Runner Girl’s Ground Chicken Burgers

Well it has been way too long since I have posted! And I had to post today because I am not sure how the weekend will go as I am nearly 8 hours from home in the Upper Peninsula!! I am here to ski with my family. My parents’ friends have this incredible lodge up here and I might be posting some pics of it so you all can see how beautiful it is! I told my mom that I want a lodge just like this…in like Missouri. Not in the frozen upper tundra of America! πŸ˜‰

My view from the study nook
My view from the study nook

But I made this amazing thing the other day that Luke just loved with his whole heart. And I mean that! He wanted it again the next day!! I honestly don’t care for burgers but I love grilled chicken. And so I tried out this ground chicken avocado thing, and it’s a keeper! This one is here to stay!

Runner Girl’s Ground Chicken Burgers

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • Any seasoning
  • Pepper and salt for taste
  • Veggies!!- diced tomato, corn, onion, green pepper, red pepper, kale
  • Jalopenos
  • 1 avocado chopped into bits
  • Optional queso to go on top
  • Multi grain buns/ sandwich thins

Essentially, you just add all of the veggies you want and the diced avocado into your ground chicken! Form patties and cook! I cooked mine on the stove-top in a frying pan because it is very much winter right now haha. It was also my idea to add queso instead of cheese because unless you get fat-free cheese, cheese can just ruin the whole thing. But Tostitos salsa queso is very decent, and I think it tastes way better!!

Stay warm everyone! I hope to continue to keep you updated!!

xoxo

image

My boyfriend's chicken burger...he really got into the queso ;) Also topped with diced avocado cooked in the pan!
My boyfriend’s chicken burger…he really got into the queso πŸ˜‰ Also topped with diced avocado cooked in the pan!

Runner Girl’s Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

Strawberries and bananas. While they create an incredibly delectable combination of flavors, they are also both packed with amazing nutrients to consume after a hard work-out/run! Both help to aid in the recovery process and bananas are a great source of good carbs and replenish the electrolytes that we lose when we perspire. For more on bananas, check this page:

http://site.runtex.com/index.php/2013/03/beginners-corner-bananas-are-the-perfect-runners-food/

Strawberries and berries in general have a ton of antioxidants. Strawberries even support the immune system and do some crazy other things for you like preventing wrinkles and cancer. For more on strawberries:

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/healthy-eating/10-health-benefits-of-strawberries?slide=2

So when I came home, I knew I wanted a smoothie and this is what I made πŸ™‚

Strawberry Banana 2

Strawberry Banana 3

Runner Girl’s Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup whole frozen strawberries
  • 1/2Β large banana sliced
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla soy protein isolate
  • Splash of Water, 2-3 tbsp.
  • Splash of 1% milk, 2-3 tbsp.

Combine all and blend. I have a Magic Bullet blender and love it very much! This is about 210 calories, give or take with your milk. So thick, creamy, and sweet; it’s a very satisfying treat to have after your work-out πŸ™‚

Strawberry Banana 1

Runners and Carbs: Let Us Eat Bread!

My notorious banana bread :) A favorite among runners and athletes alike.
My notorious banana bread πŸ™‚ A favorite among runners and athletes alike.

Long-distance runners are known to carb-load. This is a fact; runners need the carbs in order to perform, plain and simple. But exactly how much do we need? And how much protein is needed for the muscles to recover? You’re in luck if you were wondering since that is exactly what we’re covering in today’s post πŸ™‚

Check the research

Research states that ” if you regularly participate in heavy endurance training at high intensities, you require 0.7 to 0.9 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day” (Coleman). Coleman further states that runners require “2.3 to 3.2 grams of carbs per pound for light to moderate training that last less than one hour, 3.2 to 4.5 grams per pound for heavy training at high intensity,” and these statistics are based off The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If I am only running 4 miles on a given day, I might want to take 2.6 grams of carbs per pound. Me weighing 113-114, we’re talking 296 grams of carbs! I’ve always been a huge advocate of cereal and energy bars, and one cupΒ of Honey Nut Cheerios gets you nearly 30 grams of carbs already! Even then. This is a very difficult number to achieve and it seems like a lot. What does a healthy, satisfying day look like with around 300 grams of carbs?

Based off the assumption that I ran at 6 AM, without eating prior to run.

