The Caffeinated Runner

Ever since I noticed my sister drinking coffee before a race, the thought has always been in the back of my mind to try doing that too.  I’ve never been a coffee fan, but just recently I’ve been able to tolerate it as long as I add almond milk and some sweetener.  Almost everyone I know drinks coffee to get them through the day and although I’m starting to grow a liking for it, it isn’t something I want to have to have to rely on.  I’d rather just be able to enjoy it when I want and possible before a race.  I’m definitely going to get my sisters thoughts on the idea and in the meantime, I did some reasearch of my own.

I found an interesting article titled The Caffeinated Runner that talks about the effect that caffeine has on your body and how some endurance athletes use it to enhance performance.  It explains exactly how it works by saying

It appears caffeine enhances performance in shorter events by stimulating the nervous system in ways that enable the muscles to contract faster and more efficiently. In longer events, caffeine delays fatigue by reducing the athlete’s perception of effort. Specifically, it increases the concentration of hormone-like substances in the brain called ß-endorphins during exercise. The endorphins affect mood state, reduce perception of pain, and create a sense of well-being.

Interesting, huh?  Reading this article definitely made me want to try out this theory.  I would have to make sure I stay hydrated with water though!

 Are you a coffee addict? Have you ever had caffeine to try to enhance physical performance?

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Hoppy Easter!

See what I did there? Too funny. Was the bunny good to you? I hope so. I’ve officially made it 40 days without candy. Nothing like the feeling of accomplishment….feels good!  I sure did enjoy some easter candy this morning.

 Even though today is Easter, it’s still Sunday!  I got up and did my long run this morning. To reach my weekly goal of 35 miles, I did eight today. My sister is home from school for the holiday, but today was her easy day so I went and did 4 before picking her up for the last 4. Music is great, but every once in a while a running partner is just the best. I got back from my run and refueled with a small snack to hold me over until Easter brunch. Yum.  Lots of fresh fruit and tasty eats.  Breakfast foods are my favorite so I was liking this meal!
One of my favorite things about holidays is the time spent with family.  I love getting to see my aunts, uncles, and cousins and being able to spend time with them is always enjoyable. Good food, good people, good times.
Do you celebrate Easter? How was your weekend?

Race Recap

Happy Thursday to you all! Anyone else have a three day weekend? So pumped. There will be plenty of blog catch up, running, relaxing, and FOOD! Easter Brunch? Oh yes. And since I haven’t had a piece of candy in 37 days, probably lots of these

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I promised you all a race recap, and I hate breaking promises! Yesterday was my first outdoor track meet of the season of my life. I just realized this year is the first time I’ve ever competed in outdoor track! Wahoooo. Any who, I hydrated well during the day and was feeling really good and excited to race.

There was a girl my coach was telling me about and she was definitely possible competition, but I avoided letting that mentally psych me out and I was ready to race. You know what my coach for next year told me? You have to hate losing more than you like winning. I think this is definitely true for me and it motivates me to give everything I have during a race.

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I did my warm-up making sure I stayed loose right up until go time, and suddenly I was on the line waiting for the gun to go off. Going into the race, my goal was just to finish first so I could get the points to help my team win the meet. I got out in front and just comfortably ran two miles, without anyone really pushing me. I qualified for states (I think?) and had fun! The wind was a bit of a challenge at times, but nothing too bad. Overall? A successful race!

If you’ve got the next couple days off, enjoy! And if not…don’t worry, it’s almost Friday 🙂

Also, two more days to enter my Rush Bowls giveaway! Go for it.

Race Day! (Almost)

Guess what tomorrow is? My first outdoor track race! Although a bit anxious, I can’t wait. Over the past year, I have found that I absolutely LOVE to race.  I wasn’t always like that though…all I can remember from early junior year was dreading Wednesdays because those were meet days.  But now?  I look forward to it for days. I find it hard to believe that my first race is already tomorrow!  Something about this picture makes me want to go out and run SO HARD. Jenny Simpson, girl crush?
Our coach this season is very experienced and dedicates lots of his time and effort into making us better runners.  Over the past 2 weeks, we’ve down PLENTY of track workouts in preparation for tomorrow and I’m feeling ready.  Bring it on, two mile.
There’s nothing like some pre-race inspiration right?  Well, I’m off to carbo load with some chicken, grilled asparagus, and a sweet potato!  I hope you are all having a fabulous week. I’ll let you know how the race goes 🙂
P.S. Go check out my latest giveaway HERE!

