Tag Archives: dogs

What to Eat in the Heat

17 Jul

Eat Smart in the Summer

It’s hot. Really hot. And cooking just seems unbearable, even in the air conditioning. You don’t really want to eat something hot either, just the thought gives you heat stroke. So what do you do? Stay inside all day and not eat? NO. You eat smart. Eat cold things that lower your body temperature, and eat things mainly comprised of water. Most fruit is 80% water, and very filling. So here are some ideas for you to cool off with:

1. Frozen Fruit 

Take your favorite fruit and toss it in the freezer for an hour or two. The sugars actually crystalize and taste sweeter too. It’s like a popsicle! But healthy.

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2. Bananas

The heat depletes us of essential electrolytes and potassium. Eating a banana is a great idea if you plan to take your workout outside {Or do CrossFit @CrossFit Lake Effect 🙂 }


Photo Credit HERE

3. Almonds

Almonds are always wonderful, but they have the healthy fats and protein your body needs. When cooking meat is out of the question, reach for some raw, heart healthy nuts.


Photo Credit HERE

4. Whey Protein Smoothies

Probably a favorite of many. Protein shakes are easy and nutritious. They quickly absorb into your system, and are very refreshing. You can mix it up by sneaking spinach in, or adding fruits.

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5. Greek Yogurt Parfait

I love dessert, but I don’t like the heavy feeling that comes with it. Instead of eating ice cream this summer, my new favorite treat is a greek yogurt parfait. I use 1/2 cup plain 0% Fat Greek Yogurt, 1 Scoop french vanilla {or chocolate} whey protein, 2tbs PB2, and a frozen fruit of my choice. If I just came back from a workout and eat this is lieu of dinner, I’ll add a handful of walnuts too.

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Table Scraps: How to take care of your Dogs in the Summer

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My dogs are use to running 3- 4 miles at least 3 times a week, but when temps reach the 90’s, they don’t get a whole lot of exercise. Here are some helpful ideas for taking care of fido in this heat.

1. Use the opportunity to give them a cold bath

2. Put ice cubes in their water bowls {This will turn into “bob for the ice cube”}

3. Get them a new toy. I bought both my dogs kong treat balls and I fill it with peanut butter. This keeps them preoccupied and running around the house for hours. They also play keep away with each other – helps keep them entertained.

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4. Play fetch inside. My floors are ruined already, so I have nothing to lose. I try to give my dogs a little bit of a cardio workout throwing their balls down the stairs.

Your turn:

What do you eat to beat the heat?

Do your animals {kids} keep active, even in the heat and humidity?


Love at First WOD

19 Jun

Love at First WOD

Here I go…blogging too much again! But this couldn’t wait until tomorrow.



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I took a HUGE step for me and went out of my comfort zone. I finally went to a CrossFit gym! (applause on putting my grown up pants on would be nice!) I have talked a lot about CrossFit inspired workouts, and about my goals of actually doing REAL CrossFit. Well, it TOTALLY lived up to the hype! I was happy to have my friend Angela there too. She was great, cheering me on. That’s one thing that really stood out to me…it was so encouraging. When I usually go to a typical gym, people don’t talk to each other. I mean, when was the last time you went to a spin class and the chick next to you said, “Wow, you really worked that hill. Good job!”  Um, never. Even my  own mother is a spin instructor, and you know what she says to me?!?! “You’re goin’ down!”. Ok, my family’s a bit competitive…I’ll save that for another time.

So here’s a quick look at my first impression of Lake Effect CrossFit

  • It was welcoming. When you’re new to an intimidating sport like CrossFit, this is key!
  • It was professional. The trainer knows his stuff! With every move he explained what we were doing, how, and why.
  • It was encouraging. Not only was the trainer encouraging, but so were the other athletes! (ok- they were athletes…not me…)
  • It was challenging. Oh man. That’s an understatement.
  • It was flexible- there were a variety of  class times I could choose from .
  • The trainer was able to adjust the workout to my fitness level.
  • It was clean.
  • They have top quality equipment.
  • Friendly. Any gym that has a dog hanging around is a great gym. Dogs can inherently tell if you’re a good person or not…if everyone was like a dog, the world would be a much better place…but again, I digress…

My Personal fitness goals with CrossFit:

  • Gain strength
  • Improve Everyday
  • Be able to do more than hang on the bar…actually be able to do pull ups
  • Understand my body better
  • Push myself further than I ever imagined I could!
  • Grow my baby muscles!

