Nutrition Package Give Away

Happy Saturday wonderful friends! Today is Saturday, the day before my birthday and the end of birth week. About 2 months ago, I decided that I wanted to launch a “services” page on my blog. My personal goal for this was to have it completed by my birthday. Today is the day friends, that it happens 🙂

The launch of “services”, here on The Kitchen Revolution, will bring a bit of a shift onto this blog and will allow for a few changes. Slowly but surely, things will be changing around here but I promise only in wonderful ways! Since I will be now giving services to those who feel the need for them, I will be cutting back on things such as free menus and free workouts. Now please understand that I do in fact have many general menus in the blog archives, so if this is a need of yours, you can most definitely still access them as well as contact me for them.

My new services page can be found here as well as a main page on my blog starting today. I will be focusing on helping individuals who have many needs including, menu planning based on medical needs, diet analysis, nutritional counseling and accountability and finally recipe make overs.

To kick off this exciting new step of mine for this blog, I would like to give away my services to one individual. How this will work is that the winner can go to the “services” page and ether select 4 services (2 recipe make overs, accountability and a 1 week menu for example) or the package which includes a 1 week menu, 1 recipe make over, an hour of  nutrition counseling (concerning any topic) 2 weeks of accountability and of course a complete diet analysis.

To enter this contest, please leave a comment below explain what your nutrition and fitness goals are for the next 6-9 months.

 

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Skin Care Give Away

The Aldi Gift Card Give Away winner is……….. Adam M. Congratulations and please check your email as there is a message waiting for you from me.

On to today’s post! Before I tell you what exactly the give away is however, I want to share with you the story of one of my dear friend and family member’s.

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Melanoma struck our family in 2009. My Dad Tom/Thomas had a suspicious mole on his back that was irregularly shaped. The family doctor removed the mole and sent it for testing. It came back cancerous. My dad met with an oncologist who determined that the cancer was in his lymph system. He eventually had additional lymph nodes removed that were determined to be cancer free! He remained in the close care of his oncologist and dermatologist, having additional moles removed regularly.

In January 2013 an unrelated trip to the ER and a CT scan resulted in something our family had never expected. “There are several spot on your liver and kidneys; we’re speculating your Melanoma has metastasized. We’re going to admit you for further testing.” To say we were in shock was an understatement. After two negative biopsies, my Dad was sent home. The oncologist ordered a PET scan and additional biopsies. In mid-February my Dad came home from work early and was jaundiced. He was admitted back into the hospital and had two more biopsies. The melanoma had metastasized at a rapid rate. We met with the oncologist five days later to determine his options for treatment, but the cancer had already started taking over his body. As a family, we decided Hospice care was the best option. During his short time at home my Dad was surrounded by his closest family and friends. He still managed to smile and laugh…that was just his nature! My Dad lost his short battle with Melanoma with his family by his side on March 6, 2013.

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Please consider joining our family as we walk in honor of my Dad Tom/Thomas on May 3rd. If you are unable to attend the walk please consider a tax deductible donation.

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After seeing my family devastated by the loss of their father, I have looked at skin care and its health in a completely different way. As a whole society, we are relatively vain about our skin, but in my opinion, it’s time to be careful about our skin. This is why today I am giving away a skin care package. Unlike most packages, this one includes both topical treatment to prevent skin damage, but also, supplements that aid in the prevention and maintenance of healthy skin.

Today’s give away isn’t the best of this weeks, however it is the most important. I ask that you please spread today’s post around on twitter, instagram, facebook and any other social media site you may belong to. Let’s all step up to spread the word about skin cancer.

– A few facts about skin cancer, according to skincancer.org

  • Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S.
  • Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old.
  • A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
  • People who use sunscreen daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.
  • The estimated cost of treating melanoma in 2010 was $2.36 billion.

If you don’t regularly see a doctor to look at and check your skin, please do so. If you have a family history of cancer, please be that much more careful and most of all, please remember that non of us are invincible. It is up to us to take care of our bodies.

If you live in the metro-Detroit area, consider coming out to the walk taking place in remembrance of Tom. It would mean so much to his wife and children to see that their father and husband’s story is making a difference in peoples life. If you are interested in being a part of the walk, feel free to contact me with any questions.

