Run Wins of 2017 Podcast

 

Hello! Today we’re celebrating all the awesome running and fitness accomplishments of 2017!

Warm up: Need a last minute gift for a runner? Or yourself?

Check out this list of Last Minute Gifts for Runners that will get here in time for Christmas!


runner instagram
runner instagram

Run Wins for 2017!

My run win for the year is the Boston Marathon but for reasons beyond the race.

The Boston Marathon has been a dream for me for a long time. And I really want to share some personal stuff that made it challenging and emotional for me beyond running. Check out the links below for more info and background.

Boston Marathon video updates on YouTube <- these are the vlogs and videos on my training for the Boston Marathon and the fun Hyland’s Challenges.

In this video I talk about how I almost wanted to back out of running the Boston Marathon. I didn’t go into detail but talk about the struggle.

how i almost quit the boston marathon

More run wins!

If you want to see everyone’s Run Wins check out this Run Eat Repeat Instagram post!

And feel free to chime in with yours in the comments!

run fitness podcast

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast Episode:

Posts with Ben… letting Ben cook   // wedding  // Ben is better – 2011 when Ben was cleaning Vegas because he’s nice to animals like that.

Then in a sudden turn of events (okay 3 years later!) Vegas scratched his ear when he got scared.

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Santa Rosa Marathon – this is where I tried to BQ and came up a little slow 3:37:23 when my goal was 3:34:55.

But it’s a good race and I learned a lot.

oc marathon orange county half marathon and full

OC Marathon – surprise PR

Ventura Marathon – day before

On Running and Eating Alone

That time I went to therapy 3 times in 1 week

Question: Did you share your RUN WIN for 2017?

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The 3 Things I’m Changing To Be a Better Runner This Year Podcast #57

 

Hello! Today I’m sharing 3 big things I’m changing to run faster, stronger and better this year on the podcast. They’re kind of like my running resolutions for the new year.  And I’m sharing a printable Running Log and Meal Planner if you want to join me.

Even though I’ve been running for a really long time I’ve gotten away from the basics. This list can help anyone get back to working out after some time off or start a new exercise plan. These are surprisingly simple things that will help me show up for every run, get in a good workout and see results.

Are you adding anything to your running routine this year? Taking anything out?

3 Things I’m Changing to Become a Better Runner This Year

1. Workout first thing in the morning. Strength or warm up before running if I have time to wait before the sun comes up.

Specifically: Run as soon as it’s sunrise and safe. Don’t start working until after my workout is done.

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2. Keep a running log …  Include my workout, how I felt and what I ate the night before or what I ate that morning.

**  Download the Run Eat Repeat Running Log  **

I created a Running Log to track workouts, results, how I felt and what I ate before and/or after. Click that link to get the FREE downloadable running log!

Running Log - Run Eat Repeat training (1) (566x800) (566x800)

3. Meal plan and plan my workouts every week… I loosely plan my runs, strength training already but I need a more specific plan for a successful week of running and eating – especially now that I’m training for the Los Angeles Marathon!

I have gotten into some really weird habits over the last few months. I’m still eating fairly healthy but I eat at random times. That’s totally okay in most situations (I think it’s overall calorie intake that impacts weight gain or weight loss) but this is probably hurting my running performance.

I don’t have a set dinner time and just eat whenever I’m hungry. That works for intuitive eating… but the drawback is that I’m eating super late some nights and staying up very late which pushed back my run and I’ve had to cut it short because of appointments or calls. There have been a lot of different things like this that have meant I don’t eat the right foods before a long run or snack too much because I didn’t have anything planned for dinner etc…

Planning both my training schedule and meals will help me run better! Or at least eliminate those reasons as why I have a less than amazing run year. No excuses!

**  Download the Run Eat Repeat Meal Planner  **

Run Eat Repeat Meal Planner (566x800)

And finally…

Show up. Show up for every workout. Push myself. Do my best. Don’t switch a certain run for another day unless there’s a race.

NEW Podcast and Video option for this episode!

I recorded this episode on the Podcast and via Video… so it’s on YouTube here – 3 Things I’m Changing with my Running This Year Vlog

Runner Resources:

Running Log – weekly running log to track workouts.

Meal Planner – weekly meal planner for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Watch the video on the Run Eat Repeat YouTube channel and subscribe there!

Check out the Run Eat Repeat podcast and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!

Run Eat Repeat pod logo

And if you have any questions you’d like me to answer leave them in the comments, email me or call the podcast voicemail and leave a message… 562 888 1644

Question: Do you use a Running Log? Do you meal plan?