Nutrition is important to fulfill my goals. So tonight when I got home I made myself a Chocolate Spinach Protein Shake. Yum. (Also ate the “ugly loaf” from last nights dinner)

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Like my old school ice cube tray? Yup, pretty sweet…

Simple Ingredients:

1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder

2 fist fulls of spinach

1 cup ice cubes

1 pack stevia

Result: HAPPY. HAPPY. HAPPY. A great treat to feed my muscles at the end of a hard day’s work.

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BEST way to end the day…Puppy love.

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Love that they think carrots are a treat!

Your turn! Have you tried a CrossFit gym? 

It Takes Two

17 Jun

Two a Days Workouts

Since it’s summer, and I’m a teacher, I get to have a little flexibility with my schedule. My workout routines lately have allowed for two-a-days. In the morning I’ll do a cardio workout, which today was 1 hour spin class. In the evenings I’ll do a HIIT training/ strength workout from Jess at Blonde Ponytail. I’ve been in the routine of doing HIIT training for awhile now…You’d think it would get easier. But it doesn’t. Each day is a new day, and each day has battles all its own. This goes with CrossFit’s mantra “Better than Yesterday”- meaning, each day you need to challenge yourself and push harder.

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I used my new gymboss timer for my HIIT workout tonight!! So far I like it. Perfect timing too, since I dropped my iPone and cracked it to smithereens!

Speaking of CrossFit…The YMCA near my house just started  a certified CrossFit program! There aren’t any CrossFit gyms in my area, so I’m really happy about this. Wednesday they are demoing their classes to the public and answering questions. I am totally going. They are also having a huge concert…the band “Verve Pipe” (you know…”We were only Freshmen”) is going to be there too. Now just to convince Ryan to let us join…

Two Dogs…Too Crazy.

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Raw Hides are their preferred treat, but Carrots will do just fine too 🙂

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Gracie decided that she needed a doggie door…She burst through the screen door (full blast). I’m still debating if I should fix it or just call it my “Redneck Doggie Door”…

Cooking For Two

Ryan and I have completely different diets. I need to be careful about what I eat for allergy purposes, whereas he can pretty much eat anything. However, he can tell a huge difference when he eats healthier. Oh! By the way. I got my blood work done and prior to HIIT training and clean eating, my bad cholesterol was higher than it should be. Since my fitness and diet habits have changed, my cholesterol is now low! Whoop whoop! 🙂

Anyways…it was Whole Wheat, Lean Spaghetti for Ryan tonight, and Tilapia and Broccoli Slaw for me. Here’s what I did:

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Whole Wheat Spaghetti Ingredients:

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1/2 lb lean beef

1 cup spinach

1/4 cup mushrooms

1/4 cup red onions

pinch of M Salt, Cayenne Pepper, and Cilantro

1 serving of Whole Wheat Pasta

1/2 cup Marinara Sauce

2 tbs shredded low fat parmesan cheese (to top it off)

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Boil the water on a Med heat and add pasta for 11 min or until “al dente”

Brown the meat in a little olive oil. Add the seasonings, onions, broccoli slaw, and spinach. Sauté.

Combing ingredients in a big bowl and add marinara sauce.

This was so easy…I think I should have called it “Lazy Girl’s Gourmet”. It was Husband approved. The little bit of cayenne pepper added a nice kick!

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My Fish (or again…”Lazy Girl’s Recipe”):


I piece Tilapia

pinch of M Salt and Cilantro

1/4 cup broccoli slaw

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I cooked the Tilapia for 3min/ each side, and just sautéed the slaw in a pinch of olive oil.

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I topped it off with a little of Bolthouse Farms’ Ranch Yogurt. So delish! And Super easy.

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Total cooking time for Both dinners (simultaneously cooked) 25 min. Not too shabby.

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Other Yummy Eats from today:

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Breakfast: Chocolate Banana Protein Shake and a HUGE Grapefruit. 24 oz ice water

Lunch: Open Faced Omelet and 1/2 bag baby carrots. 24 oz ice water

Snack Attack: 2013-05-09 20.29.16

I actually had two one after lunch and one after dinner. So addicting.