Post Run Breakfast- Oiko’s Vanilla Greek yogurt w/ package of Belvita crackers (36 g.) Banana later in morning (27 g.)

Lunch- Turkey sandwich with whole wheat Sara Lee bread (25 g.), medium banana (27 g.) OR tomato soup (16-20 g.), pita chips (20 g.)

Snack- Large honeycrisp apple (30 g.) with Cup of cantolope (13 g.)OR smoothie made w/ banana (30 g.)

Dinner- Grilled chicken w/ cup of brown rice; steamed veggies (45 g.)

2nd Dinner- 1 and a half cups of cereal (45 g.)

This brings me at about 250-270 grams of carbs depending on what I choose out of these options. I only counted carbs for grains/fruits/soup. I did not calculate for meat. As you can see, we might need to eat an extra energy bar at our afternoon snack! Or serve up a larger platter of fruit. I love fruit πŸ™‚ Some people snack more; I really don’t. The only time I snack is on long run day when I’ve done my run that morning. I amΒ starved all day and snack on a lot of fruit and definitely grab that extra energy bar. Because as you can see, the example given above is for aΒ light to moderateΒ running day. My runs that go than an hour, you better believe the day will look slightly different! At least a bigger breakfast or lunch.

So the above is what a typical day may may look like for me, however, as of lately, I upped my may protein intake. So I had been eating, due to all my pancake posts, more protein pancakes and more protein shakes! You have to tread carefully with upsetting the balance. Seriously use the ratios given above with grams/pound, and stick to only around those numbers. If you’re looking to build more muscle…focus on strength then for a week or two and ease back into your regular diet routine. Runners do not adjust well when they are eating MORE protein than carbs. If you truly are running long distances of at least 20 miles per week, then you must be consuming more carbs than protein. Or if your volume of cardio is greater than weights, then yes you need more carbs! Not only will we not have enough energy to run for long distances, the extra protein could block up your system. This is a very high possibility if you’re trying a high-protein diet while trying to run. not only that, but too much protein is horrible for your kidney’s health. And you don’t want that. You could even have the Gatorade after a hard run, and you can still have your protein shake/bar after your strength training. That is certainly advised πŸ™‚

I wish you the best of luck in your nutrition and training πŸ™‚ Ask me any more questions you have on this, and have a great FRIDAY!

Reference

R.D. Coleman, Erin.”How much Protein and Carbs Do Runners Need?”Β Healthy Eating.Β http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/

Runner Girl’s Fluffiest Post-Run Pancakes

Just got done with a hard run, core, and a little strength? You’re going to need some good-quality carbs and protein after that, and next to my banana bread pancakes, these things are crazy perfect!! Fluffy, taste amazing, and all that jazz.

Runner Girl's Pancakes

Runner Girl’s Fluffiest Post-Run Pancakes

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup soy vanilla protein isolate (one I use in all my pancake recipes)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Optional cacao powder (1/2-1 tsp.)
  • Water if needed
  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
  • **Optional- 1 tsp. sugar or Stevia packet
  • **Optional- Vanilla Greek yogurt to top with and dip in!! So good. Use with all pancakes

There are only about 255 calories in this WHOLE stack you see above without the Greek yogurt. There will be a little more with sweetener. This is the perfect breakfast for me after a hard work-out. I usually add raspberries and blueberries which are both crazy good superfoods. This is one of the most balanced breakfast’s I make, adding the berries helps a lot with recovery and don’t forget your water!! Hydrate!

Enjoy your pancakes if you make some!! These are so simple but so good. And you can add any flavor you want. PB2, extra cacao, butterscotch, banana, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cinnamon apples.

Have a great day, I’m off to an interview! xoxo

Berries
Blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all superfoods for runners. They are incredible for recovery and just some of the greatest sources of antioxidants, natural glucose, and energy!

 

To A Great Day: Don’t Get Burned Out

5 miler

A completely, unashamed selfie taken after my first 5 miler today since the stress fracture!! I have been doing a ton of 3 milers and 4 milers (1’s and 2’s at the very start of course). And have been consistently running 5 days a week since the first week of December. So I haven’t been consistent for very long, but here I am! Very excited, and very happy.

With completing this feat, I have been thinking of the new year ahead. Last year, I entered 2014 still being injured and the injury lasted until mid March. The recent stress fracture was from September through mid November. Though when I wasn’t injured, I had an incredible straight 5 months of races and pure, good running!

