Thursday, June 30, 2011

There's Spinach in My Smoothie!

Sometimes I eat vegetables. Yes, my life is not all cake, caramel corn, and cookies. Like this morning. I ate spinach. Well, it happened to be hidden in a sea of peanut butter, creamy almond milk, and banana, but hey, it was in there!

I love putting spinach and vegetables in my smoothies for the extra nutrient boost. Want to know the crazy part? You honestly cannot taste the spinach. I tell no lies! I try to sneak veggies into my meals in any way possible in order to counteract the buckets of frosting and ice cream (cherry chip please!) I eat on the regular. Excuse me? Did you just say, “That’s not how it works!”? Shame on you! This is my world, and yes, eating vegetables makes up for my insane sugar consumption. They balance each other out. Ying and yang, people. 

You may be thinking that vegetables in a smoothie is the most disgusting thing in the world, but you need to try this. TRUST ME! 
Unsafe driving practices. Don't do like I do.

Anywhoo, do you want to make a delicious, refreshing smoothie that is great for your body, but tastes like it’s not? Oh, I know you do. Your wish is my command. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think! I call it the Elvis+Popeye smoothie as a nod to Elvis' favorite sandwich and Popeye's spinach obsession. You figured that out before I explained it though, didn't you?

Elvis+Popeye Smoothie
  • 1 cup milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • ½ frozen banana 
  • Spoonful of peanut butter - add more or less to your taste (let's just say mine is a HEAPING spoonful)
  • Handful of spinach (Use fresh or frozen - I like to use frozen, chopped spinach)
  • Dash of cinnamon 
  • Sprinkle of chia seeds (Sooo good for you! Find em at Whole Foods, Henry’s, Mother’s Market, etc.)
  • ½-1 tbs. malt powder (malt powder=a dream come true)  
  • Handful of ice  
Blend together and enjoy! :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

How to Run Faster

I often read other running blogs and drool over how these women have the time to sip coffee and go on long runs in the morning. Jealous.

Most of my mornings involve me rushing off to work, spilling coffee all over myself and then squeezing in a quick 30 minute run after work before whatever I have to do that night. All that to say, I wish I had more time to run. I don't. So, to get the most bang for my buck, I have been doing speed work. While speed work is great and can help you run faster, it can't take the place of long distance runs.

An example of a treadmill speed workout a la Megan: 

0-2 minutes - 6.0
2-4 - 7.0
4-6 - 8.0
6-8 - 7.0
8-10 - 6.5
10-12 - 7.5
12-13 - 9.0
13-14 - 6.0
14-15 - 7.0
15-18 - 7.5
18-20 - 6.5
20-21 - 9.0
21-22 - 6.5
22-23 - 9.0
23-24 - 6.0
24-25 - 7.5
25-27 - 8.0
27-28 - 7.5
28-30 - 7.0
Cool down.

I dare you to try that above workout and not be exhausted, butt fully kicked and feeling amazing! Ok, well, if you are not an experienced runner, I DO NOT encourage you to try this workout. This is simply what I have found works for me. :)

I hear people ask all of the time, "How can I run faster?" The answer is simple, yet complicated. It requires a lot of practice, hard work and sweat (yuck). People will give you so many tips on how to run faster, but as ridiculous as this sounds, if you want to be running faster, you have to, well, practice running faster! It will be uncomfortable, but pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is the only way to do it!

Because I haven't had much more than 30 minutes to get a run in lately, I decided today that I would get more than my usual (as of late) 3ish miles....I hopped on the treadmill (aka DREADMILL-- ugh boring!) and busted out 5 miles. It was harder than I thought. I alternated between 7:45 min miles and 8 min miles...a lot slower than my race pace, but still pretty good.

When I was done, I was DRENCHED in sweat. I headed home to shower and grub.

I think I hurt. Ok, I know I hurt.

Maybe I need to add more of these toasted marshmallow milkshakes to my diet to give me more energy. Yes, that is the key to running faster. :D

Saturday, June 18, 2011

happy birthday!

the beautiful birthday girl and i
today was so fun! i went wine tasting to celebrate one of my best friend's birthday! bee couldn't make it because he had to be a responsible busy bee and! after i got gussied up, i made myself some iced coffee, some toast with peanut butter and banana (favorite breakfast everrr) and headed out the door. (note: i made the coffee way too strong and i was wired. like wiiiired. i sang some glorious melodies at the top of my lungs with much to the delight of my fellow freeway drivers who stared at me with crazy eyes.)

weird photo shoot before everyone else arrived.
after a fun caffeine-fueled drive to Temecula, i arrived, greeted the birthday girl and sipped on some goods. i only sipped a couple tastes because i was driving, but the little i had was delicious! who knew temecula produced such grape juice goodness?!

after some tasty tastings, we were hungry and headed over to one of the wineries where we had reservations for lunch! amazing! the weather was perfect, and the food? ridiculous! i ordered a flatbread pizza with sliced pear, gorgonzola cheese, proscuitto and arugula...DROOL! =D

the whole gang getting ready for some serious nom nom
they brought the birthday girl two little pieces of a vanilla bean cheesecake. yum! luckily, i was sitting next to her so i was in the prime location to snag a bite (or two. fine, three when she wasn't looking).

bright sunshine, good food, good fun...GREAT day!
two megan's and a jill :)

now i'm home hanging with the bee man and my parents are bbq'ing....tri tip... can i get an amen?! mmm.

tomorrow is father's day! going to start off the day with a nice run then spend the day with my main men! :)

i'm weird. oh, you knew that?
ps have you seen the show Shark Tank? b and my dad love it, and while i pretend to be on my computer not caring, i secretly think it's awesome! watch it. you'll get hooked.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

let it out.

life sometimes sucks.

you already knew that.