I still didn’t get my food menu up and running yet. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day to get to the grocery store. It would be nice to find some strategies for finding deals on healthy food. Can you believe how pricy good, wholesome food is these days! Yikes.

How about you? Any food thrift advice?


Faith Focused Sunday Runday

17 Jun

Sleeping In…

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So, it’s Sunday and I usually go to church on Sundays. I look forward to going because it gives me a strong sense of family. My church community is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We’ve been going to our current church for 7 years now. I have met so many people who are now my role models. I just love it. Oh, and we have a coffee shop (free will donation) in our church…definitely doesn’t hurt!

Now that you know how much I adore my church….on another note, Today I slept in, and missed BOTH services (so unlike me).

I had two choices: 1. feel guilty. or 2. Recognize that I needed sleep, and I can still put God first.

It reminded me of what my friend  had once told me:

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes someone a mechanic.”

I think this is true. After all, Jesus says that there will be a day where many people “labored” in His name, but their hearts were far from Him.(ex: televangelists…or people who say their believer of a certain religion just to maintain a social reputation). The truth is, God is everywhere, and He cares about your heart.

So I decided to turn my run into my “Church” time. I made an awesome playlist of all Christian artists (Holy talent batman!) and focused on thanking God for His faithfulness in my life.

My Faith Focused Run


1: Running by Lake Michigan, which always makes me in awe of God’s creation.

2: My body is a temple (1Corinthians 6:90-20). I am constantly thankful to God for the ability to Run.

3: NEW MUSIC with lyrics that are beautiful and complex,biblical and honor God.

4: Helps me to reflect on what I’m thankful for. My revelation today was that I’m thankful for God’s Grace. He knows I’m not perfect, and loves me anyways.


1:I missed my church family. 😦

2: Missing my Pastor , he’s fantastic…but I can still listen to the podcast (I love technology).

“Jesus is my Workout Buddy” Playlist

I’m Down  The Almost (an alternative Christian band)

On the Shores  Melissa Helser & Jonathan David Helser (like a Christian Florence and the Machine)

Anyone But You  Hawk Nelson 

Carry Me  Josh Wilson (My new favorite artist. I bought the whole album)

Pushing Back the Dark   Josh Wilson

Grace Enough for You   Josh Wilson 

Raise the Banner  Audio Adrenaline 


King of the Comebacks  Audio Adrenaline 

Savior  Worth Dying For 

This playlist was great. It was upbeat and kept my momentum, and my mind going. I love songs that you can really tune into the lyrics and just let you body loose…Your legs totally know how to run without you telling them to! Shocking, I know.

Running with Dogs…

I also took the ‘kids’ running. They were pretty happy. Rocky is even smiling!

Post Run:

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So I had a little rant on FB about running with dogs today. I would love to hear your opinions…I’m not usually negative…but I was a little frustrated with my “community” on my run.

I love running with my dogs. But please people, I keep my dogs safe. Be wise, do the same. i.e. keep your dog on a leash, if you have a squirrel that barks for a dog, don’t let them have 40ft of leash…Don’t expect every dog to want to be your dogs friend….I tell people “they don’t want to play”, not because my dogs are vicious, but for 1: they are running. they have a job to do (pull me up the hills) 2: Better safe than sorry. I don’t know your dog, and you don’t know mine.

My dogs are so good and sweet. but please, use common sense. (aka my neighbors who are letting their 4 rat terriers run around the street).

P.S. If you don’t like my dogs, we can’t be friends. Sorry.

Was that harsh? Do you run with your dogs? I am a momma bear with my dogs. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m going to be a helicopter parent when I have “real” children.

Do I get a good workout when I take the dogs?  YES

Every time I run with the dogs it’s a HIIT workout

RUN FAST (so Rocky doesn’t chew the leash)

STOP: (pee break)

RUN FAST: (the neighbor’s dog is chasing us…at least  until the electric fence kicks in)

STOP: GOAT. Yes. you read that right….there is a goat that traditionally monitors one of the privately owned beach parking lots….Dogs are unsure what to think about the goat…

RUN FASTER: dogs see a squirrel and try to catch it…while I’m still holding on….

