Tips To Eat Enough As A (Veggie) Athlete

Do you struggle to eat enough as a (veggie) athlete? ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ



In college, I did not always eat enough when I was on the XC team.๐Ÿ˜” And as a post-college athlete, I have not always eaten enough due to my schedule, stress, low appetite, etc. I REALLY wish I could shake some sense into past Amandaโ€ฆ๐Ÿ˜ฉ But I cannot, all I can do is be better now & inspire you all to do the same! ๐Ÿค— But I want you to know you aren’t alone if you are struggling. And the tips below can apply to non-veggie athletes too! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  1. Eat at least 3 meals & 2-3 snacks/day. Set reminders on your phone to remind you to eat. This is a HUGE one for me, as I’m a stress not-eater & I’m sure I’m not the only one. You cannot heal from injury or run a PR if you are under-fueling. ๐Ÿ˜“

2. Snack on nuts/seeds & boost meals + snacks with nut/seed butter. Nuts & seeds are calorically dense, as well as a source of healthy fats & protein. I love adding them to oatmeal, bagels, & snacking on trail mix. ๐Ÿฅœ

3. Eat simple carbohydrates too. Not all your carbohydrates need to be whole grains. The high fiber content of some whole grains may cause GI distress prior to working out. And some simple carbohydrates are higher in calories, which can help you meet your fueling goals.๐Ÿš

4. Cook your vegetables in oil, rather than only steaming them or eat them with a sauce or dip. The oil or sauce ups your calorie intake & helps you absorb the nutrients in your veggies. It’s a win-win!๐Ÿฅ•


5. Desserts & your favorite snacks have a place on your daily plate, even if they aren’t “healthy”. My latest favorites are Hu Kitchen Dark Chocolate Gems & Iโ€™m hoping to find my favorite Holiday Joe-Joes at Trader Joe’s soon. ๐Ÿซ

6. Have someone to help hold you accountable for how often/how much to eat, if needed. RDNs like me are an excellent accountability resource & this is a service I offer! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I currently have a couple openings for 1:1 spots! Schedule a discovery call in my bio or email me at hi@amandawagnernutrition.com to schedule. โ˜บ๏ธ I also have a VERY exciting announcement soon! ๐Ÿ™ˆ

What else would you add? ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

Veggie athletes, have you been feeling tired even when you are not working out?

I shared this earlier this week on my social media, but it was just too good (and important!) to not share here on my website as well!

Fatigue can be caused by a variety of things, so this is not an exhaustive list! Always see a healthcare provider if you have been dealing with fatigue for more than a few weeks. Under-eating & low ferritin, iron, vitamin D, &/or B-12 are more common causes of fatigue in all athletes, but especially female & veggie athletes.

I personally have had low vitamin D, low B-12, low ferritin, & full iron deficiency at various times in my life & athletic career.  Iโ€™ve been  dealing with low iron & vitamin D this summer & Iโ€™m due for more blood work. I have been feeling less fatigued & stronger on my runs since eating more iron rich foods, temporarily supplementing iron, & taking a higher dose vitamin D supplement! I was already taking B-12 because B-12 is a non-negotiable for vegans. You cannot get adequate amounts from diet alone as a vegan, despite what some people might say.  Most supplements should only be started after bloodwork, as recommended by a healthcare provider. ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€โš•๏ธ 

What are the goal vitamin D, iron, & B-12 levels for an athlete? ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿฝโ€โ™€๏ธ Generally what is defined as sufficient for the general population may not be adequate for athletes. For example, anything above 20 ng/mL for vitamin D is considered adequate, but for athletes you may no perform at your best or have the best protection against stress fractures until your levels are at least 40 ng/mL (1). For iron, make sure you get your ferritin tested because it can give you a look at the iron stores in your body & maybe help catch an iron deficiency early (2). Most athletes feel best with ferritin levels that are at least 50 ng/mL & most will feel crummy once their levels drop below 30 ng/mL (2). For B-12, many athletes will feel crummy if their levels drop below 400 pg/mL, but deficiency is typically defined as under 200 pg/mL (3).

