Friday, December 18, 2009

Work out Tunes


Everyone needs a little boost when they work out, right? I find that music is my boost. I like fast paced tunes. Here is one of my favorite cardio playlists:

Artist-------------Song

The Kills.........Sour Cherry
Yeah Yeah Yeahs...Heads Will Roll
Lykke Li..........I'm Good, I'm Gone
Anya Marina.......Whatever You Like (this is a good starter song)
Ke$ha.............Tik Tok (this song is a great pace keeper, the beat helps me maintain the same speed when I run, haha weird?)
Paramore..........Looking Up
Uprising..........Muse
Katy Perry........Hot N Cold (also a great pace keeper)
Jay Sean..........Down (feat. Lil Wayne)
Lady Gaga.........I Like It Rough (lamest lyrics ever, but great beat)
Sounds............Painted By Numbers


stay healthy.
xoxo
Mari

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Long time, no post


So, I feel it is time I renew my commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Lately I have been having a hard time feeling motivated to cook and work out. I love doing both of these things, and I feel better when I do them. I don't understand why I go through phases where it is so hard to get myself motivated enough to actually prepare a real meal and get to the gym. I think it must be hormones...
Anyway, I am back in business and it all started last night. I decided it was time, after an almost 3 week break to get back in gear and I didn't want to wait a minute longer. I decided to make a healthy and tasty dinner for my hard working husband and myself. Of course since I LOVE fall veggies I had to use some of my favorites in this dish. Here is what I came up with:

Sweet Cream Chicken and Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetable Ingredients:

  • 2 handfuls French green beans
  • 1.5 lbs fingerling potatoes, chopped thinly (about .25 inches thick)
  • 3 C butternut squash, cubed
  • any other vegetable that you love, peppers and corn would work well
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Make:

Pre-heat oven to 350. Rinse and prepare vegetables, assort on baking sheet or dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with garlic, salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Sweet Cream Mustard Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 T butter
  • 12 sage leaves, chopped
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ C honey Dijon mustard
  • ¾ C half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 dashes cayenne pepper

To Make:

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Add garlic and sage. Sauté for about two minutes. Add lemon juice, mustard and half and half. Season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Let simmer and infuse for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Chicken Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 C half and half
  • 2 C bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper

To Make:

Pound each breast until approximately 1-1.5 inches thick. Dip in half and half, sprinkle with salt and pepper and coat well with bread crumbs. Let sit for 30 minutes so the crumbs can really take hold to the chicken. On the stove top, on medium to medium high heat sear chicken for about 3 minutes per side. Remove once just cooked through.

Serve chicken and vegetables with mustard sauce atop and sprinkle with roasted pine nuts. Enjoy!


Here's to my renewed commitment to a healthy lifestyle and regular posts on this beloved blog.

Wanting to be happier and healthier,
Courtney

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hop, Skip, & Jump


It's been too long since I've posted a good workout. The summer heat makes working out hard for me, I get too hot. I am no treadmill runner, I do it when I have to but I prefer running outdoors. As a result of this, I hardly ever run in the summer months. I am sure this will change once I move to Orange County & out of this oven :)

To mix up my cardio, I have decided to start jumping rope! Often overlooked, jumping rope is a low impact (not so hard on the knees as say...running) but extremely effective form of cardio. Not to mention it's fabulously affordable & easy to transport (summer vacations etc.). How many calories does it burn? I found that (for example) if you weigh 110lbs you burn 130calories for every 15min you jump rope. [If you weigh more than 110 you are burning more, and if you weigh less you are burning less.] In Runners World, I read that a woman burns about 91 calories when she runs 1mile at 9:30pace. As you can see it's still effective but a great way to mix it up!



Some Benefits of Jumping Rope

-It does wonders for your agility, posture, balance, reflexes and coordination.
-Helps tone your calves, delts and arms, and (like all cardio) helps burn stomach fat


Now you can, of course, just jump at a consistent pace for your desired workout. (15-30min..whatever)...or you can really get your heart rate up by doing interval sets.
Example: 20 seconds as hard as you can...40 second break.. do that 10 times.
Choose your own work out & mix it up to continually challenge your body & mind.
happy & healthy
Mari





Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ode to Lulu

Dear Lululemon,

I want to thank you ever so much for providing me with as much comfort, confidence, and drive as you have.

I love everything about you. I adore the way that your pants hug my bum, and make it look higher and tighter than it is. I love that your Groove pant can be worn inside out for versatility. I love that all your bottoms have extra crotchal cut out fabric so they don't go creeping in the most private of places. I love that when I wear your speed short for a race I never have to pick a wedgie. I am so grateful for your flat seams, because of them I never have chaffing issues. I love that you have a place built in to all of your clothes for my ipod, key, and chap stick. I love how sexy my husband looks when he wear you to bed or while doing house chores. His pants hug his bum, and his shirt his biceps just right. I don't know what I would do with out you. I love that your jackets keep me warm and cozy during the winter months, and yet they are light enough to wear on my spring runs. I am thrilled that you give me enough support up top that I don't have to wear a sports bra when I have you on. You also hide RT which is really nice. It's pretty cool that I still feel semi-cute when I have you on and am sweaty and gross at the gym. I also think it's fantastic that you don't shrink, bleed in the wash, or stretch out. You are pretty much perfect.

Thank you for making me want to push harder, run faster, and breathe deeper. When I want to reward myself you are the first thing I think of. I am truly addicted and can no longer wear anything other than you. I look forward to this love affair continuing throughout my life. When I wear you, I am making myself healthier and happier.

