Foods You Should Know About: Spirulina

I’m back to talk about another one of my favorite foods. Well this one isn’t so much of a food but a very important ingredient for smoothies and the like. I stumbled upon Spirulina when I was trying to make a salad dressing. I had never heard of such thing and I had no idea where to find it in the grocery store. After a lot of searching, I found powdered Spirulina with the health supplements!

What is Spirulina?

So at first glance, this green powder isn’t the most appetizing. Spirulina is basically a blue-green microalgae. It’s totally edible and it’s used in many healthy recipes. It’s a green powder that you can add to smoothies, shakes, and the like.

Why should I eat it?

Spirulina is referred to as a superfood. Three grams of Spirulina contains 60% protein and is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B12, Iron, Magnesium, and Chromium. If you aren’t meeting your daily vitamin intake, this is a great way to boost those minerals! Depending on how you ingest it, Spirulina has no taste and can be added to a green smoothie. You get all the benefits without any unpleasant taste!


Spirulina has also been known to help fight allergies, lower blood pressure, and regulate cholesterol. If you are trying to get back in shape and are watching your heart health, Spirulina is something you should add to your diet. Along with a balanced diet, Spirulina can be very helpful in regulating these numbers.

How should I eat it?

While I stumbled upon Spirulina while trying to create a salad dressing, you can have it many ways! Basically, Spirulina comes in two forms, powder and tablet. I always opt for the powdered version because it’s much more versatile. Whenever I make a green smoothie, I like to add a tablespoon of powdered Spirulina to get the benefits. Here’s a great collection of recipes that contain Spirulina.

Celebration Weekend!

I had such a blast this weekend! It was a weekend filled with great workouts, awesome friends and delicious food!

Saturday
Celebrating the birthday girl at Soulcycle!

There’s nothing like celebrating your birthday with a fun spin class at Soul Cycle! I met up with two of my good friends Ally and Alyssa. It was Alyssa’s Birthday and we had to celebrate in style. Spin class is always fun but when you have your girls with you and the music is right, you just let loose and have fun! The studio knew it was Alyssa’s Birthday and they surprised her with a cupcake and a cute picture at the end of class. It was really sweet!


After spin class, you eat brunch of course! Ally is the master planner of the group and she suggested a place called Snooze Eatery. It’s popular in Austin and the Houston location seemed very popular too! They had a mix of sweet and savory meals. I opted for an egg white tofu scramble and it was delicious! Brunch is definitely necessary after an early morning spin class.

After spending the morning with my girls, Jordan and I went off to see the new Fast and the Furious movie. We both left a bit underwhelmed. After so many movies, it had to happen but we still enjoyed watching them all!

My new obsession!

I had inadvertently signed up for three spin class last week so my legs were TIRED. I foam rolled as much as I could but my sweet husband took me to Lush and spoiled me. The smell of that store is heavenly! I bought a few bath bombs and this cleanser. I was able to enjoy my glitter bomb Saturday night and gave my legs a break.

Sunday
I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this!

Due to being crazy busy at work and just not getting myself together, I didn’t make any fancy reservation for Easter. Luckily, my husband didn’t mind heading to Rudy’s after church. Church was so amazing! It was packed and the music was on point. I got to see an old family friend and pray with them. They are moving to Dallas soon so I am stealing every moment with them I can get!


After church and lunch at Rudy’s, we had a lazy day. I opted to make a huge pot of chilli for meal prep and to eat everything else left in the fridge for snacks. Work has me traveling a bit this week but I’m hoping to not have to buy food on the road this week. The struggle is real!


I have been enjoying trying out recipes from my cookbook! Every recipe is rich and full of flavor. Cooking makes me happy but I really love when I make delicious food for Jordan. Especially when he eats my vision of food he used to hate! This guy is eating veggies left and right and not complaining. That’s a miracle y’all!

This week, I’ll be prepping for my half-marathon! I’m aiming for a personal record but I’ll be glad for a good finish. My hip has been tight lately so I’ll be taking a small break from running after my race to regain flexibility. Wish me luck!

How was your Easter weekend?

Positive Thoughts and Mental Fortitude

I often get asked how I get through long runs. I get most people don’t really care for running but this question always catches me off guard. So I looked inward and took note of what I do to get through all the crazy workouts I put myself through.

