Healthy Snack: Red White & Blueberry Banana Split

This Red White & Blueberry Banana Split is the perfect quick and easy snack for Independence Day.ย 

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Red White & Blueberry Banana Split

July 4th is a week from tomorrow! Aside from Thanksgiving, 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Growing up, I always spent the day at my grandparents’ house and we would make the short walk down to the park to watch the parade and see some vendors. Later in the day, we’d return for the carnival, and of course take in some fireworks. The time in between was always spent eating a snack (and probably another snack). Today’s recipe is the perfect snack for a day like the 4th of July, whether you spend it in a park, on the beach, in the mountains, or anywhere else. Bonus: It’s easy. It’s so easy I’m not sure it can really be classified as a recipe. Try it out!

1 Banana, Sliced
1/4 c. Greek Yogurt
2 Strawberries, Sliced
1/4 c. Blueberries
2 tbsp. Unsweetened Coconut Shavings
1 tbsp. Dark Chocolate Chips

Place banana slices in a bowl and top with Greek yogurt
Add sliced strawberries and blueberries on top of yogurt
Sprinkle with coconut shavings and dark chocolate chips
Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

This snack is also great post workout! The carbs from the fruit combined with the protein from the yogurt make the perfect pair while the chocolate chips and coconut shavings add just a touch of sweetness. If you try this snack out, I’d love to know your thoughts on it!

Red White & Blueberry Banana Split

Question: What is your favorite simple snack?

Linking up with Annemarie for Meatless Monday and Deborah for Meatless Monday! Linking up with Crystal for Tuesday Talk!


Last Week’s Workouts + Life Lately

Catch up with my “life lately” and see how I’ve been active in the last week!

Last Week's Workouts

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My motivation to do anything outside of what I absolutely had to this week was pretty low. I’ve finally fallen into that terrible teacher-on-break-habit of not knowing what day it is and feeling like I’ve forgotten something important. It’s kind of annoying, yet kind of fantastic at the same time.

Sunday, 6/18/17:

I had planned for some PiYo Buns on Sunday, but I was so sore and tight from my first week on the Lauren Gleisberg plan that I just settled for yoga. I did Yoga Fix from 21 Day Fix using Beachbody On Demand (I didn’t even do the Extreme version!) and that was enough for me.

Monday, 6/19/17:

Today began my second week on the Lauren Gleisberg Weight Training Plan. I was back to the 5 a.m. Club with a “pull” workout (triceps and chest) and then ran 4.85 miles after my husband left for work. I followed the run/walk/run pattern I plan to keep during half marathon training and it was exponentially more difficult than I expected it to be.

Tuesday, 6/20/17:

Leg day with Lauren Gleisberg! She kicked my butt and I was sore for days. I felt like I did about a million sumo squats and my inner thighs screamed at me every time I took a step.

Related: Best Gear for Running in the Heat

Wednesday, 6/21/17:

Wednesday morning I utilized the treadmill for a run/walk/run of 30 minutes. It was a lot easier than Monday’s run, despite my sore legs from the previous day. I’m not sure if that was due to it being on the treadmill, but I felt great afterward! However… Shortly after, I lost all motivation to do my ab workout, so I found an old rerun of Charmed on tv to distract myself while I got it over with.

Related: 5 Minute Abs

Thursday, 6/22/17:

Rest day. The most activity I got was taking the pup for a walk. Like this. You’re welcome.

Last Week's Workouts + Life Lately
Friday, 6/23/17:

I had a run scheduled, but it was already 85 degrees at 7:30 in the morning, so after my “pull” workout, I opted for a HIIT. Thrusters, jump lunges, walking lunges, deadlifts, and plyo squat touchdowns had me smoked in under 30 minutes.

Friday night was interesting. We were slated to get a cold front, but a lot more came with it. We had 50mph winds, pea sized hail, and a power outage. It was our first time losing power since being in our new house and we had no idea how long it would last. The power went out around 6:30, so we lit some candles and munched on whatever we could find without opening the refrigerator too often. We finally got power back around 10:30 and thankfully our house cooled off quickly. Despite the crazy weather, I welcome the cooler temps, because I’m tired of those 100+ days! However, we’re now fighting mosquitoes inside the house from having the doors open for four hours. Yay!

Last Week's Workouts + Life Lately

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Saturday, 6/24/17:

Because I wimped out on my run Friday, that meant I had to do it on Saturday. I had about 5 miles to cover and I initially thought it would be easy. The first three miles went by easily and in a pinch, then I hit a wall. I struggled and thought about quitting and then my “power song” came on. You know, that song that always reminds you, “You’ve got this!” Mine is Boom by P.O.D. and it gave me the push I needed. I even have a little dance that goes with it. If you ever see me repeatedly throwing my fists in the air during a race, don’t worry, I’m just trying to bust through the wall and finish my run strong. ๐Ÿ™‚

Coming up on the blog this week is a patriotic themed healthy snack, my training plan for the first five weeks of race training, and a day in the life post. I hope you stick around! If you need to get caught up, last week I told you about my Summer Reading List, the Best Gear for Running in the Heat, as well as my Best Tips for Running in the Heat!

