Road Warriors: How to Diet and Drive

Road Warriors, Spring Breakers, Travel Addicts – this one is for you. We all enjoy a getaway every now and then. A chance to break free from our routine, kick back our heels and just forget about life for a while. One problem – in order to GET AWAY, you have to actually GO somewhere… Most of Jord and my trips involve a cramped car, several hours of endless highway and a burned out playlist. Pair that with stinky fast food and you’ve got cranky vacationers before vacation even starts. I may not be able to help you minimize the hours you’re on the road, but I can help you arrive to your vacation feeling better than when you left your house.

How to diet and drive

No one wants to roll into the beach house feeling bloated and swollen from salty snacks – – here are some top tips that I’ve developed for eating better and feeling better when you’re traveling.

  • Get up and get going! If I know I’m going to be sitting in the car all day, I like to get up early and go for a quick run or get a short cardio workout in before we leave. It gives me a chance to shake out my legs and I don’t feel so stiff in the car. Hitting the road in the early morning? Workout the night before, you’ll sleep like a rock and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

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We left for Tennessee around 4 a.m., so I did a 5 mile run outside the night before. It felt GREAT to be outside and my legs were nice and light the next day. 

  •  Snack Pack – Yea, I hear you –“Duh!” Everyone knows to pack snacks for the road, but do you know which ones to pick? Try to stay away from anything salty, bready or sodium filled. These foods will cause you to swell and make you thirsty. When you’re thirsty – you drink more and when you drink more – you have to stop more. Pack fruits and veggies that aren’t loaded with water. Bananas, clementines, apples and carrots all travel well.  While delicious, a container of watermelon probably isn’t the best idea to bring on the road…

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  • Limit coffee intake – Coffee is a diuretic and causes frequent urination – more stops! It can also cause dehydration – which long car rides already cause.
  • Make every stop worth it – Gotta pee? Get gas, stretch your legs, eat lunch and fill up your water bottle all at one stop. This doesn’t always work out, but you can really limit your stops if you make it all in one.

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With views like this, you actually WANT to stop and stretch your legs. . . These were some views we saw along the way on our Tennessee trip. 

  • Don’t go into the gas station unless you have to – Every time we go into the gas station, the bugles and cheese crackers call my name. (My husband is a Gardettos fan but I am not a fan of the dragon breath it gives him) Even if I’m not hungry, I just want a little something to munch on while driving. If I don’t have to see it, I won’t buy it. I try to chew gum to combat this.

 Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 10.07.41 AM Gardettos… garlicky deliciousness. 

  • Pack your lunch – How boring am I? I know, a soggy sandwich after 9 hours of driving doesn’t sound very appealing…but there is a right way to do it! Jordan and I ate tuna wraps for our recent trip to Tennessee and they held our growling stomachs at bay before we could find a decent place to eat. Tuna in the car – not again. Wraps were a good idea though!

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  • If you do need to stop, here are some of the places we try to find along the way:

o   Chipotle

o   Panera

o   Subway

o   Starbucks – they have awesome breakfast sandwiches

o   Grocery store – Any Kroger, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc. will have fresh wraps, sandwiches or salads to stock up on.

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We found a Whole Foods on our way to TN. I wasn’t driving, so I loaded up on their salad bar and Jordy got a deli sandwich.

We love to travel and have a lot of road trips coming up this year. These tips have helped us save money and arrive to our destination feeling energized and ready to start our vacation. I hope they help you just as much! Here are some pictures from our last trip to Tennessee. More can be found on my instagram account: @AnnaKate29

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Where is your next road trip?

What is your favorite snack to bring on road trips?

–       We bought a little tub of Blue Diamond Dark Chocolate Almonds once and I ate the whole package about an hour into our trip. NO self control!

 

 

 

Get Green 5k Race Recap

This past weekend I ran in Fort Wayne’s Get Green 5k in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that seems to just sneak up on you when you’re not looking. To me, it symbolizes that winter will soon be over and a green spring is waiting for us at the end of the rainbow! This 5k was the first of many 2014 races for me and I’m so glad it’s not the last.

I woke up Saturday morning around 8 a.m. with a spring in my step, excited to get out the door and run. I had my normal pre-race breakfast of almond butter and banana on Ezekiel toast and a half a cup of coffee for a little kick start. We were almost to the packet pick up tent when I realized I forgot my Garmin watch (palm slap to forehead). I was really upset that I  wouldn’t be able to pace myself or see the mileage during the race, but just hoped that the course would be well marked.

I met up with some friends before the race and we had fun chatting and taking pictures with a Leprechaun that showed up for the event.

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Jord waited with me at the start line and took my jacket right before the start of the race. There were almost 1000 people registered for the race and temps were in the upper 20’s. I started a little too far back in the crowd and spent the first half mile maneuvering my way around pointy elbows and running legs to get to a clearing.