Positive Vibes


The mind is a crazy thing. You can tell yourself something and make yourself before its true, even if it isn’t. Don’t listen to yourself, talk to yourself. When I first started running, I would look at others and tell myself that I could NEVER do that. I was already talking down to myself.
When my runs began to get longer, I quickly learned that negative talk was getting me nowhere. I had a pit in my stomach the moment I was lacing up my sneakers. I began to dread the one thing I used to look forward to. Taking a step back and telling myself that I WAS going to have a good run and enjoy myself.

Positive talk was helpful during my runs. Whenever I would start getting tired, I would tell myself that my body can go one more mile. My legs will carry me home, one way or another. Even though sometimes running was hard and it didn’t feel great, changing my attitude and my self talk really changed my perspective.

Visualize The Smaller Picture

This mostly relates to running but it can apply to most other workouts. Instead of seeing a long run, I would break it up into smaller pieces so it’s not as daunting. For example, I would break up a ten mile run into 5 two mile runs. Just by doing so, I’m not as scared too tackle it. I give all I can for those two miles and then do two more.

This can be something you can use every day. Some days I get very busy at work and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. I start to feel rushed and my work performance begins to suffer. I break out my day into hours and do what I can each hour. Then, I focus and do my best that hour. Repeating this process helps me stay productive and keeps my stress level down.

Think Of Your Why
My mom and her pup, Duke!

This can be really trivial or can be the most important part. There’s a reason why you do what you do. Whether that’s God, your spouse, or your children, it’s there.
Some days, I get so overwhelmed during my run. Nothing is going right and I just want to quit. Then I think of my mom. She’s such a strong woman who never backed down when faced with adversity. I begin to picture what she would do in my situation and how proud of me she would be for finishing.

During my marathon, I prayed for a different person at each mile. It made the time pass but it lit a fire inside me because I’m blessed to be surrounded by so many AWESOME women. They are all inspirational in each way and I use that to push forward. Everyone has bad days and bad workouts but thinking about why I do it gives me the extra push I need.

Long Run and Car Show Weekend!

This weekend was a doozy. I had such a busy and crazy week so I was excited for the weekend. Although by Sunday, I was wishing for another weekend. Don’t we all?!

Saturday

My morning started bright and early with a ten mile run. We made sure to get outside early because the sun makes the temperatures rise really quick! I didn’t really have a big goal for this run other than do the ten miles. I quickly realised that while my legs were “tired” from a busy week, I was running a lot quicker than normal.

Around mile seven, I realized that I was running at a 9:30 pace. My husband was pedaling quite a bit to stay next to me on his bike. My brain was so confused but my legs felt COMFORTABLE. It was the strangest feeling. I finished the ten miles and averaged a 9:45 pace. I wanted to quit many times but I kept telling myself “Your mind will give up faster than your body will. Keep going”


This was the first run where I kept a moderate pace for longer than four miles. It was a big confidence boost and very needed. It also goes to show that while I do feel crazy sometimes, my hard work is paying off!

After that amazing run and breakfast, we were off to the Houston Auto Show! My husband LOVES cars and was like a kid in a candy store. Although I will say that after my run and all the walking we did, my legs were EXHAUSTED. Once we got home, I promptly took a nap! We did an impromptu photoshoot with my new outfit too. Snowflake had to get in a few pictures as well. The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the couch and watching movies.

Sunday


We both woke up Sunday a bit sore. Our weekly walk at the park started off a bit slow but we were booking it after we were warm! While I do consider Sunday’s a rest day, I fully believe that our walks help with my soreness and keeps my legs from getting stiff.

Church was great as usual and we followed up with some yummy lunch at Panera. I tried out a few different menu items. I know they like to change it up so I tend to order something new on each trip!


I took the lazy route on meal prep this week. There were a few veggies left over from last week and in an attempt to clean out the fridge, I came up with chicken fajita salads! These salads will be flavorful and judging from my jalapeno fingers, they will be spicy too. I touched my face without completely washing off the spice so that was fun. Any others have that issue when cutting jalapeno?

This week will be a bit calmer than last. Plenty of foam rolling and spin classes but I’m excited! Hope you have a great week!

Did you spend some time outside this weekend? 

The Necessary Evil That Is Foam Rolling

If you have been running or working out for a while, you’ve heard of foam rolling. If you’ve never foam rolled in you life, you are missing out. While yes, it is painful, there’s many benefits to foam rolling.

