Fall Racing Schedule and a Smoothie

Happy day, y’all!!

Today, I’m talking all about my Fall racing schedule and a bonus!!  My favorite Summertime Smoothie.  Now, I’m not gonna lie.  I just haven’t gotten on the whole make your own smoothie bandwagon.   I know people love it, but I just am not ready to commit to it yet.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t love a good smoothie every once in a while.  I just have to buy mine prepared for me.

So let’s jump in with what’s on my race agenda this Fall.   It’s surprisingly bare which is not like me at all.  Maybe I’m growing up??  I know Nick’s loving it.  Less racing means more money in our bank account.  fallracescheduleSeptember

Right now, I only have one race on my schedule for September: Race 13.1 Raleigh.  Cara, Christine and I are headed back to Raleigh to run this one again.  Cara and I are pacing the 2:15 group and Christine is along for the run with us!  I’m most excited that they changed the course from last year and removed Lassiter Hill.  It was this ridiculously huge hill the last .5 of the race.   We may throw in a last minute race at the end of the month, depending on how we feel with our training.  Salem Lake 30K and Triad 10 Miler are on my radar.

October

I celebrate half number 40 by pacing the local half marathon, Cannonball Half, with Cara.  We’re in charge of the 2:30 group and I’m so looking forward to it.  We have several friends who are running this race too!  It’s a great local event and the changes that happened last year with the addition of the food trucks and post race brews made it super fun!2014-10-12 08.39.36-1

Mid-October? Marathon #7 at 7 Bridges Marathon in Chattanooga, TN.  I’m so looking forward to this one.  It’s going to be a great trip with friends.  I’ve never been to Chattanooga so I’m interested in seeing the city while running the marathon.  We’ve rented a cute little house and we’re staying within walking distance to a ton of restaurants and even a brewery.  It will be a gorgeous course especially with the fall leaf colors.

November

The event of all events!!  Crooked Road 24 hour Ultra!  It’s by far my favorite race I do each year.  I’m shooting for a 100K distance this year.   I want it bad, but I also am realistic and know that so much depends on the weather and how I’m feeling.  We have a ton of friends who are going to be out there too so it won’t be without fun!  crookedroadsign

I like that there isn’t too much on my schedule right now.  I’m hoping to head up to Boone for some Appalachian Football games so I’ll work around those if I pick up any races.

Now, for the bonus!!  It’s Summertime Smoothie time! 

As I mentioned, my favorite smoothie comes prepared for me.  It’s my favorite one and it’s actually a tough one to find.  It is… Naked Protein & Greens!  It’s the best of both worlds for me.  I get the protein punch I need for after runs, but all the benefits of the greens.  I’ve tried the Green Machine and it was just too “green” for me.  This has just the right amount of sweetness to combat the earthiness of the all greens smoothie.

What race are you most excited about on your fall schedule?  Do you make your own smoothies?

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Go be awesome! ūüôā

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Friday Five: Summer Drinks

It’s Friday!!¬† It’s Friday!!¬† Oh my!!¬† It’s Friday!¬† (kind of sing that just a little bit)

I’m super excited about today’s Friday Five.¬† It’s all about our favorite summertime drinks.¬† With temps up high, who doesn’t love some cold refreshing beverages.¬† Some of them taste great after a run; others are my go to beverages when we hang out at the beach or pool.¬† favorite summer drinks#1 Iced Caramel Macchiato

I’m a sucker for iced coffee already, but with the added sweetness of the caramel, it’s that much better.¬† I’ve treated myself to one of these after a few morning runs already this summer.¬† It just tastes amazing after a hot, steamy run!icedcoffee

#2 Petey’s Bing Cherry Sodas

I found these sodas at the grocery store and I’m hooked.¬† I love cherry flavored anything so these are a win! They come in 3 different flavors, but the blackberry cherry is my favorite.¬† I have started drinking these more in order to try and stop drinking diet drinks all together.¬† They only have 40 calories so I feel the trade would be a win.

