scarf I got from Detroit FreePress Marathon Expo and covered up my entire head, grabbed my 13.1 gloves (my first race of 2015 will be a 1/2 marathon on 1/24/15: Chicago Winter F3 Lake Half Marathon  <–Still Time To Sign UP!) and laced up to brave the elements.  Of course, safety first friends and it was DARK out there so I was sure to wear my Nathan Reflective Vest too–it is one of my most worn pieces of running gear!

I will not lie in saying that within the first mile my cheeks felt balmy and the sting of the fresh air upon my face was very brisk. Of course though as all winter runners know you begin to warm up by mile 1 and I had to remove my gloves from my sweaty hands. Yeah, I was beginning to overheat and I also was watching the clock—I was running out of time so of course this busy mom started to pick up the pace. The only thing with that plan was the cold air was freezing my throat and my legs were crying for a break so I did end up taking 2 short 1/2 block walking breaks on my 3mile run today. Let’s just say—I am so proud and happy I fit this one in today. I know we’ve all been there, it’s when you push yourself to do the training and put the effort into getting it done that sets you apart from the amateurs and wannabe runners. I’m ready to push my body to the Max in 2015, I plan to run smart, follow a set plan and stay injury free!

Get it done friends, your mind, body and soul will thank you! <3 I log all of my running on NikePlus so if you would like to be friends Look me up, my screen name is jennvossIMG_0191

Cheers to Ending 2014 STRONG!

-Jenn

Introducing a refreshing NEW Sports Drink: Phenoh 7.4

IMG_9327 Hello THIRSTY & FIT-Minded friends! I have to take today to share with you a review and details on a NEW sports drink that I was able to take for a test drive recently.  If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you may have seen me post and mention this over the past few weeks.  I just have to fill you in on what I really liked about this drink and my first hand experience!

IMG_9219Here is my Phenoh 7.4 that arrived on my doorstep.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9535When looking for phenoh 7.4 here is what you will find on your store shelves! Look for it near other sports drinks, or near where you would find flavored/enhanced waters. To get yours TODAY and check out more about this new sports drink, you can simply go to their website at PHenOH If you are on twitter, follow them at @pHenOH_7point4 and on Instagram their handle is @phenoh74

 

 

Let’s start with the BASICS….Phenoh 7.4 is made with just 7 natural ingredients to promote health and athletic performance, ultimately it has everything that your body needs to stay balanced during stress and exercise. As you can see on the label, this drink is: Paleo-Friendly, Low Glycemic, and high in Vitamin C. Here is peek at the nutrition label—check out the list of Benefits too, I love that it helps PREVENT TOOTH DECAY! IMG_9539

THE FIRST ALKALINE sports drink: A solution that makes sense! The body is naturally alkaline and it must stay that way in order to function properly. Stress and exercise cause the production and buildup of acidic compounds in our blood, contributing to fatigue and negative health effects. When you take a closer look, the average diet today is overly acidic. Conventional sports drinks, can be overloaded with simple sugars and chemicals, are also extremely acidic–research shows that current sports beverages can do more HARM than good because they contain high levels of acidity. At pH 7.4, Phenoh 7.4 is the first sports drink focused on balancing pH, using only the finest natural ingredients. Phenoh 7.4 helps to keep your body balanced.

THE PHENOH ADVANTAGE above others: Phenoh 7.4 is made with the finest organic Aloe vera, sweetened with naturally low glycemic organic agave nectar, and is high in potassium with no added sodium. Not only does it have essential nutrients, it helps us rebuild after stress, also provides anti-inflammatory effects and has the ability to reduce post-exercise pain while giving a boost to the immune system. Phenoh 7.4 is also fortified with magnesium and vitamin C to promote healthy metabolism.  At just 30 calories per 8oz serving, Phenoh 7.4 is your healthy beverage alternative to sports hydration and everyday refreshment.

ORAL HEALTH and ACIDITY: This is the driving purpose behind the creation of Phenoh 7.4 by Alex Schmotter who came up with this new formula when he began researching the detrimental oral affects that sports drinks have on our oral health. Basically, he was out on a bike ride, drinking his sports drink thinking about how he’d drink a bright blue drink and swish it around for a few seconds, swallow, and then repeat the process. Common sense told him that this was not very good for your teeth. Hence began his mission to create a performance based drink that was acid-free. There is a lot to be said too for the linking of good oral health to overall health so it’s a good idea to take care of your teeth!

IMG_9228My Experience was very positive from the first sip I took of Phenoh 7.4! I did share it with my 12 year old son who made a face at the taste, but then he makes a face at most anything. Right away I noticed it did not have any strong FLAVOR per say but it was a light, honey-like taste. Immediately I recognized the sweetness of the Agave Nectar mentioned in the ingredients of the product.

 

 

IMG_9267Knowing that Phenoh can increase your VO2 Max by 10%, I decided the very next day to take it to my zumba class and drank it instead of water while teaching. It was so refreshing and it really quenched my thirst while dancing. As a fitness instructor, I like to make my moves and cues larger to engage and energize my classes–I sweat A LOT. On average I do over 6,000 steps per zumba class and I was thankful I brought a second bottle with me because I drank that one too right after teaching. It settled easy on my tummy and it gave me extra energy to drive and pick up my kids after their evening activities too.

I took my Phenoh 7.4 with me to drink in the car pre-run one morning. Often when I need a pick me up early, I will drink a small cup of coffee but the Phenoh seemed to work just as fine for me. I was able to pick up a faster pace during my run and upon returning I drank a second serving post-workout while stretching in my living room. I had no issues with cramping or DOMS the following 24hours.

