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3 Day Refresh–Review & Results

For the past 6 weeks or so I have really been slacking on my nutrition. I eat well most of the day and then I have binge sessions at night and on the weekends, coupled with too much alcohol intake. The scale was starting to move in the wrong direction!

I ordered a 3 Day Refresh from Beachbody a couple of weeks ago, and finally decided after this past holiday weekend that it was time to use it. I typically am very against “quick fixes” when it comes to health and nutrition, but for multiple reasons I decided to try this program.

1. As a Beachbody Coach, I have had several people ask me about the 3 Day Refresh and I felt that in order to give a fair and true assessment of it I needed to actually complete the program.

2. There are no artificial ingredients. No fake sweeteners, no dyes or artificial coloring. You get to eat real food.  No pills to swallow.  – I am very against artificial sweeteners and chemicals in food products and before I decided to try the 3 Day Refresh I inspected the ingredients of the shakes I would be drinking and felt good about the quality.

3. Its only 3 Days! – I can do anything for 3 days, and I definitely needed a reset from the overeating and poor choices I’ve made lately.

What is it?
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From the Beachbody Website: “3Day Refresh is a straightforward 3Day program to lose weight; get a clean break from bad nutrition habits; and feel immediately cleaner, lighter, and more healthy…without starving!”

Each day on the program looks like this:

Breakfast – Shakeology + fruit
Mid-morning – Fiber Sweep
Lunch – Vanilla Fresh Shake, 1 fruit, 1 veggie and 1 healthy fat
Snack – 1 veggie or fruit, 1 healthy fat
Dinner – Vanilla Fresh Shake and 1 dinner recipe from the booklet
Optional Evening Snack – Broth

Preparation:
I really didn’t feel like there was much to do to prepare beforehand for the 3 Day Refresh. I thought because it was only 3 days there was no need to make elaborate “meals”. I basically ate the same few things each day. I already had a few fresh veggies at home, so I stopped by the store for some fresh fruit, hummus (my choice for healthy fat), green tea (black coffee is also allowed) and gallons of water. I normally don’t buy gallon jugs of water, but I felt that for this short process it would be easier to have a new gallon for each day. My husband did the 3 Day Refresh with me, so I also bought enough for him. I spent about $30.

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My concerns before I started the program were that I was going to be tied to the bathroom for 3 days and that I would feel weak/dizzy, etc. Neither one of those was the case at all. Of course I also worried that I would be STAAAARRRRVIING.

I will say that I was the hungriest between breakfast and lunch. I typically don’t drink my Shakeology for breakfast. I normally have it as an afternoon snack, so that was different for me. Each day I chose to put my morning fruit serving into my shake, so I didn’t actually eat anything solid until lunch time. After lunch I was fine the rest of the day though, no hunger. The biggest challenge in the afternoons was not snacking out of boredom.

Ways I “cheated” the program:
There were a few things that I chose to do throughout the 3 days that are not 100% according to the programs guidelines, so I thought I would make mention of these “cheats”.

1. I ate pickle spears between meals when I was hungry. I also added a couple to lunch each day.
2. I did not measure my veggie servings according to the serving sizes in the booklet. I felt that the serving sizes were too small (example: 2 brussel sprouts or 12 green beans). I cooked my veggies without fat (unless I used it as my healthy fat for that meal) and didn’t worry about serving sizes. I ate until I was satisfied but not stuffed.
3. After Day 1 I did not drink my Vanilla Fresh with my lunch and dinner food. I had it about an hour after each meal. I realized on Day 1 that I was too stuffed …. and then too hungry later. So I essentially turned it into a snack.

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Thoughts & Results

Overall I’m really pleased with the experience of the 3 Day Refresh. It wasn’t easy, but it was manageable and none of the concerns I had before starting posed a problem. I did not exercise during the 3 days at all. I could probably have done some light yoga or gone for a walk and been fine, but I wouldn’t recommend strenuous exercise during this program.

I think this is an excellent occasional “reset” after an indulgent weekend, holiday or vacation, or a quick way to lose a few pounds before a big event. I would definitely do it again (and plan to!)

