One of the things that really does help with keeping your motivation to work out (especially during winter) is having goals. And not just “I want to look great in my bikini” goals but fitness and health goals. These could be everything from lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol to running your first 5K or half marathon. For me, staying healthy and off my medications is goal #1. But what helps me to really push and challenge myself rather than just do the minimal amount needed to stay healthy, is having athletic goals. It’s one reason I love climbing so much – because you are always challenged to try and complete harder and harder routes and there’s always something to work towards. It’s also the reason I love signing up for races. So now that the marathon is behind me, I have signed up for some half marathons in the Spring with the goal of getting faster. This will push me to not only get back into a regular running schedule but overall strength program since I want to run as strong as I can.
Although I’ve done some runs since the marathon, I officially started my training today back in my favorite runner’s paradise – Central Park. It’s become such a part of my being not only by living a few blocks away but doing most of my marathon training there that I now have a necklace to reflect my love. Check out Aminimal Studio (Brooklyn-based) – they have an awesome urban grid collection with a bunch of other cities as well. I’m all about supporting local and handmade artists.
I was planning on a 7-mile run but ended up being a little shorter since I realized I needed to pick a couple things up at the market. The beauty of NYC living is that I could swoop by my market on the way home. I could not, however, run with my bag full of quinoa milk, cherry juice, pineapple and other goodies so I walked the last part home. Still a decent run, so no complaints from me. And it felt good to be back in my training grounds :)
After I got back, I had a quickie snack of some lemon water and rice thins smeared with sunflower seed butter before I hopped in the shower to get a little refuel right away. Then I put all my smoothie ingredients into the blender and let them hang out (so the chia seeds could do their thing for a bit for a thicker smoothie). I made an anti-inflammatory green protein powerhouse (32 grams) that would make Popeye proud.
And, by the way, the looking good in a bikini part comes as a natural off shoot of eating, living and being healthy. So think about making your goals broader knowing that the looking good (and feeling good) will be a by-product.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla quinoa milk (or almond, coconut, hemp, etc.)
- 1/2 cup tart cherry juice*
- 1 Tbs chia seeds
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 scoop Raw Protein, unflavored
- 1 packet chocolate greens*
- 1 Tbs spirulina powder
- 1 tsp Maca powder (optional)
- 1 cup baby spinach
- Cinnamon, to taste
- Pinch of salt
- Hemp seeds, cacao nibs and dried cranberries
- Place all ingredients into blender container and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Blend to desired consistency and add in 3-4 cubes of ice if you like a cooler smoothie.
- Mine was thick enough to eat with a spoon, but you can add in some more non-dairy milk or cherry juice to thin out if you prefer.
- Top with a sprinkle of hemp seeds, cacao nibs and dried cranberries.
- Make sure you get tart cherry juice without added sugars - I use Knudsen's Just Tart Cherry juice.
- I currently use Trace Minerals chocolate greens but am planning to switch once I'm done with my current stash. I'd prefer to have one without "natural" flavors or xantham gum. Plus, even though it's trace amounts, it's not certified gluten free. So if you want to ensure it is completely gluten free, either get ones that are certified GF or just use some cacao powder. If you go with cacao powder, you might want to add in a little coconut sugar or stevia to add a touch of sweetness.