Tag Archives: diet

Health Warrior Chia Bars

“Disclaimer: I received both the Health Warrior Chia Bars and Marathon Training Coloring Book to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!”

One of the fun perks of being a BibRave Pro is getting to review all kinds of fun products, including nutritional stuff.

Have you ever heard of the Health Warrior Chia Bars?  I hadn’t.  Okay, let me be the first to say I am not a huge “protein bar” fan.  They do absolutely nothing for me.  If I need to snack, I’d rather snack on a piece of chicken or a hard-boiled egg.  But these are Chia bars, my friends… not weighed-down lump-in-your-stomach protein bars.  Besides, I’ve grown fond of adding Chia to some of my various foods… so I was super excited to try these.

We’ve all heard that Chia is one of those super foods we should all add to our diet.  Why?  Because a 1-ounce serving of Chia seeds contains:

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
  • They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

Now then… Health Warrior Chia Bars contain:

  • Calories:  110
  • Sugar:  4 g
  • Fiber:  4 g
  • Omega-3:  1100 mg
  • Protein:  3 g
  • They are also gluten-free and 100% vegan.

If you have followed my blog in the past, you know I suffer with hypoglycemia and occasional GI issues when I run.  Finding the proper fuel is essential.  And I just may have finally found it. #truth

I have tried these both pre-run and pre-gym.  I have not had one single issue.  They’re not heavy; they have staying power, meaning my sugar doesn’t drop and they hold me over for at least a couple of hours; and quite simply, they taste really good.  I’m pleased.  And when it comes to fueling, I am not easy to please… or should I say my stomach isn’t.

I then had my busy coworkers try them.  Depending on how many animals we have admitted at any given time, sometimes all they get is 5 minutes for a snack and these bars really help with hunger and energy in a time crunch.

The bars also come with a fun Marathon Training coloring book, which is actually quite hilarious when you read through it.  Every runner will be able to relate to the entertaining captions.  (“H is for Hitting the wall.  Walls are bad.  Walls feel big.  Walls can become walks.”)  And really… we’re all adults here… who doesn’t like to color these days!  While AJ did his homework at night, I sat next to him and colored away. #qualitytime

Anyhoo… if you’re interested in trying these yummy bars, click here.  If you’re interested in getting one of the coloring books with some bars, follow this link. A full box of 15 is $15.99, or you can try a sample box for $4.99.

Please do remember that everything stated above is based on my own opinion and the links are not affiliates.  If you’d like to research the bars further or read other opinions, you can check out some reviews from my fellow BRPs:  Brenda, Matt, Amy, Jessica, Janelle, Lindsey, and Emily.

Either way, I give the chia bars an A+.

 

Throwback Thursday – My First Half Marathon

I had run a 10K back in 10/2013, and it was then I decided I would start training for a half marathon.  I was aiming for the Lake Sammamish Half for March, but after a little discussion with The Motivator, we decided my first half should be Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle, 6/21/2014.

A month before RNR Seattle, we ran RNR Portland, with me running the 10K and James the half.  I remember during that race watching all the people make the turnoff to continue on with the half and thinking, “Oh how the hell am I going to pull this off in Seattle.  I’m already knackered.  I can’t imagine running another 6 miles.”

Pre-Seattle race, I remember being a basket case.  The nerves were out of this world.  And the RNR events are huge, so the amount of people that were there freaked me out as well.  But everyone else looked so calm.  Thankfully James stayed with me for as long as he could so I wouldn’t bail (lol, kidding).

It probably took me about 5 miles in before I relaxed.

The course was gorgeous (and super hilly), and I felt privileged to be able to run in areas I wouldn’t normally get to see.  Back then I didn’t carry my phone with me, just my iPod for music.  So, no pictures.  I made a mental note to carry a camera with me on the next race.  This was before blogging, so that didn’t happen.  There are a lot of races I missed out on taking pictures, and I’ve seen some amazing sights.  It’s also one of the reasons why I’m running the 50 states… for the sights.  Everyone else chases PRs… I’m there for aesthetics, lol.

And I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment I had when I finally crossed the finish line.  There is nothing that compares to it.  It’s why I’m addicted to racing… and, oh yeah, the bling.