I would like to thank Jennifer (Tom’s daughter) for taking the time to share her dad’s story. He truly was a wonderful man and he is missed dearly. All of us here at The Kitchen Revolution love and support you and your family.

To enter today’s give away, please leave a comment below explaining what you do on a regular basis to protect yourself from sun damage and aging.

Aldi Gift Card Give Away

 Yesterday’s winner of the GymKulture Give Away is Ashley B. A big thank you to all who entered. Ashley has been contacted and I look forward to her receiving her shirt.

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Happy Wednesday. I am terribly tempted to post that camel-hump day commercial, however I will spare you all the hilariousness!

Before getting into today’s post, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of the people who have been entering these give-a-ways. You have no idea how happy I am to see people interacting on this blog, and hearing all of your comments really helps me to brain storm future content to better suit your needs/desires/wants. So thank you!

Today I am giving away a $25 gift card to one winner for the grocery store Aldi. Once upon a time, I thought that the store Aldi was a bit below me, if I’m being completely honest. I thought that the lack of “bells and whistles” in this store was a negative thing. However, lately I have been singing a different song. Lately, I have been shocked at the products and prices at Aldi!

In fact, I can’t seem to stop shopping at Aldi. Why you ask, because of the berries! I have been deeply saddened this winter at the lack of flavor in the produce at most grocery stores. Aldi however, has great produce and amazing prices and the flavor is out of this world! When I first realized the out of this world flavor, my first thought was “Aldi must use G.M.O. produce”. I was wrong… so happily wrong! After doing some research I found out some information and I’d like to share it with all of you 🙂

  • Aldi is owned by the brother, of the owner of Trader Joes.
  • Aldi prides itself on selling meat and sea food that is G.M.O. free.
  • Aldi’s prices are much lower than those of most chain grocery stores.
  • Aldi carries a huge variety of food, everything from fresh produce and meat, to processed and boxed foods, frozen dinners and many organic products too.
  • Aldi has it’s own brand called “Fit & Active” that offers some really great health conscious choices for the consumer.
  • Besides food, Aldi sells many other products such as household items, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and seasonal products too.

Remember when I said that once upon a time I wasn’t an Aldi’s fan… this is why.

  1. At Aldi’s you pay for your grocery bags.
  2. You also deposit a quarter (which you get back) into the shopping carts to be able to use the cart.
  3. Aldi’s doesn’t have conventional shelving.
  4. Aldi stores generally speaking only have 2-3 individuals working in the store at a time.
  5. Aldi doesn’t sell most popular American brands.

Low and behold, I recently found out the rhyme and reasons for each of my former complaints.

  1. Pay for your own bags… Aldi’s encouraged the “go green” movement and loves to have people bring in recyclable bags to use. If you don’t bring recyclable bags and do not want to pay for bags, you can pack your items in boxes.
  2. The quarter thing… By placing a quarter in the cart you use, you are more likely to return your cart to the corral. This eliminates the need for Aldi to pay an employee to run around the parking lot to fetch carts, which in return helps Aldi keep their prices low.
  3. Stock room shelving… again, by eliminating the need for employees to have to keep fixing shelves, prices can be lowered and costumers can get more for their money.
  4. Just a few employees… this is yet another reason as to why their prices remain low. Since shopping at Aldi’s more often, I can honestly say that I have never had a question go unanswered and the employees that are at the store have always been fabulously friendly and helpful.
  5. Different brands… Aldi has since (my once upon a time opinion) incorporated many more name brand foods into their stores. For instance the last time I was their, I saw Baby Bell Cheese, Playtex Hygiene products, Chobani Yogurt and Nature Path Organic Granola.

I am super excited for one of you to win this $25 gift card, because A: this company is awesome and I am so thrilled to be supporting them, and B: unlike other grocery stores, $25 at Aldi’s goes a long way.

To enter this give away, leave a comment below explaining how you currently cut your grocery costs and what the most difficult part of cutting costs in the kitchen is.

