The Running Debate

Are you the type of person that likes to run for hours at a steady pace? Or do you like to get into the gym and crank out a quick interval run and be done with it? Maybe you avoid running altogether?

I’ve been all of these throughout my fitness journey, but have settled into a more HIIT (high intensity interval training)-oriented routine based on my schedule. I like having time for a variety of things outside of work and quick interval runs suit my needs.

But, I do understand the therapeutic value of a long steady-paced run outside after a stressful day. I think it be can be a great way of sorting through thoughts. It’s harder to do that with an interval run when you are constantly sprinting and slowing down.

I also understand the people that hate to run. There are definitely times that I hate to run, too. 🙂

I hadn’t really thought too much about which type of running, or if running at all, was healthy until I read “Women: Running into Trouble” by John Kiefer. The article talks about the detrimental affects of steady-state cardio. The purpose of this post isn’t to persuade you either way, but to present more information on the topic so that you can make a decision for yourself.

I like to work smart and I’m sure you do too! Hopefully this article provides some insight into your cardio choices. After all, we all want to find ways to maximize our exercise time to be able to dedicate energy to other aspects of life.

I’m not a scientist, MD, or RD, and I encourage you to read the article and research the topic if you would like to know more.

The three main downfalls of steady-state cardio (according to the article):

  • Studies demonstrate beyond any doubt that in women, cardio chronically shuts down the production of the thyroid hormone, T3.  Translation: It’s important to keep T3 in the right range. If you don’t have enough T3, then the body adds fat despite increased physical activity. 
  •  Training at a consistently plus-65 percent heart rate adapts the body to save as much body fat as possible. Translation: After constant steady-state training, the body stops releasing fat during the activity. In fact, the body adapts and makes it harder for you to lose fat. It holds onto it! 
  • No more muscle because too much steady-state cardio triggers the loss of muscle. Translation: Muscle mass is an indicator of health, so the loss of it (especially as you age), is not a good thing!

I found this information to be really interesting. One of the aspects that I love about fitness is that it is constantly evolving, so I continue to learn with it as different views and research appear. I’m always open to learning about what’s coming next and I want to make sure to reflect that in this blog. I think it’s important to adapt and grow in fitness and nutrition as with other areas of life. I never want to shut myself off to new ideas, so I want to share what’s out there.

What do you think about this article? Do you agree? Does it change your views in any way?

Five Things Friday {2}

Five things I ate:

1. This will be easy considering Thanksgiving dinner was yesterday, but I will wrap all of the holiday food into one item. Stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, turkey, green beans, brussels sprouts, macaroni and cheese (yes, my family always offers that dish), chocolate cookies, carrot cake…Yes, it was a very indulgent holiday! Although I never forget to treat myself on holidays. 😉

2. No bake peanut butter chocolate cookies.

3. Turkey/bacon/avocado/mustard sandwich on whole grain bread. I was a little hesitant about adding the mustard, but, like always, it was an excellent addition to the taste. 🙂

4. Steak soup. 

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5. Kale chips. I went a little crazy with them this week. I think I had half of a container in one sitting. Someone needs to stop me!

Five workouts:

1. This HIIT workout I found on Twitter. It will kick your butt! If it doesn’t then you can increase the speeds.

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2. Long walks with my mom. She’s pretty awesome.

3. This 45-minute hill run.

4. This “10-minute” workout that definitely took longer than 10 minutes. It was a good one though!

5. 30-minute toning workout.

Five things making me happy:

1. Puppies. My family watched a puppy over the last few days. His name is Bishop. He fell asleep in my lap the other day and used my shoe as a pillow. Pretty cute!

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2. Family time. Bishop made a guest appearance!

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3. My new job as an online editor!

4. Michael Buble Christmas Pandora station. It’s officially time to turn up the holiday tunes!

5. Getting together with friends from high school and college over breaks. It’s so nice to have set times to catch up with everyone each year! I’m beginning to realize how valuable that time is as we all get busier with our own lives.

Have a nice holiday weekend!