Question: What is the power song that reminds YOU that you’re capable of anything?

I’m linking up with Mississippi Piddlin and HoHo Runs for Weekly Wrap, as well as Run Mommy Run and Salads4Lunch for #MotivateMe Monday!

Teacher Off Duty: Summer Reading List

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Check out this perfect summer reading list full of drama, mystery, and romance for the teacher off duty!

Summer Reading List

If you’ve been around this blog for a while, you know that as part of my 7 Goals for 2017, I want to read 12 books. Well, that has turned out to be a much more lofty goal than I anticipated. In fact, when I did my quarterly goal check-in, I hadn’t read a single book yet. As a teacher (specifically a reading teacher) this made me cringe. Now that school is out, I’ve been carving out a lot more time to read and have been adding books to my reading list.

1 // Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

The first book on my list I’ve already finished. I started it the last week of school. Is it cheating if you start your summer reading list before it’s actually summer?! Anyway… I had previously read both Gone Girl and Sharp Objects, so I knew I would love Dark Places by Gillian Flynn as well. True to form, it did not disappoint. I found myself sucked into the story and not wanting to put it down!

You might also like: Teacher Off Duty: Casual Summer Fashion

2 // The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

My Kindle current is this book by Liane Moriarty. My husband and I loved Big Little Lies on HBO and I thought about reading that next, but I feel like I’ve already spoiled it for myself. This book is good. It doesn’t have all the twists and turns that a Gillian Flynn novel does, but I definitely find myself wondering how the story will turn out.

3 // The Exception by Brittany Wynne

There is a funny story behind this book. Earlier this week, I was at the optometrist (June Goals win!) and my doctor had a total and complete proud dad moment. When he saw on my chart that I was a teacher, he launched into a rabbit hole type of story to let me know his daughter, a former teacher, is now a published author. He turned around, pulled this paperback out of his cabinet, and told me to take it home and read it. It has 4.6 stars on Amazon and seems to be geared toward the YA audience. I’m a sucker for YA romances, so it’ll probably be right up my alley. Related — how old do you have to be before you’re no longer considered YA? Is 28 too old?! Asking for a friend. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You might also like: Teacher Off Duty: Light Summer Makeup

4 // The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This one is another bestselling suspense novel. It’s described as reminiscent of Agatha Christie and I’m excited to dive in!

5 // Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

I’m fairly certain I will LOVE the final book on my list, as I loved The Girl on the Train. I made my husband watch the movie with me and he was bored, but I wanted to know what else this author had written and when I could get my hands on it.

Question: What books are on your summer reading list? Are you a paperback reader, or a Kindle connoisseur?

Linking up today with Carolina Charm, Meet at the Barre, Style Elixir, and Momfessionals.

Best Gear for Running in the Heat

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Running in the heat isn’t always ideal, but sometimes it’s necessary. Check out this gear for running in the heat to give you an edge against the sun.

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Best Gear for Running in the Heat

On Monday, I shared some of my best tips for running in the heat. As discussed in that post, it’s important to be mindful when training in the heat. It’s also important to have some tried and true gear on your side to help you power through! ย I’m sharing some of my favorites that help me be my best when running in the heat — or at the very least, spend more time focusing on the run and not the external factors making me crazy!

1 // Sunscreen & Insect Repellant

The best accessory for running in the heat is sun protection. I used to be one of those girls that never wore sunscreen (and I’m so naturally pale — shame on me), and yes, I tanned in the tanning bed. I’ve thankfully wised up and put a lot more focus on sun protection, especially for a long outdoor run. I’m also trying to be a lot more conscious of the products I use these days, so I’ve switched to organic sunscreen. I love this Sport SPF 50 by Coola! The scent is Guava-Mango and it smells amazing. Love it!

I put insect repellant at the top of the list with sunscreen because I absolutely detest mosquito bites. Those annoying little buzzers seem to flock right to me, so bug spray is a must when I’m running in the heat. Like I said, I’m trying to be more mindful of what I put on my body, so I picked up this Repel Natural deet-free spray at Target the other day.

2 // Hydration Options

Hydration is always important, but it becomes even more important when running in the heat! I’ve never been one to carry hydration with me on a run, but I’ve recently changed my tune. I run with a FlipBelt (love it), so I started hunting for a slim water bottle that might work. Thank you, Amazon! I discovered FlipBelt makes a specially designed water bottle that slips inside the belt. I got the 6 oz. size, as well as the 11 oz. and the one I use for the day depends on the length of my run. Something else I like to do is swing by the house midway through my run to refill said water bottle if it’s really, really hot!

You might also like: Best Running Gear & Gadgets

3 // Clothing!

Clothing is so important. First of all, wear light colors, because duh. Second of all, make sure you’re dressed appropriately, literally from head to toe! Shoes, socks, and head gear all matter. I’m LOVING my Brooks Glycerin 14 running shoes. I don’t know why it took me so long to try a pair of Brooks! I recently grabbed a couple of pairs of Feetures!, per a recommendation by Annemarie and I loooove these socks! They keep my feet dry, they’re comfortable, and I love the way they’re cut.