I lost 6.8 pounds over the 3 days and my husband lost an even 7!!

If you are interested in trying the 3 Day Refresh, I would love to be your Coach and accountability partner. Please contact me at eat2live2run@beachbodycoach.com or you can find the program at: www.teambeachbody.com/eat2live2run. The 3 Day Refresh Challenge Pack (including a month supply of Shakeology) is currently on sale for the month of September and can be found under “Beachbody Challenge” on the site.

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October Unprocessed

A couple of weeks ago I signed a pledge for October Unprocessed. As the name suggests its a challenge to eliminate processed food products for the month. I’m pretty good about eating healthy food and cooking most of my food myself anyway, but with the new baby in the family I’ve been slipping lately. I really need a kick in the pants to get back into some of my healthy habits … and start losing this baby weight.

I was really unprepared to start today. I didn’t get a chance to get my grocery shopping done before the challenge started, so I had to figure out breakfast with what I already had on hand, which wasn’t much.

Well, first of all … let me back up … I think there could be many different definitions of “unprocessed” so I’ll start by defining my intentions for the challenge. The official website suggests going by the “kitchen test”, basically meaning that if it could be created in your own kitchen with whole food ingredients it is allowed. So even though some of the food items maybe be packaged and sold in the grocery store, because they contain only whole food ingredients they are acceptable. Hummus would be an example. Obviously some reading of labels will be necessary.

The challenge also suggests defining your own exceptions to the challenge. It doesn’t have to be an all or none thing. The point is to make progress and set intentional exceptions (if any) before the challenge begins. My intentional exception to the challenge is for eating out. While I will try to make smart food choices in restaurants throughout the month, I’m not going to get caught up on every single ingredient I order and whether or not it’s “clean”. My other intentional exception will be for a camping trip that I’m going on at the end of the month. Again, I will try to make smart choices, but I can almost guarantee it won’t comply 100%. I mean … you can’t do camping without S’mores. Amiright?!

Breakfast today, with what I had on hand already was: 3 egg frittata with Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage (clean) and onions and peppers. An apple on the side.

After breakfast I finally got my weekly grocery shopping done, and stocked up on clean ingredients so hopefully the rest of the week won’t be a problem. I threw together a quick late lunch when I got home.

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Baked Tilapia, Roasted Balsamic Broccoli (a new fave!) and Quinoa & Kale. The Quinoa and Kale is a frozen packaged product from Costco and is clean according to the “Kitchen Test”: Organic White Quinoa, Organic Kale, Organic Red Quinoa, Organic Garlic, Organic EVOO, Sea Salt, Organic Black Pepper.

Dinner will be Lemon Thyme Baked Chicken with Curry Vegetables. Do those 2 flavors even go together?! .. I have no idea. Truth is I signed up for Emeals last week, and I’m letting them do the work for me. They create my weekly meal plan and grocery list, they give me the recipe and I just follow it. It takes all the thinking out of the process. I did Emeals a few years ago and really enjoyed it, but I started wanting to explore different recipes on my own and cook what I wanted instead of following a specific meal plan. Well, now that I have the baby I don’t have time for all that anymore. I want someone to tell me exactly what I’m eating, what to buy and how to make it. I’m a week in and so far I’ve liked everything on their Clean Eating plan. Hopefully with that secret weapon I’ll be able to complete this challenge with no trouble.

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Big Brother/Big Sister 5K 2014

Two years ago I swore to myself I would never do this race again! But this year I came across a drawing on Facebook by Earth Fare grocery store to win a free entry and on a whim I entered the drawing. I am a sucker for value, after all. I wrote: “This was my first 5K that I ever did back in 2009 and I just had a baby 6 weeks ago, I would love for it to be my first post-baby 5K”.  I had actually forgotten that I had entered, and when I remembered the day before the race and checked the page I was surprised to see that I actually won one of the 3 entry giveaways!