Little Things I Love

It’s the little things that truly affect your happiness on a day-to-day basis. I compiled a list of the little things that I love about each day and thought I would share!

  • Taking a long, hot shower after an early morning run.
  • My morning cup of Wintry Blend coffee from TJ’s with a splash of almond milk.
  • When my car finally warms up on the way to work…
  • The anticipation of opening up a funny SnapChat from a friend.
  • Opening up a fresh pack of Cobalt-flavored 5 Gum.
  • Getting out in the sun for a walk during my lunch break.
  • Cleaning up my inbox.
  • Creating to-do lists.
  • Checking items off of said to-do lists.
  • Taking a break and scrolling through Insta.
  • Changing out of uncomfortable pants and putting on Nike shorts after work.
  • Lathering up with lavender-smelling lotion when my hands are dry.
  • While we are on this topic, applying lip balm when my lips are chapped.
  • Reading my favorite blogs while snacking on some kale chips after work.
  • My space heater.
  • Scrolling through Vine before I fall asleep. Never fails to end my day with a few good laughs!

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Happy almost-Thanksgiving!

4 Drool-worthy T-giving Desserts

OK, so I thought it would be fun to do a little roundup of a few desserts I would love to create for Thanksgiving because who doesn’t like looking at delicious food pictures? I was originally going to do general dishes, but then I only found desserts I liked, so basically my sweet tooth instigated this entire post. Note: these aren’t necessarily healthy because Thanksgiving is a holiday, so you should splurge a little bit. 🙂

Pumpkin Dream Cake with Cinnamon Maple Cream Cheese Frosting via thenovicechefblog.com.

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Apple Pie Cookie Bars via tablefeast.com

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Sweet Potato Pie via chicdarling.com

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Maple Pecan Caramel Brown Butter Blondie via americanheritagecooking.com

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It has been a very busy Tuesday, so it’s time to sleep. Sweet dreams of decadent T-giving desserts!

Turkey Day Kickoff

Happy Thanksgiving week! IMG_3500

Quick salad mess: broccoli, grilled chicken, avocado, slivered almonds, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and yes, some mustard. I put mustard on everything!

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Catching Fire! I also watched the first Hunger Games movie. I’m a little obsessed. It was intense in an awesome way, which means you need to go see it!

I did my go-to 45-minute run (first 15 minute=15 sec. sprint/45 sec. recovery x 15) along with a Tone It Up strength workout, which was no joke. I like poking around online to mix up my workouts and bust the boredom.

I also made no-bake cookies. I basically threw oats, cocoa powder, almond milk, and peanut butter on the stove top and then plopped the batter into 12 semi-cookie formed shapes on parchment paper. I keep them in the fridge and eat them pre-workout or even with some Greek yogurt for breakfast.

Hope your week is off to a great start!

4 Ways to Exercise and Volunteer at the Same Time

I stumbled on a great new way to get exercise, so I thought I would share! I just started volunteering at Wayside Waifs, a local dog shelter, and I get to walk the dogs for two hours each week. Fun! I may even start running with them if I can. If you have a dog shelter near your, check it out and see if you can do something similar. It seems like a great way to release some stress. Nothing that cute puppies can’t cure, right?

This got me thinking about other ways to exercise while volunteering. Sometimes, workouts can become boring and you need a new outlet. Or, you may have limited time and want to combine volunteering with exercise. I truly think it’s the ultimate combination both mentally and physically. That being said, I rounded up a list of ideas to volunteer and get some physical activity in at the same time!

1. Special Olympics. I was a soccer coach for Special Olympics in college and absolutely loved it. The experience was so rewarding and I always left with such a positive outlook on life. You get to run around with the kids and teach them a sport. You definitely don’t have to have a background in sports, but if you do, it’s really fun to be able to share your knowledge. I played a lot of soccer growing up, so it was a great way for me to connect my passion with the athletes.