I love you,
Courtney

To fall in love too visit Lululemon to find a store near you or to shop online. I promise, you won't regret it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trying new things


Lemon Talapia served over Tomato Leek Quinoa photo via iPhone :)

Last night I took a small adventure. With Ella serenading me & apron on, I braved the waters of "let's see if Chris will like this" & began cooking a most fabulous dish. When cooking fish or chicken, my usual sides consist of rice & vegetables....Very normal, safe choices. Right? Right. Well for those of you who are like me, who like to mix it up but struggle with the energy to do so, this recipe will be great for just that. Do you like rice but want to make something else, something healthier & don't know what? Do you need a dish that is quick, easy, & healthy? [don't we all?] There are many other options as far as grains go, such as CousCous etc. My healthy gem? QUINOA. Quinoa, once called the "gold of the incas" is a south american miracle. Many confuse it for a grain, but this seed is actually more closely related to ...spinach! Although not a common item in most kitchens today, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. In other words: you can eat this all by itself, no meat or fish & have all the protein you need (vegetarian & vegan friendly). A $5meal my friends!

Facts:

Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. It is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Now that you've read all that, you are probably thinking there's a catch right? There is a reason I haven't seen this on every menu etc. If it's that healthy for you, why aren't more people eating it? No catch. It's quick & easy to make, affordable, & yummy. If you already make it, here's a fabulous recipe packed with vegetables for you to add to your collection. If you don't, I highly recommend you give it a shot. I mean, look how good for you it is! We only have one body, let's take care of it & feed it nourishing, healthy foods.

*note: this was my very first experience with Leeks & I was very hesitant, but for the sake of the adventure I did it & loved them!

Tomato Leek Quinoa

adapted from Bon Appétit

Serves 4

1 1/2 cups quinoa

2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter
2 cups finely chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only), about 3 medium-sized leeks
1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-size tomatoes, seeded, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped scallions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mix quinoa, 2 cups water, and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is just tender and water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. [or see package directions if provided] Set aside.

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add broth and cover. Simmer until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes. Add quinoa and oil, stirring until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, onions, basil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Healthy food makes me Happy

Mari

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wasatch Back

As you know, this past weekend I spent my time running the Ragnar Relay: The Wasatch Back!

Ragnar is a company that hosts relay races around the country that are usually around 180 miles long. Hundreds of teams sign up for each race, and each team consists of either 6 people (each runner running between 26 and 40 miles), or 12 people (each runner running between 13 and 20 miles). Each runner runs 3 legs of the race. The teams are separated into 2 cars, one car has runners running while the other car is driving to the next exchange and trying to catch a few minutes of zzz's at the same time. Every single mile of the race is done by foot until it is completed. It usually takes between 24 and 30 hours to finish. Every team names themselves and decorates their cars all crazy. People are extremely creative and it's so fun to see what people come up with. This relay series is amazing. They are super fun but at the same time challenge you in every way possible.

This was the second year I participate in this race. It was challenging in different ways than last year and by the end I was mentally, physically and emotionally drained. When I crossed the finish line I told Josh that I never wanted to do that again and by the time we got to the car I was already organizing a team for next year. It's one of those things that becomes addicting and is more fun once it's over. I tried to enjoy it as much as possible since it may be a while before I do another one.

My first leg was my best leg. I was well rested and fed. I had the energy to do what I needed to do, which disappears in the wee hours of the morning. I climbed over 3000 feet in my first 3 miles. I felt strong and was making good time. My second leg was my most challenging. It was at 5 am, which is a great time to run...that is if you have had good food and sleep. I didn't have either of those things and I felt like I was crawling the whole way, even though I ran the whole thing. My third leg was the one I was most worried about. Last year on my last leg I got lost. I added 2 miles to my already 5.some odd mile leg. It was extremely hot, I had no access to water and I was miserable. I decided that even if this was going to to be as hard as the previous year, I was going to push through it and be happy to be there. The power of positive thinking is remarkable. I was able to push through the discomfort and exhaustion and achieve my goal. This year I knew my way and was sure not to get lost. Luckily for me, it was cloudy and even rained part of the time. I couldn't have been happier since it is on an open trail and I had no team support to get me through it if needed. I was the last runner on my team so I brought my team across the finish line which was a great feeling.

It's truly incredible what we can overcome when we don't allow negative thoughts enter our minds. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to think. I challenge everyone set a goal, a hard one for you, and to push through the discomfort that comes along with achieving that goal. Whether it is drinking 64 oz. of water a day, running half a mile, or working toward being able to hold your most challenging yoga position for 20 breaths. DO something you think you can't do. I guarantee you can do it if you only allow positive thoughts into your mind, and that you will feel so much happier in your heart because of it. You can do it!

If you are ever able to do a Ragnar Relay, please do. You will never experience anything else like it in your life. It is amazing!

Here my team mate Shelly is handing off our wristband to me and I am beginning my climb.

This is what it looks like the whole 180 miles. It is absolutely gorgeous. I'm there in the middle.

I will miss you dearly beloved Wasatch Back.

Until next time, now feeling HAPPIER and HEALTHIER,
Courtney

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fit to be Fabulous

Dear Retro Swimsuits,

I have had this little curiosity about you for some time. Do I like that you are returning to fashion? What will you fit like? Will I like you on me? Well, this little curiosity soon became a small obsession. I think you are beautiful & funky & fresh. Swimwear has become sort of a bore for me & you have caught my eye. Now here's the deal. This obsession of mine is now a FEAR. You will show every little flaw I have won't you? I have to be tone & in the best shape ever to be able to pull you off won't I? I am afraid.

sincerely,
need to get in shape to wear you
mari

I know its middle of Summer & this is a late-late start for this. I haven't even tried one on because I don't want to not like them! [i know, im a nerd] But I think they are so fun!