My goal is to keep this year injury-free. With that, I am actually not concerned with the whole #15in2015 thing. If I do 15 races, great! If not, whatever! Did I stay injury-free and have a great, full year of running and races? If that answer is yes, I’ll have had one of the best years of my running career.

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet for you and compile a list of Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind in your running, workouts, sports, etc. This list is for everyone, from beginners to the most elite athletes.

Runner Girl’s List of How to Avoid Injury/Burnout

  1. Do not overlook anything. Whether you’re an athlete in school, or an athlete post-school, you cannot overlook the smallest ticks. Especially if it seems irregular. If something seems out of the blue, or worse, you’ve experienced these symptoms previously which led to injury, then you HAVE to tend to it! Do not ignore strange pains/atypical symptoms.
  2. Tell your coach/trainer at first signs of pain. Do not wait for it to worsen because I assure you that it will. When you explain the situation immediately, then the healing process is A LOT faster. Catch it early, fix it fast, get back to running sooner.
  3. Do your exercises!!! The trainer is going to give you a lot of exercises to help; do not do only two things on the list and be done! Complete each exercise fully and completely. Basically, just listen to your trainer. Do your work. It’s good for you.
  4. Research. If you do not have a coach or trainer and do things on your own, then you have to be responsible for researching exercises. If you are a veteran athlete, chances are, you learned a lot from your school sport/track/cross country. Regardless, go to Runner’s World. That’s a great place to start, and just research the heck out of your early stages of injury.
  5. Don’t overtrain and do progress slowly.Β Research states to increase your mileage by steady 10% increments each week when building your weekly mileage. Don’t jump from 15 miles per week to 30 the next. The body isn’t ready to make that jump.
  6. Mix it up. Want to keep running but don’t want to ONLY run? Or do you just want to stay active and have no idea how to not get bored? Well there’s Insanity, P90X, yoga, pilates, swimming, cycling, outdoor adventure biking, hiking, HIIT, aerobics classes, dancing classes, basketball at local gyms (YMCA offers a very wide range of activities)….there’s so much out there. Keep testing out new things and bring friends!
  7. Do local races/themed races. Chances are, you’ve heard of glow runs, color runs, Tough Mudder. These can be a lot of fun to do and are exciting to anticipate!! Again, if you need friends, call them up! Do it as a group! I promise, it’ll be one of the most fun and rewarding things you’ll do. If you’re a solo runner like me, keep looking for local races and again, test your abilities. Step up and do 10Ks, half marathons, though don’t over-commit yourself.
  8. Since that last thought is important, Don’t over-commit yourself. Be practical with your schedule, and ask yourself “Will I be tired every day if I try to train for a marathon right now? Work has been crazy, the kids still need a lot of my time…maybe I can just do a 5k or two right now.” There are tons of other ways to stay active than setting aside hours to run and train for a marathon.
  9. Eat right!!!! Ahhh. Can’t stress this enough. You will hurt yourself or get burned out if you’re eating crap and trying to run. Please visit this site for superfoods that are amazing for runners! http://www.runnersworld.com/photos/41-superfoods-how-they-can-help-your-running Β  Try incorporating some into your everyday diet. Nutrition is a huge topic, so I’ll have to talk more in separate posts or this bullet point would get obnoxious.
  10. Good ole dynamic stretches. Alright, and lastly, before EACH run, do some dynamics!! Don’t just go out cold! Do some calf raises, butt kicks, high knees, lunges, walking quad stretch; there’s a ton of them. Look into it if you aren’t too familiar πŸ™‚

I hope this list helps you in your training! There’s a lot to running. That’s why there’s a million magazines and books and coaches dedicated to talking about it and helping everyone else πŸ™‚ And there’s me too, who will hopefully have a book and be a coach someday πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading, have a wonderful Saturday! xoxo

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Hot Pockets

I am a sandwich lover. I can hardly go one day without a sandwich at lunchtime; I just never want anything else! And there is just way too much you can do with a sandwich–the possibilities seemingly endless. Especially when you have an awesome sandwich grill.

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Hot Pockets

So here is one of my creations! I have a Cuisinart Sandwich Grill (which I got for Christmas one year…shows how much I love sandwiches) and you may not have one at home. Simply put yours on a flat pan over the stove and flip it like a pancake. If you have a panini maker or anything like that; use it for this recipe! The idea is just to have a warm sandwich because who doesn’t want a warm sandwich when it’s frozen solid outside?! And it’s a buffalo chicken “hot pocket”…so it needs to be hot.