Since this is a family friendly race I initially intended to run with Bennett in the jog stroller. I just got a new BOB Revolution Flex and wanted to put some miles on it, but at the last minute I decided that it might feel really good to run on my own. I hadn’t gotten a chance to run outside without pushing the jog stroller since he was born. I ended up leaving the kids with Tim at the start/finish line and ran alone.

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While I was pregnant I had fantasies about the day when I was able to run again, just me, and how good it was going to feel. I will tell you one thing, running with an extra 35 pounds on your body is HARD! Post partum running is definitely not the same as pre-pregnancy running.

I have only done a few short walk/run sessions so far, so I thought a good goal for this race would be to shoot for trying to finish it without walking … much like the first time I did the same race in 2009. I didn’t look at the time or pace on my Garmin, although I did definitely check the distance a few times. The first 2 miles were difficult but manageable. The last mile was an all out struggle to the finish! I did manage to finish it running though, and was proud of that.

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Garmin said 29:13, and 9:21 pace! I was thrilled with that, and actually ended up winning my age group as well as a door prize!

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Exactly what I need.

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Baby is Here!

Well, I’m a complete loser face. I left you guys hanging at 30 weeks.

Bennett Marshall was born on August 1st, and it was love at first sight!

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The day Bennett was born I turned 38 weeks. I had a hair appointment at noon that day, but before I went I decided to walk on the treadmill. I had been doing a few short walks here and there the final week of my pregnancy, but each one was getting more difficult and shorter. The day before he was born I was only able to walk 1 mile before my back hurt too intensely to continue.

The day of his birth I jumped on the treadmill hoping for another 1 mile walk, but at 1/4 mile I was absolutely unable to go any further because of the back pain. I got off the treadmill and tried to rest on the couch. The pain was intense, but I took a hot shower which loosened it up some and went on to my hair appointment. (I just DON’T miss those things!)

During the drive to the salon I realized that the constant back pain was now coming and going every few minutes. Because the pain wasn’t in my abdomen, and because it started immediately after my walk I didn’t attribute it to contractions necessarily … I just thought I had overdone things. The next few hours the pain became more intense and more regular. Finally I gave up and texted my doctor, he told me to go to Labor & Delivery Triage at the hospital to be checked.

By the time my husband came home from work and we drove to the hospital the pain was so intense I knew it was THE day. Sure enough after seeing my contraction pattern my doctor decided to go ahead and perform my repeat c-section. I hadn’t even told any of my friends or family that I was contracting and headed to the hospital, so there was a mad scramble to get everyone there before the surgery. Luckily my mom, who lives 2 hours away, was already in town visiting my grandmother who had broken her back a few day prior and was in the hospital herself.

It was so surreal to be the one laying on the operating table, after helping so many moms through that process as their nurse over the years. Of course I did it with Lincoln, but that felt like a million years ago at this point.

As soon as I heard Bennett’s first cry I started sobbing myself. I was so relieved to have him safely in the world and in my arms.

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The past 5 weeks since his birth we’ve spent a lot of time snuggling and getting to know each other … his favorite time of the day is our long morning walks and runs. I like to think he remembers all the walking and running we did together along the way. So glad to have my little partner in my arms! Daddy, Mommy and big brother are all totally in love!

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Chickamauga Half Marathon ‘13

Me: 2 – Chickamauga: 1

Finally I’m in the lead! Chickamauga and I had a rough start. In 2011 I had my worst run to date in Ft Oglethorpe, Georgia at Chickamauga Battlefield. You know, the one where I got lost in the rain storm and ended up on the highway after getting chased by a pit bull, and then ran 12+ mile on a hotel treadmill. Yes, I’m still a little bit bitter.

Last year I ran a PR race at Chickamauga and got my revenge.

On Friday morning Tim, Lincoln and I headed up to Chattanooga/Ft Oglethorpe. The race itself is in Georgia, but its just over the border from Tennessee. On the way up, we stopped in Birmingham for lunch at Whole Foods. I love their hot bar, but it can become very expensive very quickly. This time we decided to try out the restaurant.

I ordered the Salmon with Warm Farro Salad.