When you’ve had intense workouts and your legs and booty ache, it’s a good idea to visit that foam roller. Basically, self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. There’s been weeks where I’ve worn heels every day and my calves are killing me so even if you aren’t a runner or athlete, foam rolling can benefit you as well!

My friend Jennifer, who is a Pilates instructor, praised my religious foam rolling. She says “The reason it hurts is because our muscles are tight. You want to release that tension to help your muscle recover easier.” Whenever I don’t foam roll, I feel some muscles tighter than others and it affects my running stride. This can have a snowball effect which can lead to injury.

Here’s a few of my favorite foam rollers:

Gaiam Restore Deep Tissue Roller

Roller

This guy really gets all the knots in your legs. I like to use this for the back of my legs and right under my booty. The ridges really help you get into areas that need a little extra work.

Gaiam Restore Pressure Point Massager

Roller

Sometimes, I just want to lay on the couch and work on my IT band. This is my go to for quick knots. Obviously, it’s not a traditional foam roller but it can get the job done. It’s easy to pack so if you’re traveling and want some relief, pick this one up!

ROLL Recovery R8

Roller

Now this is the most popular foam roller among runners at the moment. I am not lucky enough to have one of these (YET!) but I’ve heard such great things about it. These rollers are available for pre-order so you can head to their site and check it out. What I really like about it is that it looks like it gets all sides of your legs without having to contort yourself into weird shapes. I’ll definitely be investing in one of these soon!

Do you have a foam roller? How often do you foam roll?

Things No One Tells You About Running

So you decided to start running, hooray! Whether it’s to lose weight or simply get outside, I applaud you for getting out there and giving it a try. There’s so many things that people don’t tell you about running and I wish I definitely knew some of these in my early days. It would have helped my sanity a bit!

Things No One Tells You:
  • Unless you’re an elite or have super human legs and stamina, people take walk breaks during races! If anything, walking at water stops is encouraged!
  • You will quickly learn how far away things are from your house. You’ll know which houses have crazy dogs that bark at you and where the sidewalk decides to abruptly end (I’ve had this happen to me and I almost rolled my ankle).
  • The amount of laundry you will do will instantly double.
  • Unless you run by yourself and are cool with wearing a few things twice, haha!
  • No matter the amount of reflective clothing and flashing lights, you will have at least one car almost hit you while crossing the street.
  • If your legs rub, you learn that clothing with flat seams is a life savor.
  • If your legs rub, you learn what to use to avoid chaffing (Boudreaux’s Butt Paste or Body  Glide works wonders!)
  • Ladies, grey bottoms and cardio do not mix!
  • You will seriously question your sanity when the alarm goes off for early morning runs (I still have my mornings when I curse the whole time).
  • When you first start running, the soreness can be bad.
  • Unfortunately the only way to get the soreness to go away is to keep moving.
  • The consistency of energy gels take some getting used to. (This was a rude awakening for me. I gagged so hard the first time I tried one on a training run, I nearly fell over.)
  • When you meet other runners, it can feel like you’re instant friends.
  • Everyone started off with short and slow runs.
  • Sometimes running and training can drive you crazy.
  • However, once you fall in love with running, missing a run due to injury or life will drive you crazy too.
  • Not everyone likes running and that’s okay!
  • Sometimes it may take a mile before you hit your stride.
  • Everyone has runs that suck.

Running is seriously my passion. There’s something about being outside with the sun on my skin and wind blowing in my hair that just brings my heart joy. It’s probably because it reminds me of being a kid! It was hard for me to start and so many people make it look easy. However, it takes a lot of work but once you fall in love with it, running doesn’t feel like work!

What are some things you wish people told you before you started running?

Running and Trying New Foods!

Can everyone believe it’s already April? Luckily I didn’t fall for any April Fools tricks but there were some good ones I came across! Our weekend was spent running, shopping, cooking, and planning a trip to New Mexico!

Friday

Real talk, Friday was so rough. I’m still adjusting to my new role at work. It seems like I’m the only one who keeps her cool at work sometimes but that may be because guys can get so dramatic sometimes!

But for real, our date night was SO needed. We spoiled ourselves this week and had Red Robin. They redid the one we frequent and they updated their menu to include stacks of mini donuts! I just couldn’t pass it up.

Jordan makes the best faces when he’s food modeling
Saturday

We had crazy storms on Wednesday that flooded most parts of town. I really wanted to try to run the trails but I knew there was a chance they were muddy. We took a drive and it wasn’t too bad!