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How to Eat Healthy In the Winter– Eating Bird Food’s Brittany Mullins Podcast #58

 

Today I’m talking with Health Coach Brittany Mullins from Eating Bird Food.com. I’m asking her all about how she got started eating healthy, what ‘clean eating’ means to her, tips on how to eat salads in the winter (doesn’t it seem like a summer food?) and more!

Warm up…

Do you. Do you. Do you. This is my mini-rant on using common sense before following any new diet or exercise program.

Listen to your body and do what’s best for you.

Triangulate your data… In the social sciences, triangle is often used to indicate that two (or more) methods are used in a study in order to check the results of one and the same subject. from Wikipedia

“If your mom says she loves you… check it out.” – This is my favorite quote from one of my college journalism classes. Basically – check and double check everything someone tells you. Verify what you hear. It’s obviously an exaggeration to make a point – hopefully you don’t have to verify that your mom loves you!! But you should consider asking yourself if someone makes sense and/or is coming from a good source before just believing or following along.

Podcast Interview with Brittany Mullins from Eating Bird Food

Winter usually has us craving warm, comfort foods. So it’s hard to swap hot chocolate for green juice when you want something delicious and filling.  I’m chatting about ways to eat more veggies – even salad in the winter and still feel full and satisfied – with  Brittany Mullins from Eating Bird Food. I ask her for tips on eating healthy right now, what ‘clean eating’ means and more! Then, we go off on a tangent about our favorite granola…

Brittany Mullins 1

Brittany Mullins is a healthy living blogger, recipe developer and health coach living in Richmond, VA. She lost 20 pounds in college and learned how to exercise and cook in a way that nourishes her body. Now she shares amazing healthy recipes, tips and more on her website Eating Bird Food.com.  (Fun fact… her Holistic Health Coach certification is  from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition – the same place I got mine from.)

I’m a big fan of salads year ‘round but I know that’s not for everyone so I’m asking her for tips on how to eat healthy in the winter, eating clean, when she is okay with treats and more.

Oh and… before we did this interview we had been talking about a new breakfast combination she recently posted about – Oatmeal and a runny egg in the same bowl. It seems weird but I’m intrigued so I told her I’d try it soon. I’ll let ya know what I think!

**Update! I tried it!! Check out my instagram for my thoughts!**

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Eating Clean … What does it mean? :

Shop the perimeter of the grocery store where the produce and protein options are.

Fill up your cart with ‘real food’ = fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, protein.

Read the ingredient labels.

Try to choose foods with 5 ingredients or less.

Replace one meal a day with a salad.

Brittany does #SaladADay to make sure she is getting a lot of vegetables in one meal. It’s an easy way to make sure you are filling up with healthy foods.

How to Make Salads more Satisfying in the Winter:

Salad soup… What? Yes … Take all the ingredients you’d put in a salad and make a soup out of it. Example: Things you’d put in a Greek Salad and adapt it for a soup.

Salad sauté… Cook up your favorite salad veggies in a sauté.

Top your salad with a warm protein like grilled chicken.

Make sure your salad has fat, carbs and protein to be filling.

Brittany Mullins 2

How to make roasted broccoli from frozen broccoli:

1 bag frozen broccoli florets – toss with 2 tsp olive oil and salt & pepper

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, tossing once during baking.

I’m super excited to try this! I love roasted broccoli!!

Contact Brittany Mullins:

If you want to check out Brittany’s recipes, contact her or follow her on social media go to > > > EatingBirdFood.com  or…

EBF Instagram // EBF Facebook // EBF Twitter

Brittany Mullins 4

If you’re interested in the Health Coaching certification from IIN click here for more information or email me with any questions.

Podcast Awards for this week:

1. The granola I mentioned… Bunches of Crunches Dark Chocolate Sea salt Granola. Ah-mazing!!

2. My new fancy Glass Tea Pot… heats water super fast! Is super pretty too.

3. Candles…  I just finished a delicious smelling Pumpkin Spice Candle and realized I have more ready to go! Light ‘em up!

run eat repeat podcast voicemail (800x671)

If you have any questions for me… email me at RunEatRepeat@gmail.com with ‘Podcast Question’ in the subject line or leave a voicemail on the RER vm line at 562-888-1644

And please subscribe to the show so you never miss an episode!

Thank you! Have a great run!!

Question: Would you eat oatmeal with an egg on it? Have you??

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The New Supplement I’m Loving

 

Hello! Head’s up – I’m working with Elysium Health Basis on this post. I’ve been taking Basis, an NAD+ supplement, for a couple months now and really dig it. But always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement, diet or exercise routine.

Hi! How’s it going? I wrote this post a little bit ago so this was my post half marathon workout after the Riverside Half Marathon…

The weather is perfect for running right now (at least in Southern California). But I took a rest day from running to let my legs recover. I’m not sore or anything – but if I really pay attention to how I feel I’ll notice small signs that my body feels better after rest or performs better when I prioritize recovery.

