Books: Way too frazzled with holiday stuff to be reading much of anything.
Running Path: It’s been so windy and raw here, I’ve been taking to the trails for refuge. I think this pic was taken on the one sunny day we’ve had here this month so far.
Non-Running Workout: I’m all about the free weights. After just one week my body seems to be getting with the program and I’m much less sore after strength sessions. Haven’t gone for the gusto and attempted an unassisted pullup yet but hopefully soon.
Drink: Peppermint Protein Mocha. Made with this. Apparently I’ve got a thing for peppermint lately. Recipe is here.
Excitement: Hey, it’s my birthday, that’s all the excitement I can take for one day.
Garden Item: Say What? Well I’ve got a few butternut squashes from the garden left in the garage, but my stash is dwindling.
TV: Say what again? I’m eagerly awaiting the new season of The Bachelor with farmer Chris and Celebrity Apprentice in January. When it rains it pours. Until then, I watch nada. Even the Sex & the City reruns haven’t been on.
Indulgence: I’ve sworn off holiday baking this year but somehow this crack-in-a-bag jumped into my shopping cart. I’ve been making chocolate bark like it’s my job too. Almond/apricot mostly. I’m giving most of it away, but dang it, pieces just keep jumping into my mouth.
Pet Peeve: I’m sure I could complain about the crowds at the mall or the total D-Bag who cut me off because he thought I was stealing his parking spot when all I was doing was trying to leave but I’m not gonna do it.
Mood: Celebratory and upbeat!
Birthday words of wisdom: Old is a state of mind. I don’t live in that state. Oh and don’t wear fleece socks too soon after a pedicure.
What is “Current” for you? Since Runfession Friday falls the day after Christmas, I’ll be sneaking mine in this Friday instead. Since strength is my focus, there may be some “Gymfessions” in there too! Feel free to join me!
I was SO happy to finally see the scale move in the right direction and continue, even after the New York City Marathon. I felt like Laura’s 21 day detox jump started me and I peeled off 6 lbs. I’m 5’2″ so 6 lbs. is a decent start in my book. Then Thanksgiving came. No, I did not overeat…on the actual day…but oh those leftovers. I’m looking at you, lime-in-the-coconut cake…and you, dutch apple pie…even you potatoes, potatoes and more potatoes…running less probably didn’t help either, but lets blame the food, shall we?
When I got on the scale to see I’d gained back 4 of the 6 lbs., something had to change. It became my mission to avoid holiday weight gain, even if it was the running “off-season”. I’m focusing on strengthening and balancing all those tired, overused muscles and the lazy, underused ones too (hello booty).
So how do I plan to stay fit (and maybe continue to lose weight) over the holidays?
1. Stay consistent with workouts by scheduling them in. Just as you would any other important appointment.
2. Get exercise out of the way early. Before life and holiday chaos get in the way. When I hit up the gym last week, it had been so long, I was hesitant to venture into the free weight area. But venture I did. Right on over to the squat rack. I haven’t squatted…I mean REALLY squatted with anything more than dumbells or a kettlebell….well….in forever.
There’s no time like the present to stop saving your legs for your next run and bust out some squats, right? So I did. And I could feel all the imbalances. My left hip and my cranky knee on the same side objected, mildly. Sigh. I made a good effort that day and have been back, hitting those free weights four times since. It’s going to be a long, hard road but I’m up for it.
3. Make non-food related activities part of your holiday traditions. Take part in turkey trots, jingle bell runs/walks, enjoy sledding, skating and holiday house walks. Don’t bother hunting for the closest parking spot at the mall. Park far away for more exercise.
4. Clean up your diet: I think we all know WHAT to do, we just don’t always do it. For me simply cutting out the junk and mindless snacking goes a loooong way. I feel SO much better when I eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods and say no to sweets. Easier said than done sometimes, especially at the holidays, but it gets easier once you build some positive momentum.
5. Plan ahead when attending parties: If you’re attending a party where you know there will be temptation, plan ahead of time just how and on what you’ll splurge. Then move away from the food and enjoy the social aspect of the event.
As luck would have it, at the same time I made it my mission to revamp my workouts and fend off holiday weight gain, GNC sent me products from their PureEdge line.
There are SO many things I like about the PureEdge, whole-food-based product line:
- No gluten-added ingredients
- No banned substances
- No artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners
- No preservatives
- No wheat, yeast, fish or egg
- No sugar alcohols
Complete Protein: I tried the natural chocolate flavor, which was quite delicious. Each serving contains 20g protein sweetened with Stevia and Monk fruit. There are >5g of amino acids as well as 5g of fiber. I’ve been using this for my post-workout recovery smoothies, and, since it’s the holiday season, I concocted something special that I am totally excited about. You know I love me a certain holiday drink in a festive red cup. But those drinks are far from healthful. So I set out to create one that was. I swear this one tastes SO great, plus has the satisfying addition of protein for the win.
Peppermint Protein Mocha
6-8oz milk. I typically use coconut or almond milk.
4-6oz brewed coffee. Change the coffee:milk ratio based on your preference or skip coffee if you’re not a fan or are serving to kiddos.
1 scoop GNC PureEdge Protein Powder
1/2t unsweetened dutch process cocoa
1/8t peppermint extract (or to taste)
Handful of bittersweet chocolate chips (totally optional) if you desire a richer chocolate taste.
1. In a saucepan, warm the coffee, milk (and chocolate chips, if using) until hot.
2. In a blender, add coffee mixture and remaining ingredients and blend until frothy (be sure to cover the blender).
3. Pour in a mug, garnish with crushed candy cane (optional) and enjoy!
Other GNC PureEdge Products I’m using:
Daily Energy Performance Energizer: I shake this up with water for a quick energy boost before my workout. It contains naturally energizing antioxidants like black tea, guarana and rhodiola. Love the cherry limeade flavor.
Complete Amino Daily Muscle Replenishment: I drink this immediately after my workouts. The amino acid blend includes L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, and Betaine to help protect and repair muscles.
Complete Protein Bars: With an ice show right after Christmas followed by competition season, I’m skating almost every day. These whole-food-based bars are perfect to throw in your bag for an on-the-go snack. They’re chewy, dense and provide 20g of appetite satisfying protein. The Peanut Butter Cookie Dough flavor is my favorite.
Stay tuned: I’ll update in a couple of weeks and share my training and weightloss (hopefully) progress as well as more insights on how GNC PureEdge products performed.
What winter recipe would you use GNC PureEdge Protein in? How do you stay fit over the holidays?
This post is sponsored by GNC PureEdge.