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Learn about my torrid love affair with running.

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Triple Berry Overnight Oats

Thu, 06/20/2013 - 5:33AM by egilbride 0 Comments -

Have you ever had an "oops" moment when cooking something and it ended up turning out fabulous? That's exactly what happened to me last night. I was preparing my overnight oats, and wanted to add in a little extra flavor, and was adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract to it when I realized that it wasn't vanilla extract. I literally had the spoonful of extract in my hand right above the oats and was contemplating figuring out a way to pour it back into the bottle before shrugging, saying to myself, "Eh, whatever, maybe it will be good!" Indeed, it was. So without further ado, here's the recipe for the overnight oats that nearly weren't:
1/4 cup quick oats
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup strawberries
1/4 cup blackberries
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon stevia
2 tablespoons chia seeds

Just throw all the Ingrdients in a container with a lid, shake, and refrigerate overnight.

I really like my overnight oats thick, PLUS I've heard a lot of great things about th health benefits of chia seeds (including that it can help lower your cholesterol), which is why I added two tablespoons. If you don't like that thick consistency, try adding just a half tablespoon of the chia seeds, or not including them at all.

Lastly, I must give credit where it is due. I wouldn't have stumbled upon this accidental recipe without the inspiration of Gina's Skinny Overnight Oats and her Triple Berry Chia Seed Pudding Recipe. Both can be found at skinnytaste.com.



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When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough (Don't) Go Running

Thu, 06/13/2013 - 4:59PM by egilbride 0 Comments -

That was supposed to be a joke. Warning: There is going to be a lot of whining and complaining in this post. This week has been kind of crazy for me. Here's a brief synopsis for you - the magazine where I work is about to go to press, so I've been working crazy hours. For the most part, I've been managing to get my workouts in. Yesterday was my cross-training day, so I went to Zumba. Since it was nice out and my sister lives down the street from the community center, I parked my car at her house and we walked to class together. BAD IDEA. After class, we decided to go visit my mother, but take separate cars, since I live halfway between my mom and my sister's house. When we were halfway to my mom's, my sister called me and told me she thought I was getting a flat tire. So I ended up driving home, with her following behind me to make sure I got there safely. Yes, it was a flat, but luckily I made it home safely. I was driving my husband's old, beat up truck, which didn't have a spare tire in it. And my husband was away. Anyways, that was yesterday in a nutshell. I also got my head bitten off at work about something I had nothing to do with - just a wrong place, wrong time scenario. So I was not in the best of moods. However, I DID manage to get my exercise in!

Today was a continuation of yesterday. I only got about five hours of sleep, the horrible, rainy day made my work day drag on, and then...duh duh duh...my treadmill died. Well, not exactly. It just told me that it needed lube, but my husband just lubed it up last week, so I'm not sure why it's saying this. I have a Livestrong treadmill, which Ive owned for a few years, but it's really only been lightly used up until now. And even though i was absolutely EXHAUSTED, I was trying to force myself to get through a five-mile run. If anyone is even out there and has had this same type of problem, please let me know what you did, or how you fixed it! It's been incredibly rainy here, and I don't like to go out running if I can't bring my phone with me (note to self, invest in a new, waterproof armband), so after attempting to lube my treadmill with no success of getting it started, I just gave up...and made myself a quesadilla instead. End of story.



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Running (Almost) 30 Miles by 30

Sat, 06/08/2013 - 10:35AM by egilbride 0 Comments -

It's been a while since I've last blogged (again), but that doesn't mean I haven't been running. In fact, I've actually been running A LOT, with the exception of this past week. About a month ago, not long before my last half-marathon, I made the decision to do something BIG before I turn 30, which will be happening in November. For some people, something big means going on a vacation or a cruise, or buying themselves something extravagant, like a Louis Vuitton purse. But I think that most of you runners can agree with me that something BIG means setting a new goal. In July, I will be running my fourth half-marathon, and those things are starting to feel a little too easy for me (just kidding). This might sounds lame or even snotty to those of you who have only completed 5ks, 5-milers or 10-ks (and Ive been there, too, so I don't mean for it to sound harsh), but now that I have a few half-marathons, my outlook is "a lot of people do half-marathons. You're not a real runner until you've done a full marathon." I know, it sounds harsh. And when I say this, I don't mean that this statement applies to everyone, I Just mean that it applies to me. Because if I don't keep saying it, I'm afraid that I might not reach my goal.

This week would have marked my halfway point for my marathon training, which if everything goes as planned, I will be ready by mid-September. However, I was experiencing some pain in my knees this past week, and decided that I needed to scale back the training a bit. Everything I did was textbook, but sometimes when it hurts, you gotta let go I and give yourself a little rest. I'd ratrest give myself a break now rather than later, note not be able to reach my goal. I'm not quite sure what race i'll be running yet. It has to be something local (in New England), so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know! And yes, I know I owe you a race recap from Providence still. That race didn't quite go as planned, which is why I haven't posteit about it yet, but I promise that I will post a recap SOON.



