Code for a FREE Graze box!

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I got my first Graze box today! I was so excited lol. I figured I should try it since I got a free code. In my box I got 4 samplers.

•Chili lime pistachios: these were so good! I was hungry after work and wanted a snack and they were perfect.

•Toffee apple: these are dried apple slices with caramel dipping sauce. It looks good!

•Olive & Rosemary Bruschetta: described as “olive croutons, rosemary & garlic cashews and tomato baguettes.”

Booster seeds: flax, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. They should go onto a nice salad!

On the website I got to pick snacks I’d like to try and I could discard any that didn’t look good to me.

You should give it a try! Use this code to get your first box free. You’ll also get your 5th free! Go to GRAZE and use the code Y2QXPKJFB.

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8 Tips to Help You Train for an Obstacle Course Race

Today I have a special guest blogger, Jessie Emeric, from It’s a Messy Life

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I will begin by clearly stating that I am no expert on obstacle course races (OCR), nor am I a personal trainer! I’m just an average girl who found she really loves to push her limits and see what she can do. Last year, I did 3 OCR, including Tough Mudder and this year I’m signed up for Tough Mudder again and Super Spartan. I will probably add a few smaller ones too by the end of the year….what can I say, I really do love OCR!

So that being said, I thought I’d share with you a few tips that helped me complete (read: SURVIVE)Tough Mudder last year and what I plan to do in these next 2 months leading to my obstacle course races in April.

•Eat Clean! They say a good workout can’t out-exercise a bad diet and I really believe this. I’ve noticed that when I allow myself a lot of “cheat meals” my workouts suffer. I’m more sluggish and slow and of course, I don’t see the results I want. So, eating clean in the month(s) leading up to your OCR will help you get lean & strong!

•Focus on Building Upper Body Strength! This was huge for me. Most of us ladies tend to have weaker upper body strength and a lot, if not most, of the obstacles you’ll encounter will require strong arms. Army man crawling, pulling yourself up walls & ropes, monkey bars, etc.. these all require strong upper body strength. Find a workout that is best for you and work on getting those muscles! Push ups, tricep dips, and pull ups (Disclaimer: I have yet to master 1 pull up. It’s on my to-do list!)

•Run! You’re not training for a marathon, but you should be able to run at least 3 miles nonstop. Work on sprints and hills to really get those legs ready for the 10 + mile course.

•Interval Training! You’ll be doing all sorts of things on an OCR from jumping over fire, crawling under barbed wire, and balancing on boards. You’ll have to build up your endurance and agility. Tabata, HIIT, Boot Camps, these are all great examples of high intensity training. Get lots of lunges, high knees, mountain climbers, and frog hops done!

•Burpees! I don’t know anyone who loves a burpee, but everyone agrees they get the job done. And if you’re planning on doing a Spartan race, just know that the penalty for not completing an obstacle is 30 burpees..Yikes!!

•Stretch! Don’t forget to stretch after your runs and workouts! This will aid in recovery, flexibility, and help prevent injury!

•Research! Look at the website photos of the race your doing. Most OCR will have a facebook page and will post photos from their latest race on their page. Also, go to YouTube and look for videos of the OCR you’ll be doing, specifically in your city. This will help you visualize what you’re going to be facing and get you pumped up! Tough Mudder has this great Boot Camp Training on their website where you can build your own workout circuit based on your fitness level and it’s designed to get you through their toughest obstacles!

•Have Fun! Obstacle course racing is all about pushing your limits and finding out what you’re made of, but it’s also about building camaraderie and working together as a team. It’s about having fun and trying something new!

I’m hosting a giveaway to 4 free entries to Pretty Muddy Run, a fun women’s only 5K mud run in a city near you. Click HERE for all the details and to sign up! Contest ends February 20, 2014.

Jessie Emeric
blog: http://www.itsamessylife.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ItsAMessyLife
twitter: https://twitter.com/JessieEmeric
instagram: http://instagram.com/jessieemeric

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Women Who Lift

Grab a pen and paper and get ready to take some notes!

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There is a huge social stigma about women who lift heavy weights. Apparently we’re supposed to be all weak and frail and needy. Wrong. Women lift heavy because of all different reasons. Personally, I like feeling strong and being able to move heavy objects around my house without worrying. Other reasons include losing fat, sculpting muscles, competing, etc.