So, I have decided I will try one on in 4 weeks. That means I am giving myself one month to tone up & get in shape. 4 weeks isn't much time. What are the best tips you have? I am in need of any & all advice, so I hope you can help!! I will post each week about what I am doing & possibly the suit I am considering purchasing at the end of this.


I am such a girl, it's embarassing. But Hey, I at least admit it! Also, anyone who knows where to find these babies let me know (i have a growing list!).


xoxo
Trying to live Healthy so I can be Happy in my Retro
Mari


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

GRILLED ORANGE SALMON

GRILLED ORANGE-BOURBON SALMON
Serves 4
Ingredients
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)

Preparation
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag, and add salmon to bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 1/2 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Prepare grill or broiler.
Remove salmon from bag, reserving marinade. Place salmon on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Cook 6 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting frequently with reserved marinade.

I realize that the recipe calls for alcohol, which does burn off when you cook it.
However, here is a great website for alcohol substitues that you can use instead if you'd prefer: substitues
Here are some of the health benefits of Salmon!!
Salmon is low in calories and saturated fat, yet high in protein, and a unique type of health-promoting fat, the omega-3 essential fatty acids. As their name implies, essential fatty acids are essential for human health but because they cannot be made by the body, they must be obtained from foods. Fish contain a type of essential fatty acid called the omega-3 fatty acids. Wild-caught cold water fish, like salmon, are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than warm water fish. In fact, the fat composition of salmon has recently been evaluated as superior not only because of its rich omega-3 content, but also because of its great ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s and its health-supportive balance of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. Each of these features in the fat composition of salmon helps reduce risk of unwanted inflammation and help maintain the integrity of our immune and circulatory systems. In addition to being an excellent source of omega-3s, salmon are an excellent source of selenium, a very good source of protein, niacin and vitamin B12, and a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin B6.
Be Healthy & Happy!
xoxo
Mari

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chattarunga

I cannot believe that it's June! Time is flying by. May was eventful & distracting for me. I "worked out" less--and did Yoga more. Although I consider Yoga a workout, some do not (ahem, Chris). I made my MAY goal! I went to Yoga at least 3days a week for the entire month. I loved it! It took me about 2 weeks to even get back into the groove that I'd lost. The days following each practice were a little painful! I was so sore. I am a pansy, I have absolutely no upper body strength. Normally neglected-my back, arms, abs, and chest really benefit from Yoga. I have definitely began to see a difference, but know that I have much more to work on. Which brings me to this: The Chattarunga. This is a move in Yoga that requires all upper body strength-and I cannot do it. It drives me crazy!! I know its just a small thing, but I really want to do it.

This isn't the entire thing, but the beginning. The lowering is the part that kills me! It's so slow & with the arms tight to your sides it's so hard for me! I know, pathetic.

So back to May being eventful & distracting [see how distracted I just got?]. My good habits have suffered mucho since the completion of my half marathon. Good Habits? I know, I was no all-star, but I am talking about: Eating Vegetables, Drinking plenty of H2O, sleeping better, eating enough calcium rich foods, and fewer sweets. Now it's looking like: 1-2 bottles a day of water- 3 if I worked out that day, no vegetables, no salads, and going to bed way too late. & also eating sweets almost daily! Ack! I am not burning the same amount of calories now as I was during training & am eating as much, if not MORE than I did when I was. The purpose for this isn't weight gain or loss for me, but simply to stay healthy & form good habits that will help me throughout life. I think I wanted a break so bad from training that I automatically stopped everything! With Chris graduating, going to Vegas, making a zillion headbands & working constantly I dropped the ball. [doesn't sound like that much, but it was go-go-go-go]. So I have made my June goals. I am keeping it simple & to the point. [I'd love some company on one or all of them too ;)]
June
:eat 4-5 servings of vegetables daily:
:drink 4-6 bottles of water daily:
:sweets= sparingly:
:by end of month, be able to do a Chattarunga:

Happy, trying to be Healthy
Mari

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Inward Bound

I too have been thinking about my next goals- on another "health" oriented blog I do with some of my siblings (click here) I just posted about one of mine last night! And it's one of yours too miss Court! YOGA. My goal is to do it 3times a week. You should do it too! I don't want to stop doing other work outs-and thats the challenge! So, I hope to maintain (for the summer) a 5day work out week. For May I am aiming for 3 of those days to be Yoga. That may or may not be practical for you since you are still training for races. Maybe you could aim for 2 days? I definitely see/feel the benefits of Yoga & know I could definitely use more of it in my life!
Here are a few things from
my "get healthier" list that I have also been thinking about:
[weight training]
I would love to tone up! After seeing that lady in Hawaii (you know, super mom) I just want to be TIGHT. I know I am in decent shape, but I want to look like I am :) I dont want to do major weights, but the fact is I rarely do them at all.
[eat more vegetables]
I eat salad and that's it. And if I dont eat a salad that day, I dont eat any veggies. Tisk. Tisk.
[get more sleep]
I dont get enough. I work so much & always have an excuse-but the bottom line, I have sleeping problems & I need to give myself a fighting chance by going to bed earlier. I struggle through the night as it is, and going to bed late only makes it worse. Plus, I'm tired of being tired & grumpy.
[take vitamins]
Some days I am great at having a balanced diet. Others I am awful. I know with how much I work out & with all the stress-I need vitamins.
[make more "me time"]
Whenever I have a free moment, I usually clean or make a "to-do" list (im totally type-a), etc. I rarely take time for myself. I dont want to make anything or do anything. I want to lay and read, or take a nap, or get a pedicure. I never do these things and I know I really should start. No matter how busy my life gets, I need to find time for it.
I would love to do everything above-but that just isn't realistic for me. [not all at once anyway] So I hope to gradually work on incorporating each of those into my life. Do any of those sound like something you'd like to do? It sounds to me like we both need a little "inner body" work (Yoga, reading, etc). We have been kicking our bodies butts on the outside and I think it's time we take a look inward. A healthy balance is needed!
[Does anyone else have any fabulous healthy tips they'd like to share?]
Be Healthy & Happy
xoxo
Mari