Sunday Run Day & NuGo Nutrition Review

I love Sundays. Unpopular opinion? It’s always my day to catch-up, complete my weekly Costco trip, go to Church, and just tie up any loose ends!  And you know what else Sunday means? Long run day!  There is something so refreshing and peaceful about getting up early on a Sunday morning and completing my long run for the week.  Personally, I think having 7-10 miles done before 10 AM is the perfect way to start a day.  Productivity at its finest!
Because of my running break in between seasons and my low mileage the first couple of weeks of outdoor track, I haven’t gone on my Sunday long runs in a while.  Boy, does it feel good to have those back on my training schedule.  And to refuel after my run?  Something new!  I’ve heard lots about these breakfast cookies and have been eager to try one.  Guess what I concocted last night and stuck in the fridge to enjoy this morning? Yup, you guessed it.
I found this recipe on The Fitnessista! Thanks Gina 🙂 IT WAS SO GOOD. I topped it with chocolate PB2 & banana and enjoyed every single bite. I think this will become my new post long run meal.
Next up, a review!  NuGo Nutrition was kind enough to send me some samples of their new slim bars.
 Gone in a matter of 24 hours after I received them, oops.  I seriously couldn’t help myself though.  It’s a great company that sells EIGHT different types of bars; you’re bound to find one that matches your dietary needs!  The bars that I got to try were the NuGO Slim bars that came in three different flavors; Brownie Crunch, Roasted Peanut, and Raspberry Truffle.
A little more on these specific bars from their website:
For years our customer have told us that they wanted a low sugar, high protein snack without the artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols found in so many other diet products. This is why we are introducing NuGo Slim, an almost sugar free, all-natural bar dipped in REAL Dark Chocolate with no maltitol. With only 2g sugar (coming from our REAL Dark Chocolate), these bars pack 15 to 17g protein and 7g fiber. This will help you feel full and stay full in between meals. Try NuGo Slim in one of our three delicious flavors today!”
Loaded with protein and not sugar?  Uh, yes please. These were great.  I had them for a snack once, but I enjoyed them the most for dessert. The real dark chocolate is unbelievably rich and satisfying and it’s certainly what made these bars stand out to me.  The perfect palette cleanser! What amazed me most was the fact that they could taste so delicious and still have great nutritional benefits. The Raspberry Truffle was out of this world.  I absolutely recommend these bars!
If you’re interested and want to learn more about NuGo Nutrition, you can visit their website here 
You can also check them out on twitter & facebook
Disclaimer: I have personally reviewed the items above.  My opinions are entirely mine.
What did you do this weekend?  Does anyone else save their long runs for Sundays?
 
Enjoy the rest of your day! XO

Rush Bowls Review & Giveaway!

I’ve got a SWEET review & giveaway for you today!  Has anyone ever heard of Rush Bowls?
 
Boy are they tasty.  Here is a little bit more on the company from their website:

“Our mission at Rush is to create wholesome, all-natural products that promote inner well-being while tasting more like sinful indulgences. Our tireless devotion to honest ingredients and pure energy allows us to serve you only the most unadulterated and delectable products. Some have called it an obsession of ours. We like to think of it as our passion. Prepare to excite your taste buds, energize your soul, and feel naturally enlightened by the pure goodness of health.”

So what exactly is a Rush Bowl?  Also taken from their website, they “take all-natural fruit & other healthy ingredients, blend it extra thick, serve it in a bowl topped with granola & drizzle of honey.a fresh,healthy,low-calorie meal.” Yes, please.  These are delicious!  And it’s even better that they are easy to grab as you’re running out the door.  If you ask anyone in my homeroom, they can tell you that about four out of the five days last week I sprinted into the room with a Rush Bowl in hand!  So convenient.

And the flavors?  I could never, ever pick a favorite. It would be way to hard.  Just look at them…how am I supposed to choose between all those?  The five pictured above are:

Açai Beach Bowl
100% pure guava juice, açai berries, mango, banana. Organic granola topping included!

Gluten-Free Beach Bowl
Same fruit blend as above, but packed with a crunchy gluten-free topping!’

Oasis Bowl
Coconut milk, mango, pineapple, peach juice. organic granola topping included!

Yoga Bowl
Mango, pineapple, banana, green tea, organic vanilla soy milk, frozen soy. Organic granola topping included!

Power Bowl
Blueberry, banana, raspberry, whey protein, rolled oats, fat-free fro-yo. Organic granola topping included

So delicious, and they kept me satisfied throughout the morning.  You are definitely going to want to get your hands on some of these.  And guess what? Rush Bowls is giving away ONE sample pack for one of my readers to try!