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Women who have huge muscles either take steroids, trained for YEARS with amazing nutrition to build up that muscle, or both.

Women naturally do not have enough testosterone to build that much muscle if you’re just going to work out. Testosterone is a hormone, the hormone that men have most of and that’s why it’s so easy for them to put muscle on. Women have more estrogen, which is why we have more fat. But women still have a little testosterone and men still have a little estrogen.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been told “don’t get too big” when I say lifting is my favorite form of exercise. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. It’s also a huge turnoff to hear it from a man and when they say that I usually discount dating them. Sexist, much?

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In all seriousness though, everyone needs to stop with the “real women lift weights” campaign. It’s great to educate the population on the physical and mental components of women lifting, but it’s not the best thing to say. So runners aren’t real? Yogis and cardio queens aren’t either? Last time I checked, we were ALL real because we aren’t robots.

Guess what I’m going to go do right now? Lift some heavy ass weights.

These photos aren’t mine, I got them all from Pinterest.

13 Things That Happen When You Date A Girl Who Loves Her Dog

Yep…this is just too true!

Thought Catalog

1. You will never, ever be positive that you are more loved than her beloved pooch.

2. When you are snuggling on the couch, it’s perfectly acceptable for the dog, even one that weighs upwards of 100lbs, to jump up and carve out a nest for himself between the two of you.

3. You’ve heard her on more than one occasion refer to her pet as “the man in my life.”

4. You don’t worry about her straying, dog lovers are fiercely loyal and not the sort of people who get pleasure from hurting others.

5. You know all the scenic areas around your girlfriend’s house because she likes to take you there (with the dog, of course).

6. You’ve given up on arguing that the dog cannot sleep in the bed.

7. You’ll go a few days without seeing her, and somehow still find a dog hair on your…

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Friday Five: Food I Eat

I decided to do my Friday Five in recipes that I frequently make because I love food!!

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1. Energy Smoothie

I love this for mornings or before a workout!!

In a blender:
•1 cup of caffeinated green tea
•1/4 cup each raspberries & blueberries
•1 tbsp chia seeds
•1 cup kale
•1/2 cup strawberries
•1/2 of a Granny Smith apple

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2. Egg wrap

I used to eat this for breakfast but lately I’ve liked it as postworkout! I always sautée the veggies first, and any veggies can be used. I didn’t add a serving size for veggies because I love a TON in there, so it’s up to you. I sometimes throw green peppers in there. Then I add the egg whites, then cheese and then put into the wrap. I also add salsa onto the finished product.

•4 egg whites
•2 handfuls spinach
•Red onions
•Chopped broccoli
•Green peppers
•1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (opt)
•Whole grain flat out wrap

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3. Oatmeal Bake

Mmm love oatmeal bake! I don’t like any other oats.

•Add 3/4 cup blueberries in the bottom of a pan (I spray with olive oil first) – note: my recipe says to slice 2-3 bananas and add onto bottom before blueberries, but they don’t fit into my macros with the oats so I leave them out. But I used to use them and they were awesome! Make sure they’re ripe because the green ones (my fave!!) taste funny cooked.

•In separate bowl combine: 1 cup oats, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Then evenly pour over blueberries.

•In another bowl mix: 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup milk (I use skim). Add that over the dry mixture.

•Add 3/4 raspberries and chopped walnuts (opt) then bake at 375* for 25-35 min.

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4. Protein Shake

I make different variations of these, depending on my mood. Right now it’s 1 cup of skim milk, 1/4 cup raspberries and 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition Mocha Cappuccino protein blended in the blender.

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5. Pancakes

I know what you’re thinking, but these are healthy and amazing!!! They sound weird, but I promise they’re not. This is a variation of the Biggest Loser Oatmeal Pancakes that I made my own. This makes a single serving which is about 2 pancakes. Let me tell you they are very filling too.

•First grind 1/3 cup oats, 1 tbsp cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves and a pinch of nutmeg in a blender

•Add 1 tsp vanilla, 1/3 low fat cottage cheese and 2 egg whites then blend

•Pour into a frying pan or onto a skillet and sprinkle a few blueberries onto them.

These are so good with peanut butter or chocolate peanut butter on top!! I hate cottage cheese with a passion, but I cannot even tell it’s in these. The texture is smooth and you can’t even taste the cottage cheese.