I also grabbed a great pair of shorts (under $15!) at Academy Sports + Outdoors the other day. They’re layered with a compression type liner on the inside that protects against chafing. And that is something I can definitely appreciate. #thickthighclub

4 // Body Glide

Sometimes, the shorts are not enough and you have to bust out the Body Glide. In addition to potentially chafed thighs, Body Glide protects my chest where my bra strap lays. For some odd reason, that’s a sensitive spot for me and the running drives me up the wall. When I trained for my first half marathon, I remember telling my grandmother I was using deodorant on my sensitive spots, but “I’ve heard about this thing called Body Glide.” She bought me some that very next day!

You might also like: How to Workout With Asthma

5 // Fitness Tracker

Finally, I mentioned in my Best Tips for Running in the Heat post that I like to keep an eye on my heart rate when I’m running. I personally use a Fitbit Charge 2 and use the Fitbit app on my phone to track my miles. This works great for me and I always wonder how people ran prior to all of this technology we now have available! If you’re in the market for a new fitness tracker and on the fence about which model is right for you, check out this detailed review on the best fitness trackersย by Spoiler alert: They found mine to be the best HRM!

Question: What’s your must have gear for running in the heat?

Linking up today for Wild Workout Wednesday with Annemarie, Nicole, and Jen!


Best Tips for Running in the Heat

Running in the heat isn’t always ideal, but sometimes it’s necessary. Beat the heat with these summer running tips!

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Best Tips for Running in the Heat

In my part of the country, today’s high is 100 degrees. Tomorrow it’s slated to be 107. Yes, ONE-OH-SEVEN. I’m not insane enough go out and run in that kind of heat (PTL for the treadmill!), but sometimes running when it’s hot out can’t be avoided. This is especially the case if you have a fall race on your calendar, as I do. A fall race means hot training runs, so it’s best to know how to stay safe so you can be your best on race day.

You might also like: Best Running Gear & Gadgets

I have lived in West Texas all my life, so the dry, miserable heat is all I’ve ever known. As a high school athlete, I spent a lot of time cheering, training, and running in the hot, hot sun. As a teenager, I never thought twice about it, but now that I’m older (and wiser!) I’ve learned a few things about how to beat the heat.

1 // Hydration

Hydration is extremely important when training, but that importance is only exasperated where heat is concerned. I’m not one to carry hydration on a run with me (I want to be as light as possible), but based on my last training-in-the-heat experience, I’m making amends to that. Always, always ensure that you are drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your runs. If that means dropping water on your route ahead of time, do it. If that means running by the house during your run, do it. Whatever you need to do to ensure you’re properly hydrated, do it! In my experience, when I think I’ve been drinking enough water, I could usually stand to drink a couple glasses more. ๐Ÿ™‚

2 // Plan Your Run Around the Weather

Planning, like hydration, can be your greatest defense against the elements. As you’re looking over your training schedule for the week, look at the weather forecast as well. Plan your training for the coolest days, and if you can, the coolest time of the day. If the stars don’t align for you, don’t be ashamed to take a run or two indoors to the treadmill.

Tips for Running in the Heat

3 // Dress Appropriately

Light colors will keep you the coolest in the heat, regardless of your activity. White, light blue, and gray in moisture wicking materials are always good options. I prefer my tops to fit a bit looser, but that’s just personal preference. As far as bottoms go, I alternate between crops and shorts depending on my mood — again go for light colors. Shorts that “ride up” while I’m running are uncomfortable and distracting, so look for types that have a compression liner on the inside, or wear crops to avoid this issue completely.

You might also like: How to Workout With Asthma

4 // Use Sunscreen & Insect Repellant

This should go without saying, but sun protection is so important! Ideally, we are using sunscreen anytime we stepped outdoors, but especially when spending 45 minutes or longer right under the sun. Another something I’ve learned from outdoor running, especially in the Texas summer, is to use insect repellant! I can be outside for five minutes and before I know it I have three mosquito bites on my legs and four on my arms. Running is no different! Just because you’re moving a bit faster doesn’t mean they won’t find ya. Protect yourself with insect repellant and keep the bugs at bay!

5 // Let Go of Your Pride

Finally, a good run is not determined by running the entire distance without stopping. A good run is determined by how you feel during and after completion. It’s 100 percent OK to talk a walk break, scheduled or unscheduled, during a run. Let yourself take the break when you feel like you need it, don’t beat yourself up over it, and jump back in when you feel ready. There is no shame in walking! (I’m saying this as much to myself as to anyone else.)

Another good tip is to keep track of your heart rate. This can be done with a fitness tracker, or just by tuning into how your body feels. I find that my heart rate rises much faster when the temp is higher, so to keep myself from spending too much time in the peak zone I either have to A) slow down, or B) take more walk breaks.

Question: How do you survive summer runs?