Interpreting your lab results & helping you meet your needs is a service I provide as a RDN! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป If you want to work with me via 1:1 counseling or for a lab interpretation session sign up for a free 15 minute discovery call to learn more or contact me to get signed up. ๐Ÿ™‚

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3497950/
  2. https://www.outsideonline.com/health/nutrition/how-much-iron-is-enough-for-athletes/ 
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230602/

Introducing Amanda Wagner Nutrition!

I have exciting news!

And no, it’s not that I cut my hair even shorter than it already was. Although that is also true (see above for a photo after my haircut last week).๐Ÿ˜‚

My news: Iโ€™m officially & FINALLY opening my private practice Amanda Wagner Nutrition! ๐Ÿฅณ

This has been a dream of mine since I left the teaching profession in spring 2018 & went back to school to study to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in fall 2018. ๐Ÿคฉ

Iโ€™m not going to lie, taking this leap of faith IS scary. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Initially I wanted to wait a couple years before launching my own business. I’m only been a RDN for about 10 months. But as my husband reminded me, there will NEVER be an ideal time. And when unexpectedly & recently a change in my employment situation occurred (hours), my husband encouraged me saying โ€œisnโ€™t now as good of a time as any to finally open your own business?โ€ So here I am! Yesterday was opening day! ๐Ÿ’ƒ

Are you an athlete or person who is thinking about becoming vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based or you already are? Then you are in the right place! Iโ€™m here to show you that you can thrive in life & athletics fueled by plants! ๐ŸŒฑYou’re of course welcome here even if you aren’t plant-based. You will still find valuable sports & general nutrition tips here!

Learn more about working with me here!

And for free ways to support me today & moving forward, please consider signing up for my new newsletter or sharing this post or that Iโ€™m open with your communities! โ˜บ๏ธ

Moving forward, I will be working as the owner of my private practice & continuing as a team member of Lauren Sharifi’s private practice working with ARFID. Iโ€™m so excited to serve the communities Iโ€™m most passionate about in my next journey! ๐Ÿฅฐ

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿค— And let me know if you have any questions below or contact me!

I’m Finally a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist!

SURPRISE! I took & passed the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam on my 1st try on Wednesday December 28, 2022! ๐Ÿฅณ No one knew I was taking my exam today except my husband. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I was supposed to take tomorrow (Wednesday Jan.4, 2023), but I was so sick of working & studying (if you know, you know ๐Ÿ˜…), so I moved my exam. It was risky, but it paid off! โ˜บ๏ธ Let me reintroduce myself as Amanda, M.Ed, RDN! ๐Ÿฅณ

For those of you that have followed me for a long time or know me in real life you know that my journey has been ANYTHING, but linear. ๐Ÿ˜ข A little over 1.5 years ago I graduated from my dietetic internship during the hardest time of my life so far. ๐Ÿ˜ข I learned I have a genetic condition called Lynch Syndrome, which increases my risk of certain cancers, such as colon & endometrial cancers at younger than expected ages just before I graduated. I did not cope well with the news. There were days over the last 1.5 years that I wasnโ€™t sure if Iโ€™d ever be happy again or actually become a RDN. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

Becoming a RDN has been my dream since I left the teaching profession at age 25. And while it took me longer than expected due to these speed bumps, Iโ€™m so happy to say that as of December 28, 2022 Iโ€™ve made it! ๐Ÿ˜ I will continue to have to navigate living with Lynch Syndrome for the rest of my life, but Iโ€™m not as afraid anymore. It doesnโ€™t define me. I am so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing support network! ๐Ÿ’œ

It was so exciting to end 2022 as an official RDN & working a job I love! ๐Ÿคฉ I cannot wait to see what my professional, personal, & running future hold in 2023 and beyond. Thank you all for the support these last few years! ๐Ÿฅฐ

Where I’ve Been & Where I’m Going!

Long time, no post friends!

My last post was September 22, 2020 to be exact… And wow has a lot happened between then & now.