This just in!  They have just announced a new flavor: Bing Crisp!  It combines apples with cherries and only 30 calories. Score! #3 Fruit Infused Brews

I am usually an IPA girl, but I’ve broken from my usual beer now and then for all the tasty fruit infused brews.¬† My absolute favorite which surprises me is Illusive Traveler, a grapefruit shandy.¬† I don’t usually like grapefruit very much, but this beer is so refreshing and light that it makes it the perfect beer for the beach and pool.¬† I also like Curious Traveler, a lemon shandy and Big Squeeze UFO from Harpoon.¬† I treated myself to my other favorite the other day after mowing the lawn, Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’.¬† It was THE perfect beverage!¬† It’s not a fruity beer, but it’s a tasty hoppy wheat beer, which is a lot lighter to drink in the summer. It’s silky like all the fruit ones too. #4 Half and Half Tea

I’m not usually a iced tea drinker, but lately, a glass of really super cold iced tea hits the spot after a run.¬† Here in NC, we have sweet tea, but I like to mix my tea about 90-10 (90 percent unsweet, 10 percent sweet).¬† It’s just the right mix of sweetness for me.

#5 Good ol’ fashioned iced water

Nothing beats a glass of iced cold water.¬† There’s nothing quite like it.¬† Everything else tastes great, but water just quenches your thirst.¬† I go through bottles of Essentia more now in the summer than I do in the winter time.¬† I feel like it’s the one thing that I can do daily to be sure that I’m not only hydrating for my runs well, but then I’m also drinking it post run to make sure I’m putting everything back in.¬†essentiapic

What are your favorite summer drinks?

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Meal Prep and Planning

I’m going to be totally honest with you all and say until about two months ago, I sucked at meal prep and planning.  I always had the best intentions, but laziness, lack of inspiration and just not enjoying cooking got in the way.  It was a constant stress in my household and Nick and I spent way too much time bickering about what we were going to cook for dinner.  We always had the normal rotation of meals too.  Spaghetti, tacos, sandwiches, take out, repeat.  It was getting to be awful and we were starting to eat out more than we were eating in the house.10-i-hate-cooking-funny-quotesIn addition to all of the eating out, the pounds were starting to pack on.  50% of my meals were spent at a restaurant where I had no control of what was going into each meal and I wasn’t always making the best choices either.  In addition to most meals out, they also included a brew or two.  Something had to change.  I was feeling awful too.  Just blah and I was popping Tums like they were candy.

Enter Hello Fresh.

Some people find the service too expensive and not for them and that’s totally a personal decision I understand.  But for us, it has been exactly what we needed to get us back on track.  For $70 a week for 3 meals for 2 people, we’re spending less than we were during our take-out foodathon.   The other thing that money can’t buy for us is that we now have variety each week with our meals so the spaghetti/taco rut is no more and we’re eating food that we’d never dream of cooking ourselves.  I am no expert in the kitchen but I’ve cooked salmon and cod, two foods that I would have stayed away from cooking from a lack of experience.  I nailed those meals!  I’m gaining confidence in the kitchen and I love it!  I dare I even say it…like cooking now.  image

Part of what has made this successful for us too is the prepping each week.  Each Hello Fresh meal comes in a plastic bag with all the ingredients you need for that meal.  We unpack each bag and store the veggies in these ultra lite green boxes.  When we pick our meal for the day, Nick and I tag team the cooking.  I do all the chopping and he’s in charge of the meat.  We then work together to cook the meal.  Usually I keep prepping for the rest of the meals, pre-chopping most of the veggies so that we have it easier for the rest of the week.  I also am lucky that I’m home around 4pm every day so I tend to do a lot of the prep work before Nick’s home around 5:30pm.  I also pre-cook a lot of the meals too before I head off to run so that all Nick has to do is finish it up/warm it up when he and Hayden are ready to eat.

The food is amazingly good!  We’ve only had one meal out of 15 that was kind of eh?  All the other meals have been really, really tasty.  We love the variety and selection of meals.  We always choose a veggie option.  We’re eating and trying things that we would have shied away from before.  Usually we are a meat and two sides kind of family, but we’re realizing that we don’t have to have a starch with every meal, pasta is not a side item any longer and I haven’t had a roll with dinner in weeks.