I ran about four miles before I stepped in a puddle that turned out to be ankle deep. Soon after I felt a blister start forming so I called it quits after five miles. Even though it was short, I honestly had a BLAST running the trails. Jumping in puddles and running along the trees made my heart so happy.


Jordan and I went to see Kong: Skull Island and did some shopping at Target. Obviously we went in for one thing and came out with ten more! I got some more clothes for work and we also bought Yahtzee. I had never played so it was fun spending the evening learning and kicking butt.


Sunday

We did our Sunday morning walk and tried not to get swept away by the wind. There was a new storm system moving in but we didn’t get rained on. We also saw so many baby ducks!


Jordan and I started joking around about going on our first airplane trip together about a week ago. It turns out that we have enough free miles for a trip to New Mexico! We booked a weekend trip in May to spend time on the mountains. I went briefly for work but I think I will enjoy it much more with Jordan. Super excited for it!


I did a big meal prep on Sunday since I will be crazy busy this week. Even though I’m busy, I’m excited because I have so much to look forward to in the next couple of weeks!

Is there anything we should do while visiting Albuquerque?

Why I Stopped Counting Calories

It seems like almost every day I hear about a new diet or a new way of eating. People swear by shakes, pills, wraps and what have you. Heck, I’ve even fallen into some of those weird ways of eating. However, one of the things I’ve stopped doing and I’ll never go back to is counting calories.

My obsession with food started back in college. Growing up, I knew I wasn’t the thinnest girl in class and I hit puberty rather early so I knew I was different. I really didn’t care though that’s how I looked and that was that. College was a different story.


I first realized I was different was when I went to a social that the sororities on campus were hosting. All these girls were so tall and beautiful! They looked like models compared to me. I was five foot, mocha skin, and curvier than them. I just accepted that I was different and moved on.
When I joined the ROTC program, my height was my enemy. According to the height weight standards I needed to be very thin for my height. Even though I was active and could still pass the physical fitness test, I faced expulsion from the program due to my weight. This brought on stress and starving myself before height weight to make the cut. This continued for multiple check ins until my time in the program was over. I don’t think I ever lost much weight but simply dehydrated myself so I can meet the measurements.

I began obsessing and cutting out high calorie foods. I tracked EVERYTHING I ate and I would do multiple workouts a day to burn enough calories. If I wanted to have some sweets, I would go on runs to be able to have one BITE of chocolate. However, not one pound went away. I began eating less and doing more. I would mix protein powders with water and count that as a meal because it was only 200 calories and I could use the rest on real food.

When I finally graduated from college, my body hated me. I weighed more than what I did before I started school and my stress was through the roof. My obsession was somewhat tamed during my first year out. I had just gotten married and started a new job. However, it came back with a vengeance soon after.

I broke down when I finally admitted to myself that I purposely would ignore my hunger and skip meals at work because I was worried about calories. I would suck on mints all day so I could eat a good dinner. That’s when I declared enough was enough.

The process of learning how to eat healthy without obsession took some time but I’m here now. Once I fed my body with nourishing whole foods, I began to lose weight. My running reached a whole new level and I was finally able to achieve goals that I hadn’t been able to when I was counting calories.

Feeding my body when I’m hungry regardless of the calories has allowed me to develop muscles and become stronger than ever. Running a marathon was not something my body could do in its deprived state. These past two years, I’ve learned how to nourish and help my body. I’ve reached my healthy weight and medically all my numbers are where they are supposed to be.

I vow to never go back to counting calories again. I know that days when I run 10 miles will require more food than those when I run 3 but I don’t fret about it. I pack my diet with wonderful fruits and veggies and try to stay from processed foods. That being said, pizza is my absolute favorite food and we have it multiple times a month at our house!

Have you ever had a calorie counting issue? 

Running With Friends Makes You A Better Runner

Are you a lone wolf runner? Do you use running as your time to get away from the stress of life? I used to be the same way. My mornings were where I would take time for myself and run without a worry in the world. However, I believe you should make an effort to run with friends at least once a week.

There’s so many ways to find a group of runners in your area. Local running stores tend to host group runs and if you live in a big city, you’re bound to find running groups that fit your schedule. With social media, it’s easy to make relationships with other runners and meet up for runs. Safety first of course! Here’s a few reasons why I believe running with friends make you a better runner. Continue reading Running With Friends Makes You A Better Runner

Health and fitness according to His grace