To say it’s been the hardest 1.5 years of my life in my almost 30 years is an UNDERSTATEMENT. ๐Ÿ™ Between living generally in a pandemic, finishing my unpaid dietetic internship (DI) in a pandemic (the last step needed & now I’m eligible to take my boards exam to FINALLY become a RD), suffering a foot stress fracture, learning I have low bone density at age 28, not being able to run most of the last 1.5 years, & various random health issues like low iron levels & mysterious abdominal pain, I thought things were as tough as they could get. BOY was I wrong. In May 2021 my life changed forever when I learned I have a hereditary cancer syndrome called Lynch Syndrome. Learn more about what that means for me from this post on my Instagram in May since I don’t want to retype it all now. It’s not even the main focus of this update. I’m sure I will write more about Lynch Syndrome here in the near future. I will say despite all the hardships there were two big pros the last 1.5 years: graduating from my DI & becoming a homeowner (my husband & I bought a condo in July)! But everything else has been a challenge. ๐Ÿ™

Virtual White Coat ceremony for my DI in August 2020 (while in a boot due to a stress fracture)

And the real reason for this update is to share a story I haven’t shared before. At least until I shared it last week on my Instagram. But I wanted to share that here too, as it’s easier to read here. And it’s a doozy. It’s my eating disorder (ED) story. It relates to everything that has happened the last 1.5 years because all of it, especially my Lynch Syndrome diagnosis, led me to relapse into an illness I thought I was over with… I shared on Instagram because last week was NEDA (National Eating Disorders Awareness) week & I felt inspired to finally share my story, but we should be raising awareness on EDs 365 days/year as they affect people of all sizes, genders, socio economic statuses, sexual orientations, ages, etc.


This is my first time publicly sharing my eating disorder story. The reason I haven’t shared yet has been due to fear, shame because of the profession Iโ€™m entering, & because my story is still being written. But I was inspired by runnerย Allie Ostrander’s instagram post on Feb. 23, 2022 where she challenged her followers to share a story to change a story. If my story helps one person feel less alone or seek treatment than it will be worth it. ๐Ÿ’œ So here goes nothing!โ €

It started at the end of 7th grade. I had just gone through puberty & started my period a few months prior. I had gained some weight. Someone commented on my weight & encouraged me to lose a few lbs. I did not think much about my body prior to this. In fact, Iโ€™ve been a petite individual my entire life & was at the time of the comment. I lost those few pounds quickly by the start of summer by swapping out my snacks & sometimes skipping meals. I was also very active & on a travel soccer team. I didnโ€™t stop there, though. Iโ€™d play dance dance revolution between soccer practices. My struggles mostly flew under the radar. Although one of my travel soccer coaches that summer noticed something was amiss at a practice where I got lightheaded. He offered me Gatorade & asked if I eat enough overall. I lied & said I do. 

By the start of 8th grade I lost my period & by my freshmen year of high school I had lost 10+ lbs. I also joined the cross country team to train for soccer. I ended up being naturally good at running, even more so than soccer. I realized I did not look like some of the other runners (I now know runners donโ€™t have a โ€œlookโ€, but did not at 14). I started counting calories. I was SO hungry. But I was also doing really well in school & sports, so few knew I was suffering. I told my doctors about my period loss & they brushed it off as a normal part of training. I was never formally diagnosed with an ED back then, but as an almost RD I realized I met most criteria for anorexia & probably should have received treatment. ๐Ÿ˜”

Little Amanda at the 8th grade dance circa 2006. Sorry for the poor quality photo, but this was well before I had an iPhone!

By my sophomore year of high school I became curious about nutrition & decided I wanted to run competitively in college. I realized if I wanted a chance at it Iโ€™d probably need to gain my period back & maybe even gain some weight. By my junior year I gained ~10-15 lbs & my period returned! I thought I was cured of my EDโ€ฆ.But what I see now is it just moved more toward general disordered eating, & bad body image. This was a spot I stayed at for YEARS. I was able to go out with friends or my boyfriend (my now husband!) & eat, but I tended to pick โ€œhealthierโ€ options & stress about what I was eating under the guise of caring about food/my training.