What's it gonna be?

K Mares, I have been thinking about what I would like to accomplish next. The list is long, but I am needing to focus on just one or two things right now. I would love to do accomplish this next goal together if both want to work on the same thing. Here are some things I would like to do more of:
  • YOGA
  • READING
  • DRINKING WATER
  • MEDITATION
  • RUNNING STAIRS
  • SCRIPTURE STUDY
  • COME UP WITH A WEEKLY MEAL PLAN
Do any of those sound like something you've been thinking about working on? I know they all sound simple and like they wouldn't take much time or effort, but for some reason I seriously struggle with each of these things.

I am leaning toward yoga right now because I have been so tight and have noticed I my regular shallow breathing is getting even more shallow. I have been tense from all the house work and I just think I would feel better if I did more of it. I also wish I had more time to read right now. I LOVE reading, and I would do it every day if I had the time. I used to read a book a week back in the good old days. I also need to get back in the kitchen and start making real meals for Josh and myself. Since we moved I feel like all we eat is what can be ready in 2 minutes, and it usually consists of rotisserie chicken, a tortilla, or raw veggies. I have reasons for everything that I have listed. What do you think? Do you want to send me your list and we can pick one from each? Maybe I'll set a goal to improve each of these things by the end of the year. hmmm...

Wanting to be even happier and healthier by reaching another goal,
Courtney

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My April Challenge

On April 18 I completed the Salt Lake City half marathon! This was no easy feat for me. I have been insanely busy lately. Unfortunately, training wasn't a priority for me. During the month before the race I moved, began renovating a house, spent a week in Hawaii, and got sick twice (once with influenza B and once with strep throat)! Those things didn't leave me with the time or energy to dedicate to my training schedule.

The week before my race I decided I wasn't going to race for a specific time set as my goal, but that my goal was going to be to not injure myself and to not walk at any point during the 13.1 miles that made up the half. I spent the week stretching, doing yoga, and rolling my legs. I also ate foods that were high in potassium, vitamin C, protein, and fiber. All of these things helped me stay healthy enough to race, prevented injury, and helped me rebuild my muscles after my race.

I love the SLC marathon because the course isn't too challenging until the end, and then it's only about two miles of a small hill. Unfortunately for me, those 2 miles of hills killed my time. I slowed down to almost 12 minute miles! Before that I was running close to a 9 minute mile. Around mile 5 my right knee started to ache and lock up. I got pretty worried but breathed through the discomfort and by mile 9 I didn't feel it anymore. The mind is a powerful thing and can play tricks on you. I swear mental strength is more important in a distance challenge than physical strength.

I ended up reaching both of my goals. I didn't walk for one second of the race, and I didn't hurt myself. My knee was a little stiff after the race but by the next day I couldn't feel any pain or discomfort. I think the entire experience was an all around success. The race was so fun. We had crowds all along the way cheering us on. There were bands on most corners, dance teams, and people having breakfast parties in their front yards while watching us run on! It was very fun and I loved it, but I am glad it's over. I always look forward to my future races, but they are almost over for the time being. I have one more relay race this summer but after that...no more running for me, because the next time I run a race like this I will have a baby!


I crossed the finish line in 2 hours and 11 minutes and my darling husband was right there to congratulate me.


Happily Healthy,
Courtney

Monday, May 4, 2009

Reaching Goals

I have to say that making a goal & reaching it is sometimes not as easy as I would think! I used to be a huge runner, so I decided that running a half marathon would be a great goal that would keep me in great shape! Both are very true! However, I never anticipated the challenges I would face as I trained. TIME was a huge one. After about week 6 of training, suddenly you aren't going for a "quick run" anymore--I was having to dedicated SO much time to my running, and I rarely have time to do anything! It was difficult to set aside time & stick to it, I would say "oh I am going to run at 6" and then six would pass...etc. WILL POWER is my other one. I felt like there were days where I just didn't care, I didn't want to continue. MONEY- paying for shoes, races, etc didn't so much frustrate me as it did Chris (dont get me wrong he wasn't upset by it, but since money isn't flowing freely here it would be something we had to plan out). There were a lot of obstacles--and I can relate this to any goal I have ever made, not just running.

I think the challenge is the best part! Over coming all the things that are pushing against you is where the real rush comes (like crossing a finish line). Not only has training to run 13.1 miles helped me strengthen my body, my mind, but also helped me want to set more goals for myself! The feeling I had when I completed this was awesome. I would be lying if I didn't admit I was really relieved that I finally did it, I was a in pain (my legs have never hurt like that before), and part of me was wondering if I could have done better. WHAT! I kicked my own trash & I was questioning it? That's just sick!