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And Lincoln was happy because they had pizza.

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I didn’t realize it at the time, but Whole Foods discourages tipping in their restaurants since they already pay their employees fair wages. Nice to know!

We arrived in Georgia around 5pm Eastern and headed to the packet pick-up. Chickamauga doesn’t have much an an expo per se, so it was a quick in and out stop before we headed over to our hotel in Chattanooga.

After unpacking and settling in, we met up with Drew and headed out to dinner. We ended up at Big River Grille, the food was “meh” but a good time was had.

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On race morning I woke up exceptionally early. I remembered that last year the traffic going into the battlefield was backed up and I was nervous about getting to the start on time. This year I made sure that I could leisurely get ready and drive to the start to find parking with no extra anxiety. As a matter of fact we ended up arriving more than an hour and a half before the start of the race. Thankfully McQueens can sleep anywhere.

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The morning was cold and dark. The thermometer in the car read 32 degrees and there was ice in the grass as I trekked over to use the porto-potty with only the light of my cellphone as my guide.

During the quiet time in the car before the race started, I spent a few minutes pondering my “goal” for the day. I knew that a PR race wasn’t within my reach this year. The only training I’ve done in the last 9 months or so was for a marathon distance. Longer, slower running. Even the speedwork for a marathon is not the pace that is necessary to excel at a Half Marathon distance.

I decided that I would take this opportunity to concentrate on my pacing and to work on consistency, and finishing the last few miles strong. I aimed specifically to finish in 1:45 because when I looked at the 21 previous Half Marathons that I have run, my average pace is approximately that.

Eventually the sun came up and everyone started making their way to the starting line. I waited until the very last minute to hop out of my warm car, rushed over and picked my spot in the crowd just before the race got underway.

Chickamauga start

The first 2 miles or so I didn’t even bother looking at my Garmin to check my pace. My feet were numb from the cold and the crowd was pretty tight, so I knew I just needed to go with the flow for a little while before I locked in on my target of an 8 minute pace. I was surprised when I looked at my splits later and realized that even these first couple of miles were right on… 8:04 and 7:51.

I remembered from the previous year how incredibly beautiful this course was, the wildlife, the monuments, the gorgeous fall colors … what I didn’t remember and was quickly reminded of around the 4th mile were the very rolling hills and the camber of the road in places. Still I managed to stay pretty consistent through the next several miles … 7:55, 8:04, 7:45, 8:01, 8:01.

Miles 8-10 went by in a blur. I tried to make myself look around and enjoy the scenery, look for deer in the distance of the open fields, enjoy the cold air on my face but all I really wanted to do was focus on the music blaring in my ears and watch the ground 3 feet infront of my body. So I let myself do that. 7:54, 7:52, 8:03.

At mile 10 I was really ready to be done. My feet, legs and hands were freezing cold but my chest and my head were on fire. It was a weird sensation that I didn’t like. I wanted to take my outer long sleeve shirt off, but I had attached my bib to it, so I just rolled up my sleeves and tried to make-do. I lifted my cap off my head a little to let some cold air in and that helped some. I still just wanted to be done.

I tried to run faster, but was only able to pick it up slightly. I felt some satisfaction in catching up to and passing a couple of runners who had blown past me miles back. The last few miles felt like forever, but finally I hit the corner of Barnhardt circle, the very last stretch around the loop where the race first started. 7:48, 7:47, 7:45

And just like that it was over! My official time was 1:44:24. Overall it was a really solid run for me that I was proud of.

We stuck around and ate some Chickamauga special Banana Pudding and Chicken Noodle Soup, let Lincoln play in the grass with the other kids, and then watched the reenactors fire the cannon as the first marathoner finished before heading out to Blue Plate for lunch.

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I would definitely recommend Chickamauga to anyone looking for great Fall Marathon or Half Marathon in the Southeast with lots of beautiful scenery and historical significance. Because of the small size of the race, it sells out quickly so jump on it in March when registration becomes available.

Next up: Louisiana Half Marathon on January 19th.

