activities, brands, do, eat, local, move, post-run, postpartum, run

Fuel Your Life with Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

October 3, 2016

I am excited to share a recent opportunity I had with Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine to learn more about food as fuel to help me more easily attain my running goals. It can be overwhelming, with all the information out there, for me to know what I should be eating, how much I should eat, and how to eat to be a successful runner. Sure, anyone can run without following an eating plan, but I made some big running goals this year. The two biggest ones being successfully continue to breastfeed our now ten month old baby, and simultaneously train for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 9th. I had about six months to recover from pregnancy and birth and run with the postpartum body, just to be in good enough shape to begin a four month marathon training plan.

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

I mention that because I needed to try my best to fuel my body to help make these two big goals work together: breastfeeding and marathon training! Thankfully, both of these goals burn a lot of calories. One thing I really haven’t had to worry about too much over the last few months is how many calories I consume. However, the quality of food is a factor I am constantly reminding myself to pay attention to. When I eat well, I feel good. I need to eat smart to help fuel my running goals and also eat to support my child.

In training and preparation for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, I met with Jill Merkel at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Minneapolis. Jill is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) specializing in sports and performance nutrition. My 60 minute session provided me with information to fuel running goals, increase performance, speed recovery, and improve my overall health as I continue to train.

Jill at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

We have seen a shift in the food pyramid as of late, stressing the importance of eating the rainbow, lean meats, healthy fats, and eating grains and starches in moderation. I was happy to meet with Jill and learn more about how to fuel my body with these foods. My one-on-one nutrition coaching session created a plan that supports my unique needs, goals, and lifestyle. Jill gave me a lot of information about eating clean, what to eat pre-workout to fuel me, how to eat post-workout to rebuild, and the importance of hydration.

Jill worked with my specific goal: running the Twin Cities Marathon. She created a daily game plan which broke down my daily caloric needs, a 6 meal day-to-day plan, and also the types of food to eat. These foods include fruits and vegetables to prevent injury, protein to build muscle, grains and starches for fuel, and fats for protection. Jill also taught me more about serving sizes, what a serving size looks like for common foods, and what types of foods you can eat more of in contrast to what foods we should eat less of. A key part of meeting with Jill was discussing available food options. For example, I can rebuild post-work out with protein of my choice like: lean meat, eggs, yogurt, or a great vegetable protein like, tofu.

This is where I go back to what we eat being so important. I am not at my best physically or mentally when I fill up my body all day long with foods that don’t fuel me. I love a big donut on Tuesdays with my family or pizza Friday with my kids, so I don’t have to cook. It’s all about balance. On Sunday and Monday I am meal prepping eggs, chicken and salad and trying to not drink an entire bottle of creamer in one day. I try not to eat late at night, so on that Tuesday morning when my dad gives me half of his Boston creme, I eat it without worry.

Jill gave me a lot of resources and paperwork to help remind me what types of foods help sustain my active lifestyle. This included a diagram of an “athlete’s plate” to make it easy to see what my meals should look like. She also gave examples of foods in the different groups I can find at the grocery store and keep at home. Jill is a big fan of smoothies, a food I have been trying to get in my weekly if not daily routine, so we talked about how to make that happen.

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Entry

I had a pleasant and informative meeting with Jill to help attain my running goals and I recommend meeting with her, or another registered dietitian, if you are looking for ways to fuel your life! The session is also affordable, they can schedule around your busy life, and there is convenient underground parking at their Minneapolis location.

Want to learn more? Follow these links for more information:

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center –  Minneapolis, Rochester

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center – EXOS Performance & Nutrition Services

Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon – Twin Cities in Motion Website

activities, adventures, do, family, love, motherhood, move, postpartum, run

My Own Track Team

July 6, 2016

I have my own personal track team these days. We are all running around together, supporting each other, logging lots of miles and trying to get our rest days in! Since my number one agenda is to keep everyone alive and entertained, I thought no better way to burn some energy than at the high school track on a beautiful, 65 degree, sunny, Minnesota morning.

boys on track

Last Friday marked the near end of week 2 of marathon training. My husband and I (among other awesome-sauce family members) are using a 16 week training plan for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on October 9. This will be my first marathon and my husband’s fourth! We plan on running together but he is using a intermediate training plan and I am using a beginner plan.