 

GymKulture Give Away

The winners for yesterday Graze Box Give Away were chose, Congrats to Ashli and Kate. Both have received an email and have contacted me back. Their Graze Box is on its way!

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Who loves working out? Right… that wasn’t the brightest question I’ve ever asked. Let me try again… who loves feeling and looking good when working out?

Listen, I’m not suggesting we all go to the gym in full hair and make up. However, I will say that when I feel good about myself (clothes that fit well and are somewhat attractive), I workout better. Call it whatever you want, but it’s the truth. And quite frankly, I know of many people who feel the same. For me, working out makes me feel better, so feeling good while working out and being motivated when working out is pretty much vital to my workouts.

That’s why I go out and spend massive amounts of money on clothes that I am going to stink up.

WRONG! I don’t spend tons of money on my workout clothes. In fact, it seems that a lot of clothes that are expensive are the ones that hold up worst to intense workouts. For this reason, I am some what picky about my workout clothes.  The standards for my workout clothes are that they live up to the money I spend on them as well as motivate me to workout and do so, well.

Now, you are probably wondering how workout clothes could possibly motivate you… well friends, the answer is this sweet company called GymKulture. GymKulture provides amazing workout clothes that are made with Sweat Activated Technology. When you wear GymKulture clothing, your sweat (from getting in amazing workouts) activates the logo on the shirt to appear. It’s magic!!! Not really, it’s just amazing science!

Here is an example of Sweat Activated Technology

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GymKulture is a local Michigan company and they are definitely going places – figuratively speaking, I don’t know that they plan on relocating 😉 They offer a great products and they offer them in a unique way. Every 3-4 weeks, this company releases new apparel. These designs are then around until the quantity is sold out. The new apparel releases happen at 9 p.m. on Fridays and you can sign up to be notified by email when a new release is happening.

I have honestly never seen anything like this. The apparel and the company are very unique and the owners definitely have a passion for fitness. I promise that supporting people in the industry who are in this fitness world because the love seeing others succeed is worth it.

My sister and I know the owner and he has graciously offered up a piece of apparel to one winner. You can enter by leaving a comment here, telling me what type (shorts, pants, baggy, tight) of workout clothes you enjoy wearing and why.

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Also, find out more information about GymKulture by visiting their website here and follow them on instagram here.

Good luck in today’s give away everyone and have a wonderful Tuesday!

Graze Box Give Away

Hey friends… it’s my birth week. In true gift-giving fashion, I have for all of you one give away each day of this week. I am so excited because I have some amazing companies in store for you to learn about and hopefully make to be your new friends!

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Let’s think for a moment what we want in snacks. Obviously we want delicious snacks that are healthy so that we don’t feel guilty. But how about convenience? I think that a lot of people head to the vending machine for very valid reasons… usually because they are hungry and they don’t have anything to eat.

An amazing company by the name of Graze Box seems to solve all of our snacking problems! Delivered to your door, Graze Boxes come with prepackaged and healthy snacks. These snacks are unique in their flavor and womderful in nutrients. Each snack seems to be well rounded in protein-fat-carbohydrates and also has a great boost of antioxidants.

The first graze box that I received had 4 snacks in it; Cookies & Cream, Hot Cross Yumm, Coco Paradise, and Mississippi BBQ Pistachios.

Cookies & Cream was probably my second favorite of the mix and full of mini vanilla cookies, white chocolate chips, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds. This was delicious and a great prerun snack but could definitely also double as a great dessert!

Hot Cross Yumm was my least favorite (but please understand that it was still amazing) and packed with orange raisins, miniature sponge cakes and cinnamon honey almonds. I ate this as a “Dessert” one night but wasn’t loving it considering what I had early in the day {Cookies & Cream}. It was still a great mix of flavors, just not what my sweet tooth was looking for.

Coco Paradise was my absolute favorite. This prepackaged goodie had in it, Belgium chocolate, coconut and cranberries. I’m glad that they didn’t send me four of these in my graze box other wise I would have stayed home from the gym eating all four of these. I can’t wait to either get another one of these in my graze box or to recreate it in my kitchen!