I had horrible body image, especially once I went to college to run for a D1 school. I felt like I did not look like the other girls I ran against. I under-fueled for my activity levels & remember trying to stay at or under 1500 calories when Iโ€™d log my food. I wasnโ€™t always logging my food, though. I was still going out to eat, having fun, etc. but definitely thoughts about food & body image occupied a fair amount of my time. By my junior year of college I lost a little weight again & some people noticed. Theyโ€™d say I looked โ€œfitโ€ & I LOVED the compliments. I also had my best season so far. I stayed around this weight for years & in this weird spot of being aware of what I ate & sometimes tracking, but not always. Bad body image thoughts occupied less space in my mind, but they were still whispering. Then, by the time I graduated from college. I was so burnt out from competitive running (and likely years of under-fueling) that I did not run much for a few years.

Junior year of college at the Midwest Cross Country Regional meet. It was 2012 & I was 20 years old.

It wasnโ€™t until after I turned 25, got married, went vegan, & decided that I would train for marathon that I felt healthy & at peace with food compared to the last 12+ years. I also decided to go back to school to study to become a RD, as I was not enjoying the teaching profession. I still had some struggles but nothing like it had been. But then the pandemic hit & in June 2020 I was diagnosed with my 1st ever stress fracture. And I learned I also have low bone density at age 28. Iโ€™m shocked I made it that long without a stress fracture considering everything. I was so angry at past me for not taking better care of my body. ๐Ÿ˜ก Of course I know it wasnโ€™t really my fault, but it was & still is hard. I vowed Iโ€™d do better moving forward, so I wouldnโ€™t suffer another fracture, improve my bone density, & reach all my running goals. Unfortunately life didnโ€™t quite work out that way. โ˜น๏ธ

A photo from our wedding on July 14, 2017.

In May 2021, toward the end of my dietetic internship, after experiencing some weird health issues, I found out I have a hereditary cancer syndrome called. Lynch Syndrome The news DEVASTATED me. ๐Ÿ˜ญI withdrew from most people & fell into a deep depression. I have a history of anxiety & depression since age 12, but this was the worst it had ever been. I was struggling to eat & I became afraid of most foods I used to love, even black beans. I lost weight & people noticed. I felt so lost, embarrassed, & ashamed. I blamed it on my depression. What I did not realize at the time was that I was relapsing into my ED. It was just in a new form. The lynch syndrome diagnosis + pandemic stress were the triggers.

This photo was taken in June 2021, about a month after I learned I had Lynch Syndrome.

 I sought extra help when I realized my issues might be more than depression. In December 2021 I was diagnosed with ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder). My food fears were/are mainly due to fear of cancer & sickness rather than a desire to change the shape of my body. Although with my past history of a restrictive eating disorder & some body image issues, I technically have ARFID “Plus” (a combination of ARFID & a restrictive eating disorder).

I am currently in outpatient treatment (this includes a therapist & RD) & I am chasing recovery. I am still going to reach all my running goals & then some + Iโ€™m going to be a sports & plant-based RD very soon! Expect some changes to this website when that happens. And If you want to be a future client of mine you can hop on my waitlist. Furthermore, Iโ€™m going to go through my Lynch Syndrome screenings each year as bravely as I can & hopefully I donโ€™t develop cancer. Being the healthiest version of myself will only help in all areas of my life!

Thank you for reading if you made it to the end! ๐Ÿค— And if any of you are suffering NEDA is a great place to find resources. You deserve recovery too. ๐Ÿ’•

Black Bean Surprise Bites

Happy Tuesday friends!

The old saying goes better late, than never, right?! I hope in this situation that is the case. ๐Ÿ™‚

I promised both in person (before the pandemic) and on my Instagram months ago that I would share the final recipe my lab partner Gian & I developed in our Experimental Foods class last semester. So, I’m finally getting to that! ๐Ÿ˜› If that’s all you are here for maybe just scroll to the recipe. ๐Ÿ˜† But before you do enjoy this lovely hairnet photo.๐Ÿคฃ

One of the 1st versions of Black Bean Surprise bites

I know that my semester is long over and I promise I did not forget about sharing the recipe! I just got sidetracked by many other things in my life from my development of an unexpected stress fracture in my foot to the beginning of my dietetic internship. Not to mention that going through life during a pandemic, extreme political division, and civil unrest has been tough, sad, and trying. ๐Ÿ™ But today is not the day to discuss all of those things, although I certainly can in a future post if there is interest.