I have since run 10 more half marathons and am now training for my first full.  I can imagine the above feelings are going to be escalated out of the stratosphere.

  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Busy Much?

The last couple of weeks have been an absolute blur and I think my brain is fried.  It’s only been 3 weeks since I ran my last race, 2 weeks since my mother-in-law Janet went back to the UK, 1 week since AJ began summer break, and yet all events seem like forever ago.  In that time, I’ve had a huge fundraiser gala to contend with, a hubby with a hurt back (who is thankfully on the mend… see here), and I’m trying really hard to wrap my head around marathon training 6 days a week.  This will now be my life for the next 4 months… work and training.  I’ve come to the conclusion that something has to give, so I won’t be doing the cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc., anymore.  Besides, I’d much rather keep in touch with my blogging friends than do all that other mindless nonsense… and now that James is healing, he can clean and do laundry and…  lol, sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up…

Fundraiser Gala:  One week after Janet left, the rescue and rehab center where I work held a huge fundraiser gala with dinner, entertainment, and a silent auction.  The director and I were working like mad the week before to get everything together for the event, and now I’m still quite busy tracking donors and silent auction winners and all the stuff that follows an event such as this.  No matter… we had a great time, and I’m happy to say it was a great success.

This was actually supposed to be an adults-only evening, but I was able to sneak AJ in to watch the raptor presentation.  He hung out in our room afterwards for the rest of the night.

All the tables were decorated with cute little stuffed animals that anyone could adopt (raccoons, opossums, coyotes, owls, eagles, squirrels, etc.).  They even came with their own adoption certificates.  Below are the two we adopted.  All of them were dressed up with little tulle “bow ties” for their gala evening.

Below is a video that was made in 2015.  Back then, we needed help with refurbishing the hospital area.  We were able to raise all the funds for that; however we are now in need of new eagle flights.  While the video that was shown last Saturday night is not available publicly yet, I thought you might enjoy seeing where I spend a lot of my days.  When the other video becomes available, I’ll show that one to you as well, then you can see the difference in the hospital… a little inside look of a rescue center, so to speak.  (By the way… the raccoons at the beginning really are just hanging upside down.  They were babies when they came to us and learned how to climb the chain links… all were happily released back into the wild).

Training:  Yeah, I’ve been doing that too.  I’ve had to start getting up before the sun to avoid the heat and mugginess of the season, but we all do what we gotta do.  I’m just thankful I don’t have mom duties first thing anymore (you know… making lunches, giving rides, and the biggie of waking up a child).  I won’t go much into detail about the runs right now (only because this post is getting too long), but I am hitting them as scheduled… not so much on the cross training yet… but the runs are extremely important. You can’t fake your way through a marathon if you want to beat the sweeper, haha.

Up next:  Queen with Adam Lambert!  This Saturday!  I cannot wait!

Have a great week, my friends!

Day 30… Hallelujah!

Today marked the last day of me being on The Whole 30 (you can read about the beginning here).  I started the program so I could detox my body from all the sweets, cakes and chips I had been eating, and I started it with enough time to complete it before my next half-marathon, which just happens to be this Sunday.  I wanted to see if detoxing could possibly help with my running.

The program was a total success.  I stayed true blue the entire 30 days, but I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy.

I had to dig deep to fight the overwhelming cravings in the first week.

By the third week, I had lost interest in cooking and food and all the planning required.  But I persevered.

By the fourth week, I was starting to look forward to all the food that was about to open up to me again.

However, by day 28, when I would think about eating bread or dairy or even sweets, I felt no desire to add these things back into my diet.  The thought of eating a donut or a piece of cake made my tummy hurt.

On day 30, I had the best peach ever for dessert which signaled my eating shut-off valve.  I have won my battle.

So let me break down some of the good for you:

  • No more cravings.  I only “want” something nowadays; however, with a small amount of willpower, I can say no.  I don’t have to have it.
  • No tummy issues.  No heartburn, no stomachaches, no nausea, nothing.
  • Increased energy.
  • I never feel bloated.
  • I don’t have to measure my food, nor do I have to count calories.  I eat as much as I want and whatever my body requires, sometimes an entire cookie sheet of roast veggies.  Even if I reach the level of “full,” I never feel “stuffed,” as if I ate too much.
  • I can eat fruit again without any GI issues!