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Paleo Challenge – Days 4-6

Nothing extremely interesting or blogworthy has happened in the past couple of days, so I’ll just lump them together.

Day 4 (Tuesday):

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Oh wait … I lie .. that dinner was pretty blogworthy.

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I completely made it up on the fly, so there is no real recipe but the sauce involved garlic, ghee, lemon juice and coconut milk. The zucchini noodles I made with this device:

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I ran 4 miles in my neighborhood that morning, and was happy to be running at all … but my shoes were too tight and the humidity felt like running through soup. Luke warm soup.

Day 5 (Wednesday):

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I repeated my same 4-mile run from the day before, but with different shoes and less soup.  Otherwise the day was pretty much a wash of anything productive. … I thought maybe I saw a little tiny quadricep developing so I took some baby pics:

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Maybe?

I was HANGRY waiting on hubby to return from his evening run, so I wasted some time by making a gremolata (lemon zest, parsley, shallots) for our green beans to keep myself busy.

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Zesting lemons is a workout in its own right.

Day 6 (Today, Thursday):

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When your breakfast is canned tuna on lettuce with salsa, thats a tell-tale sign its time to grocery shop.

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My major accomplishment for today was convincing my husband that the “special group warm-up” at CrossFit tonight was a rousing game of Red Rover.

In actuality it was burpees to the song Roxanne. He was disappointed.

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June Paleo Challenge – Days 1-3

Every month CrossFit Intrigue has some sort of optional challenge that members can participate in. Last month the challenge was a physical one: 2 minute max effort – burpees, box jumps and air squats, one movement each week. I came in 2nd place.

Thiiiiiiiis month the challenge is a nutritional one: eat Paleo all month. Points are awarded for compliance and deducted for cheats. Since I’ve done a Paleo “challenge” (Whole30) before and eat that way most of the time anyway, there is really no reason I shouldn’t win this thing. And there are prizes at stake. <— I almost wrote “steak”. See I even think Paleo. 😛

I’m probably more excited about this challenge than I really should be, but because I’ve struggled with injuries so much lately I really need something that I can focus on. I feel like when I don’t have a plan, a calendar, to-do lists, etc … that I’m just floundering around aimlessly.

So I do things like this:

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I can’t decide if I’m just super prepared, or a complete freak. It is what it is, I guess.

The challenge. Back to that.

It officially started Saturday, so naturally I blew it out on Friday night with chocolate and copious amounts of wine. Tim got cold busted by one of our coaches purchasing said chocolate. COLD BUSTED.

Saturday morning it was ON though. I got up and headed to CrossFit for a super fun Team WOD. We started with a Musical Med Ball, Bear Crawl warm-up …

It was a unique warm-up for sure. But it definitely worked.

Our WOD was a fun one as well! In teams of 3, we took turns cleaning (Clean Video) as much weight as possible in 15 minutes. My team of myself, Clint and Matt moved over 5,000 pounds in 15 minutes!

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New Clean PR in the midst of that for me too. 105 pounds!

Saturday’s eats:

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Oh yeah … either 6oz of wine or 2 oz of tequila is required allowed on this challenge per day.

Sunday I ran my longest distance in nearly a month, 5 miles! Our friend Lauren and I, met Tim at the mid-point of his 10 miler and finished it out with him. Hopefully my legs will continue to cooperate.

Sunday’s eats:

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I was hungry ALL.DAMN.DAY.

Apparently I can run 5 miles, but eat like I ran 10. Or maybe its because I had to watch Lincoln eat popcorn when we went to the movies and I was hangry about it.

All in all, still a successful day.

Today I’ve had another spin on sausage and sweet potatoes for breakfast. This time cubed the potatoes and roasted them with Chinese 5-spice. Lunch was a weird mixture I concocted of lettuce, canned tuna, cherry tomatoes, avocado, Paleo Bang Bang Sauce and salsa. And dinner will be Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs.

Hopefully if I can show some self-control and sabotage my husband, over the next 27 days, I’ll complete and maybe even win this challenge.

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