I’m doing some strength training and I’ll take a walk before stretching out.

basis supplement review

Post-race recovery is different for everyone – listen to your body. But in general refueling, rest and stretching all work together to help me bounce back.

basis supplement

I’ve been taking a supplement from Elysium Health and wanted to share some of the benefits I’ve experienced from it.

First … the super short version of what it is = NAD+ is a co-enzyme our cells need to function properly. NAD+ is called “the linchpin of energy metabolism,” it’s required for metabolic processes like energy creation (ATP synthesis), DNA maintenance and regulating circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycles). I also read it’s helpful for recovery from regular, strenuous exercise, which is exciting for me. But as we get older we have less NAD+. This is a supplement that can increase NAD+ in humans to help support cell health.

I got excited for reasons that apply to my personal concerns – aging and athletic performance. You can check out the latest study on Basis for more – it’s in the Nature Partner Journal here.

basis bottle (478x637)

How Basis works:

How Does Basis Work? – Elysium Health video from Elyisum Health on Vimeo.

I personally wanted to try it for 2 reasons => I read that restoring NAD+ was a breakthrough in the science of aging (Elysium Health’s founder is the director of the Glenn Lab for the Biology of Aging at MIT)  and the preclinical research shows increasing NAD+ levels help support skin, sleep/wake cycles and DNA health. Boom.

Health and sleep perks are both super important to me …. and as a runner I’m outside a lot and  worry about sun damage to my skin, freckles and long term affects. All those miles and hours and days and years are adding up and I’m naturally very light skinned so that definitely piqued my interest.

Elysium is investigating additional studies on Basis and UV. I’m very interested in any benefits along these lines and will follow as more studies come out.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I now wear long sleeve running shirts for 86% of my training runs  to minimize sun exposure. My arms and shoulders are covered in freckles from too much sun!

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It’s super interesting that the first time I talked to a company rep about it  (I agreed to try it and connect if I liked it and wanted to share with you) I ended up really liking it for general energy and sleep reasons. And I noticed my skin seemed to look healthier but I thought that was a coincidence or random… then, it occurred to me the supplement might be the reason since I hadn’t changed anything else.  I wear sunscreen and long sleeves, and now Basis is part of that support team.

Monica Olivas run

Want other sources about NAD+? I’m not a scientist or doctor and I don’t play one on TV – but here are some links if you want more info…

This article in Science Mag references the anti-aging properties of NAD+.

NAD+ aka Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide – here is the definition of it on Wikipedia.

Want to check out Basis?  > >  You can get a bottle of it or a monthly subscription here

Question: Do you take supplements and vitamins?

I take vitamins and recently have started to take supplements that help with specific concerns like athletic performance and skin health.

Note: This post is sponsored by Elysium. All opinions are that of the author. No information on this site or related social media is intended to be medical or professional advice. Always consult your doctor before starting a diet or exercise plan and taking any supplements.

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5 Tips to Stick With Running Podcast #59

 

Today we’re talking about how to stick with your running or workout routine. It’s easy to fall off track when you’re busy or don’t know exactly what you’re working towards. So here are simple but real tips to stick with it and make progress.

I get a lot of questions about how to get back on track after getting away from running or healthy eating. But before you even fall off the wagon – I’m trying to strap you in with these 5 ways to make it a long term successful part of your life.

1. Set a clear, specific goal and get a plan.

What is your goal? Is it to run a race? PR? Come back from an injury? Make the track team?? Get fit?

You don’t have to run a marathon to be able to name your goal. But you do have to name your goal to know if you are sticking with it!

Once you have identified your goal – get a plan.

Use a training plan from a running website, coach or create one yourself. It can be a very specific training plan with 7 days of running, cross training and specific workouts OR it can be as simple as Mon/Wed/Fri – I run 3 miles, Tue – yoga, Saturday – crossfit.

AND – make sure it’s something you want to do – not something you’re doing because you said one time you would.

Name your goal and get a plan for it! Here are some plans to give you ideas…

30 Day Plank Challenge

Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred

Run 3 days a week

Run Streak

30 Days of Yoga with Adriene 

2. Schedule it.

Know exactly what you are doing each day, where and when.

What is your workout for that day?

What time are you doing it?

Where?

Do you need anything for it – (pack a gym bag, make a training session) ?

This 10K plan was for the Lace Up Running 10K but you can adapt it for your race…

Lexus Lace Up Riverside training plan

3. Be accountable.

Build in accountability by sharing your plan with someone in your life, get a running buddy, join a group or hire a running coach.

How do you stay on track with goals? Do you need a lot of encouragement? If so – where could you get it?