HERE ARE MY STATS
slower than I had wanted, but at mile 10 my iPod stopped working so I was no longer distracted & I could feel the motivation slowing!
Total Time: 2:11:01
Time Per Mile: 10min

Now I am on to planning my next goal! I am thinking I will switch it up, I am not sure how. Maybe I'll do an eating goal-not eat sweets for 60days or something. Ill let you know once I have decided! Maybe you & I could do one together, and anyone else who reads this & wants to.

Don't give up on your goals!
Being Healthier & Happier
Mari

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Santa Barbara 10miler

I recently ran my longest (and hardest) race to date. On April 18th I ran the Santa Barbara 10miler. (same day as your half marathon) I have never ran that far before, ever. It was not an easy feat! I am so proud of myself for not giving up, because there were definitely moments when I just wanted to walk. I ran the race as hard as I could, with people passing me by left & right I was pretty worried that I was not cut out for this!
But crossing the finish line was the best feeling ever & all I wanted was to sign up for another race!
Running is challenging mentally and physically, and I learned that running for an hour & a half is way more mental for me! I also experienced something new that has never before happened to me while running- my legs hurt! I felt aches in my knees & (of all things) my hips! It started around mile 7 and progressively worsened through the end. My body definitely had never ran that far before & I could feel it. However, I did FOR THE FIRST TIME experience my "runners high" at the end of my last hill at about 6.5 miles- I wasn't tired, I could breathe freely & wasn't doing my "gasping for air" like I had been the past 4miles. I was felt like, "Hey! I could TOTALLY run a half marathon at this rate!"...and then came the aches to rain on my parade. Boo! At mile 9 I was convinced I could never run 4 more miles (for a half marathon) because I literally felt like falling over. But I am not going to get discouraged, and I will work through the pain! I set a goal for 2009 to run a half marathon & I have come this far- I can't give up!
(i envy that you have completed yours already!)

Anyway, here are my stats from the race:
Time Completed:1:30:26
Pace: 9:03
Placement: 22/87 in my age-group which was 19-29

(here I am at the end, I was pretty beat!)
My Half Marathon date has been set! Memorial Day May 25th in Laguna Hills. After reading about this race, I feel like peeing my pants a little bit (not out of excitement mind you). They state in the description "..known for its challenging course full of hills.." LOVELY. My goal was to make 10min miles however with hills lets push that up to 13min miles or not dying. Chris is such a great husband, its his last day before the bar review & his summer of torture & he is going to spend it with me there! I hope to hit the beach afterwards, but Ill have to see how Im feeling!

However..
I love the satisfaction I feel when I run & I love the challenge of it. Its a great work out & is a great way for me to measure my progress. I hope I can keep it up for a while ;)


Also I'd just like to give a shout out to you miss Courtney. You rocked that half marathon in SLC! Especially with not sufficient training due to a HUGE work load (house, moving, jobs, etc.) You killed it!! I dont think I could do a race like that with having so much stress & so much else going on! Way to go lady!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Oh my Legs!

Here are a few leg workouts for you my dear!

First- Lunges!
Lunges are rough! They are one of the workouts that the next day I totally feel it! Lunges are great for your legs, especially for your butt. Using the Bosu adds to the challenge, making you use your core to balance as well as putting more weight on one leg.
Ashley showed me these a while ago, they are sure to make you feel the burn! They are also great to mix it up from your regular lunges.
*Please excuse the uber-sexy man, I don't have a bosu at home & wasn't about to take a pic of myself at the gym

I definitely recommend using weight if they are too easy. You want to do 2 sets of 25 on each leg. And as always be sure your front knee doesn't pass your toes.

SQUATS

After the lunges, go directly to these. Grab whatever weight you usually curl (between 5lbs & 15lbs in each hand) and stand like our cute gal..."Sally" below:

Be sure to not let your knees pass your toes. Do 3 sets of 15. For extra credit: after you do your 15th sit in squat position & hold while you do 15 curls with the hand held weights you have. Your legs will SHaaaaaaAAAke!

Hammy's

Lastly we have the Hamstring curls. These babies are painful (for me). Lay flat on your back, place heels on ball: butt raised so that your body is a straight line from head to toe. Slowly pull in ball towards yourself, without letting your butt lower. Make sure your hands are relaxed at your sides and all the work is in your core, butt, and legs(mainly hamstrings). Slowly push ball back out.


Do 2 sets of 25
Feel the burn baby!!

Happy to be Healthy

Mari



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Carpenteria 5k

Picture this:
Cloudy, gray sky with a mist of rain falling over an equally gray & blue ocean.
Now throw in:
Sweaty bodies, loud breathers, and a muddy/rocky hill or two.

That, in a nutshell, was my 5k this morning. Can I first just say I would love to live in a small beach community? After running through them over the past couple years, I've fallen in love. Okay the race: First time ever running a race with trails, normally I've ran asphalt only races, so this was a more challenging. 5k's are interesting to me because they attract so many different people; the walking grannies, to the show off HS cross country team runner, to the average joe like myself, or the "overweight surprise" (the person you least expect to pass you that does). The beautiful scenary really distracted me from thinking about how tired I am or how much time I had left. I completed the race faster than I thought I would, I was aiming for a consistent 10min mile and I averaged about 8:25min per mile. I am happy with the result, but I realize that I am training for endurance & not for speed so I am still aiming for (like you Court) 10min miles for my half marathon. I had so many older people pass me! No joke, like 7 chicks over 40. What?? Of course I thought they were amazing, but still...it was a bit of a blow.