As far as how I’m feeling, I haven’t had to pop a Tums since starting to cook and eat at home.  I feel better when I eat our Hello Fresh meals and actually find that normal foods that I crave just don’t sound as great any more.  I love the freshness of our Hello Fresh meals too.  I have lost 4 lbs since we started eating at home which is awesome considering I’ve made no other changes.   Most importantly, Nick and I are loving cooking and spending time in the kitchen together.  It’s not a chore but something that we actually enjoy.

Hello Fresh is a win for us!

Check out the Fit Dish Linkup and become part of the #fitfam by heading over to Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org.

Go be awesome! ūüôā

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Friday Five: Summer Berry Recipes

Happy Friday!!¬† I love Memorial Day weekend!¬† It’s the gateway to summer!¬† Pools open, the days are longer, the weather is sunnier and warmer, and summertime fruits and veggies are starting to show up in the stores.

One of my favorite parts of summer is berry season!  I look forward to all those sweet berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and especially blackberries.  We go through pints of them all summer long.

For this Friday Five post, I wanted to share some of the recent recipes that I’ve found that highlight all those berries!

1. Angel Food Cake with Berry Compote

I have to share this one again!  This was one of the best things I made last summer for dessert.  I loved that you can cook the berries in the crockpot.  Perfect for making it early and letting it cook while you are at the pool! berrycompote

2. Red, White and Blue Strawberry Shortcake

Nothing says Happy 4th of July more than a red, white and blue flag cake.¬† It’s like a staple of all July 4th cookouts!

All Recipes Photo

3. Greek Yogurt with Warm Berry Sauce

This one recipe sounds awesome and I would actually make a lot of the sauce to use throughout the week in the summer!  Perfect breakfast!

Photo: Nigel Cox; Styling: Tiziana Agnello

4. Strawberry-Avocado Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Our friends, Nathan and Katie, have made this one for several of our get togethers.  It is always a hit and there is never any left.

Photo: John Autry

5. Blueberry French Toast Sandwiches

I made these for several brunches.¬† They are absolutely delicious!¬† I serve it with a side of orange marmalade to dip the sandwiches in.¬† Oh man, now I’m craving this! blueberrystuffedfrenchtoast

What are some of your favorite berry recipes?  Please share them with me!

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Weekly Fitness and Meal Plan

Your eyes did not deceive you.¬† That really says “meal plan”!¬† I can’t wait to share with you all what we’ve been doing the last few weeks to help us get on track with cooking meals at home.¬† It’s been our saving grace and we love it!weeklyfitnessbanner

Fitness first…

Monday – There is a group run being sponsored by Race 13.1 from the Omega Store here in town.¬† I’m planning to head over there, but if I don’t have anyone to go with, I’ll skip it and run solo from home and maybe hit BodyPump.¬† 3-4 miles

Tuesday – 4 miles

Wednesday – 4 miles

Thursday Р1 mile day.  My baby has her orchestra concert!

Friday – 1 mile

Saturday – 8 miles

Sunday – 4 miles

On tap: 26 miles

Meal Plan

So I’m super excited to say that we’ve been using Hello Fresh for two weeks now and we are hooked!¬† We’ve been cooking some super yummy dishes and each week, we look forward to choosing our recipes. Our meals are delivered each Wednesday and we spread them out through out the week.¬† It has been exactly what we needed!
This week’s meals:

  • Homestyle Meatloaf with shallot gravy and caramelized root veggies
  • Spanish Cod and Chorizo with potatoes and kale
  • Braised Pork Au Jus with parsnip fries and broccolini

Happy Week!

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Favorite Springtime Foods

For this Friday Five, we’re sharing our favorite Springtime foods.¬†¬† I look forward to Spring every year for not only the weather, but the food choices too.¬† All winter long, I want nothing more than comfort food:¬† pot pies, casseroles…heavier foods.¬† There’s something very satisfying in eating warm food during the winter.¬† With the start of Spring, I really look forward to lighter foods and fresh fruit and veggie choices!

Now, I’m not gonna lie.¬† I actually had no clue when certain fruits and veggies¬†were in season.¬† I think I have a good guess, but I might be way off.¬† In case you are scratching your head too, I found a great list. Some¬†of my Springtime foods aren’t really “in season”, then I’m going with it’s what I crave more during this time of year.