Do you need to do a group challenge? Do you need one on one support?

Be honest and self aware –decide how you can check in with yourself each week to make sure you’re sticking with it.

Check in daily on the Run Eat Repeat Instagram Run Report post!

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4. Set yourself up for success…

Remove any obstacles in the way. Time? Location? Stress?

What are the things that are going to stand in your way?

How can you overcome them?

Don’t have that much time? – Lay out your running gear the night before. – Switch up your longer workouts for days you have a little more time.

Feel intimidated and keep avoiding the gym or running group? Ask a friend to go with you OR just go two times before you decide that it’s too scary. And remember – be brave.

Super out of shape and hate that you have to start from scratch? Well, it’s better to start from right here today than not at all. You’re not going to get into shape by accident – make the decision to go for it. Yeah, you might be a little frustrated at first – but that’ll go away fast and you’ll be on your way to a healthier you!

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5. Reward yourself!

If you give more to yourself … you will get more from yourself.

So think of 5 things you’d love to do or get when you stick when your training plan each week. I’m a-okay with delicious food treats as a reward for working out… but if you’re not compile a list of things you love to do, see, feel, smell that you can use as a reward.

5 non-food ways to reward yourself:

1. Massage – bonus points if it’s a sports massage!

2. A new item of clothes or shoes

3. Guilt free time to do something frivolous … watch TV, scroll Instagram, research your dream trip to Costa Rica, create a Pinterest board with your dream outfits, take a nap…

4. Pedicure and manicure

5. Send someone flowers or an edible arrangement just because – or buy some flowers for yourself! (But I feel like giving someone a ‘thinking of you’ gift is the sweetest surprise and I get twice as happy to do that for someone else. Anyone else feel that?)

Share your ideas on Instagram so we can make a huge list of great ways to celebrate our running victories!!

This is from a lil spa da with my mom…

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Got a running, nutrition or random life question? Ask me via email RunEatRepeat@gmail.com with Podcast Question in the subject line or call the RER voicemail.

run eat repeat podcast voicemail (800x671)

Thanks for listening!

How do you reward yourself for sticking with your workout or running plan?

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Easy Meal Prep–5 days of healthy meals with ground turkey

 

Hello! I’m working with Foster Farms to share 5 different ways to make their organic ground turkey for a week of meal prep. This is a super easy way to prepare 5 healthy lunches or dinners with one protein.

This is how I usually meal prep with ground turkey – I cook it up with onions and my favorite seasonings and then have it a few different ways. Sometimes I’ll make it more Mexican food style with chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. My other go-to is Italian style with tons of garlic and Italian seasoning.

5 days of Meal Prep with Ground Turkey

Ingredients: 1 onion, Foster Farms organic ground turkey, minced garlic, salt & pepper, no salt seasoning

optional: diced bell pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, seasonings of your choice

Step 1: Dice onion. Pre-heat pan with 2 Tb olive oil, add onion and cook until translucent.

Add turkey – season with salt, pepper, garlic, no salt seasoning mix.

Optional – add veggies. Cook through.

Now we have a big ol’ pan of clean protein and you can make it into anything you want. Well, maybe not cake but a lot of different things!

easy meal prep 5 days ground turkey 4 (441x588)

Step 2: Pair the cooked turkey with your favorite veggies and grains for a complete meal.  Plan out your menu so you know if you have all the sides needed for each dish.

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I roasted 2 huge bags of broccoli and cauliflower to have with it. And two weeks ago I just kept it simple by portioning out the turkey and veggies. The picture below shows my meal prep containers with ground turkey and veggies but I ate them over a salad or rice with some extras.

easy meal prep 5 days ground turkey 3 (441x588)

Monday: I used it on top of a random salad… I piled it on top of veggies and added hummus to the mix.

You can add salsa, beans and guacamole for a turkey taco salad – that’s another one of my go-tos.

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Tuesday: Turkey tacos… a healthy spin on Taco Tuesday!

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Wednesday: Turkey and grain bowl – Ground turkey paired with your favorite rice, pasta, couscous or potato and veggies.

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Thursday: Kitchen sink salad… or should I call it a whatever you find in the fridge salad?

Ground turkey with all the other random things in my fridge… salad, carrots, hummus, veggies, garlic bread.

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Friday: Turkey with pasta sauce. I served this over zucchini noodles aka zoodles.

easy meal prep 5 days ground turkey 16 (784x588)

You can get more info and the nutrition information on Foster Farms’ organic ground turkey here.

Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey is raised free range on a certified organic vegetarian diet and free of added hormones and steroids.  It’s the only California-grown, organic, fresh ground turkey and it’s a nutritious and lean source of protein.