My recommendation is that one can ultimately drink Phenoh as a pre or post workout drink. I love the convenience of these drink containers—they easily fit in my small tote, I was able to store them in a console in my car and they fit nicely in the door of my fridge–easy to grab-n-go. I find when I am prepared with the right fuel, I have better balance in my life and Phenoh 7.4 was a great addition this month!

In closing, I would like to say that this is an exciting addition to the many options already out there for sports drinks. If you are looking for a natural alternative to fuels and follow a more paleo-inspired lifestyle you must try this sports drink! Sports enthusiasts, athletes of all levels and even busy moms & dads who are on the go can enjoy this beverage as an everyday refreshment to stay hydrated and energized!

This post was sponsored by PHenOH through my partnership with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

Be Healthy & Active Always!

xoxo Jenn

New Month, New Goals…Write Them Down!

Setting NEW GOALS–Let’s DO IT! jennvfitness.getlastingresultsWelcome to a FRESH, NEW Month, 30 days for you to fill in with daily, weekly and end of month goals! I love this image from Lorna Jane Active & their Motto MOVE – NOURISH -BELIEVE, it really helps put me in the right mindset of Goal Setting because sometimes it’s hard to know how to get from where we are to where we want to be. If I am drawing blank I think about how my goals can fit into these three areas and the tips above!

First of the Month and you begin reflecting on what you accomplished the month before, do not discount even the smallest moves forward towards bigger goals! Write these in your journal or on your calendar for THIS month. These will help guide you towards setting your NEW Goals! Next up start making the list using the cues from above.

1) Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. A few Goals that you can add this month to help you succeed: Prepare your workouts, your calendar, alarms, prep grocery lists, clean out your pantry of processed/unhealthy foods, restock your gym bag, find and clean containers/bottles for packing healthy meals, simply put when setting goals write out exactly what tools you will need to meet them.

2) Track your Progress! Take your measurements, photos, weigh in and set new goals based on where you are and where you want to be. Decide how often you will track yourself this month so you can stay on track, will you do weekly weigh ins or only weigh in last day of the month? 

3) Do it for YOU and don’t seek Approval. You take your own responsibility for your fitness journey, do not wait for others to give you permission to start. I think of this as I do with running, I train with a group but on race day I run my OWN race at my OWN pace and no one else is going to carry me across that finish line but ME.

4) If you Slip Up, Don’t Worry Just Keep Going! We are all human and so don’t beat yourself up if in your master plan a day doesn’t go accordingly accept it and move forward. Identifying where you may have challenges ahead may help you cope. Say you have a special event on a weekend this month, prepare for that and in knowing yourself and willpower make a plan to either do an extra workout before or after the event if you think you will over indulge in eating. Or you are going out of town, either pack a fitness DVD or plan to use a gym at the hotel. Even if you forget your gym attire, try to get up before your morning meeting/event and go for a walk! 

5) Have a Workout Buddy. Accountability is key, find a girlfriend who is ENCOURAGING or plug into a fitness group either online or at your gym to help keep you on track. Posting to social media daily is a huge boost because you are putting it out there and yes there are people watching you! More than that, you need to have that friend/coach/trainer who knows what you are doing who will NOTICE and CHECK IN with you daily no matter what and you can be that person for them too, a real WIN-WIN.

6) Eat Clean, Whole & Fresh Foods! Goals for eating clean start here. What is one healthy change you can make this month? Maybe you want to do something more drastic, join a 5 day eating plan or 21 day detox. Set the date to start, get what you need ready at least 2 days earlier and commit to it. It does not need to be that extreme though, you may want to start by doing one of these: reduce your carbs, cut out dairy, remove red meat from your diet, no eating after 8pm, stock your fridge, eat more veggies, have a meatless meal 1-2x a week or what about using a smaller plate for meals!

7) Get Plenty of Rest. How many hours of sleep do you need? Generally, most can remain alert and be as active as they want when they get anywhere from 6-8hrs of sleep. Depending on the intensity of your workouts and number of days you are exercising, you may require more. Be diligent on this one, our bodies repair and re-energize while sleeping!

8) Reward Yourself! (not with food) What kind of incentive will you give yourself to get up at 5am every day? Have you ever tried a fitness jar—how it works is every day that you workout or stay on track you reward yourself with 1 dollar in the jar. At the end of the month if you received your goal then you can take that $$ and make plans to reward yourself with something that will show off your hard work or help you in reaching for that next fitness goal. Some ideas that I like to do: make a date for a massage/treatment to help soothe aching muscles or get a mani/pedi, sign up for a 5k or race, get new workout wear, new shoes, enroll in a new fitness class at the gym, sign up for a cooking class or maybe even treating yourself to a shopping spree at your favorite high end grocery to add healthy options to your meals ahead.

9) Surround Yourself with Positive People! This step is a tough one because we all have those friends that cannot seem to see the silver lining or even set small goals to improve themselves and drag down others in the process. It may be time as you begin your positive journey to remove or reduce contact with these people. Begin to create an “inner circle” of friends who share similar goals as you or who are at least being a cheerleader in your court. You will know them when you find them because they will be there giving you high fives and helping you believe that you can do it, even when you may doubt it yourself! 

10) Talk to yourself like you would a FRIEND. I have a rule in my house, there are certain words that we do not say to each other and I”ll share them here with you. Stupid, Ignorant, Jerk, Idiot, Fool, Nerd. Remember to look in mirror and imagine you were saying these words out loud to your best friend. I guarantee you that you will be kinder, and gentler to yourself before the month is over! <3

Great! I hope this has helped you make a long list, now you just need to prioritize and get to work! I’d love to hear from you what your goals are this month, remember Aim High and Dream Big! 

You’ve Got This —- Jenn

 

 

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