Lastly, was Mississippi BBQ Pistachios. These tasty little bad boys were so very full of flavor and very filling. I actually mixed them with some of my roasted (spicy) chickpeas. These definitely kicked my afternoon cravings to the way side and had me feeling good to go for my evening workout.

It seems pretty common for people (especially young women) to spend money on monthly subscription services that deliver products to your door. If you have wanted to try one of these, or already are participate in a few, consider Graze Boxes. I promise you won’t regret it, and hey… you are doing something good for yourself! Also, this can be used both a subscription service or as a one time fun trial purchase. Graze Box leaves it completely up to you!

GB Giveaway

Two of you will be receiving a Graze Box as my birth-week gift to you! To enter this contest, leave a comment below or by clicking here, telling me what your favorite snack is. If you have had any of Graze Box snacks before, please also leave a comment telling us what you thought of them. The winner will be chosen (at random) at midnight then will be contacted by email tomorrow.

If you want to go ahead and try Graze Box, use the code “LeahM8YTP” to receive a box of your own for free. You will have to pay shipping for this, however it is still a wonderful discount!

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday and make sure to check back tomorrow to enter a new giveaway.

*** I am not compensated for this post, the company Graze Box does not even know I exist.**

 

Say no to Coffee like I do.

Hey guys… so I don’t drink coffee. Not a lick of it. Mainly because I find coffee to be disgusting, but also because I know it isn’t good for me.

I just recently (this morning) read an article that said coffee is the main source of antioxidant consumption for the average American. Now please let me specify that this is not because coffee is so unbelievably good for you, no it’s because the Standard American Diet lacks antioxidants. So what benefit then does coffee serve us? Long term, if you have high blood pressure or heart disease, it is often recommended by doctors that you stop drinking coffee. If you are a diabetic, the same happens since most people add cream and sugar to their coffee. If you think putting artificial sweetener in your coffee takes care of this problem, you are terribly wrong and you can read more about that issue here.

Oh, and we forgot to talk about the fact that coffee is a stimulant, and like all stimulants, your body gets used to the amount consumed and needs more to have the same result. Therefore, what starts off as one cup in the morning usually (and statistically speaking) become more and more over the years.

My fiancé doesn’t feel the same way that I do about coffee. No, no… my gorgeous man is instead highly addicted to coffee. Last week however, he decided to give it up. He has been kind enough to write up a bit of how this detox of his has been going. 

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I decided to give up caffeine for lent this year. That means ALL types of caffeine all together, for 40 days and 40 nights. No soda, no coffee, no Starbucks, no chocolate, no caffeine!


This was very difficult to do as by day one that I gave up caffeine, the headaches began and it hurt really badly. By day number two, I began to have migraine like pains in my head along with body aches all together. I couldn’t take the regular migraine medicine like Excedrin because it has caffeine in the ingredients. I had to rely on ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaphetamine (Tylenol). This helped calm the pains down, but not really take them away and they seemed to only calm the pain down for 30-40 minutes, and the shooting pains would begin again.

During this time, I wasn’t eating very healthy either, from quick fix dinners from the box, to Chinese food and cereal in the morning. This did not help my cause, so my beautiful and well knowledged fiance told me to change my eating habits. I did just that by going to Turnip Truck (an all organic health food store in Nashville) and buying myself nothing but healthy and organic foods. I also supplemented juicing to my diet and juiced once a day, adding on a fruit smoothie made from scratch, daily.
The results were amazing! By day number 5, my headaches are going away, and as I am eating healthy, the headaches don’t last as long and now I only get them once or twice a day.

I know that this will go away because eventually I will have detoxified my body of caffeine entirely; however, adding on proper nutrition helped the process and helped my overall well being’s and helped me feel good.

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I have to tell you guys, caffeine is the real gate way drug. And the longer you wait to kick the habit, the harder it is to do so. Say good bye to this little but dangerous bad guy and be thankful later!

Banana Chia Seed Pods

I was frantically searching for some yogurt for my screaming baby while in Whole Foods this week, when I came across “Banana Chia Seed Pods.” I thought, “I’m going to give this a try.” It was amazing!! Mia loved it so much that she ate an entire Pod by herself. But I was disgusted when I looked on my receipt and found that it was $3.99 for a small pod. So, I began searching for recipes to create this pudding myself. It’s so simple. Only three ingredients. It’s so healthy. It’s so yummy!