I mentioned before that I would share a couple of numbers.  The third week of the diet, I went to my doctor and had some labs drawn.

  • While I was in the normal range to begin with, I still managed to take another 5 points off my total cholesterol.  All other values are also within normal.
  • My glucose remains in the normal range (a biggie for me because of the hypoglycemia).
  • And the final important number that you might be wondering about… yes, I lost weight…14.6 pounds to be exact, which is 6.6 kg, or just over 1 stone.

Me with a baby squirrel. They eat all the time too, 😀

I’m ready to stop obsessing about food now.  Moving forward, I’ll follow the program to the letter every other month and I’ll relax a bit in between, although I’ll still follow the principles (at the very least up until my marathon).  At the suggestion of a fellow blogger, Chocolate Runs Judy, I’ll give my next Whole 30 update in 6 months.  Will I stick to it?  Will I lose more weight? Will I finish my very first 26 point 2?  Does The Whole 30 have staying power?  Stay tuned…

In the meantime…

It’s a new dawn; it’s a new day; it’s a new life for me… and I’m feeling good…

Food Boredom

Salmon, veggies, and a nectarine for dessert. All of 400 calories, filling, and loaded with nothing but goodness.

Day 26 of The Whole 30.  The book said this would happen.  You feel kind of blah with not a lot of interest in food… and with me, I’m really fed up with cooking as I’m not one of those happy chefs.  The book goes so far as to say that you may lose your appetite, which basically I have. I have no taste for anything.  Oh, I eat plenty as I have to keep my energy up, but I’m not all that excited about it.  Guess I’ve discovered what it means to eat to live as opposed to live to eat.  It gets terribly boring… but onward I go.  Four more days.

Janet playing around on her visit last year. She wears a hat well.

My mother-in-law from the UK has hopped the pond for her yearly visit.  We went to lunch at The Macaroni Grill this past Saturday (day 25 of my diet).  It was the first time I had eaten out since starting this program.  I ordered a Chicken Caesar salad, minus the cheese, minus the croutons, and minus the dressing, with a couple of slices of lemon that I could squeeze over the top (so basically it was romaine lettuce and chicken, flavored with lemon).  Gotta get creative, people.   Boring, yes, but I ate out and remained true to my diet.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca as seen from Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles. I took this picture after one helluva hike.

One week from now is the North Olympic Discovery Marathon and Half.  All of us will be heading off to the lovely town of Port Angeles to give this sweet little race a go (two of us will be racing, two of us will not, 😀 ).  Even though Thursday marks the end of The Whole 30 for me, I have no choice but to continue the program until after the race so I don’t sabotage all the good I’ve done. Although, I do have to say, my pre-race breakfast will consist of the same thing I usually eat pre-race which is a package of Belvita biscuits.  We’ll see how that goes.

Thursday night I will post the stats for my diet, plus the pros and cons from the last 30 days. You might be amazed by a couple of the numbers.

Meep, my card-playing buddy. Just because.

Until then, have a Happy Memorial Day and a great week!

Grumpy Sunday Runday

The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky, and I wasn’t in the mood to go for my long run on Sunday.  I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, so that could be the number one reason right there. My alarm went off at 6, but apparently on its first snooze, I turned the alarm completely off.  No worries.  Meep managed to howl and scream and annoy the hell out of me until I woke up.  He knows.  He’s a good cat.

Regardless, I still didn’t get out early enough.  It was already hot.  And heat makes me cranky.  I don’t know how the weather can change from 45 deg F to 80 in a matter of 24 hours.