I do plan to write about my stress fracture from a nutritional and running standpoint here, though, but also let me know in the comments or via e-mail if you want any posts of being a dietetic intern, being a dietetic intern during a pandemic, eating/cooking at home (because of the pandemic), work from home tips, etc.๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป I’d really like to write posts here more than every month or two. So ideas are super helpful!

Anyway, let’s get to what you all really came here for, the recipe! It was interesting because we started the recipe development in class, but the class was moved to online after midterms due to COVID, so we were not able to do as many trials of the recipe as we would have liked. We are still pretty pleased with the final version and hope you are too!

Mixing everything in one of the early versions of the recipe.

The snack bites have hidden vegetables and legumes (sweet potatoes, kale, and black beans), but we don’t think you can even taste them. So they are perfect for picky eaters (just don’t tell them ๐Ÿค )! And each 2 bite serving has ~7 grams of protein and ~6.5 grams of fiber! Who knew a vegan snack that tastes like an almond joy could be so healthy?! Black beans really are amazing! ๐Ÿ˜‰ These are a great snack to add to your weekly meal prep rotation and the perfect lunchbox or midday treat! ๐Ÿ™‚

Yield: 16 bites (8 servings)

Ingredients

1/2 can black beans

1/2 cup vegan chocolate protein powder (we used Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Chocolate Sport Protein Powder)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

1/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup water

1 sweet potato

1 bunch of fresh kale

13 Medjool dates, pitted

3/4 cup salted, slivered almonds

1/3 cup coconut flakes

4 teaspoons cinnamon

How to make Black Bean Snack Bites:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit for at least 10 minutes.

2. Drain and rinse black beans in a large colander 3 times with tap water.Wash, peel, and cut sweet potatoes  into bite sized pieces.

3. Boil the sweet potatoes under medium heat and a high flame on the stove top until soft (about 15 minutes).

4. Wash fresh kale under cold water and chop into small pieces.

5. Steam for 5-10 mins, or until kale is soft, but retains bright green color. Then set aside.

6. Remove pits from dates and chop them into smaller pieces.

7. Combine black beans, protein powder, cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla, sweet potatoes, dates and kale in the food processor.

8. Process at high speed until completely smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides if necessary. If the mixture is too dry add ~50 mL of water to the mixture.

9. Carefully remove the blade and stir in the chocolate chips and salted slivered almonds.

10. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of mixture into paper cups and place into a 14 x 11 muffin pan. 

11. Sprinkle cinnamon and coconut flakes onto the surface of the each piece. 

12. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the center.

13. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.

14. Remove cups from the pan. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.

15. Store leftover bites in the fridge in an airtight container, such as a Tupperware. They will keep for a few days in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer. They taste best chilled!

Enjoy this quick, easy, and nutritious recipe! Let me know if you try it! And feel free to tag me on Instagram @fueling.veggie.athletes or e-mail me when you do!

Why The Name Change?

Hi everyone! 

You may have noticed the new website name & social media handles a couple weeks ago! I promise I am still the same black bean queen! #teamblackbeans4life

BUT it was time for a change. Especially since I will offically be a licensed and practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in less than a year! I honestly cannot believe it! All that stands in my way is my required dietetic internship (where I gain ~1200 hours of practical experience) and then I have to sit for & pass my licensure exam. I’m nervous & excited for this new chapter in my life, so please send all the good vibes my way! And comment below or e-mail me if you want me to write about either the journey to becoming a RDN or my experience in my dietetic internship. It’s definitely going to be an interesting several months with the global coronavirus pandemic….

But now you’re probably wondering, why the name change?! Especially since I’ve been the Black Bean Queen for nearly 6 years and black beans are my favorite food. Seriously. ๐Ÿ˜›

The answer: I wanted my website and social media handles to better reflect my goals: to inspire other runners + athletes, show that you can be a successful athlete by eating vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based, & to give ideas on HOW to eat to be a successful veggie athlete! There are some exciting things in the works on my end, but that’s all I’m going to say for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have a great evening, friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

 โ €

The Top 5 Reasons to Run Gazelle Girl in Grand Rapids, Michigan on 4/19/20

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Gazelle Sports in regards to the upcoming Gazelle Girl half marathon . All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I only work with brands and companies that I stand behind and trust, but I wanted to be 100% transparent about our partnership.