Next race: 10miler end of April
Santa Barbara
I have never ran that far in my life. Eeek!

here i am after my muddy race


One last thought:
What is it about ultra marathon runners that makes them want to run a 5k & make the rest of us look like we are crawling? Can't they just stick to the 100miles & leave us weaklings to our minor triumphs?

healthily, happily,
mari

Run your little heart out!

Here I am after running the Salt Lake half marathon last year.

I am one of those weird people who loves running. I don't love it every day, but I probably love it about 80% of the time I do it. When you finish you feel so accomplished and strong.

My favorite time to run is in an actual race. I love the collective energy you feel at the starting line, the people cheering you on in the streets, and the feeling you get when you cross the finish line knowing you worked through the pain and did your best. This year I am signed up for a half marathon in April, and a 24 hour relay in June, and am still deciding when and where I want to do my first triathlon. Sadly, these will be my last races until I have a baby. My doctor says I need to tone it down if I want my fertility up. Since I am all out of whack I am going to do what she tells me and hope it works! Anyway, I am so excited and can't wait for race day to be here. I have found it really difficult to find time for true distance running (which is what I really need to be doing right now) because of the house renovation, moving, packing for a trip, working, etc. but I am doing one distance run a week. My usual training for a long race goes a little something like this:

Week one: 2-3 3 mile runs
Week two: 2, 3 mile runs, one five mile run
Week 3: 2, 3 mile runs, one six mile run
Week 4: 2, 3 mile runs one seven mile run

So I basically build up and add one mile per week of training. I have found that this is the best way to get ready for a race. You shouldn't kill yourself and run distance every day. Our bodies need a break, our muscles and joints need to heal. Because I haven't been able to give my training the time I would like, my goal is just to finish my marathon in about two hours, which is what I did last year. If I run around 6 miles an hour this is totally doable. I wish you could be here to run my April race with me! It is so much more fun doing it with someone else. Keep up the good work, it will pay off.

Be Healthy, Be Happy
Courts

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Living a Little Greener

As I continue to make my life a little Greener, with using less power, to recycling, to just being more conscious of our environment I thought of another Green thing that I love~Green Tea!
Green Tea is one of those drinks that some people feel isn't okay to drink. While I completely respect others' opinions, I just wanted to do a small post on why Green Tea is so great for you. The taste may take a little while to get used to, but it is super good for you. I love how it's so light & fresh. Click here to see some of the many benefits of Green Tea. I don't love it plain, but it can be made in a variety of ways. Adding mint or lemon is yum! Here is a great recipe for a Green Tea with Ginger & Mint. I prefer to serve mine cold, keep it in the fridge in a pitcher and whenever you need a little sweet instead of reaching for a higher calorie or sugar loaded beverage you can pick a healthier option! (of course water is the #1 choice but sometimes you just need a little flavor!) Just pour it over a tall glass of ice & enjoy!

being healthy makes you happy
xoxo
mari

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sorry for the delay folks...

Long time no post from me! Sorry Mares, I promise to do better starting right now. The reasons for me not posting go as follows: last week I had the death flu and did absolutely nothing for 7 days. We are busy boxing up our current house. Two days ago, my sweet husband decided to contract both pneumonia and bronchitis (who exposed us to these horrible illnesses? We are healthy, vitamin taking people!). So this might help explain the lack of effort on my part when it comes to contributing to this awesome blog. Here's to being healthy once again!

Once I was feeling well enough to start cooking again (and what a better way to get healthy than to prepare your own fresh, vitamin rich foods in a pleasant environment) I decided anything with a zesty homemade Marinara sauce topping sounded amazing. So that is exactly what I made. Did you know that together tomatoes and olive oil help your body absorb the nutrients from each ingredient much more effectively than if you had them on their own? That is why they taste oh-so-good together, our bodies need them to be companions! So here it is, my recipe for this week is an amazing homemade marinara sauce:


Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can (32 ounces) whole Italian plum tomatoes and their juices
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
To Make:
  1. Heat oil in a large, nonreactive skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  2. Place tomatoes in a large bowl, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes using your hands. Add tomatoes and reserved juices to skillet. Stir in red pepper, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Remove sauce from heat, stir in cheese. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Feel free to add some of your other favorite herbs and spices to this delicious mix! I love to chop up some fresh basil and serve this over whole wheat pasta, grilled chicken breast, or use it in panini's. It is so zesty, light, and fresh you won't be able to get enough of it.

Be Healthy, Be Happy and I love you!
Court

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Stepping Stones: First Race Scheduled!


First race for 2009 is scheduled! I just signed up!
Date: March 21st
Event:5k
Goal: beat 10min miles
(current training pace)

Since my decision to run a half marathon in the year 2009 (race date TBA), I have begun to run 3times a week regularly. Between 2-4miles. In order to keep with my goal, I have decided to sign up for a few smaller races along the way to keep me motivated. The first is in just two weeks, a 5k in Carpenteria. I am looking forward to this race because its been almost a year since my last 5k. I haven't been training the way I used to (for speed), so it will be interesting to see how the results differ. I have been training at a consistent 10min mile pace, so my goal for this race is to simply beat that.
I will definitely let you know how this "stepping stone" process works, smaller races leading up to bigger races. I know you have a bunch of races this summer. I want to hear about them, what you are doing to train & what your goals are.