Pro tip: I found a two pack of this at Costco for a really good price.

foster farms organic ground turkey recipes (478x637)

Bonus… Check out these ground turkey recipes I made last year…

Easy Taco Bake – quick and healthy way to celebrate tacos on the daily.

Teriyaki Meatballs with ground turkey – this disappeared super fast!

Question: Did you meal prep this week? Do you meal prep regularly?

Note: This post is sponsored by Foster Farms. All opinions are my own.

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Enlite – The New Lululemon Sports Bra Reviewed

 

Warning. What you are about to read may shock you.

Regular readers of this blog know that I am not a fan of pricey sportswear. I don’t wear ‘active wear’, I have running kit or gym kit. The phrase ‘athleisure’ brings me out in a rash and don’t even get me started on Sportsluxe. The day I go out for coffee in something that looks like I should wear it to spinning class is….well, I don’t know what is as it simply won’t happen.

As such, I don’t normally worship at the lycra-clad altar of brands like Lululemon, in fact, I tend to steer well clear – but a few weeks ago, I noticed something; people weren’t just talking about a new Lululemon sports bra they were raving about it. In fact, the bra, called Enlite, was being called the best sports bra ever made. As I read the fifth review saying how fab is was, I decided I needed to try it too.

Fact is, I don’t do well buying new sports bras – they are either completely unsupportive or so restrictive or fiddly to put on I’ve actually got stuck in a few while trying them on in a changing room. The result of this is some of my sports bras are older than my nephew (and he’s not exactly in nappies!). During a rare brave moment I therefore plucked up the courage to ask the nice Lululemon people if I could try the bra of glowing praise. A few days later it arrived, wrapped in tissue paper – and it was purple; my favourite colour. Oh, talk about stacking the decks in your favour!

The day came to put it on. I was only going out for a short run and so decided to give it a try. I was expecting problems so figured I could put up with any discomfort for half an hour. I picked it up out of the tissue paper and my first thought was, it’s very strokey. The fabric is remarkably soft. My second thought was ‘oh no, it has criss crossy straps, I’m going to be stuck in the bathroom for twenty minutes trying to work out what arm goes where and then have to call The Boyfriend for help.’ I was wrong. Very wrong. It literally just slips on. And then it does up. There’s no twisting, turning, fighting with straps, hooks, eyes or anything else that can get in the way or lead you to having to skip arm day for a week.

It seems so stupid to say that, but I have literally fought so hard with sports bras to get them on before I’ve pulled a muscle. Now, admittedly, when a sports bra goes on this easily, it normally means it doesn’t actually hold your boobs in place. But the Lululemon sports bra hasn’t had a team of designers working on it for two years for it to not control any bouncing. I stood in front of the mirror and jumped up and down. Literally nothing moved. I was seriously amazed.

Thirty minutes of running later nothing had changed in my opinion nor had anything rubbed, chafed, restricted my movement or done anything else that might make me throw my new purple possession into the pile of sports kit only used when everything else is in the wash. It was a warm day and so the bra was sweaty, yet getting it off was as simple as putting it on had been. Oh the joy.

I wore it again on a 14km run and it performed just as well. And, while I’m never going to run without a top over it, it’s also flattering. Everything stayed in, no fat bits squished out the back or sides, compared to the one I ran in today that made me look like the marshmallow man from behind, it’s positively beautiful.  I admit, I’m gobsmackingly impressed.

And I’m not alone, every review I’ve seen on Enlite has said it’s fantastic – I also met another journalist the other day who’d tried it, again, she’s also not someone who usually buys expensive kit and she too was astounded by how good it was. We actually sat in a cafe talking about ‘active wear’ – I’m very much hoping this is not the start of a slippery slope!

Now, the one downside is the price – over here in Australia Enlite is $98, in the UK it retails at £78 – I don’t think I could bring myself to spend that on something I’m going to sweat on but this might explain why I always have so many problems buying new ones!.

Fact is, I honestly didn’t think when I asked to try out Enlite that I would love it. In fact, I was sure it was going to be the sports bra equivalent of ‘all talk, no action’ – but, genuinely I Lulu-love it.

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Want to know what else comes out with me on my runs? Well, my favourite shorts come from Aldi (told you I wasn’t big on pricey sports wear) and most of my tops are free race shirts from various events. My trainers are from New Balance and I would tell you what model they were but it’s rubbed off the inside – something that’s rather frustrating as they need replacing. I’ve recently invested in a Tom Tom Sports Watch which, I admit I’m having a few teething troubles with – today it ran out of storage – I didn’t even know it stored information, but, it’s very accurate in regards to distance and easy to wear so I might just spend a bit more time reading how it actually works! Music comes from an ipod shuffle – I like not having a set playlist but just seeing what appears.My other essential is a Flipbelt to stash my phone, keys and space $10 bill just in case of emergencies. If I’m going on a longer run when I need to carry fluids, I swap to a Fuel Belt with attached bottles – sadly mine is just a boring black one. I want the pretty orange one below now though.
Simply click on the links above or the pictures below to find out more or buy the items directly.
*NYNHB is a member of Amazon Associates and other affilate services so I get a small (much appreciated) commission if you buy anything from some of the links in this post. Lululemon is not one such link. 