2. Senior Living. I have a huge soft spot for senior citizens and I think that you can learn a lot by talking with someone older and wiser than yourself. I actually started a walking program at a senior citizen home during high school and it was really rewarding. I would go each week and walk and talk outside with a group of them. It was a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, and hear about all of their crazy life stories. A lot of places have group exercise programs that I’m sure you could help with as well. I would just check in and see if you can assist with any exercise-based activities or even start a walking-type program of your own!

3. Dog Shelters. Like I mentioned above, I think this a great outlet to get moving outside while volunteering. There are so many dogs that need to be walked and are anxious to get outside, so it’s nice to know that you can help in that capacity. I’m just starting at a local dog shelter, but I’m excited to see how it goes.

4. Girls on the Run. This program is amazing! You can become a volunteer or coach and help elementary-aged girls develop a love for running and physical activity in general. I like that the program is also based around building body confidence as well. I volunteered in high school and had a great time. There were some days that I would run a mile or so with the girls, so you definitely get some exercise in. You also develop relationships with the girls and it’s fun to hear about what’s going on in their lives. I feel like it’s a nice way to take a step back in life and see the bigger picture.

I hope you find these ideas helpful! If you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment below. I would love to hear them!

Five Things Friday

I was inspired by Clare (Fitting It All In) to create a five things friday post. Here we go!

Five things I ate:

1. Carrot cake from Whole Foods. If you haven’t tried a piece of their carrot cake, then you should add it to your treat list (doesn’t everyone have one?). I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of it! Next time. 🙂

2. Brad’s Raw Onion Rings. They are the perfect snack, but you need to have gum or mints on hand. 😉

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3. Spinach salad with bacon bits, feta cheese, sliced strawberries and drizzled with oil and vinegar. Simple lunch!

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4. Puffed kamut. Sounds strange, but it reminds me of Super Sugar Crisps. That was my go-to cereal when I was younger, so this is the perfect healthy substitute!

5. Pumpkin. Cliche for this time of year, right? I’ve been mixing it with cinnamon and Greek yogurt. Pretty good!

Five workouts:

1. HIIT intervals with 30-minute steady pace. The first 15 minutes is a mix of 15 second sprint/45 second recovery (x15). Then I jog it out for the following 30 minutes.

2. Bike rides. Casual bikes rides on the trails are awesome for stress relief. It’s getting a little chilly though!

3. Long walks.

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4. Stretching at night. This is big for me because I always forget to stretch…

5. Hill run. 30 minutes of 2 minutes incline/1 minute recover with a 5 minute warm-up and cooldown.

Five things making me happy:

1. Face masks. Such a good way to relax!

2. BatDad vines.

3. Wintry Blend Coffee from TJs!

4. The fact that Thanksgiving is next week! I loooove the holiday season. It’s a good reminder of what is truly important in life.

5. Yes to Carrots lip balm in soft plum.

Have a great weekend!

Coffee Break

I’m currently sipping on Trader Joe’s Wintry Blend coffee. I’m not sure if the caffeine boost was necessary today, but I couldn’t resist the taste of a cup of this coffee with almond milk. Wintry Blend a unique combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and peppercorns. Yum!

So, sometimes I’m guilty of going to Whole Foods and picking up random items that I don’t need, especially when I’m hungry. Lately, my go-to items have been quite random, so I thought I would share.

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Brad’s Raw Onion Rings and sparkling water. I know, pretty weird, right? I have to say that the onion rings are pretty freaking awesome tasting. I guess that’s my opinion, so take that as you will! 🙂

What are your go-to random purchases? Please share!

Life Lately: Photo Edition

IMG_3490Long walks on the trails. I love fall.

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Baking things. In the mix: chia seeds, mashed bananas, cocoa powder, gluten-free oats, pumpkin, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Quite the combination! I’m still not sure how I feel about the taste. Might have gone a little TOO crazy on this recipe!

IMG_3417Taking artsy pictures featuring my Nike frees because why not?


Bike rides. I’m loving the break they give me from running.

You can find more of my nature-y pictures and interesting eats on my Instagram!