TO ENTER (MANDATORY):

-Comment on this post saying what flavor you want to try the most

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (LEAVE A COMMENT FOR EACH)

-Follow @eatingforexcell on twitter

-Follow @rushbowls on twitter

-Like Rush Bowls on facebook

Tweet about the giveaway “I just entered to win some @rushbowls from @eatingforexcell http://t.co/keX5rOA7”

This contest will end in ONE WEEK and I will announce the winner on Sunday, April 8th. U.S. Residents only please.

Disclaimer: I have personally reviewed the items above.  My opinions are entirely mine.

March Foodie Pen Pal Reveal!

I’m going to be honest, the month of March is usually my least favorite.  I feel like it drags on FOREVER and I’ve never been a fan.  It is now March 29th and I’m finding it very hard to believe that the month is already over!  You know what the means…right?  Foodie Pen Pals Reveal! I look forward to writing this post the entire month…seriously.  Thank you to Lindsey from Lean Green Bean for creating all of this!  Sending & receiving my boxes always makes my month a little brighter & I can’t wait for next month.

I sent a package to Maria from Real Fit Mama and if you’re reading this, I hope you liked it Maria!  Just a couple days after my box was sent, I received one from Lauren from The Holy KaleThis was the greatest package EVER.  There were so so sooo many fun things in there and almost everything is already gone.  Just look at it all!
Check out these Bare Fruit fuji apple chips…..yup gone.  SO DELICIOUS.
And I swear she must have known that I’ve been wanting to try different kinds of nut butters for over a month now.  FINALLY I tried some pecan and walnut butter that was in my box!  It was absolutely delicious and it added the perfect touch to a big bowl of oatmeal.  Although everything she sent me was so tasty, my favorite were the coconut rolled dates.  These were dangerously good. Who thought to combine shredded coconut and dried dates?  Whoever it was is brilliant.  I must find more of these ASAP because they were literally gone the day I got my package.  I also got some Thunderbird Energetica bars which I had never heard of before and was really eager to try!  Guess who has already ordered more?  Yup….this girl.  Lauren, you really nailed this package!
Also in my package was some tea, spices, dark chocolate (YUM) and some seeds!  I could rave about everything for weeks and I probably will continue to do so!
Thank you SO much for everything Lauren!  I absolutely loved everything and getting your box was one of the highlights of my month 🙂

 

And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

If you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

WIWT?

Hi everyone!  It’s been too long. Senior year is nearly at its end and I can’t believe it.  Ten days left of high school?! Someone pinch me. I’m blaming my lack of posting on that!  As much as I adore blogging and everyone here in the blogging community, I’d really kick myself later if I focused on posting over cherishing my last days of high school! I know you will all understand.  Thank you for sticking with me!  I appreciate you all 🙂

My lack of cool and unique eats this past week explains my post today.  Instead of boring you all with my typical meals and snacks, I thought I’d go for a different route this week and snap a super cool mirror selfie to show you the outfit I had on today.  What I wore Thursday anyone?……

Don’t mind the casual tooth-brushing
Tomorrow is Friday!  Enjoy it everyone & don’t forget to SMILE.
P.S. Keep your eyes out for lots of upcoming reviews & giveaways!

Chickpz Giveway Winner!

We have a winner! And it’s….

Comment #36

Haley @ Health Freak College Girl

Congrats Haley! Email me ASAP at eatingforexcellence@gmail.com 🙂 Thank you all for entering.  Keep your eyes out for plenty more giveaways to come. Enjoy the rest of your night!

Seven Things Sunday

Sunday already? These weekends just fly by. Why not share seven random things with you on this fine evening?

1.  I have a new favorite breakfast. And I TOTALLY wish I snapped a picture of it these past couples days…but I’ll give you a hint. Ezekiel bread & PB2.

2. I need a prom dress! Anyone have any good online places I can look?

3. I’m going to Hilton Head South Carolina in three weeks! Family Vacation anyone? Ohhh ya. I plan on soaking up some serious sun.

4. I’m addicted to buying running clothes.  It’s unhealthy. Check out this pair I got for $14.99 this weekend! How could I pass that deal up?

5. I’ve got 14 days of High School left. Uh what?! I can’t even believe it. We sign out on April 13th and then have a four week internship (more on that later!) and we graduate on June 1st. AHHH!

6. My guilty pleasure is Dance Moms. Isn’t Abby Lee Miller just the sweetest?!

7. I’m having another vegetable kick lately. I can’t get enough greens! I think it’s because I never touched them for the first 15 years of my life…gotta make up that time. Currently being prepared for dinner tonight? Chicken veggie wraps. CAN’T WAIT.

Already at seven? That was fun!  I think I’ll do that more often 🙂 I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

***The winner of my Chickpz Giveaway will be announced tomorrow***