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Gazelle Girl is a female only race and weekend experience in Grand Rapids, MI on April 19, 2020. This race was started in 2012 by Gazelle Sports to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Title IV and to celebrate womenโ€™s health. This race was founded on the belief that healthy women contribute to an overall healthy family.ย  2020 will be the 8th anniversary of this unique race and we hope many of you can join the fun! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Need even more reasons why you should run? Read my top reasons to run Gazelle Girl below!

Top 5 reasons why you should run Gazelle Girl this April

 

  • Itโ€™s an all female race. Yes, you read that correctly! You must be female to participate in the race. If youโ€™re a male reader Iโ€™m really sorry, but consider encouraging all your female family and friends to run the race, or sign up to volunteer! ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

 

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  • 100% of the proceeds go to charity. Charity runners are not a new phenomenon in our sport, but how many races can you think of that contribute ALL their proceeds to charity? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I cannot think of a single one. Until now with Gazelle Girl! Some of the charity partners include: Gazelle Sports Foundation, Sole Sisters, Make-A-Wish, and Women at Risk International, just to name a few. You can choose which of the 2020 charities you want to partner with and feel good knowing you are helping women and children in Western Michigan and beyond. How rewarding is that?ย 

 

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  • There are multiple distance options. Does a half marathon sound like a fun challenge or intimidating? No matter the answer to your question Gazelle Girl has you covered! In addition to a half marathon, there is a 10k and 5k option. Whether this will be your first ever race or your 50th, we have you covered with training group options and training plans. Whether running Gazelle Girl will be your first race or a race will you earn that coveted new PR, we are excited to celebrate with you! And if you are in Chicago specifically, reach out to me for ideas of groups to train with. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

pacer photo Gazelle Girl

 

  • It is easy to travel to based on its location in Grand Rapids, MI. Most of you live in Chicago and the greater midwest. Grand Rapids is just under a 3 hour drive from Chicago and easy to access from other midwest states via I-196. This is the perfect distance for a little weekend get-away race without having to spend too long traveling. And if you live outside the midwest, Grand Rapids is easy to travel to via the Gerald Ford International Airport. Make a weekend out of the race with the Weekend Experience option complete with happy hours, a city lights tour, yoga, and a shakeout run, just to name a few of the fun events.ย 

 

gazelle girl 1

 

  • It has a super rad expo (expotique) and finish line experience. At the expotique you can check-in for your chosen race, add in a late entry if spots are still available, and shop for some for some beautiful and limited edition apparel. The website will be updated soon with more information about the expotique! Post-race, join all the other amazing women who ran with you in a fun finish line party complete with gin-cocktails and delicious food.ย 

 

expotique Gazelle Girl

I, unfortunately, cannot run the Gazelle Girl this year due to my already full spring race schedule :(, but I plan to run it next year!ย  I cannot wait to cheer for all of you who are running from afar and to hear all about your race weekend experience after you cross the finish line! Stay in touch about your training and if you are in the Chicago area maybe we can share a few runs! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Gazelle Girl medal photo

So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up NOW! The prices for the half marathon will increase to $95 on March 9th ($55 for 10k and 45 for the $5k), so you better act quickly. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

gazelle girl logo

Have you run Gazelle Girl before? If so, how many times? If not, are you going to sign up for it this year?!๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

Do yourself a favor & vow to not diet in 2020!

I originally shared this on Instagram onย January 1st, but I wanted to share here too in the hopes of reaching more people! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy 2020! Cheers to a new year & new decade!

