Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve! Kyle and I celebrated our Christmas together on Friday before heading back to the South Bend area for our family get togethers. He really surprised me this year and gave me a running Garmin, Lulu yoga strap (I've been procrastinating getting one for 2 years), Davids Tea infuser with tea, Brooks running ear warmer, and an Anthropolgie gift card. I am one happy runner!

The best gift is coming on Wednesday when we head to Napa for one week!!  My mom and step dad decided they would take us all on a trip for our Christmas gift. I cannot wait! They go there a lot, and I have heard nothing but great things about it. They rented this beautiful house to stay in, so we are all really excited! I plan on taking a lot of pictures for you guys, but will most likely not be blogging until after I get back. Sorry! I promise to come back with some great posts to get you motivated for 2013.

In the mean time, enjoy your time with your family. Also, remember what this holiday is all about, the birth of our Savior. Before I head to the gym, I will leave you with some pictures from the past couple of days. Merry Christmas!
Kyle and my sister helped my adorable nephew cut out cookies with floured noses.
Korbin cutting out cookies.

My pup Ace just hanging by the tree.

Kyle, Abbey, and I had drinks with our favorite Anderson brothers! (our old volleyball coaches)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Drinks

It's starting to get cold in the Windy City. I know I shouldn't complain since we are just now getting our first snow (it usually comes in November), but I am not mentally prepared for cold weather. Oh, well here goes nothing!

Thankfully, I have plenty of Choice Organic Teas to keep me warm. Remember last week when I told you that Choice Organic Teas sent me 96 tea bags?! Yeah, that will last me a while. On Sunday, I decided to transform the black tea into a Pumpkin Chai Latte. It was delicious! You can omit the pumpkin and make it a regular chai tea if you are "pumpkined" out for the year, and  you can also change up the the skim milk with any milk alternative.

Another thing that I've become obsessed with these past couple days is Earth Balance Soy Nog. I am not a huge fan of eggnog, but this one has blown me away. Kyle loves the holiday drink, so I figured this would be a better alternative to the original fat filled version. This one only has 80 calories per serving and 1.5 grams of fat!

I was a little nervous to see if he would like it because he's not a huge soy milk fan, but he loves it! It's also on sale for $2 at Whole Food this week, so looks like we will be taking another trip back. I'm thinking about transforming it into a holiday protein shake. Carrots N Cake recently made one with Fitmixer and the Soy Nog, so maybe that's in the near future?

Have a great fit day, and stay warm!

                                                                 Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte
                                                                               Serves 1

1 C Skim Milk
1/2 T Maple Syrup
2 T Pumpkin Puree
Pinch of Cinnamon
Pinch of Cloves
Pinch of Ginger
1 Black Tea Bag


1. Bring the milk, syrup, and spices to a slight simmer in a medium sized pan.
2. Stir occasionally until the milky becomes frothy.
3. Remove from heat and steep the tea bag for 3-4 minutes.
4. Remove the tea bag and serve immediately.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

May Your Miles Be Merry

There is only one week until Christmas, but the celebrations have already started in our house. We had our 2nd annual friend's Christmas with Amy and Jeff on Sunday and played games, watched football, ate chicken chili, and exchanged gag gifts.  

I forgot to take a picture of everyone's gifts, but I did get a picture of the ornament Amy got me. It says "May all your Miles be Merry." I may keep it out all winter to remind me to get out there and run despite the cold. In all reality it should say: "Kelsey, get your butt outside in the fifteen degree weather and RUN."

I also received cookies and an ornament from Sarah over at the Sarah is a fellow Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador, and we were lucky enough to get paired up for the cookie/ornament exchange. Sarah, your gift is on it's way. Enjoy!

Is anyone still with me on the push up challenge? I can defiantly feel myself getting stronger from doing 50 fifty push ups a day. Here is a new push up variation for you to try. 

1. Start by doing a normal push up. 

2. Once you are done with your first push up, open up into a full side plank. Be sure to really keep your core activated. This will help to keep your hip high and tone your obliques. Hold the side plank for about 3 seconds than go back into your next push up. 
3. Alternate sides for a total of 20 reps. 

Aim for 50 push ups a day! You've got this, we only have 2 more weeks of push ups! Embrace the burn. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Our Lord Will Provide

I'm sorry that I have been MIA for a few days. In the midst of the tragedy in Connecticut, I kind of found myself at a loss for words and with no motivation to write. Every time I turn on the TV I continue to be shocked with the news and the evil in the world, but I also find myself amazed at the strength of the people involved.
I continue to pray for the families and friends of everyone involved. I pray that God will calm their minds, surround them with His loving embrace, and continue to give them strength during these difficult times. This world has a lot of evil in it, but everyday is also filled with hope and I trust that our Lord will continue to provide and care for us during these difficult moments.

I have decided to join hundreds of other bloggers in a day of silence on my blog. I will be back tomorrow with some great posts to get your week started on the right foot, but for today, I will spend my time with my loved ones and our Lord in prayer.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Welcoming Year 24

Well, yesterday I celebrated my 24th birthday. Bet that makes you feel young mom and dad. I started it out on the right foot with a 7 mile run followed by protein oats and chocolate milk. I honestly wanted the chocolate milk to aid in my recovery, but part of me also wanted  it to keep my inner kid alive.

Mom sent me another Edible Arrangement. I am obsessed with these!
Kyle defiantly spoiled me with: a Kindle, lululemon No Limits tank, Brooks Utopia Thermal Running Jacket, flowers, and tickets to Second City Comedy.  All in all, it was a wonderful birthday! Thanks to everyone who called, texted, tweeted, Facebooked, sent cards, etc. You all made me feel very special! I am so excited to try out my new workout gear, and I already downloaded Drop Dead Healthy onto my Kindle. Needless to say, I am one happy girl.