1. Avocados

Now I can pretty much eat avocados every day, but right now, they are all I can think about!¬† I bought some this week to make some guacamole, I saved a few to slice up as a side, and I want to try this recipe: The Perfect Avocado Toast¬†from Cooking Light.¬† It’s their pic.¬† Doesn’t that look super yummy?!avocado-toast

2. Vidalia Onions

If you are from the South, you have not lived until you have had Vidalia onions.  A sweet onion that is perfect when sautéed in butter.  I top my pierogis with them.  So good!

3. Berries

Spring starts berry season!!  Starts with strawberries then slowly through the next few months, we add in blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.  We grabbed a super big mixed fresh berry bowl from the grocery store and the three of us killed it!  So good!  We can also make some mixed berry compote again for angel food cake or maybe ice cream! berrycompote

4. Pineapple and Honeydew

Another favorite of mine!!  I ate pineapple when I was pregnant like it was my job!  I could not get enough of it and to this day, I could eat a whole container all myself daily.  Honeydew is probably my favorite melon, especially when dipped in that sweet yogurt dip you can find at the grocery store.  YUM!

5. Salads

Salads just taste better in the warmer months.  We tend to eat a lot more of them for dinner as a side or even as a main dish topped with chicken.  Some of our favorites are Caesar, Chipotle Chopped Salad bag mix and a typical garden salad topped with a ton of veggies.  We also make a good veggie filled pasta salad too! laborday4

What food are you most looking forward to this Spring? 

For even more favorite Spring food posts, hop over to:

Happy Week!

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Packing on the Miles…and Pounds

Every time I start training for a marathon, one side of my brain tells my body it’s party time and eat, eat, eat and the other side is telling my body to holdt up!¬† It’s a constant struggle for me to balance my brain and my body’s needs and wants.

Just a few years ago, training for my first marathon, I could eat what I wanted and I kept at my same weight comfortably and maybe lost just a bit right before marathon day.¬† Fast forward to 40 and my 6th marathon training, my body laughs at me.¬† It’s way more used to running higher miles and weeks were I could run 25 miles to maintain my weight have now jumped to 30-35 miles. With a slowing metabolism and a body that’s really used to running, the pounds are slowly packing on.

I was super excited with our Gasparilla training.¬† I was adding back to back long runs and I was certain that would be the thing I needed to keep me in check and add in doing MAF training, which helps my body burn fat for fuel vs relying on sugar, I thought I’d found the magic formula.¬† Insert loud annoying sound here: UNNNNTTTT!¬†

So what did I have to do??

I started logging my food using My Fitness Pal, tracking my calories and started being even more active.¬† I had to do something else to “confuse” by body which by now is really proficient at running.¬† It’s not a shock to my body any more to run.¬† I started the PiYo videos, walking 10,000 steps on days I was only running a mile, and upped my protein and lowered my carbs just a bit.

Did it work?

Heck no!!  The lbs went up not by one but by 3, then by 7?!  So I looked at other ways to change things, I watched my portions and only enjoyed adult beverages on the weekends and only when we went out to dinner. I was seriously not having any fun now.  Everything I ate was being tracked.  I stopped snacking.  I was sticking to my 1,550 calories per day, a bit more when I ran. Running 30+ miles a week and all this too and still gaining?!

Did all that finally do the trick?

Um, no.¬† It didn’t.¬† So I said forget it, it is what it is.¬† My weight generally goes up in the winter time.¬† Once I’m finished with marathon training, I’ll be able to add in other classes at the Y.¬† Go back to BodyPumping.¬† Start following the PiYo plan more strictly.¬† I’ll continue to log my food and track my activities, but that’s it.¬† Life is way to short to not just live. A few pounds are just that…a few pounds. The crazy thing in all of this, my clothes still fit the entire time.¬† You’d think after 40 years of being in this body, I’d understand it better.

I go back in July for part two of the Great Weigh In.¬† I’ll use that as my target date to see change.

What do you do to help with weight gain or maintenance?  Is it tricky for you too?

Looking for more, check out Tuesdays on the Run posts here.  See what other runner’s are sharing!

Happy Week!