And OMG, all the people on the trail.  And bikes.  And dogs.  And pollen.  And bugs.  Following are a few of my grumpy observations on the first part of my run:

  • Two big dogs walking with their owners without a leash.  Just so happens a bike rice was passing through… one wrong move from these leashless dogs and they would’ve been flattened out like yesterday’s newspaper at the bottom of a birdcage.
  • A toddler running back and forth across the trail.  Again… people… bike race… flattened toddler. Did the millions of fast bikes passing you not give you a freaking clue?
  • To the cyclist who passed me thisclose with zero room to spare… Dude.  I don’t need to feel the wind from your draft.  If I trip over my feet and stumble while you’re passing too close, you’re going down, as is the rest of your entourage.  I bike this trail, so I know there’s plenty of room to share, especially when I’m already running in the grass.  A$$hole.

Then at mile two I had a special escort.  A white butterfly.  This lovely little butterfly flitted along with me for at least 1/2-mile.  My spirits started to lift a bit.  Once that happened, the butterfly flew directly in front of me, then disappeared, never to be seen again.  It was the only butterfly I saw on the trail all day.

And then I looked up.  There were the eagles… Papa on his tree watching over things, Mama in the nest taking care of Junior.  My heart was full and my angst gone.

However, an hour later on turn-around, I started to get cranky again.  I was running into the sun.  And I was hot.  And proof-positive that I sweat lavender as the bees started to become interested in me.  WTH.

Total sun trap.

I eventually made it home in one piece without any incidents, even without seeing any incidents, thankfully and surprisingly.  James was kind enough to make me some eggs with zoodles, and after a shower, I went back to bed.  The best cure for a bad mood.  It was definitely not the greatest runday 2 weeks before my next half-marathon, but it is what it is.

As well, I have just finished day 19 of The Whole 30.  My appetite has decreased, although on Saturday, I got a big case of the munchies.  I snacked on olives, dates and a baked potato.  I think I had an orange in there too.  This was about 4 p.m., and it actually ended up being my dinner as I wasn’t hungry afterwards.  11 more days.  Awesome.  And in case you’re wondering… yes, I do feel lighter on my feet during my runs.

Lastly, for those of you who have never heard communication between eagles before, I managed to get one of our resident bald eagles to open up to me, who then got the other to start talking.  I usually sing to her, but no way was I putting that on camera.  You’re welcome.

Have a great week!

Motivational Music Monday… and stuff

May is a busy month in this house.  This past week we’ve celebrated a birthday and Mother’s Day (and we still have an anniversary coming up).  We also did a happy dance when the child returned home from Hawaii.  AJ is the one buried in the sand (his father did his laundry, 😀 ).

The day before AJ came home was James’s birthday.  I bought him… (notice I said him, not us)… I bought him a nice dinner and dessert on his birthday, and when AJ got home, we celebrated properly.

It’s Sunday night, so I’m on day 12 of The Whole 30.  All of my cravings stopped on day 6.  I wasn’t even tempted with cake or naughtiness even with all the celebrations going on.  I will admit, as I hate cooking, I’m a bit tired of spending time in the kitchen, but again, it’s all in the planning.  I made enough food on Thursday and Friday to last me the weekend, and the boys were on their own.  Mostly.  I’ll always share my veggies and chili.  (#spottedtheGroot)

I also did my long run today.  It went well.  I felt strong and full of energy.  At mile 4, I ate a few too many raisins (portion control matters) and my stomach cramped up; however, as I was doing an out-and-back, I had no choice but to power through.  Sometimes not having a choice is a good thing.  I also had the trail mostly to myself.  Nice.

Although… sometimes being on the trail alone can wreak havoc with the imagination.  I wore my hydration pack, kept hearing the sloshing of water, and thought someone or someTHING was stalking me as it sounded like the bushes rustling.  I don’t have a clue what bedded down in this huge patch of grass the previous night, but I’m glad it was gone (the grass is actually as high as my hips).  The blades were clearly flattened right smack in the middle:

A successful week in eating and a successful week in running (with even some cycling thrown in for good measure), so now on to Motivational Music Monday by 50 in 50 Marathon Quest.

Tonight (Mother’s Day), U2 are here in concert, so James opted to pay tribute to them.  I’m not a big U2 fan, so I’ll pass on playing a U2 song.  I will, however, follow suit with the title. “It’s A Beautiful Day” has helped me pick up my step during many a long run… and it’s Michael Bublé. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Hoping all y’all have a happy week!!