Refreshing (and Healthy) Snacks I Love

Snacks are always at the top of my mind – these days, I am always looking forward to my next meal! Between breastfeeding and the crazy Florida summer heat, refreshing items are always the best option.

Cherry Tomatoes

I used to not be able to stand the taste of tomatoes. Now, after having Grant, I can’t get enough of them. It is seriously the strangest thing! I have a little bowl of grape tomatoes every day after finishing up my lunch. The high water content help to keep me full and feeling refreshed.

Cherry Tomato

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Sugar Snap Peas

I am all about texture when it comes to food. I tend to want to reach for chips over cookies any day of the week. Sugar snap peas have the crunch I love without all of the oil and empty calories that plaque potato chips. Depending on the exercise I did that day, I’ll sprinkle a little salt on them as well to get my sodium fix. With the amount I sweat running these days, a little extra sodium is what I need sometimes.

Iced Coffee

No explanation needed here. Iced coffee = life line.

iced-coffee

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Blended Teas

Instead of putting iced tea over ice, blend it like you would a smoothie or other frozen drinks. Starbucks will even do this for you. I suggest unsweet passion tea. It is super tasty!

Frozen Grapes

These are the best! You can’t get much more refreshing on a hot summer day than frozen grapes. I do recommend measuring them out though. Grapes actually pack a large amount of sugar. Instead of eating out of the big bag, pour them into a small bowl or snack size ziploc to avoid getting to much of the sweet stuff.

Hard Boiled Eggs

I know – this one is a little weird. Hard boiled eggs are a great afternoon snack that doesn’t weigh you down. They are packed with protein to keep you feeling full for a longer period of time too! Check out this post on the perfect way to hard boil them!

hard-boiled-egg-1

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Carrots and Hummus

Since I have pretty much cut out dairy, sometimes it is hard to find a refreshing dip. I used to make healthy dips with plain greek yogurt all the time. Now, I am turning to hummus more and more. It isn’t heavy and doesn’t weigh me down like some other foods. My favorite is the jalapeno & cilantro hummus from Publix. It is so so delicious!

Watermelon

Again, this is another food I wasn’t a huge fan of before having Grant, but given the high water content, I can’t get enough! It is so refreshing and perfect for hot Florida summer days. Grabing a piece of watermelon post race is the best!

What are some foods you find refreshing in these hot months?

The Many Thoughts During A Long Run

4:25 am: Alarm starts beeping. Do I really do this on my own will?

Alarm

4:28 am: I could totally do this tomorrow. Sunday sounds way better than Saturday.

4:30 am: No, I gave up having wine last night, knowing I would be running this morning. Tonight calls for a glass of vino. Running today it is.

4:35 am: Ok, I’m out of bed. Bring it on 14 miles.

4:35-4:45 am: Time to pump. Can’t run for 2+ hours with super full boobs!

4:50 am: OK, let’s get this thing started. Not so sure I am going to make it the full distance today. So tired!

5:00 am: Alrighty, finally starting to wake up a bit. Let’s see how I feel before throwing in the towel on the whole distance.

5:15 am: 2.5 miles – Water fountain, where are you!? It’s a humid one today!

5:30 am: Meet up with the run group. Happy to have 75 other crazies like me ready to pound the pavement this early!

5:40 am: 6 miles: I love running in this neighborhood. There are so many beautiful houses to look at.

5:45 am: Am I really trying to train for a marathon?? How on Earth have I already ran (and trained for) 8 of these things?!

5:50 am: 7 miles: At our first group water stop. Guzzle down a couple of cups and then keep on trucking!

6:00 am: 8 miles: Running down the one street with no lights. Don’t step in the pothole and trip. Don’t step in the pothole and trip.

6:10 am: Oooohhh sprinklers! I could definitely run through those and cool off.

6:11 am: Maybe not such a great idea. Wet socks for the rest of the run = no bueno.

6:20 am: 10 miles: Second group water stop. This one has Gatorade. Thank heavens for Gatorade.

6:28 am: Do another loop and hit that Gatorade stop again. Maybe I should just cut this run short. 12 miles is just as good as 14, right?