Happy 2020! Cheers to a new year & a new decade!๐Ÿฅ‚ Do yourself a favor & vow to NOT diet in 2020. There are so many better health goals to make this year! Plus, diets donโ€™t work anyway. ๐Ÿ™ƒ Small, changes over time are more sustainable. โ €And since we are three weeks into the new decade I am hoping if any of you start a diet you are reconsidering it.
How about trying the following this year instead of dieting: โ €
โ €
1. Drink 70 or more oz of water daily. ๐Ÿ’ฆ โ €
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2. Eat breakfast daily, even if itโ€™s initially just something small like a piece of fruit. ๐ŸŒ โ €
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3. Aim for at least one fruit ๐ŸŽ or vegetable ๐Ÿฅฆ at every meal. โ €
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4. Pack your lunch more days than you buy it each week. ๐Ÿฅ— โ €
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5. Cook one homemade recipe per week. ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿณ โ €
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6. Bring coffee from home or make at work/school more days than you buy it each week. Drink it plain or add your own creamer. โ˜•๏ธ โ €
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7. Donโ€™t do workouts you hate. Find one or two types you like & vow to move your body at least 5x /week for 30 minutes. ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ ๐Ÿšฒ ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ โ €
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8. Make plans with friends at least twice a month. ๐Ÿ‘ฏโ€โ™€๏ธ Friendship is so important for overall health! Bonus points if you workout or cook with your friends. Helping each other develop healthy habits is rewarding. โ˜บ๏ธโ €
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9. Start a new hobby this year or bring back an old one! Maybe itโ€™s knitting ๐Ÿงถ, drawing โœ๐Ÿป, joining a local team โšฝ๏ธ, or joining a book club. ๐Ÿ“š Hobbies are great for your mental health & can be another way to socialize! โ €
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10. Get 7 or more hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep will only help you be a better athlete, worker, student, spouse, parent, etc. ๐Ÿ˜ด โ €
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What are some of your non-diet health goals for 2020?! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

Product review: Road ID

Disclaimer: I received a Road ID gift card to purchase a Road ID bracelet or Sidekick ID of my choice from Road IDย to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aย BibRave Proย (ambassador), and check outย BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

Why was I so excited to try out Road ID? Well, I live in Chicago, and while I rarely run alone (either I run with my husband, friends, a group, or there are often others on the running path), I do not always feel safe. I have been approached by strangers both while running, while commuting, or even just shopping. I’ve been lucky nothing super serious has happened, but these incidents have definitely been a wake-up call for me that it is important to pay attention and take extra safety precautions, especially as a female. I already tell my husband or a friend anytime I go for a run, errands, or commute to school. I carry pepper spray with me anytime I commute to/from school since it’s a long journey and I travel through some areas where I do not feel as safe as usual…But I could not help, but wonder what would happen to me if I passed out or got injured while running or commuting- how would someone help? Enter Road ID- the solution to my problem!

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I was excited to test out Road ID from the day I received the gift card and designed myย  ID online. I’m a sucker for anything rose gold, so making my ID rose gold was a no brainer. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I picked an adjustable bracelet because I have child-size wrists and I usually have to put jewelry on the tightest notch or it will be too big. Thankfully my bracelet fits, but only as long it is on the tightest notch. ๐Ÿ˜› And receiving this sweet note above in the mail with my ID was the icing on the cake!

After designing my bracelet I opted to start my emergency profile. This service is free for 6 months after your purchase and then is $9.99 per year after that. A small investment for something so worthwhile. In the emergency profile, I was able to enter my allergies, emergency contacts, and insurance contacts. It only took me 10 minutes and I liked putting information in a secure platform online versus just on my Road ID. All someone has to do is call the “for emergency contacts” number on the wrist ID and then enter the number on the back of the engraved plate to access my profile. This is a safer option (in my opinion) and then it is a much quicker process to get me to a doctor that is covered by my insurance versus having to get my information from my husband or family if anything were to happen. Plus, you can update your emergency profile at any time just by logging on. Obviously, I do not want anyone to ever have to access my emergency profile on my wrist ID, but I have peace of mind knowing that it is up-to-date should anything bad happen to me on a run or otherwise.

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Nowadays, I make sure to wear my Road ID anytime I run alone and honestly most times even when I run with others. I’ve even worn it a few times while out and about or commuting to school. It’s pretty cute and it’s a small way to give myself extra safety and my loved ones peace of mind.

RoadID is not only great for athletes, but also a wonderful investment for people with health issues, kids, students, people living in a big city, or the elderly. Plus, right now is a great time to buy one for yourself or as a gift, because they have an amazing Black Friday sale where you can get up to 60% off!

How do you stay safe while running or working out? Do you have a Road ID? If so, why did you get one?