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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Strawberry Banana 2

Strawberry Banana 3

Runner Girl’s Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup whole frozen strawberries
  • 1/2ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 cupย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 amย 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 aย light to moderateย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

I wish you the best of luck in your nutrition and training ๐Ÿ™‚ 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?”ย Healthy Eating.ย 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.ย 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 ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ And there’s me too, who will hopefully have a book and be a coach someday ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading, have a wonderful Saturday! 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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

#15in2015- My Comeback from a Stress Fracture

So I never knew this was a thing….shows how involved I am in the world of creating hashtags and events termed by hashtags. Regardless, yeah I’ll do it! I just race; I find them as they come, but I can accept a specified challenge. I know I didn’t run 14 races last year (due to being sidelined by my first stress fracture), so I would love to make 2015 my year of races ๐Ÿ™‚

So how many of you have actually had a stress fracture? Horrible isn’t it? I can’t even begin to tell you how angry and frustrated I felt from the beginning of September through mid-November. I made it worse all on my own, which I am notorious for doing by the way! Being an athlete and cross country runner, we want to ignore the injury, pretend we don’t actually have it. So what do we do about it? Run through it! Haven’t we all heard that? Just run through it; it’ll make you feel better.

But it didn’t.

Yeah, Coach, not this time. He claimed my shin was just inflamed. So, naturally, I did not stop running on my stress fracture since I thought it was only inflammation. Thus, I prolonged my own injury, running on it until it became excruciatingly unbearable. Running on it until I wanted to cry and at the same time, chop off my own shin. When I get mad at my legs for not working properly…I tend to want to chop them off. I feel as though that’s the best solution, like another shin, or hamstring will grow in its place. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Regardless, we discovered that, oh gee, this isn’t just inflammation at all. I described how it was hurting and where, and Coach realized it was more serious. The pain really felt like it was inside my bone, like I had broken something within it and the two parts were rubbing against each other with each step. Walking became painful. Going down stairs is the worst with a fracture!

So I began cross training…A LOT. Swim, swim, swim. That’s all I can say. Bike, bike, bike. I guess I can say that too. Elliptical made itself available within a few weeks, but we wanted to keep as much pressure off my shin as possible for the bone to heal. This was like my IT band syndrome all over again (which that story is another post, another time). I had to cross train around twice a day, but what was even all the more frustrating was knowing that my fitness would slip. This ate me up entirely; I knew this would backtrack me so much, the thoughts were unbearable. I had just had an incredible summer of races (see my galleryย of picsย on my sidebar menu) and now I was going to have to rebuild?! Build my base back up?! Come on!! I felt like I was just getting into the swing of things then

BAM! Sidelined again.

But like previous injuries, this one is no different. I learned a lot from it.

  1. I learned that I need to stay and keep with my freakin strength routines. (runners hate doing strength, we just want to run. Can I get an Amen?) Consistently having and executing a solid strength routine is CRUCIAL. I can’t stress this enough, especially if you’re a skinny, tiny distance runner like me. I have horrible hips. They constantly need strengthening and attention. When I neglect strengthening my key joints, problems happen. Like stress fractures and IT band syndrome. (well that’s overtraining too)
  2. I learned that I can still be happy for others and their running. Some of my friends were training for their first half, and I’m over here like, gee, isn’t that fantastic. You probably won’t ever have to experience what I have. But I learned to push such very negative thoughts out of my head and focus on being happy for my friends and their new accomplishments. We all have our rain, but we don’t need to rain on those who currently have the sun. Let them have their time to shine.
  3. Above all, I was humbled again and learned to appreciate every single run.ย Being injured is one of the most humbling experiences there is. You can’t go and go and go without experiencing road bumps. And because I am a follower of God, I also see injuries as a time when He’s wanting to scream something at me that he’s been trying to say for a while. Running is a gift; it is a tremendous gift. Be grateful for your legs, that they even work properly and you are able to do this. Be grateful for the miles and miles you can go, because there are thousands who are physically unable to go one. I learned to also be grateful for EVERY run, EVEN the slow ones. Again, every run is a gift. Do not take any one of them for granted, even when coming back from an injury.
Isn’t it incredible?

You and I are allowed to come out of an injury and setbacks without detrimental and permanent repercussions (unless you had your leg amputated or something). But the point of the matter is, even when we do have the rain, weย still have the sun. Because we can shine again. Because our clouds shift eventually. Because the sun has always been inside of us, waiting for its chance to break through.

First Blog Post and First Blog?!

January 1st, 2015. A lot of firsts for me today! I am officially publishing my first post, and I cannot begin to tell you all how excited I am to join the blogging family ๐Ÿ™‚

But it looks hard, gosh does it look hard. How on earth will people find me under the thousands and thousands of other cool blogs? And I don’t have the money to just spend aimlessly to make my blog high-tech and super sophisticated.

However, with my fears aside, I know that I have a lot to share with you guys! I know that I can’t wait to share my workouts, motivation, recipes, and daily posts with you! I would love to be a trainer, so I hope to kind of live that through this if you all will let me ๐Ÿ™‚

At the same time, not everything on my blog will be all fitness/nutrition either. Which is the point of my blog. I want to write about life and running. I might vent about being a junior in college and how poor I am; I might share really thought-provoking posts. I might share ideas that just popped in my head, and I wanted to get them on here. The point is, I have so much to say, and I can’t wait to begin!

Let the New Year ring; I am ready for 2015.

Some things you should know about me besides running:

I love dogs, well my whole family loves dogs.

This is Meeko! He's only 2 and follows me around constantly :) The puppies need sweaters because Illinois is a frozen tundra, and they are little dogs...we can't have them freezing!
This is Meeko! He’s only 2 and follows me around constantly ๐Ÿ™‚ The puppies need sweaters because Illinois is a frozen tundra, and they are little dogs…we can’t have them freezing!
This is Scout, the older of my two Yorkies. He is almost 4 years old and is rocking a cheetah sweater on the right.
This is Scout, the older of my two Yorkies. He is almost 4 years old and is rocking a cheetah sweater on the right.

ย I love smoothies….a lot.

Pure fruit smoothies. Mango, strawberry, berry, banana, orange, anything!!! I have also been seriously asked if I am a fruititarian or not...
Pure fruit smoothies. Mango, strawberry, berry, banana, orange, anything!!! I have also been seriously asked if I am a fruititarian or not…

ย I am kind of a transcendentalist.

Well, not necessarily. Because I am also too extroverted to be a true one. But I do love nature. You all will see this soon, but sometimes certain changes of the season or a pretty flower can make my whole day. Or beautiful sunrises like this on my run :)
Well, not necessarily. Because I am also too extroverted to be a true one. But I do love nature. You all will see this soon, but sometimes certain changes of the season or a pretty flower can make my whole day. Or beautiful sunrises like this one on my run ๐Ÿ™‚

I am a coffee lover through and through.

I'm a coffee lover!!! No I don't really drink it black....I just like this shot. I drink coffee typically at one point in my day every day, but during the semester, I easily drink coffee twice a day to keep me sane and focused :)
No I don’t really drink it black….I just like this shot. I drink coffee typically at one point in my day every day, but during the semester, I easily drink coffee twice a day to keep me sane and focused ๐Ÿ™‚ What are your favorite flavors/drinks? My fave is a grande (medium) Americano with 3 pumps of white mocha. It’s one pump less than the usual, and this drink keeps the bold flavor while still being sweet and savory!