Friday Five 2/27: Fitness Wish List

It's the weekend! Happy Friday, friends. I'm sure you are just as excited about the weekend as I am :)
I have to be honest and say that there isn't much running going on these days. Body and baby are telling me to take it easy and the freezing temps, icy roads and generally unfriendly weather conditions don't make it easy for this preggo lady to get outside. I am super excited that we've moved and are now 10 minutes away from the gym!  I'll be using the treadmill for walking and hopping on the elliptical. Since there isn't much fitness going on in my life right now, I've been adding things to my "fitness wish list". Things I've got my eye on for when I'm back at it! Here's what's on my list:

1. Garmin VIVO Fit- I've had a FitBit but I'm looking for a new fitness tracker and have heard great things about the Vivo Fit! It might not get as much action these days (7 months pregnant = resting these swollen feet) but I love to have that extra motivation to get moving. My birthday is in March...maybe a birthday gift to myself?! ;)

2. ProCompression Marathon Socks- ProCompression makes my favorite compression socks. I love them for running and recovery. I have several pairs but have had my eye on these neon swirl socks for awhile. There's something about neon yellow that makes them extra fun.

3. Brooks Ravenna 6's- Brooks makes my favorite running shoes: Ghost's, Glycerin's and Ravenna's. These new Ravenna 6's just came out and I love the color combo on these! They might be the perfect shoe for my when I get back out on the road again in a few months :)

4. Manduka Yoga Mat- I have been missing yoga a lot lately, especially a sweaty Vinyasa class! Post-pregnancy I plan on jumping back onto the mat and I am in desperate need of a new mat.

5. New Gym Bag- I still haven't found the perfect gym bag to hold all of my gear, I've had my eye on a FitMark bag, Lululemon duffel and an Athleta tote. Anything you recommend?

Question: What's on your fitness wish list?


Making Meal Prep a Priority

Let's chat meal prep. It's something that is so important yet so easy to put aside. Now that we are in our new home (with a new kitchen) I am more motivated than ever to keep our refridgerator stocked with healthy eats.

Last year (any other teachers refer to their "year" as their school year aka Sept - June...) I noticed that everything from getting out the door in the morning to making dinner at night was much easier when I (me being the key piece here) was more prepared. It's also a million times easier to make healthy choices when they are readily available. We've learned that we eat what's in the house so we stick to mostly clean eats- lots of fruits, veggies and as much non-processed food as possible (we're not perfect and my husband has a sweet tooth!). We might only be a family of two (soon to be three!) but we both have busy schedules and when you throw in the everyday hustle and bustle of life things can get pretty hectic sometimes. So I've set out on a meal planning and prep mission and I've made a promise to myself to make more of a concerted effort to stick to the plan (ah if it were only that easy!).

Here are a few things I've been doing to make life in our kitchen and home:
*Please note that I don't take pictures of my food - they never look as appetizing as the food really is! We'll have to use some good old fashioned imagination for this one ;)

Food Shop for the Week- I was a notorious food shopper. There were at least three-four trips to the market per week (!!!). I seldom had a list and would often come home with lots of food but not enough to make meals for the week. I've now started to go to the market on Sunday's and try to stick to one trip per week (and if I forget something and have to pick it up NBD). I've also ordered groceries online. This ensures that I have a list (that I double, triple check) and discourages me from actually going to the store to buy more food because I've paid for them to be delivered. I can't decide if this is the ultimate laziness or convenience?

Prep- After I've gone to the market I find it best when I prepare my food for the week as soon as possible because before you know it Sunday turns into Monday which turns into Friday and then the whole week is gone!. I cut up fruits and veggies, grill some chicken, etc. so that everything is conveniently ready to eat when we open the refrigerator.

Share- My husband and I take turns cooking - especially on Sunday night's. Since I am usually the one who goes to the store, preps the food, makes the lunches, etc. we've agreed that on Sunday's it's his turn to cook.

Plan- Meal planning is something I am still working on. In my quest to be more adventurous in the kitchen I've been picking two new recipes per week to try (usually main course meals). Cooking new recipes has helped me to try new things and step outside of my cooking comfort zone. The planning makes things easier throughout the week. When dinnertime rolls around I don't need to ask myself what's for dinner because I've already pre-planned (and maybe even prepped a little if I'm feeling ambitious) it out.

Question: Do you meal prep? What helps you to stay on track/ organized at home with meals/food?


Love to Run

It's no secret that I really miss running. I know that " for everything there is a season" and right now it is not running season for me but baby prep/pregnancy season! I am enjoying this time in my life but I also missing something that has become such an important part of who I am. I know that there are many miles ahead of me and the road is long but I can't help but miss lacing up and heading out the door. As I was unpacking this weekend (running clothes, race medals, etc.) I couldn't help but reflect on my running adventures to date. I am always amazed when I stop and think about all that I have accomplished in the last few years. Running has taught me countless lessons and has truly changed me in so many ways. Here are a few things that running has reminded me/taught me/ and changed in me.

Running gives me confidence- It's true! Running gives me a confidence I've never had before. I might not be the fastest or strongest runner but I am a runner. I eat miles, dig deep when my legs hurt and always cross the finish line with a smile. My medals are always earned, never given.

Running reminds me that I can do difficult things- I used to be someone who gave up on things easily (and to be honest, there are still times when I walk away from things...I'm a work in progress) but with running, the more difficult the challenge, the harder I work and the more I want to successfully complete the task at hand (18 mile run, marathon, half marathon, hills, etc.). The sense of accomplishment I feel post run/race is amazing. That's what gets me out on the road.

Running allows me to make time for myself- It's so easy with the hustle and bustle of everyday life to carve out time for ourselves (even thirty minutes is hard to find sometimes!) but when I make myself a priority and make time to do something I love, I feel better (yay endorphins!) and find that  I'm also a better friend, wife, etc. to those around me. It's a win-win!

Running reminds me to find the things in life that you enjoy- There is a lot of "stuff" we have to do in life that we don't particularly like. For me, these things include: laundry, grocery shopping, and a number of other household chores.  It's important to find something that brings you happiness (running, yoga, swimming, etc.).

Running has opened the door to a supportive community- I  LOVE the running community! I have connected with so many people who not only love running but are supportive, encouraging and motivating.

Running pushes me to keep going even when things get tough- The road (in life and in running) isn't always easy. There are peaks and valleys but to get through it all we have to endure, to keep pushing when things aren't easy. As I like to say: when your legs get tired, run with your heart (a little cliche, but true!).

Question: What are some things that running has taught you? How has running changed you?