6:35 am: 12 miles: Well, I got this far. Maybe I should do 13 to make it a half marathon

6:45 am: Arrive home. Sun starts to rise.

sunrise

6:50 am: Walk upstairs and see Winnie wagging her tail. Looks like she is bummed she didn’t get her run in this morning

6:52 am: Leash up the pup and set out for one more mile. It is always tough to stop running and then start back up. Luckily, Winnie is taking it easy on me this morning.

Winnie Gentle Lead

7:00 am: Get back home for the second time, now with a total of 14 miles complete. That makes for one accomplished runner and another happy dog!

7:05 am: A certain little baby is stirring. Perfect timing :)

grant pj's

The Most Valuable Advice

Before any big life event, people tend to give loads of advice. Whether you are going off to college, starting your first job, or getting married, words of wisdom come at you from all directions. Pregnancy is no different. You have a million tidbits of advice and it is nearly impossible to really know what to pay attention to. The only way to really know is one thing – your baby’s birthday. Here are pieces of advice I really learned to take to heart once Grant was born.

Sleep when the baby sleeps

I am pretty sure everyone told me this and I pretty much just smiled and nodded. Like Nike says, just do it. Who cares if your laundry is piled up, the kitchen is a mess, and you haven’t showered for 48 solid hours. Even 20 minutes of shut eye make a world of difference when you are caring for a newborn. Follow this one for sure!

Grant 3 weeks

Time flies

Wow – this one is way more real no, for sure. You will wake up one day and your baby will be 6 months old. How on Earth does that happen! The milestones are coming like crazy and I still can’t believe it. Grant will be crawling in no time and then we really won’t be able to stop him! My friend Callie told me a little phrase that I really take to heart – the days are long but the years are short. How true this is truly becoming!

Babies don’t need much

Stores make you think otherwise, but in those first few months, you really only need diapers, some onesies, milk (or formula)and a place for your baby to sleep (which ends up being right on you a lot!). There are so many crazy gadgets and items out there retail shops convince you that you have to have. Don’t fall for it. I know babies are pricy, but they don’t have to be THAT expensive. Our parents got a long just fine without wipe warmers, bottle warmers, and 4 different swings.

Grant Marcus newborn

There is poop

Oh.My.Gosh. – so much more than I ever thought possible! How does a little person produce this much!? And why does it make its way up his back so frequently? One of the many unknown wonders of the world. I was very surprised to find out that breastfed baby poop doesn’t smell. I know plenty of people know this, but I had no idea. I can say it was a very pleasant surprise!

Don’t go crazy buying clothes

This is definitely a big one. I am pretty sure Grant cycles through about 10 outfits. He wears them, they get washed, and then put on the top of the pile in his drawer. Then, the cycle continues. I put away all of his 3 month clothes last weekend, and there were so many outfits he had worn just once or not at all. If you have the urge to buy your little one clothes before he or she arrives, just wait! Generous friends will take care of that for you. People just can’t help buying adorable things for babies. It’s like a reflex for women ;)

Marcus and Grant 5 months

Being a mom is tough

I think you hear people say this, but it really doesn’t sink in until you have that little baby in your arms. Not only do you need to spend time with your baby, but you go to work, cook dinner, clean, spend time with your husband, play with the dog – and the list goes on and on and on. There will be about a million times when you wonder if you are doing this so called mom thing right. The beauty of it is that there are so many different ways to raise a child. As long as you raising them in a loving, caring home, you can’t ask for anything else.

Go easy on the visitors

Ok, so this one I didn’t hear from anyone, but it is something I definitely will take into account for #2. Everyone is so excited to meet your new addition and you feel like you have to let everyone come as soon as they can get there. Give yourself some time in between guests. If some people don’t make it until the baby is a month old – that’s ok. With the lack of sleep and the stimulation overload, visitor after visitor can be pretty exhausting. When they do come and visit, don’t be afraid to ask for some help from them. Get them to take your dog on a quick walk or have them put your clothes from the washer to the dryer. They’ll be happy to help you – really.

Grant grocery cart

Don’t Compare

This is the easiest trap to fall into, and the greatest advice to receive. Every baby hits each milestone at a different time and pace. Don’t worry if your little one isn’t crawling at the same time as your niece did or didn’t get teeth when your Facebook friend’s kid did. It doesn’t matter. Your baby will reach each and every milestone when he or she is ready. If you really are worried about it, call your pediatrician and ask them about it – stay off all the crazy message boards out there.