Chia Seeds are all the rage in today’s slowly growing health-cautious American diet. They are known as one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They are also very high in fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in only 2 Tablespoons, and high in antioxidants, which help the body protect itself against free radicals and cancer. So, here is the awesome recipe I found thats simple and easy to make at home!

 Ingredients:

  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1/4 cup Coconut MILK (not water)
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds

*can add a dash of vanilla extract if you wish

Directions:

  1. In a food processor or blender, combine banana and coconut milk and process.
  2. Throw in the chia seeds (and vanilla extract) and pulse a few times or mix evenly.
  3. Place mixture in a container overnight and let seeds swell.
  4. Enjoy in the morning!

Diabetes

It’s no surprise to all of you that I believe food has the power to heal us and to kill us. This last week, my family encountered this theory of mine first hand. It was, for some of us, scary, while for others, just what needed to happen.

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My dad, mom and their grand baby Olivia!

Last Saturday ( a week ago), wile I was out of town, I called my mom to find out that my dad was sick. She told me hat she wanted to take him into the hospital but he didn’t want to go. She then asked if I could talk to him, and I did. He faked out conversation well and I wasn’t sure what I thought when I got off the phone with him. By Monday morning, my dad was terribly sick and on his way to the hospital. When they (my mom took him) got to the hospital, my dad had consumed nothing in the previous 5 days and had next to nothing to drink. His test came back that he was severely dehydrated, had extremely high levels of ketones in his blood and was being admitted because he was about 48-72 hours away from his kidneys shutting down.

Looking back, the doctors all agreed that his lack of attention to his Type 2 Diabetes along with a virus of some sort, is what allowed things to play out they way they did in his body. My dad remained in the hospital for a little over 48 hours, and after some fluids, pain medication (he did have as mall kidney stone) and proper sleep and diet, his vitals returned to normal ranges. All of this did however come with the direction from his doctors to start on insulin injections regularly.

I was with my dad when they told him he would need to start taking the insulin shots (this was after he was seen by the hospitals dietitian) and after patiently waiting for the staff to leave, I told my dad that I didn’t think that was necessary treatment. I told him that I knew he could change his lifestyle and reverse this disease. I told him that with the help of myself, my mom (who cooks his meals) and the dietitians instructions, we could take this challenge on and devour it.

After some very specific and thought out words with his doctors, we were able to convince them that they should give my dad a chance to do this without the insulin. And guess what… my dad is home and by only eating a diabetic friendly diet, his numbers are all down to almost below normal. We honestly believe that when he goes back to the doctors that they are going to take him off of one of his medications. He goal is to get off another in a month.

Today I was talking to him on the phone and he said this to me “This isn’t about diabetes anymore, but about the fact that if I eat right, I can live the rest of my life without being on medication”.

Do you guys even understand what that does to my heart? We don’t have to be sick… do you truly and completely understand that?

I am currently helping 4 individuals who either have been diagnosed with something that requires medication or see themselves heading down that road. These people have made the choice that they don’t want to except what doctors are telling them and they believe that by living, eating, sleeping and thinking in different ways that what society says, will help them reach their health goals. And guess what… they are! Each one of them are reversing their diagnoses and are beating the odds. They are coming off medication and feeling better everyday.

We don’t have to be sick.

We are not only allowed to feel good, but we are worth it.

I hope everyone who reads this is having a wonderful day in which they feel good and are loving their life.

If you aren’t, contact me… let’s talk about how you can feel the best you have ever felt in your life. Without spending tons of money, without taking pills… but just by eating right and sleeping a bit more.

Let’s stop being sick!

Healthy Flying

healthy travel

I have been traveling (flying, regularly) for 6 months now. It has been a learning experiment for me and today I realized I wish I would have known then what I know now. To be honest, my heart goes out to those who travel often. It definitely isn’t the easiest things in the world to do, but I’m learning that it cannot only be done, but can be done without disrupting life and the goals you currently have for life to terribly.