The course runs through downtown Fort Wayne and has minimal hills. It is a flat and fast race, perfect for going for a PR, which was my goal…until I slipped on my first ice patch. I skidded across some black ice on the side of the road and caught myself right before I fell. It turns out those yoga balance poses pay off after all!

I have no idea what my splits were because I didn’t even know when I hit mile markers 1 and 2. There was one water station about half way through the race, but my hands were so cold that I didn’t trust them to hold onto a cup. My legs and core were warm but my fingers were bone frozen. Yes, I know there are gloves for that, but I have ADD when it comes to my music and like to change songs every 45 seconds during a race. The race felt like it flew by and before I knew it I was 200 meters from the finish line.

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I recognized the turn right before the shoot and put it into a higher gear. I felt like I had a lot of juice left in me, so I looked around for renegade ice patches and sprinted to the finish. As I crossed the finish line, I did a double take at the running clock. “What?” I thought, “It can’t say that…”

I found Jord close to the finish and his time for me matched what the race results said. I had just run my second fastest time ever! The only time to beat this one was when I ran in the State Cross Country race when I was 17 years old. I can only attribute my faster time to the strength training I’ve been doing and the whole foods I’ve been eating.

I guess there is a lot to say about healthy living! This race recap was kind of all over the place, but to sum it up: Fort Wayne’s Get Green 5k will be an annual event for me. It was run right on time, has a fun, St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere and your registration comes with 5 tickets towards beer and food in the party tent after the race. We headed over to the party tent to watch a strong man competition and get some green beer and corned beef with sauerkraut. We also got to see the annual greening of the downtown river. Our Fort Wayne Fire Department sprays green water out of their hoses and it almost looks neon across the gray March skies.

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Pros:

  • Fun St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere
  • Flat, fast course, great for PRing!
  • Lots to do after the race in downtown Fort Wayne

Cons:

  • Cold weather, random ice patches on roads and sidewalks
  • Disorganized website, race results are still not posted
  • Not a lot of volunteers or crowd support along the course

I will definitely do this race again next year. It’s a great course to start your spring races/training and the spirit of the holiday makes it a fun event to participate in. Next time, I’ll wear gloves and pay closer attention to random ice patches.

Have you run in any races yet this year?

What did you do for St. Patrick’s day?  

Turns out I’m allergic…to fun

So, remember how excited I was about the Labor Day long weekend? Well, I spoke too soon. Saturday morning started out just as I imagined. Jord and I took a ride through the mountain biking trails and then got in the car to meet up with some friends for breakfast. I got in the car and set my right hand on the side of the window…enjoying a nice breeze. I immediately pulled my hand back in the car when I felt a sharp pain in my pinky. I thought the hot metal on the car door burned me, but then I saw a bee flying away.

I must have set my hand right on top of a bee and the little guy got me right inside of my pinky finger. I started laughing and then crying a little because it hurt SO badly!! I have never been stung before and had no idea the amount of pain the little black and yellow buzzer could give. We met up with friends for breakfast and we were all laughing at how my swollen finger resembled the sausage links that were served. Well, the bee had the last laugh because soon my whole hand was swollen.

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I was freaking out a little, but everyone told me swelling was normal, so I popped some Benadryl and we were off to the lake.

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The Benadryl zapped all of my energy and I pretty much sat on the boat and smiled for most of the afternoon, trying not to fall asleep. I had a lot of fun watching my friends wake surf and jump off the boat.

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I am usually all about swimming and water sports, but I stayed dry for most of the afternoon and chatted with my girlfriends while we cruised across the lake. Later on, I felt alive enough to go for a quick paddleboard adventure.

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It was hilarious trying to get 3 girls on one paddleboard. At this point, my hand was so swollen that I could barely use it. The paddleboard trip below was about 30 seconds out and back.

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Later on I felt well enough to try wake surfing for the first time and I’m so glad I did! We ended the night on the lake by wake surfing, swimming and wakeboarding.

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My hand was still  pretty swollen on Sunday, so I slept for most of the day and was ZERO fun when we went to see Jordan’s family at their lake house. It was a little fun to see people’s reactions when I would show them my huge hand. The swelling still hadn’t gone down since Saturday morning.

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When I woke up Monday morning, I had had enough. After sleeping and eating Benadryl for two days, my bee sting had turned into a nuisance and I  needed to do something about it. The doctor prescribed antibiotics and steroids for the sting and five hours later I went from this….

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To this…

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Hallelujah! Aside from some itchiness, my bee sting has healed and I now have a normal hand. It was definitely a scary experience to see my body react to something like that and I am so grateful for doctors who know what they’re doing and prescriptions that actually work. Phew!