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TotR: Post Race/Run Treats

You just finished an awesome race, you ran your best, and you come across the finish line smiling!!¬† You make your way to the post race festivities and you are in search of….

What’s your answer?¬† What’s the one thing that you look for after you run?

Me?  A ice cold Coca Cola.

There is something so amazingly awesome about that first sip of a cold Coke.¬† The bubbles, the burn, the sweet.¬† All of it.¬† It’s perfect.¬† I rarely finish a whole one, but a few sips is enough to get rid of that muck mouth.¬† After miles of drinking nothing but water and Gatorade, a Coke just hits the spot!

After that it’s pretty much game on!¬†

Most of you all know that we spend a great deal of time planning our routes around where we’ll eat post long run, so our races are no different.¬† We even have favorite places we eat on race-cations too.

After Flying Pirate, we head to Mama Kwan’s for fish tacos and Bushwackers.mamakwans

After any Salem Lake race or long run, we head to First Street Draught house for grub and brews or Mary’s for breakfast.

During our Myrtle Mini trip, we hit the Eggs Up Grill and I enjoyed these delicious breakfast tacos after our shake out run.

breakfasttacos

After the Huntersville half, we ate at Big Daddy’s Burger Bar, where I had a spicy jalapeno burger and brew. bigdaddyburgerLast weekend after Gasparilla Day one, we went to the Independent where I enjoyed a cold beer and the Indie Grilled Cheese (pears saut√©ed in honey and spices with Gouda on rye bread.¬† I added bacon)

Gasparilla Day two we went to a nearby pizza place, Eddie and Sam’s Pizza,¬†for slices and a gigantic Coke.

Eating good food post run/race is as much of the whole experience as is running the actual event for me.¬† The two just go hand in hand for us!¬† It’s the part I love about planning a trip or picking a race.

What’s some of your favorite post run or race treats?¬† Do you have a must have treat?

Looking for more post race/run treats, check out Tuesdays on the Run posts here.¬† See what other runner’s are sharing!

Happy Week!

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TOTR: Runner Nutrition

For this Tuesday on the Run, we’re talking Runner Nutrition.¬† I can’t speak to what are the right or wrong foods or fuel for all runners, but I can tell you what works for me. For most runners, it’s a mix of trial and error until you find what you can handle.¬† Everyone’s tummies are different.¬† Most of us will find what works for us and stay with it.

Pre-Run Nutrition

I eat Clif Builder’s bars before my long runs.¬† It’s just the right mix of protein and carbs for me and it works pretty good at keeping me pretty well fueled throughout my run.¬† Although lately, I do feel hungry mid-run more on my second long run.¬† I’m sure that has to do with the insane amount of miles we’ve been running lately.¬† I have some friends who eat peanut butter bagels, oatmeal and hard boiled eggs, and Greek yogurt.¬† See what I mean?!¬† Totally depends on what your tummy can handle.clifbar

I’m a huge fan of Essentia.¬† I drink it regularly now and have noticed a huge difference since I first started drinking it.¬† I love that it’s just kicked up water with electrolytes.¬† It’s all the good stuff my body needs without adding extra calories or sugar.¬† Huge plus for me since I don’t handle most sports drinks well.essentia

During the Run

My nutrition on runs has changed recently.¬† Using the MAF method means that my body is burning fat for fuel and for the first time in the entire time I’ve run long runs, I’m not taking in any nutrition.¬† I haven’t needed it.¬† I carry it with me, just in case I start feeling low, but in all the weeks we’ve already run, I’ve taken a Clif Shot Blok one time.¬† This a huge change from when I was taking a shot blok every 4 miles.

If I’m carrying water, I fill my bottles with Essentia.¬† I like to have it on my long runs too.

Post Run

My post run food and drinks change on what I have a taste for or where we are going for our post run breakfast/lunch.¬† I always have the rest of my Essentia and usually order more water whenever we get to where we are eating.¬† I sometimes have chocolate milk.¬† I have been drinking a diet Pepsi after a run.¬† I like the carbonation after tons of miles of nothing but water.¬† I try to eat a mix of protein and carbs with my meal.¬† After some runs, we’ve had a cold brew with lunch.¬† I’m not stuck with an actual post run meal routine.huevosrancheros

I do make sure I hydrate well the rest of the day.¬† This has been essential in maintaining the miles each weekend.¬† I also have started drinking a Naked protein smoothie on most Saturdays or Sundays.¬† Some weekends, I’ve not been hungry after eating so I like the smoothie with protein because it still putting good stuff back in even if my appetite hasn’t come back.