When traveling, I now plan out the day before I fly, the day off and the day after relatively precisely. I find that doing so allows me to see my travel days and use them successfully as a transition day. Now, this may all seem somewhat dramatic, however I promise it is not. Quite frankly, the more responsibility you have (children, work, deadlines) the higher the chances are that flying regularly can become a negative experience.

So let’s get to things…

The day before I fly, I do the following… pack, clean, laundry, make sure I am not leaving anything in my refrigerator that will go to terribly badly, clean out my car, change my bed sheets, and check the weather. I also work on these days so in hopes of getting some sort of sleep, I don’t do the following… workout, hang out with friends, have long conversations on the phone, watch tv, read books or cook.

The above leaves my travel day itself to look something like this… wake up, workout, shower, get ready, pack my bag(s) into my car, and make sure to get to the airport 30 min before I should be there (which is an hour). By arriving early to the airport, I allow myself to get some “work” done. This work that I do is planning out my time away from home. Do I have any homework or deadlines due while away? What will my workouts look like that week(end) and what will I be eating throughout my time away?

Again, this may all seem premature and dramatic, but I promise that by knowing what is happening during the unknown, you can better navigate your time away from home in a way that still reaps beneficial to you.

Once I am on the plane I do a few things. Since I fly delta, I first look through their magazine. This is done for 2 reasons… first is that I can’t use my laptop while ascending and descending, and second is because their main article, generally speaking, inspires me to work a little bit harder at achieving my goals. Once the fasten seatbelt light is off, I pull out my laptop and start working. This may be anything from planning a menu, doing some homework, planning a new project or drafting emails.

Once I have finished my work, I start making friends. I know that some people are not talkers on planes; however I am not one of those people. I like to talk to those around me and I like to learn about them… what makes them tick, what they do for a living, what they great accomplishments are in life. You would be surprised how open and honest people are on planes. By the time I have run out of questions to ask my neighbor, my plane is usually landing and after the exchange of business cards, I am walking through the airport again.

My big rule about the day I land is to not stop till it’s time to sleep. This means that I am usually off to work, the gym, or to see my parents. I make sure not to allow myself to think that these days are days in which I can “cheat” on my healthy lifestyle with sodas on the plane, snacks at the airport or fast food while driving to and from places on my “fly days”.

The day after I get back home, life goes on as if I were in town that last week(end). The nice thing about being in control of my schedule and healthy lifestyle when traveling is that it gives my life a much more fluid movement and this helps me stay on track.

I love traveling, I love flying and I love that I can do it all without interrupting my life too severely.

 

Do you travel often?

If so, how do you go about it without interrupting your life to terribly?

What would be your top 3 tips on how to travel in a healthy and effective manor?

 

March Marathon Madness

Happy Monday Friends…

I have been running and running and running. And I am sooooooooooooooooo proud of myself! My fiance and I are running a 1/2 marathon in about 7 weeks and it’s crunch time. But guess what, I don’t know what I am doing… ha!

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What I do know is that I’ve made improvement. In fact, Saturday I ran 6 miles. It wasn’t quite how I had planned it to go, but I did it non the less.

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I also know that stretching is vital to my running… in fact, I have been spending about 10-15 minutes before my runs stretching and then another 15 minutes after stretching. If I don’t, well I’m miserable the next day! Yesterday I created this little sequence and I think I’ll be adding it to all of my run days, because my goodness does it feel good!

Sunday Stretch Sequence

It’s amazing to me how much running long distance takes out of your core, shoulders, back and triceps. While running, I have to remind myself to draw my shoulders into my core, to relax my hands instead of clenching them and to keep my chin up.

All in all, I am having so much fun failing. I’m pretty sure part of it is do to the fact that right after I fail, I succeed!

But I still don’t know a lot… like should I run more than 5 miles at a time other than my weekly long runs?

My feet hurt… is that normal or do I need new shoes?

I know that much of my running struggle is mental, should I push through pain to get over the mental or should I give into the mental once I get to a certain point physically?

And let’s be honest, there are so many questions I have. So please feel free to tell me all about your running experiences. If not in the comments below, please consider emailing me at thekitchenrevolution(at)outlook(dot)com.