Q&A with Adrian Hon: co-creator of Zombies, Run!

 

And welcome back! There’s been a long gap between posts hasn’t there – fact is, I did something stupid. A few weeks ago I decided to become a ‘serious blogger’ – I downloaded courses, I read posts, googled all sorts and for some reason during all this research, I decided it would be an absolutely brilliant idea to delete something in what they refer to as the ‘back end’ of this blog – it wasn’t I brilliant idea. I broke something!  I ended up getting heaps of error messages from google and have had to spend weeks sorting it all out..The truly annoying thing about this was I had heaps of posts planned – but not written – and so they’ve just sat patiently waiting for their moment of glory while I cleaned up mess that took 10 minutes to make! Today, however, I can finally post one of said posts.

Ironically, it’s an interview with someone who probably wouldn’t make such a stupid rookie techno error as he’s the co-creator of one of the most popular fitness apps ever – so I’m guessing he knows his way around some code! I’m talking about Adrian Hon, one of the people behind the Zombies, Run! app which, if you haven’t tried it, is a virtual reality running game where you have a mission to save the world from zombies. It’s brilliant (check out what I thought the first time I ever tried it here) and The Walk (a walking app set in an apocalyptic Britain) and the 7-Minute Superhero Workout which sees you saving the world one rep at a time. He’s also CEO of games developer Six to Start, author of ‘A History of the Future in 100 Objects’ and a former neuroscientist and tech writer. So I was thrilled when I got the chance to ask him a few questions. Here’ s what he had to say.

Q: I know it’s been out a while, but I’ve just spotted Superhero Workout and it looks fun – tell me a bit about how it works?

A: Sure – 7 Minute Superhero Workout is a smartphone fitness game that motivates players to perform fast, high-intensity workouts at home. It’s the world’s first app that automatically tracks reps and calories for dozens of exercises: we count every push up, every squat, every hook and every jab so players can see exactly how fast they’re improving.

We’ve included 20 missions where players defend the Earth from aliens, plus 12 preset workouts and an interactive ‘Battle Workout’ mode.

Q: Why you decided to switch your attention to strength training?  And what do you hope it will do for people using it?

I was personally very intrigued by the popularity of fast bodyweight workouts like the 7 Minute Workout. Clearly people were really interested in accessible, fast, and affordable strength training! So we decided to apply our unique combination of storytelling, gameplay, and technology to bodyweight workouts and make them far more exciting and motivating. Our hope is that it really helps people build up their strength and keeps them in an exercise habit for longer.

Q: The brilliant thing about Zombies,Run! was that it took away the boredom of running – do you have any other brilliant motivating ideas that can help do that?

A: There are lots of ways to keep yourself motivated while running – Zombies, Run! is one of them, but lots of people also enjoy things like running clubs, Park Run, and real and virtual races.

Q: What do you think (or hope) the gym of the future will look like?

A: You’ll see two types. The first is a ‘no-frills’ gym that has exercise machines and weights that you can’t fit in your own home – but in the future, those machines might be able to wirelessly connect with your phone so you can access workout data.

The second will be much more atmospheric and immersive, employing technology like virtual and augmented reality, along with more sophisticated health tracking wearables like heartrate bands and body-analysing cameras. There are already a few gyms like this now, although the actual content of the workout is still pretty standard. In the future, we might see more gyms immerse users in an exciting adventure or story where they need to workout to ‘survive’!

Q: Other than your own creations – what’s your favourite fitness app, and why?

A: To be honest, I really like Apple’s standard Workout app on the Apple Watch! It’s really helpful when it comes to tracking my runs and my swimming.

Q: There’s a lot of apps out there – how do you pick a good one? What three or four things should someone look for?

A: You should check out the reviews from users, and also see how often it’s updated. With new features always being released for iPhone and Android, if you’re going to invest time and money into an app, you want to be sure the developers are in it for the long haul as well.

Q: What do you think it’s the most exciting fitness innovation on the market right now– and why is that?

A: I’m a bit biased, but I think it’s virtual races. These are like traditional running races, but you can run wherever and whenever you want. These have really taken off in the last couple of years, with companies as big as Disney running their own. We’ve created our own virtual race platform called Racelink (based on our Zombies, Run! technology), and have already launched fun and motivating races for Cancer Research UK and the British Science Association.