Sandwich Grill

This is my lovely sandwich grill I got for Christmas (a year ago, not this past Christmas) and I have made a lot of gems with this thing! It’s only 20 bucks, very manageable, and a purchase that I promise you won’t regret after you see these!

Use whole wheat Pocket Thins, just in your grocery's store normal bread aisle. At your deli, ask for the deli buffalo chicken. Ours is called Boar's Head.

Sandwich Ingredients 2

I love mustard, and believe it or not, buffalo sauce and mustard go together. It gives the sandwich extra flavor, and you’ll find out that this sandwich knows no lack in flavor!

Healthy Buffalo Chicken Hot Pockets

  • 3 slices deli buffalo chicken
  • 1-2 tablespoons of low-fat cheddar cheese (based off preference)
  • Half of a full pocket thin (they are naturally serrated in half as semi-circles, so just break one off)
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Mustard
  • Optional (but so worth it!!) A sprinkle of chopped chives!!

Plug in your: Sandwich grill, panini maker, turn on stove and warm pan, whatever appliance you will be using!

First, break the deli buffalo chicken slices in halves or fourths, then lay them in your pocket thin. (it’s gonna be stuffed) You can drizzle your sauce and mustard as you lay the meat down. Then sprinkle your cheese in, making sure it gets in the middle, bottom, in between. Same with the chives.

If you are using the sandwich grill:

Cuisanart Sandwich Maker

I laid my sandwich literally ACROSS this maker. Because the pocket doesn’t fit in like normal bread but this is perfectly fine! Because you end up getting these crazy awesome hot pockets when you just lay it in the middle horizontally!

And then you have it:

Sandwich Finished Product

This incredible looking sandwich that resembles a quesadilla triangle or a hot pocket πŸ™‚

And this sandwich maker, guys I’m telling you, you have to get! It makes the sandwich so hot and melty on the inside with this crunchy shell on the outside! So good, you’ll never, ever go back to the microwave ones.

Your welcome. Have a great day everyone, stay healthy and happy!!

xoxo

Oreo Protein Pancakes

Who’s ready for the best pancakes ever?! They’re in the top ten in my personal opinion. Now, you can make adjustments…because maybe you want yours fluffier…not as thick…whatever. But this is my personal Oreo Protein Pancake recipe, and I know there are a million that are similar. I whipped this together myself, so if it sounds familiar, that’s because usually all pancakes have the same base of ingredients πŸ˜‰

Ingredients

Since I use cacao, I only put 1/2 tsp. in mine…it turned out perfectly for me. In all of my protein pancakes, I always use whole wheat flour.

Ingredients 2

We believe in 1% milk at our house! Skim…I do on rare occasions. I don’t really need to use skim ever. Vanilla Greek yogurt is about my favorite thing in the whole world so you will see that in my recipes a lot! And I recommend purchasing Whey Protein Isolate ONLY. Why Isolate is healthier for you than if you just get Whey Protein Concentrate. Check the ingredients and get the isolate. Mine above is Soy Protein which only contains isolate πŸ™‚ I love it! I always get vanilla and add in cacao if I want it!

Oreo Protein Pancakes

  • 3/4-1 scoop vanilla whey protein isolate
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. cacao
  • 4 tbsp. milk (water as needed)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. sugar (more or less depending on your preferences)
  • optional tablespoon of Greek yogurt for in pancake batter (Greek yogurt in pancakes makes them doughier, so this depends on preferences)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla Greek yogurt for filling

And that’s really all you need! Crazy right?! Combine all your dry ingredients: protein, baking soda, cacao, flour, sugar. Mix and combine well. Then add in your yogurt if you want it as well as milk. Water is dependent on how thick or thin you want your pancakes!

Lightly spray your pan, turn on stove to medium-high, and make your pancakes. When they’re done, put one on the plate, plop 2 tablespoons or more of Greek yogurt (which is so good for you, so go crazy if you want) and then plop the other pancake on top, creating a healthy pancake Oreo πŸ™‚ My batter makes two as shown in picture below. Super healthy, crazy good, and amazing post-workout meal!

Oreo Protein Pancakes

Have a great Hump Day everyone!!

xoxo