so, here it is: today, i beg you to let it out. i give you permission (if you feel like you need it). scream, kick, cry, punch a pillow, write it out and yell from the top of your lungs. go ahead, i'll wait.

done? ah. felt good, huh?

i needed that. did you? i feel like you did. if you feel like you don't, then you really need it because da-nile ain't just a river in Egypt, people! my mom says that. it's cute. she's cute. i love her.

excuse the above rant, but i'm just not one to pretend like life is perfect. a lot of the time it just plain blows. we live in a sick world. have you noticed? don't turn on the TV, it'll just exasperate the problem.

but, wait.

old, rusted barrel i found in a pile of trash on top of hill overlooking the ocean in Thailand. proof that love and beauty exists amidst the garbage.
there's more. there's joy. there's love. there's generosity. there's beauty. there's ice cream. so, i encourage you to find that "more". please don't deny the pain in your life and the aching heart of this world. refusing to move through (or even recognize its presence in the deepest parts of yourself) your pain, heart break and struggles will only cause more grief and will pave a road of destruction. you will become a bulldozer, trampling yourself and anything in your path. believe that.

you ought to identify those cracks in your bones and take steps toward healing. why? so you can better enjoy the "more" of life.

i wish i had chocolate chip cookies to talk about or the peanut butter chocolate cake i've been dying to make...or that this whole thing would be simply about the fact that mcdonald's ice cream cones bring me a childlike happiness that i can't explain. oh, and that their diet coke is the best diet coke in existence (not like i drink that artificially-sweetened garbage or anything, uh hum)...

but no. today's post is just what it is. recognizing the reality that life is not, and will never be, perfect on this side of eternity (a harsh reality to accept), moving through it with a heart of acceptance and seeking the "more"...the good, the great, the grand. seeking it by creating it.

all that being said, when i go on my daily lunch time walk today...i'm making a bee-line to the golden arches with a dollar in my pocket.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

run for your life!

I miss you. I've been MIA because life is just a huge ball of busy. Yuck. Sorry for my absence, but I'm back. Oh, joy.

Unfortunately for some, this post is about running (gotta work off those bowls (yes, plural) of ice cream somehow)...if you're looking for sugary sweet goodness, feel free to bow out until the next post. I'll forgive you.

On May 1st, I woke up around 3:30am (it's just plain wrong, I know), threw back a pot of coffee, munched on some toast and peanut butter and headed out the door to run the Orange County Half Marathon!

This was my second half marathon and I was AMPED (wish you could hear me say that word in my best burly man voice)! Ever since I ran my first half-marathon, I had been counting down the days until my next one..but I was a bit nervous.
I promise I'm running and not marching as it appears in this picture.

I won 3rd place in that first half-marathon with a time of 1:55, and my goal was to finish this race in 1:45. Now, here's why that's a bit of a rraaaaaaaaraaareach (rev run anyone?):

  • I haven't really been training. If you count spotty 3-6 mile runs and two 10-milers as training then we're golden.
  • Cutting 10 minutes off a time isn't normal.
  • I've been eating sugar like America's sugar production may be in peril.
  • Humans weren't made to wake up at 3:30am.

The great theologian, Ricky Bobby, once said, "If you're not first, you're last," and I really didn't want to be last, but I sure as heck knew I wouldn't be first. Oh, the dilemma.

I started off the race pretty fast and felt great for the first five miles. The race support was great, and I successfully drank water/gatorade at the aide stations and managed to not spill it all over myself. If I was to be honest, I find an odd satisfaction in throwing the cup down on the ground as I'm running when I'm done with it. Oh, the joys of littering.

The course was gorgeous (we ran from Fashion Island to the OC Fairgrounds), and the millionaires came out from their incredible houses to cheer us on in their gold-encrusted robes. How sweet. I'm kidding about the robes...but you get the picture. At one point, I asked a random lady what pace we were running at because she had a Garmin (I want one so bad! ps my bday is coming up! hint hint.), and she said 7:15...YOWZA! 7:15 min miles? I said boom-shaka-laka, received a strange look and kept pushing.

When I saw the mile 7 marker I decided running this thing was the worst decision I could have ever made. I wanted to be eating donuts, drinking coffee and relaxing...I was tired. Then I decided that was lame. I forged ahead and pushed as hard as I could. Bonafide badass.

Delusional smile.                                  

Toward mile 9 I started to feel discouraged. People were starting to pass me and the competitive Megan freaked out. I had 4.1 miles to go and my legs felt like sand bags. It was at that moment that I reminded myself I was doing this race because I LOVE TO RUN and I am not competing against a single runner out there. I was doing it for myself and whatever time I got would be a success because at least my sugar-fueled body was out there giving it my all. From that point on, I didn't think about my time, my pace or anyone else...just ran a pace that felt right to me.

As I approached the finish line, I saw the big time clock and couldn't believe my eyes...1:41!!!! What?!?! I freaked out as I crossed the line and then heard Brandon calling my name! I was in a state of exhaustion and pure shock. I took 14 minutes off my time people!!

Crossing the finish line.
Here's the lesson I took away from this race: Child, what are you doing worrying about other people? If you could for one moment take your eyes away from others and how you compare to them, you will have better focus and clarity in your own life. The moment you choose to focus on your own situation...your own pace...your own problems...your own short-comings...your own struggles....your own strengths...your own the moment that you begin to truly live. It seems natural to continuously be focused on how fast you are traveling compared to others (how much money you have in comparison to them, how pretty you are compared to them, how strong your relationships are compared to theirs, etc.), but it is the kiss of death. You will surprise yourself at how much you get done, how successful you are, how healthy you become, when you quit staring at other people and begin to take a good, long, hard look in the mirror...only to see the beauty..the strength...the glory living inside of YOU.