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Ready to Run Providence

Sat, 05/11/2013 - 7:57PM by egilbride 0 Comments -
Hello, all! Greetings from rainy New England! It is 10:00 p.m., and I have just finished getting ready for my THIRD half-marathon ever, Part I of the United Healthcare Triple Crown in Providence, RI. I really should be asleep right now, as I have to get up and gooo at 4:00 a.m. for the (normally 45-minute) hour and a half drive (and then some) that it will most likely take to get to the starting line. I always like to get up super early before a race so I have enough time to get dressed and make sure I don't forget anything, eat a small breakfast, digest my food a little bit, hydrate, and go to the bathroom if I need to. Then, I ask my husband nicely to accompany me drag my husband's half-awake self out the door, and go!

Today, I went to pick up my race packet at the expo, and I have to say, I was a little disappointed. Although there were a TON of people there, the line for packet pickup went pretty quickly, which was a good thing. However, after I picked up my bib and went to retrieve my shirt, they were all out of size smalls, which was not a good thing. This has happened to me a lot at races, and I never understand why, when they ask what my race shirt size is when you sign up?!! And I signed up early on, so I was even more aggravated. What made me even more annoyed was the fact that I spent $50 to enter this race (I know, not a lot for a half-marathon, but I signed on really early and it was a package deal), and I pretty much only got a race shirt that was the wrong size. Other than that, there were only coupons and a teeny, tiny ice pack that I may be able to use on my foot, but that's it. We didn't stick around for the expo because it was so dang crowded. I know there were some pre-race yoga sessions and even some seminars going on, which seemEd pretty cool, but we instead decided to do some last minute shopping for Mother's Day caress and gifts at the Providence Place Mall, and then hit up the Providence Oyster Bar for some pre-race fuel. I got some steak au poivre with truffle fries (I'll let you know how that goes after the race), and hubby got some oysters. Since we paid $12 to park on Federal Hill, I decided I wasn't going home without dessert, either, so we hit up a bakery nearby and got crepes. I tried to stay somewhat healthy by getting a strawberry, banana, and honey crepe. I can't remember the name of the place, but when I find out their name, I'll be sure to post it. After an exciting day, we stopped at my parents to give my mom an early Mother's Day gift (she was thrilled, especially after tripping and falling and possibly spraining her arm), headed home, and hydrated and packed all our crap for tomorrow, including a gift for my mother-in-law. You can see all my running gear in the photo above (I think it's upside down, but Im typing on my phone and too lazy to fix it now, especially since everything is packed!). It's supposed to rain at some point, so Im not sure whether I should wear my Old Navy capris or my Lululemon running shorts, so I'll make a final decision in the a.m. Either that, or I'll just layer.

Tomorrow, I'll post a full review of the race, comparing it to the Rock n Roll Providence half I did a couple years ago. In the meantime, wish me luck...and pray that I don't oversleep!



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Runner Review: Mizuno Wave Creation 12

Sun, 04/21/2013 - 8:29AM by egilbride 0 Comments -
I don't usually just buy a pair of sneakers at a regular shoe store (ie, DSW or Famous Footwear), but about a month ago the hubs and I were grocery shopping, and went across the way to look at footwear for him. Coincidentally, they were having a HUGE sale on sneakers, and the Mizunos were about $40 off the original price...most likely because they were last season's, but I also cannoy pass up a huge sale! They didn't have my preferred shoe, the Mizuno Wave Inspire, but the Wave Creation looked like it had good support, I went online to check out some reviews from other people, and everyone whI reviewed it tended to have the same problems that I tend to have with running shoes: high arches, plantar fasciitis, underpronators. So tht tried them on, ran around the store, and decided to buy them.

Ive only worn the Wave Creations a few times, as Im still trying to break them in, bit I LOVE them! The first thing I noticed about them was that they seem to be even more supportive than the Wave Inspires. Sometimes when Im running in my inspires, my arches bother me afterwards, but I haven't noticed that with the Creations. The only drawback Ive noticed about the Creations is that they seem to be a little bit heavier than my Inspires, but if it means I'll be getting a little more support, I don't mind!

I don't recommend that runners go out and buy a pair of sneakers without going to a specialty running store (it can lead to major injury if you don't know what shoes support overpronators vs underpronators, but in this case, it really worked out for me!



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What's In YOUR Kitchen?

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 7:16PM by egilbride 0 Comments -

Since I lost weight, I've had a lot of friends, co-workers, and family members ask me what my secret is. Some people have told me, "eat something while  others think I'm going to offer them some secret pill that will help them lose weight. Of course the traditional answer is the same adage that most people don't want to hear: eat healthy and get some exercise. If you're looking to make some changes in your lifestyle (that's right, I said the "L" word), then you might want to start with your kitchen, and take a look around. If you find dairy and meat that is high in fat, grains that are high in carbs but low in fiber, and nothing but Oreos (which I do still enjoy eating on occasion) and Little Debbies in your kitchen, then it sounds like you may need a kitchen makeover! Here are a few products that I try to keep on hand most of the time. Whether I need to get my chocolate fix, or make something in a hurry (which is most of the time), these foods keep me going...and healthy!