We’ve done everything from thrilling spy races, to a race where you run from the Sun to Neptune in 10k, to our latest ‘Celeb Chase Virtual Race’ where you run alongside Mel C, Bill Bailey, Ore Oduba, and Edith Bowman: https://celebchasevirtualrace.com

Q: If you could create any kind of fitness app/gizmo/gadget or machine what would it be and why?

A: I’d like to have augmented reality contact lenses so I could run from zombies in the real world!

So there you have it! Now at this point i do have a confession. This post was supposed to come with a full review of the Superhero Workout app – but in other news since we’ve been away, I’m officially broken! Remember I told you I’d stuffed my leg up by running too slowly, well it won’t heal – it got to the point where I could do one training run a week and I’d be in pain for the next four days. So a few weeks ago, my physio decided it would be best to pull out of the Gold Coast Half Marathon and put me on ‘enforced rest’ before I did some permanent damage. I’ve barely been able to do anything other than walk for weeks. It’s still not fixed. So sorry, there’s no review,, but why not give the app a try yourself and let me know what you think.

Buy it at itunes here

Buy it for android here 

What’s it Like to Have a Steroid Injection?

 

Get the pom poms out – it’s time to celebrate. We’ve finally discovered what’s wrong with my leg. I have something called an enthesitis – which in simple terms means I’ve inflamed a tendon in my leg, but at the exact point where it meets the bone. The good news is, we know what I’ve done – the bad news is, this is not an easy injury to fix!

The doctor has sat me down and bluntly told me that if I don’t go to the gym to completely rebuild my butt muscles – and lose some weight, I won’t run again – and that would suck.

It’s been nearly five months now since I have run – and most of that has been spent on enforced rest which meant no exercise at all except walking. And it’s not been good. That thing they say where you can’t outrun a bad diet – you can. The problem is when you stop running, it all catches up with you. I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been, I’ve got proper cellulite for the first time in my life (which proves my theory that exercise busts cellulite) and I feel horribly unhealthy. Not to mention, I can’t try any new fitness stuff which kind of limits what I can say around here!

The annoying thing is that now we know what I’ve done, absolute rest wasn’t the best plan – I need to build stronger muscles in my butt to stop my knee taking over and resting so long has only atrophied them further – but still, onwards and upwards. My treatment plan has now begun and it started with the point of this post… a steroid injection.

What do Steroid injections Do?

A steroid injection delivers a shot of a drug called a corticosteroid into the damaged area – you might also hear it called a cortisone injection. You might have heard about cortisone as the chemical released during stress but it’s also a powerful anti-inflammatory so docs use it when an injury doesn’t want to heal itself – like mine. As the steroids reduce inflammation, they also decrease the pain that inflammation is causing, which will be nice. I’m bored with having an achy leg all the time.

What’s it like to have a Steroid Injection?

Now, despite the fact that I regularly used to have my face shot with Botox, needles are not my favourite things and so I didn’t google much about this in advance, but in my head I wasn’t expecting it to be pleasant – but I have good news for anyone due to have a steroid injection in the near future; it’s really, really easy!

The most important piece of information the docs need to know is where to put the needle – which, they’d discovered when I had an MRI a few weeks back. They then use ultrasound to view the inside of your leg find the relevant point and in they go. I admit I didn’t look, but the doctor told me I’d feel a sting as the anesthetic needle went in – I did, but it certainly wasn’t bad. I think I could also feel the needle moving through the tendon, but that might be my overactive imagination. The good news is, both the anesthetic and the steroid are in the same jab and so both went in with one puncture – that was a nice surprise as the way he’d worded things I was expecting two jabs. I was still lying there as he said bye and excited the room leaving the technician to stick on my Spongebob plaster and give me a sweetie for being a brave girl. (NB: seems once you get to adulthood you only get a boring brown plaster and they deny you the sweets)

So, the take home message for anyone reading this who has a steroid injection upcoming – it’s a breeze. It doesn’t hurt, it’s not unpleasant and it’s done in a matter of seconds – but don’t expect a Spongebob plaster or any treats afterwards.

Now we wait to see what happens – it’ll take a while for the steroid to work and bring down the inflammation, but I managed to walk down stairs like a normal person today – normally, I get a small painful warning shot as I take the first step down and so don’t trust myself to put the weight on my leg and so step down like toddler with both feet on each step. Fingers crossed.

I have to leave it a few days before I can hit the gym – one potential risk of cortisone injections is temporary damage to the tendon which can be worsened with exercise, but I plan to get back to the gym next week. I also have to eat a LOT of salad to shift this weight!