New running jacket - It's a vino color and so warm for winter running!
Oh, I also forgot to mention that Choice Organic Teas sent me 6 boxes of tea to try the day before my birthday! I now have 96 bags of tea aka I feel like I should open an Argo Tea out of my condo. Maybe I should throw a tea party and let my English side out. My grandma would be so proud! Stay tuned for a review once I get the chance to try them all.

Have a great night everyone, and make sure you get your 50 push ups in! My friend Andy texted me yesterday mentioning how hard the Spider man push ups are, but he loves them too!! Try them out, and remember there is nothing wrong with being strong!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Spider Man Push Ups

It's week 2 of "Pushing Through December." Have you guys been staying on top of your push ups? I'll admit,  most days I dread doing them, but that's all part of the challenge. This week, I have a new push-up for you to try. Let's aim for 50 push ups a day this week, and try to mix it up with regular and Spider Man push ups (explained below).

I first saw Spider Man push ups while working out at the Olympic Training Center. The USA Wrestling team would do them every day, and I figured I never had the strength to do them. Well, I proved myself wrong, and actually started to love the push ups because they incorporate your entire core, especially your obliques aka love handles. Be sure to keep your abs sucked in tight to your navel while doing this exercise to resist using your back too much.

1. Start in your standard push up position with your core engaged.

2. While lowering into push up position lift and bend your right knee towards your right elbow. You may not get your leg very far, but any little motion helps. Push up back in to your starting position and repeat this on the left side. Continue to repeat until you've reached a total of 10-14 push ups.

Give these challenging but rewarding push ups a try this week, and aim for the goal number of 50 push ups a day. Don't try to be spider man and get all 50 done in one time. Break it up into segments. This will make you dread them less! Cheers to a new week of fueling strong!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's the Holiday Season

Happy Friday! I love Fridays, but today is even better since Kyle and I took a vacation day. We don't have anything in particular planned other than a good workout!

Last night we had our company holiday party. We started the party off with a gift exchange and company awards. I got the Jog and Blog award since I am the only person in the office who wakes up at the crack of dawn to run before work. I will proudly be displaying that trophy in my office!

Jamie and I created this masterpiece. That's our SVP and boss.

After the awards and a quick game of Battle of the Sexes we went to The Publican. For those of you who live in Chicago, I highly recommend it! We ate in their private area in the grocery store, but they also have a really neat restaurant. I wish I took pictures of the food we had, but I was too busy eating it. I had the Sea Bass with leeks in a vinaigrette and sage roasted acorn squash. It was amazing, other than the large fish bone that I nearly pierced my tongue with on accident.

This is the grocery section of The Publican.

Well, I am off to do an interval workout. I'm planning on running a 30 minute fartlek with 2 minutes on and 1 minute easy. Then followed by 2 miles at race pace. Here goes nothing!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cha-Cha-Cha Chia!

Over the weekend, I found my newest obsession... chia seed pudding! It has the same texture as tapioca pudding, but it's healthy! It's main ingredient, is chia. Yep, the little seeds that turn into those quirky Chia Pets. Looks like our society is over the terracotta planters and now into the health benefits of the little seeds.

Chia has more omega-3 acids than salmon and one serving satisfies 18% of your daily calcium needs. Easy enough, right? You can mix them into yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, etc. A lot of vegans even add them with water to replace eggs in baking dishes. I've yet to try that, but I may experiment soon.

Anyway, over the weekend I made Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding. I was a little questionable at first because the presentation didn't look the most greatest, but trust me, after one bite you will be hooked. It is perfect for a guilt free snack and/or dessert!

[Warning: if you are a texture person and don't like the texture of tapioca, you most likely will not enjoy this pudding.]

How are you guys doing on the Push Through December Challenge? It's day 4 of doing 40 push-ups a day, and I'm loving it! Kyle even decided to join me, so we hold each other accountable. If you haven't started yet, it's not too late! Strive to do 40 push-ups today and every day for the rest of December.You can simply do them between commercials tonight! Get after it!

                                                         Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
                                                                       Serves 1

1/2 C Vanilla Soy Milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla
2 T Chia Seeds
1/2 T Honey
Dash of Cinnamon


1. Combine all of the ingredients in a ball jar or sealed container. Shake well to mix.
2. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Push Through December

The New Year will be here soon, and that means most will start to make their infamous New Years Resolutions. I always hate the New Year time because the gym gets really busy. Don't get me wrong, I love that people are getting back into the routine of working out, but I also really enjoy having the gym to myself at 5AM.

Anyway, why wait until the New Year to take control of your health? Now is a better time than ever to kick it in gear and finish out 2012 on a positive note. In honor of pushing through to the New Year, join me for a push-up challenge! Every week between now and January 1st, I will post different push-up variations for you to explore along with a goal number for each day.

You can do the push-ups all at one time or a couple a hour. It doesn't matter how you get to your number, but what does matter is getting there and making sure you have good form! Trust me, we will all feel the burn and want to quit, but DON'T! Embrace being uncomfortable and remember that you'll be building muscle! More muscle, means more calories burned... which means you'll burn off the holiday food faster!

For this week, we will start with normal push-ups. For those of you who have trouble with doing full push-ups, check out my previous post on perfecting the push-up. It's a hybrid between a full push-up and a "girl" or assisted push-up. The goal is 40 push-ups a day! 

 Let me know how you are doing in the comments below or on Twitter. Be sure to check back next week for a push-up variation and new challenge number.

Cheers to pushing through to the New Year Fueling Strong style!