Enjoy!

xo

Give Me a Beat Playlist Linkup!

This morning I went to run sprints with Zeus. Wow. He realllly liked it and actually pushed pulled me to do better. Thankfully I took him because I didn’t have to run as many since we went so fast. It was too cold and windy!!

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So during my sprints I remembered the playlist linkup from Mar on the Run! Here are my favorites to use:

1. The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy

2. Diary of Jane – Breaking Benjamin

3. No Better – Lorde

4. Work B*tch – Britney Spears

5. Hey, Soul Sister – Train

6. Breathing – Yellowcard

7. Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones

8. Flashdance…What a Feeling – Glee

9. Living Free – Tiziano Lugli

10. Telephone – Lady Gaga

I can’t wait to see what everyone else’s favorite songs are. Feel free to join the linkup!

Mar on the Run

Friday Five in Links

Today I wanted to give some love to some posts I’ve really connected with in one way or another. These are specific posts, but I encourage you to read more!

Enjoy 🙂

1. Tips for Setting Realistic Fitness Goals in 2014

I think this post is good whether you’re new in the fitness world or have been in it for a while.

2. Healthy Gluten Free Recipes

OMG these look so good!! I don’t follow a gluten free diet, more of a cleaner diet, but these look amazing!! And who doesn’t like new recipe ideas?

3. Meal Prep for Beginners

Perfect. If you are unsure about how to meal prep, this is what you need to read. She breaks it all down for you. Meal prep is so easy for fast paced lives. I used to do it, and need to get back to it!

4. Free Printables

Here are some fitness printables! Completely free.

5. 5 Killer Core Exercises for Your Foam Roller

This is a cool post! You do your core work using your foam roller to get a different kind of burn. I’ll be trying these soon!!

Hope you enjoyed reading some different blogs. Have a wonderful weekend!

XO

Weekly Wrap-up: Grad School, GGS ambassador!

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1. So this weekend I’ve been prepping for my first day of grad school!!!! I’m so excited that I finally get to start school tomorrow and that I’m a new member of the NC State Wolfpack! I even have pretty good classes for my first semester! Exercise nutrition, maternal & child nutrition and lactation & milk (which sounds…okay lol).

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2. Ibecame a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador! How fun!! I’m thrilled to rep the brand. Use the hashtags #ggs and #girlsgonesporty so we can see all your pics on Instagram and Twitter statuses!

3. I started Insanity on January 1st. I did the first month of it last year, but I’m wanting to do the WHOLE thing this time. So far, it’s been going well!! I finished my first week and I feel great. Granted, my accountability partner DJ had to force me to workout via text, but it still got done!

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4. I got this new protein in the mail. Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey in Mocha Cappuccino! I finally finished my Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cellucor Whey. It sounded good but there was wayyyyy too much sweetener in it. Hopefully the ON won’t be the same way.

5. Well, I have an orthodontist appointment in the morning to get my bottom teeth straightened out. Unfortunately my dentist waited to tell me (for 2 years) that my teeth have significantly shifted, and of course I haven’t noticed, so once he said that I made an appointment stat! Hopefully my orthodontist can fix it without having to put braces back on!!!!

Xoxo

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My resolutions, a 5k, detoxing and being kind

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

So firstly I’m starting out by saying be kind to others. How, you ask? Many people have a resolution by going to a gym. Sure, the gyms are crowded. I get it. But those new people probably feel awkward and uncomfortable. Instead of complaining about them, help them out even if it’s just with a smile. Remember this: you were a new person at the gym once. Help them reach their goals.

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Has anyone seen this picture floating around? I think it’s a great idea!! Which leads me to my resolutions:

1. 20 min of reading time per day, unrelated to school.

2. Lose 15% body fat by the end of the year.

3. Straight A’s.

4. Writing notes in the happiness jar. It sounds so fun!

So how did I spend my New Years Eve? By running a 5k right after it turned midnight! It was SO COLD! But having that memory will be fun.

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I love this water bottle!!! I’ve been wanting one for so long so finally getting my hands on one is great. I have lemon, cucumber and ginger in there. Great for detoxing! I’ve also put cinnamon sticks and apple slices for a good, clean taste. Yum!

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