BE Healthy. BE Happy.
xoxo
Mari

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Multi Grain Bread Recipe

Once a week for the past two and a half years I have been making my way to Great Harvest Bread to pick up our favorite multi grain High Five Fiber bread. It is so soft, healthy, and it tastes amazing! I decided I would try to make some healthy homemade bread last week and it turned out to be a success. I wanted a bread that provided our bodies with some fiber, some omega 3's (flax seeds), and some folic acid (wheat germ). I found all three of these things in this recipe and instantly fell in love.

I think spending time in the kitchen can be very therapeutic. Cooking and baking is very relaxing and can help alleviate stress. Just imagine you in your clean kitchen with your favorite apron and slippers on, preparing a meal that will bring goodness to your body after a long day, with some awesome jazz music playing in the background. Just try it, you will have a great time I promise. It will be as good as a bubble bath, or maybe even meditation.

When cooking for yourself and for your family, consider each ingredient you use. Knowing exactly what goes into your food makes you more aware of the things you allow in your body. I think it is easier to make healthier choices when you make and prepare your own sustenance, as opposed to trying to find something you think might be healthy on a take out menu. Try to remember when preparing your food at home that using ingredients that come directly from the earth, in their natural state is always best. A lot of nutrients are eliminated from food when it has been processed and altered.

Beware: this recipe makes 6 loaves, but can easily be cut in half. It also takes a couple hours so try it when you have some time to stay home. You won't want to stop eating after just one slice, pace yourself! Also, remember that when using flax seeds you need to grind them first, otherwise your body can't digest them and won't absorb their nutrients. I do this with a coffee bean grinder. Enjoy!

The Jam recipe isn't healthy so it will be posted on my personal blog.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 7 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup cracked wheat
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour

To Make:
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Let it swell before using. In a large bowl, mix remaining 3 1/2 cups warm water, honey, molasses, oil, eggs and lemon juice. Mix well. Add yeast mixture and stir.
  2. Gradually add 5 cups whole wheat flour beating well after each addition. Add the flax, cracked wheat, wheat germ, and sunflower seeds, stir well.
  3. Let stand for 20 minutes, until mixture is very light. Stir in salt and the rest of the flours until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Knead 10 to 15 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Put into a greased bowl and cover, let rise in the oven with light on until doubled, about 1 hour.
  5. Punch down and shape into 6 round balls. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Form into loaves and let rise covered in oven until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) 25-35 minutes.
Be Happy, Be Healthy,
Courtney

Saturday, February 21, 2009

CARDIO GIRL

Mari's Workout for the Week
Cardio is hard(for me). I hit a wall at about 30minutes(mentally). I have a goal to run (my first) half-marathon in 2009. I will not be able to reach that goal if I cannot overcome this (very) frustrating problem I am having!

THE LIGHT!
One thing that has really helped me push past my mental block is mixing-it-up. (light at the end of the tunnel) Instead of only running, I have tried to incorporate other forms of cardio- cycle class, do stairs, and jump rope, etc.
Not only does it help me get past that (on average 3.5mile) mark, it benefits the days that I do run.
I feel stronger & can work through my "i need to stop, i can't breathe" mentality.
I'd also like to try swimming, but I am a pretty crappy swimmer so we'll see.

THE WORKOUT - STAIRS
The workout I am posting this week is as hard as you want it to be.
The stair-mill at the gym gives a great work out, but i hate it!
(Because of the whole "mental" thing, I just stare at the time as it crawls by).
Running stairs outside is AWESOME. I know weather doesn't always cooperate, but if you get the chance--do it! Find a staircase at a park, in a neighborhood, or even a stadium. Just make sure its long! (the steeper the better too)
Here is one of my workouts for stairs, it varies depending on how many steps your staircase has..the one I go to has about 90 so this is for that, adjust accordingly.
Walk down after each time up.
Ten-up
1st: walk up (warm up)
2nd: jog up
3rd: run as fast as you can up
(if you dont make it up the entire way jog the rest of the way up)
4th: skip 1 step while running up
5th: run up
6th: skip 2 steps while running up
7th: run up
8th: hop up (both feet together)
9th: hop up one leg
(half on right, half on left)
10th: walk up (cool down)

This workout took some seriously building up to last spring, & I am not at this level yet now--but I hope to be! So if you can't do it your first try, don't worry. Its a beast.

**BONUS**
read this article about running stadiums: tips on how to do it effectively & how it can improve your race!

BE HEALTHY. BE HAPPY.
Mari


Friday, February 20, 2009

Snack? Yes please!

I have determined that I am the world's greatest snacker. I could snack all day and be a happy camper. I have sat down with a bag of crackers and an hour later realized I have eaten the half of it! Luckily I also love to eat crisp veggies and I allow myself to eat as many of them as my little heart desires.
Snacks can be great, but shouldn't replace our meals. It is important that we have 4-6 small meals a day, and only a couple snacks in smaller portions in between those smaller meals. I have decided starting today I am going to put a pre-determined amount of the less healthy snacks that I enjoy (crackers, cheese, etc), in tupperware for each day of the week. Once it's gone, it's gone and that is all I get for that day. I will still allow myself to snack on as many delicious and heart heathy vegetables as I can. Here are some of my favorite snacks of all time:

Sugar Snap Peas
These are awesome you guys and they are my absolute favorite! They are full of vitamins, have no fat, are a good source of roughage, and are so satisfying. They are a great replacement for crackers/chips because they still give you that crispy texture we look for when we crave the unhealthy alternative.

Fresh Homemade Salsa
recipe can be found here

Apples
I LOVE peanut butter so I will eat it with my apples every now and then. I adore the fresh, churn it-yourself peanut butter you can get at Whole Foods Market. Almond butter is also a good option if you need to eat your apple with a side.