What other valuable advice did you receive before your baby came along that you can look back on and appreciate now?

Low Key Weekend

Sometimes you just need to step back and have a relaxing, no plan kind of weekend. This past weekend, that is just what we had! I got up early Saturday morning to knock out my long run. It was definitely a toughie, but I felt so good once I finished up. I had 13 miles on the docket and was pounding the pavement by 5:15am. It is always hard to wake up so early on the weekend, but being done by 7:15am is the best. Grant woke up as I was getting home, so I didn’t miss any time with him. Plus, I caught a pretty great sunrise. Sounds like a win-win to me! Davis Island Sunrise The rest of the weekend was spend doing the things we love most. We went and checked out a completely rehabbed park in Tampa. Water Works part is part of the mayor’s initiative to spruce up the Tampa Heights neighborhood. The new park has a dog park, splash park for kids, playground, and an amphitheater to have events. I have a feeling we will be spending a lot of time here once Grant gets a little bigger. It seems like a little boy’s dream! Water Works Park Winnie even got some park time too! Her most favorite thing in the world is to chase a tennis ball (add a swimming pool to chase it into and she is really in heaven), so we went up to the park to let her stretch her legs out a bit. Winnie park The park used to have a sign that said “Dogs Not Allowed on Field”. Whelp, looks like the city realized that was just not going to happen, and there was a new sign in its place this time around. Dog Field Sign Tampa, Winnie B thanks you! I definitely feel like it is pretty easy to constantly have activities scheduled on the weekend. One of the (many) great things about having a baby is learning to slow down a bit and really enjoy the little things. This past weekend had a lot of little things that added up to a great, relaxing couple of days!

Do you like low-key weekends or would you prefer to be busy all the time?

How to Survive Running on a Treadmill

I mentioned on Wednesday 5 great benefits of running on a treadmill and seemed to get a pretty consistent reaction from people.

Treadmill running is so boring!

I definitely used to think the exact same thing until I realized what an asset it could be. Here are a few ways to get over the monotony of running on the self propelled belt we love to hate.

Treadmill Running Survival

Find one with a tv (or near one)

We got rid of cable about a year and a half ago, so treadmill running is one of my only fixes for some mindless tv. I tend to schedule the times I run so I can catch a show or movie right when it starts. Depending on the length of the program I am watching, the run usually flies by. My latest obsession has been HGTV and all of the fun house remodeling shows. We are currently house hunting, so tuning into these shows is my favorite!

Cover the screen

If you are able to, cover the screen so you can’t see how far you have gone. If you have access to a treadmill with a tv on the screen, a lot of times you can choose an option to hide all of the information pertinent to the run, and only have the show visible. If you have a standard display, throw a towel over the front so your mileage, time, and pace isn’t staring back at you.

Turn it into a workout

Instead of running an easy 5 miles in a stationary spot, come up with a workout to do. For example, warm up for a mile, and then complete 6x400m repeats (equivalent to a 1/2 mile) with 400m recovery, then cool down for one more mile. You will end up focusing on each 400, rather than the over all 5 miles. Both workouts are the same distance, however you will view them significantly different once you are finished.

Look outside

If you have the option of running on a treadmill that faces a mirror or one that faces a window to the outside, choose the one with the window. Even the littlest of distractions can make a huge difference when you are forced to look at the same thing for an extended period of time.

Know its making you mentally tough

You know that race you want to run this fall? Do you think you are going to get to a place you want to stop? Think of the treadmill as practice for that feeling. In so many races, you hit the wall or get to that inevitable place you just want to call it quits. Go just a little bit further, and then a little further after that. Before you know it, you will have finished the race (or your treadmill run).

Learn your pace

One thing many runners struggle with is knowing what a certain pace feels like. When you use a treadmill, you are able to choose that pace and stick with it (or get thrown off the back ;). Get your legs used to your target pace, and then use that knowledge when you get outside. See if you can hit the same pace in both places. The translation should be pretty seamless. It may take a little longer once you get outside, but you will get the hang of it pretty quick.

Do you have any tips to share on making through a treadmill run without going crazy (or throwing in the towel)?