I thoroughly enjoyed supporting my husband training for previous marathons. Of course, it’s a pretty sweet deal being his number one fan 4 years running. Last Summer was the most difficult of previous years, training and life-wise, but I am nothing short of excited to put on the miles this Summer with someone I am absolutely proud of.

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family, love, motherhood, move, postpartum, pregnancy, run

Dog Days

June 30, 2016

Once one season of my life ends and another begins, I find the song “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine come up on my running playlist more often than not. It’s not that the particular season I was in was anything terrible, but I definitely seem to carry a bit of nostalgia and even a little sadness for the past.

Happiness hit her like a train on a track
Coming towards her stuck still no turning back
She hid it ’round corners and she hid it under beds
She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
With every bubble she sank with her drink
And washed it away down the kitchen sink
The dog days are over
The dog days are done
The horses are coming
So you better run
Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive

I’m now entering the next season of my life. Last year, I welcomed the birth of our fourth child in November and celebrated the seasons with my children by spending as much time together and as happily as we possibly could.

Find more about running and motherhood on The Thrive Blog

We survived that Winter, with all it’s holidays and all-nighters. With the help of my village, I miraculously got myself and the kids where we needed to be – physically and mentally. When I look back now, I remember it being tough adding a new baby to our already big brood of boys, but I look back and I am immensely happy and proud of last Winter.

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eat, protein packed, recipe

Creamy Crock Pot “Crack Chicken”

June 24, 2015

Creamy Crock Pot Crack Chicken. Find more recipes featuring protein on The Thrive Blog

I know the title “Crack Chicken” isn’t the most friendly, but the recipe is popular on Pinterest and some of you may have heard of it before.

I failed to do a grocery run earlier this week, so I searched for recipes I could do using the food up from my pantry, fridge and freezer. Thankfully I had a few odd items to make a delicious supper for my family without having to run to the store. Free meal, we say!

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activities, brands, do, friends, local, love, yoga

Minneapolis Yoga and Acupuncture Sampling Event

May 18, 2015

I was kindly invited to join Healing InSight and Minnesota Power Yoga for an exclusive yoga and acupuncture VIP sampling event. I hadn’t experienced Minnesota Power Yoga and had never tried acupuncture. I thought it was an excellent opportunity to get my workout it, experience new things, sample some local vendors and meet some new people. I tell you, the event accomplished all those things!

Attendees enjoyed a free yoga class, acupuncture sampling and sample products from local vendors. I brought my world traveler and yogi friend, Julie, to accompany me. The event was located at Minnesota Power Yoga in Minneapolis. The studio is a few blocks east of Lyndale on the top floor. There is a nice waiting area with seating and cubbies for your gear. I was late arriving so, I rushed to sign waivers before the start of class. I hate being late.

Minnesota Power Yoga

I seated myself next to Julie and said my hellos as I tried to namaste myself back to reality after an hour of Minneapolis rush hour. The room was a nice size with matted floors and heated to a warm, but comfortable, 80 degrees. There was an entire wall of windows which I loved. Danielle is the owner of Minnesota Power Yoga and also our instructor. She was very straight forward, clear and friendly. She offered us 30 minutes of her power yoga class. It was familiar to me and quick through the movements for an excellent, tough workout. I was definitely a sweaty mess by shavasana.

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eat, protein packed, recipe

Protein Packed Quick Fried Rice

May 11, 2015

 Protein Packed Quick Fried Rice. Find more recipes featuring protein on The Thrive Blog

I love, love rice. And noodles. And bread. And carbs, carbs, carbs. I know I like to push the protein around here but I still eat carbs, and plenty of them. I like to use protein to enhance my overall meal experience. If I sat down and ate a big bowl of rice on its own, I probably wouldn’t be full or even feel very good. By adding protein to this easy fried rice recipe, I create a super food packed with protein, moderate carbs and vegetables.

Don’t forget the Sriracha, either. On its own, Sriracha should have a tier in the food pyramid.

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