Here is where I get weak when it comes to portion control:
I am now going to only allow myself 10 multigrain crackers OR 20 pistachio crisps a day. I am also going to eat no more than 1/4 cup of raw nuts at a time.

I am also going to cut back on my cheese intake. I usually eat one string cheese every day. That isn't horrible but in order to achieve my health and fitness goals this is something I feel I need to cut back on, so ONE every 2-3 days it is.

I will be putting 7 of these together at the beginning of every week. This way the healthy choice will have already been made ahead of time when it comes to snacking. Now I won't skip a meal, and then snack for two hours because I am starving.

Some other great snacking vegetables and fruit that take little to no prep work are:
  • Bell peppers
  • Cellery
  • Baby carrots
  • Bananas
  • Kiwi (excelent source of fiber!)
  • Oranges
You might be surprised to find how filling these tastey treats can be!
What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Remember: when you're healthy, you're happy!
Courtney

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Breakfast Recipe

Mama's Homemade Granola
Mari's Recipe for the Week

Breakfast is a hard one for me! I get up so early to commute, I don't want to get up even earlier to eat! Id rather just eat an early lunch- It's a goal of mine to start eating it! Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. Our bodies need to be fueled regularly & breakfast is no exception. Its be proven that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Not only that, but its Yum!! And we are less likely to eat garbage close to lunch because we aren't dying for a quick fix!
Here is a homemade granola recipe my mom makes, its so good! You can use this recipe for so many things! I use it for on top of yogurt & my new favorite is on top of Oatmeal! For the Amazing Banana Oatmeal I get my bowl of oatmeal & slice bananas all over it, then I add my granola & a titch of honey (or brown sugar if you prefer). YUM! Just the right amount of crunch! If you don't like bananas, other fresh fruit works too! I just love the honey/banana combo.


* This recipe is HUGE so you can cut it in half or make it all and store it in a tupperware or zip lock & have enough for a month!


Here's what you'll need:
7cups Oats
1 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup canola oil
1tbs water
1 1/2 tsp vanilla (i always add a little extra!)

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Once mixed add the rest of the ingredients one at a time while stirring until well mixed. Place on large cookie sheet or even a roasting pan in oven. Stir every 7-9 minutes until granola is golden brown.
This is a basic granola recipe..I like to spruce it up with dried berries & raw nuts! You can add basically whatever you want! Make it your own. ENJOY!

Be Healthy. Be Happy.
Mari

Monday, February 16, 2009

Courtney's Workout of the Week

video

Mare, here are two workouts I am in love with this week. These two exercises are fantastic for building and toning glute muscles. We both need this for different reasons. I am trying to get rid of some of my luggage back there and tone up, and you are trying to add some shape to your skinny bum. I thought you might be able to benefit from these since you are trying to build a butt. The first day my trainer had me do these I could barely walk. Sitting down was brutal because I was so sore. This was exactly what I was looking for because nothing gets my butt sore. These two exercises are great to pair up with lunges, box step-ups, one legged squats, or one legged dead lifts. Get ready to feel the burn, these workouts isolate your glutes and you'll be feeling it after your first few reps!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

CALCIUM DOES A BODY GOOD


Calcium is one of those supplement-vitamin-mineral things, you may have heard of it.

It has been said to be the mineral most likely to be deficient in the average diet. Why aren't we giving it the attention it deserves? Calcium is AWESOME for you! It is vital for your bones & teeth. But it also helps weight loss (some articles say it helps you not store fat around your stomach too!), protects your heart, and *bonus* helps improve PMS!

Most of us were raised to think we could only get the Calcium we need through Milk. Well of course Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt are all rich in Calcium---but since we have to watch our dairy intake (especially anyone trying to lose weight) here are a few fabulous foods that contain Calcium & of course, you can always just buy supplements at your local health food store.
Salmon
Spinach
Peas
Broccoli
and even Almonds
Be a Healthier You & Include more Calcium in your diet!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Here is your first healthy dinner recipe:

Spicy Ginger Tilapia
I have just recently fallen in love with eating fish. Before a couple of years ago I couldn't even stand to be around it. Now I crave it. That is why it's important that we try new things and have an open mind when doing so. It is light, heart healthy, and when fresh it is so tasty. Tilapia is my favorite fish to eat, it doesn't have even the teensiest fishy taste or smell. I have also recently enjoyed making my own rubs for meat and fish. This Tilapia was just rubbed down and cooked on a stove top grill until it was perfectly flaky.

Ingredients:

2 Tilapia Filets
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 t Sea Salt
1 t Rosemary
1/2 t Onion Powder
1/2 t Garlic Powder
1/2 t Ginger
1/2 t Cushed Red Pepper
1/4 t Paprika
1/4 t Cayene Pepper

To Make:

Combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl. Rinse and prepare your fish. Rub both sides of the fish with your delicious homemade seasoning blend. Preheat your stove top griddle or pan to a medium/high heat. Add 2 T of Olive Oil to pan before adding fish. Cook the Tilapia about two minutes on each side, or until perfectly flaky. You want the fish to pull apart when touched with a fork. It should be opaque in the center. Remove from heat when done and serve with a lemon wedge and your favorite fresh steamed veggies.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And so it continues...

Mari and I have started this blog to help one another stay motivated to reach our fitness and life goals. We are sisters-in-law who love each other and share many of the same interests. One of which is living fulfilling and healthy lives. We will be sharing healthy recipes, meal plans, exercises and inspiring finds in order to help each other reach our full potential.