STOP: someone’s dog is off leash and decides to try to make “friends”


STOP: poop break this time….


Get the picture? My dogs are totally worth it though. I just love em’

All in all, it was a great way to spend my morning. When I came home I did a strength Tabata from Jess at Blonde Ponytail.

Progress NOT Perfection

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I’ve been working really hard on my workouts.

Food wise…I’ve been eating SUPER healthy..but portions are a little out of wack. I’ve been eating A LOT of guacamole and PB2 and Bananas in Greek Yogurt. Ry asked me to come up with some new recipes ( he said he likes chicken and guac…but not everyday 😦 I could totally live on Chicken and guac!!!!)

So I’m pretty excited to get an early start tomorrow and create a new menu. I’m going to step out of my comfort zone a bit…I guess anything other than Chicken is out of my comfort zone! Stay tuned…I’ll post my food experiments throughout the week.


Oh Randomness! Dogs, Food, and GNC

10 Jun

Have you tried Quest bars?

I went to GNC today and they had new flavors. My favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. They only have 8 ingredients, and I could understand each one! ha. It has unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, water, almonds, whey protein, natural prebiotic fiber, milk protein, and stevia. AND it tastes like a naughty treat, but has 190 calories and 21g protein, 17g Fiber, 1g Sugar. yep…ONE gram of sugar. I’m sold! Here are some of the flavors I recommend:

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coconut cashew, peanut butter and jelly, chocolate chip, chocolate peanut butter, and banana nut. I also really like the chocolate fudge and strawberry pie. OK, with treats like this, it makes staying on track with my diet so much easier! I workout a lot harder knowing that these bad boys are the dangling carrot of my workouts!

Speaking of working out harder, I have started to take the GNC GENETIXHD supplements. Now, I can’t say supplements are for everyone, I can only give my personal testimony. I love this line. I have been using it for 2 months now. It helps me with my energy levels during workouts, aids in digestion, and has helped me kick my coffee habit. Here’s what I’ve used:

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Pre-Workout: Pro-Sculpt

Added benefits:

  • 200 mg Caffeine
  • B Vitamins
  • Amnio Acids to help with protein assimilation
  • Tri-pepper thermogenic blend (fat burner)

How Do I Feel When I Take It? I feel fine. I have no jitters whatsoever.. Ryan takes it in lieu of coffee in the mornings too. When I drank coffee, I felt like it completely drained me. I was jittery and had terrible tummy issues (IBS). Now that I’ve made the switch, I feel a lot better. I know some people may shy away from fat burners, but I feel that this is a very high quality product designed for athletes…It won’t work if you just take it and NOT workout. It’s not like hydroxycut or other crazy scary products out there.

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They come in two flavors – Blue Raspberry and Fruit Punch. I like both, Ryan only likes Fruit Punch.

So that’s BEFORE a workout. I usually eat a light snack too. Today it was greek yogurt and almonds.

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Then AFTER a workout I drink a protein shake from the GENETIXHD Line.

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My Favorite Smoothie:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

1 scoop ISO-DEFINE chocolate flavor

2tbs PB2 (oh yum! Sometimes I just eat it plain…)

1 cup(ish) ice

1 pack stevia

Fill with water, blend, and enjoy! Super easy!

Notice how Gracie is in almost ALL my pictures…She’s a camera hog!

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Such a lady!

One more product I love from GNC are their Probiotics. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and have battled with the right diet for years. I have tried almost all probiotics out there. a lot of them claim they survive even in stomach acid…but this is the only one that has really worked for me:

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Today’s Workout

My workout today was super intense. It didn’t take me along time, but it was one of those workouts where you just can’t stop sweating afterwards.

Warm up: 15 minutes

3 Rounds of Interval Sprints

Each minute alter your speed: 6.0 – 6.5 – 7.0 – 7.5 – 8.0  REPEAT 3X

Strength Training: 20 minutes

GNC Lean Legs pt. 2 From Jess at Blondeponytail.com 

It didn’t take long, but man oh man, was it effective.

I plan on doing “My Core Is Sore” before bed. 9min core workout.

How about you, what was your WOD?

What are you cooking up for dinner? I’m thinking stuffed peppers…all this working out has made me hungry! Apparently it’s made Gracie hungry too!

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