I wouldn’t say my Labor Day weekend was a flop, but it wasn’t exactly what I had planned for my last few days of summer fun.

Have you ever been stung by a bee? Tell me about it! 

What did you do for the holiday weekend?

 

Obstacle Courses and a Peachy snack

Good morning! It’s Tuesday already? I didn’t post yesterday because, honestly, Mondays kind of depress me. Even if I have something sweet to do on a Monday, I still don’t like them. Negative Nancy in the room. 😦 But hey! It’s Tuesday now, so let’s move on to talk about food.

I’ve had some yummy snacks and meals lately that I want to share with you. These are all super simple, can usually be prepped in 15 minutes or less, and have minimal ingredients. Perfect for summer nights when you don’t feel like cooking or light snacks before heading out to the pool for the day.

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ZICO Dark chocolate Coconut Water: It has a ton of electrolytes in it and hydrates your body after a sweat fest. Regular coconut water is great too, but I like the taste of this one the best. 🙂 I usually take 3 big gulps as soon as I get inside from running. It is gluten, dairy and lactose free so it doesn’t upset my sensitive stomach. Winner winner!

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Clean Tuna Salad: I’ve had this for lunch a couple of times and love it! Super easy to prepare and it’s a “clean tuna salad” because it doesn’t have any mayonnaise or a cream base to it. Steamed egg whites, tomatoes and tuna top spinach with rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar as the dressing.

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Garlic Quinoa Stir Fry: You’ll see the words “stir fry” quite a bit on this blog. It’s easy, fast, and you can pretty much throw anything in a pan and I’ll eat it. My soon to be sister-in-law gave me some zucchinni and tomatoes straight from the garden so I had to use them right away! I love quinoa because it is packed with protein and a great substitute for rice. Some people can’t get over the texture of quinoa–ahem, Jord–but I try to use it as a mixture in my meals instead of the the base. I cooked the quinoa with minced garlic, sautéed zucchini and onions and added cold tomatoes at the end.

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Jord’s brother has a huge peach tree in his backyard. The peaches are so ripe that they fall right into your hand with just a touch of the branch. I plucked several to take home with me.

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Cheesy Peach Toast: I cut up a juicy peach, nuked some brie cheese and placed it on top of toasted Ezekiel bread. Yum! This was an awesome snack. And you know how I like my sweet and savory concoctions. 🙂

Those are some fun additions to my eats that I’ve been enjoying lately. I get bored with things pretty easily so switching up food is one way to make sure I stay on track with my healthy eating. I also like to switch up my workouts often since our bodies are intelligent and when they get used to a certain routine, they stop changing and stay stagnant. One way to switch up your workout? Compete in an obstacle course race!

Jord and I ran in a mud run this weekend called the Warrior Dash. It was our first one and we had a blast!

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I’ve run 5k’s, 10k’s and a half marathon, but mud runs have an entirely different atmosphere. It wasn’t so serious, everyone was just there to have fun! This was the first race in my life that I didn’t care about my time, or competing with everyone else. About 17 obstacles covered the 3.4 mile course and almost every one of them was covered in mud.

The first obstacle we went through was a 3 foot deep trench with barbed wire over the top, so you had to crawl on your hands and knees to get to the other side.

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I had to hold my breath so that I wouldn’t gag in the muddy water…I know, I’m such a girl. I quickly learned that a little trench was the least of my worries.

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We were constantly going over bridges, walking on wooden planks, and climbing up walls. It reminded me of playing the “lava game” when I was a kid where you had to jump to different obstacles without touching the ground, except this time, the fire on the ground was real. IMG_1644

Even if we wanted to go for time, we couldn’t have since our heat was so crowded, we often had to wait in line for obstacles. Waiting in line wasn’t as bed as you would think. We got to meet people, catch our breath and watch how other warriors attempted the upcoming obstacle.

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One of my favorites was the “Warrior Wall.” We had to wait in line for this one but it was exciting to cheer for people that made it over and a little scary because some people would get to the top and fall straight down to the ground. Eeek!

We came away with a couple of bloody knees, a fun “Warrior Medal” and lots of memories.

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BEFORE
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Have you ever run in an obstacle course or mud run? 

Did you use to play the lava game when you were a kid? 

Fun Mondays DO Exist

Hi there! How was everyone’s weekend? It was gorgeous weather here in Indiana and I definitely took full advantage of it. Jordan was in a good friend’s wedding this weekend and the rehearsal dinner was Friday night.

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The dinner took place on the back patio of a local restaurant and it was very quaint and a lot of fun. We sipped on lemonade drinks and Summer Shandy while waiting on our dinners. The menu we chose from had three options and the dinner was themed as a barbecue. Jordan raved about the “Farmhouse Burger” and I had some barbecue chicken with fresh spinach and tomato salad. We sat at a table with a few of the groomsmen and had fun chatting about the big day.