Wish me luck.

Cauliflower – It’s Having A Moment

 

It started with cauliflower rice, grew rapidly with cauliflower pizza bases – but now I think we’ve reached peak floret-fabulousness. Cauliflower is officially cool.

In the last few weeks when I’ve been out and about I’ve seen it popped into salads, tossed in buffalo sauce as a vegan alternative to chicken wings and even served stand alone, out and proud, as a grilled steak (with mash).

You can also make popcorn with it (which I tried on here once ) and Lee Holmes, one of the biggest wellness gurus here in Sydney, even uses it to make a healthy ice cream which she tells me is amazing..

WHY CAULIFLOWER DESERVES ITS TRENDY MOMENT

I love cauliflower – even when it’s boiled and slightly soggy (all the better to mash it into gravy) or when covered in gooey cheese sauce (totally allowed if I’m doing The High Fat Diet) but I don’t eat it nearly enough considering just how good for you it actually is.

After all, cauliflower contains vitamin C – one cup contains just over three-quarters of your daily requirement – and bone-building calcium and vitamin K. Its slightly bitter taste comes from a substance called sulforaphane which has been shown to inhibit enzymes involved in the growth of cancer cells. It also contains a substance called idole-3-carbinol which is linked to a lower risk of breast cancer.

Yep, that white vegetable you might pass up for its colourful cousins, is really, really good for you.

Top tip – it’s even better if you eat cauliflower with mustard which enhances how much sulforaphane you absorb.

All of this is why, I’m pretty glad that cauliflower is trendy – and, I’m also very happy that the trend sees us eating it whole rather than adding it to some juice or another. Juices don’t have fibre people – it’s better to eat your veggies, not drink them.

A CAULIFLOWER RECIPE TO DIE FOR

If I’ve not convinced you just yet of the magnificence of cauliflower, maybe Sabrina Ghayour can. That’s her above. Sabrina is a chef famed for her Persian dishes and uses charred cauliflower in one of the recipes in her new book Feasts. When you char cauliflower it changes the taste completely from that soggy white stuff you might be used to. It goes nutty and sweet and is just incredible.

I took one look at the picture (that one at the top) when I saw this and just started drooling – so I was thrilled when I got the okay to print it here ( trust me, no-one wants to cook one of my cauliflower recipes. I can barely eat my own cooking I’m not inflicting it on you guys).

It’s beautifully sticky, caramelised to perfection and works just as well as a main dish with something like couscous as it does as a side dish.

Go on, give it a try. You can thank me later. And if you’ve got any brilliant ideas for cauliflower dishes, let me know in the comments. I’d really love to hear if you can beat making ice cream, popcorn or pizza with it.

CHARRED CAULIFLOWER with tahini, harissa honey sauce & preserved lemons

SERVES 6

2 large cauliflowers

3 tablespoons rose harissa

4 tablespoons clear honey

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for frying

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons light tahini

6 tablespoons Greek yoghurt

Good squeeze of lemon juice

Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

TO SERVE

6 preserved lemons, deseeded and thinly sliced into rounds

Generous handful of toasted flaked almonds

½ small bunch (about 15g) of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Cut away any outer leaves from the cauliflowers, then cut each cauliflower into 4 slices of equal thickness. On the slices cut from the outer edges of the cauliflowers, trim and shave away enough of the curves to create flat surfaces, so that the slices cook evenly.
  2. Combine the harissa, honey, olive oil and cinnamon in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Brush or rub the mixture over the cauliflower slices.
  3. Drizzle a little oil into a large frying pan set over a medium heat.
  4. When the oil is hot, fry the cauliflower slices for 6–8 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked through and charred nicely on both sides. Blackening will occur as the spice paste is not only dark but also contains sugar (in the honey), which will burn naturally. This is part of the flavour of the dish and nothing to be worried about. (Alternatively, roast the cauliflower slices in a preheated oven, 220°C (200°C fan), Gas Mark 7, for 20–25 minutes.)
  5. Meanwhile, mix the tahini with the yoghurt and lemon juice in a bowl, season generously with salt, then stir in a little lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture has a sauce-like consistency.
  6. Transfer the cauliflower slices to serving plates. Drizzle over the yoghurt sauce and any remaining marinade, then scatter over the preserved lemon slices, toasted almonds and parsley to serve.

If you like the look of this, check out Sabrina’s new book Feasts which is full of yumminess. You’ll find it in bookstores here in Australia. Elsewhere, click here to go straight to buy it from Amazon.

This is an extract from Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour, published by Hachette Australia, Hardback RRP $39.99. Images are by Kris Kirkham.

Cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower wings...Why Cauliflower is Cool PlusCharred Cauliflower Recipe by Sabrina Gayour