For other nutritional ideas, I wrote a post a while back also sharing some of my favorite fueling foods and drinks. You can also check out what other bloggers are sharing.

Tuesdays on the Run

What’s your typical nutrition? Are you a creature of habit or does it change per day?

Happy Week!

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You Can’t Quit Food Cold Turkey

Do you hear that?¬† There’s something coming from your pantry. Or the fridge.¬†¬†Is it¬†that last piece of cake?¬† Or is it that box of Cheez-its? Either way, something you crave is calling your name.¬† What do you do?

This week’s theme for The Fit Dish is all about what we do to overcome unhealthy temptations and cravings.¬† I’m going to be honest here and say that I struggled with even posting anything on this topic.¬† I’m by far the last person to give any advice on eating healthy or not.¬† I try to make good choices, but I don’t always.¬† I also struggled with the fact that by even offering suggestions on how I overcome unhealthy temptations was I going against what I truly feel about something being “healthy” or “unhealthy” and how I handle these day to day cravings and temptations.¬† I sat on this blog post for a day, really thinking about it.

So here’s what I think.¬† I think with avoidance becomes obsession.¬† Stick with me for a minute.¬† So let’s say that I’m craving some Cheez-Its.¬† I could do a half¬†dozen things to overcome that craving.¬† I could drink some water, walk around a bit, substitute a piece of fruit for that snack, throw the box away, not buy¬†them at all, etc.¬† At the end of all that, I am pretty sure, I’ll still want some Cheez-its. I’ll have avoided eating them, but in turn, I’ll just actually obsess¬†about them more¬†knowing that¬†I shouldn’t eat them.¬† This in turn is making me want them more than I did 10 minutes ago.

When I quit smoking, I quit cold turkey.¬† No patches, no gum, nothing.¬† I just stopped smoking.¬† At the beginning, it was all I could think about it.¬† I wasn’t smoking, but I wanted to smoke.¬† I did all kinds of things to take my mind off of not smoking.¬† I started making jewelry in an effort to keep my hands busy, I started running, I chewed on pen caps on the way home from work, etc.¬† I did all those things, but at the end of the day, I wanted to smoke.¬† Sure I could have given in, what’s just one?¬† It would mean I’d have to “quit” again.¬† That could translate into cravings, I could just not give in to the temptation.¬†But for me, food isn’t a cold turkey kind of thing. It’s not about substitution or distractions.

For me, food is more about learning moderation and self-control¬†and less about¬†distractions and avoidance.¬† I grab a handful of Cheez-Its, savor them and move on.¬† Did I eat some unhealthy?¬† You bet I did.¬† Will I feel bad about it?¬† Probably not.¬† I’d actually think I’d feel worse if I went through a bunch of steps to avoid them and still ate them anyways, then to realize that one handful of crackers wasn’t the worse thing I could do.¬† Did I eat just a handful?¬†¬†It was probably generous¬†and I’d probably want more.¬† That’s where knowing my limits and¬†using self-control come in.¬† One handful doesn’t derail anything.¬† Savor that moment and move on.

I make good choices 90% of the time when I eat.¬† I try to stay away from fried food.¬† I eat my fruits and¬†veggies.¬† I’m a stickler for protein at every meal.¬† But there are times, I want Cheez-its or a donut or another brew.¬† 5% of the time, I’ll really think about it and realize that I don’t need it.¬† I try to think about food and how I need it to fuel my body for what I’m asking it to do.¬†But then that last 5% is when I’m just going to say yes!¬† Just as in running and life,¬†food and eating is the same way.¬† Everything¬†in moderation and exert some self-control.

What’s your thought on overcoming cravings?¬† How do you deal with them?¬†

Hop over to the Fit Dish link up, Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org,  and see what other bloggers are sharing!

Happy Week!

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