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Saturday began bright and early for me. It was one of the first Saturdays in awhile that I got to spend the morning at home! I took full advantage of my free time by completing a ton of wedding-related to do’s…Nah,  just kidding, I actually watched 4 Netflix episodes. Oops! After peeling myself away from the tv, I opened the blinds and realized it was a beautiful day. I laced up my running shoes and headed out. its-fine-i-ran-today

It’s amazing how long it sometimes takes me to get a workout in, but how great I feel afterwards. Thank you, endorphins. After my run, I figured that was enough productivity for the day, so I sat by the pool with a new book.

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This book was recommended by my friend Whitney and I can’t put it down. You know you have a good book when it takes the place of Netflix. 😉 I put the book down long enough to get ready for the wedding and drive over to the church. This is one of the first weddings I have been to that is actually in the same town I live in! Very convenient! It only took me 15 minutes to get to the church.

This is also one of the first weddings I have been to where Jordan is in it and I am flying solo. I was a little nervous about going by myself but I found a few friends from college and we were able to sit together at the ceremony and reception.

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Yes, we are barefoot-because you just can’t dance with heels.

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Jord was OBVIOUSLY having fun…especially because I was driving. 🙂

Sunday was another brilliantly sunny day and I did nothing but lay out by the pool and read. Wedding? What wedding?

We headed over to Jordan’s mom’s house on Sunday night for a big dinner of salmon, steak, corn on the cob and grilled veggies. I should have snapped a picture of my plate because it looked like summer but I am still not used to taking pictures of my food in public. I just KNOW that Jord’s brothers would never let me live it down if they caught me snapping a pic of my zucchini.

And I can’t do a “recently” post without filling you in on my most recent stuff–Monday was my favorite day. I know, how can a Monday be so great? Well, because I got to spend my night with this guy.

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Are you still reading after that cheesy line? Sorry bout it!

Jord arrived at my apartment last night around 6:30 and we loaded up the bikes and took off for the nearby trails. We haven’t ridden for awhile and it felt so great to get back out there! After riding, I convinced Jordan to go to the gym to do this quick, lower abs circuit with me. Our gym has a smoothie bar that is impossible to resist because I’m usually starving when I leave the gym and I love anything that even remotely resembles ice cream. 🙂

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Peanut butter/chocolate/banana smoothie it is! See how it is almost gone in the above picture? Yeah…we were just pulling out of the parking lot. Yikes! I’m so glad we ended up doing something fun last night, it really made my Monday a little bit easier and it is fun to look forward to something during the work day.

Tonight I am teaching a Zumba class at the same gym, so let’s see if I can resist the smoothie bar this time…

Have you ever been to a wedding by yourself and made the best of it?

Do you do anything special on Mondays to make them a little less depressing?

The Couples Shower

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This past weekend, Jord and I were the main event of our very own Couples Shower. The “main event” is the perfect wording for it because we were the center of attention from the time we arrived until the end of the night. Our best friends, Johanna and Andrew hosted the shower, and with the help of a few of my bridesmaids, they threw the perfect party.

I started my Saturday with a 5-mile run outside. I was so excited for the day that I couldn’t sleep! I woke up at 7:00 a.m., cleaned my apartment, went for a run and then headed out to get a few snacks for a day at the lake. Jordan arrived around 10:30 and my best friends from high school arrived from Ohio and shortly after, our North Carolina couple came through the door. We threw the coolers in the car and headed to Jord’s parents house on Loon Lake to spend the day.

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We took a few boat rides, played corn hole and chatted about everything. It was so nice to spend time with our out of town friends in a relaxed setting that we weren’t paying attention to the time, and before we knew it, we were rushing back to my apartment to shower and get ready for the couples shower.

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Once we got to the shower, creatively named the “I Do BBQ” by my MOH, I was blown away by the creativity that was used. Johanna used our wedding colors to create a beautiful outdoor BBQ for all of our friends.

If you have never been to a couples shower before, it is similar to a bridal shower, but for both the bride and the groom and usually involves other couples as well. Each shower is different, but this one was definitely catered to our interests and had games, drinks, food and ended with a trip to our favorite place on the lake, The Frog!

Some of my best  girl friends at the I Do BBQ

Some of my best girl friends at the I Do BBQ

Each couple brought a date-inspired gift and we received everything from hiking/biking equipment to picnic supplies. Our friends tried to cater the gifts to our active interests and enthusiasm for theoutdoors and they hit the nail on the head with each gift. After we opened gifts, our hosts gave us a little something to travel to the bar with in style. We got lots of compliments on our fancy attire. 🙂

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We headed out and the rest is a blur of music, dancing and laughter. Literally, a blur. 🙂