• Non-fat milk (to drink or use to make smoothies, or of course as an ingredient in recipes)
• Egg beaters or large eggs (I generally just use egg whites)
• Fresh basil
• Low fat or non-fat cheese (preferably shredded)
• Water (which amazingly, you don't even have to buy if you have a well! Some of the best things in life ARE free!)
• Whole wheat tortillas (as you can see, I love my quesadillas)
• LOTS of fruit - my favorites are strawberries, bananas, and pineapple, but I do like to mix it up a bit sometimes with oranges, clementines, black raspberries - you name it, if it's a fruit, I'll eat it! I'll make fruit salad, smoothies, etc., with this)
• Veggies - this week it's tomatoes, last week it was spinach. I try to make a point of trying to use all of one veggie up before I purchase another. Last week, I was making lots of green smoothies and spinach omelets, this week it's my caprese quesadillas and Spanish omelets.
• Cottage cheese (I've decided Greek yogurt is SO overrated. The original dairy product had just as much protein, and is great when added to smoothies or shakes!)
• Peanut Butter - I prefer Better Than Peanut Butter or PB2; both are less than half the fat (and calories) than the original version
• Lean meats - right now, it's turkey, sometimes it's chicken. I try to limit my red meat intake to no more than once a week.
• Stevia - I keep this in my house AT ALL TIMES. Since I first tried it, this is my go to sweetener. It's the only non-calorie sweetener I've tried that actually TASTES like sugar.
• Pickles - what can I say? I have an affinity for them, they take FOREVER to go bad, and they're considered a vegetable (Err, fruit? Since they have seeds)

So there you have it - my go to food items in my kitchen! I'm going to try to start posting one healthy, original meal on here once a week, based on the go-to items listed above.



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Skinny Caprese Quesadillas

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 7:25PM by egilbride 0 Comments -
I absolutely love everything caprese - whether it's a sandwich or a salad, I'll eat it! However, the problem with the sandwiches at most delis is that they're loaded with carbs...and if you're not careful, even Caprese salads can be loaded with hidden fat (whole milk mozzarella instead of fat free or part-skim). My skinny caprese quesadilla will have your mouth watering without all the carbs and/or fat that you'll find in a regular sandwich or salad!

Ingredients:
1 whole wheat, high fiber tortilla
1/4 cup fat free or part-skim shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
5 pieces basil, julienned
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt, to taste

Directions:
Spray a skillet with cooking spray; place the tortilla on it. Spread shredded mozarella over half of the quesadilla, followed by diced tomatoes and basil. Let cheese melt before adding salt and balsamic vinaigrette. Fold quesadilla in half, flip it on the other side, and cook for one more minute, until both sides are golden brown. Finally, enjoy!

(I apologize for my lack of photography skills, once I have a better camera and better lighting, I hope they will improve).



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Triple Crown (Half) Marathoner

Fri, 02/15/2013 - 8:07PM by egilbride 0 Comments -

If you've been wondering where I've been since my last (dramatic) post, I haven't (completely) failed you. I went back on Weight Watchers, lost eight pounds, and as of a month ago started taking fitness classes at my local community center with a co-worker. A week ago, I joined up. I've been going to cardio core class religiously for the past three weeks, and last week a new Zumba class started, and I've been attending that class with my mom and sister (with the exception of yesterday, Valentine's Day). The cardio core class kicked by butt, and although I feel totally miserable halfway through it, it makes me feel SO GOOD afterwards! And I can't say enough about how much I love Zumba. I was so psyched about it that I tried to go to Walmart and buy the Zumba Core video game for my Wii, but sweetie pie insisted on buying it for me for Valentine's Day (Best present ever!). So although I haven't posted in a while, I have kept my vow to get fit and trim. And yesterday (after being WW conscious and making a weight watchers approved V-Day dinner), I signed up for the United Healthcare Triple Crown, which consists of a half-marathon in Providence, Jamestown, and Newport, RI  - the races are set to take place May 12, July 13, and October 20, giving me plenty of time to get in shape (and stay that way) throughout the year. Oh yeah, and I'm running the Celtic 5-k in Worcester, MA. I'm getting ready to kick butt in 2013! Be prepared to follow me on my journey!



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Holiday Challenge

Tue, 12/04/2012 - 8:29PM by egilbride 0 Comments -

Some of you may be surprised to see me posting in the wintertime...mainly because, as far as I can remember, it's never happened before. I tend to be a fairweathered runner, which is no surprise to anyone who follows this blog. But I've decided today that I will make a promise to myself to start living a healthier life, not only when I feel like it, but throughout the year, and throughout life. This decision was spurred by a culmination of events that recently took place in my life: I recently turned 29, I just got a new puppy for my birthday, and she has taught me a thing or two about discipline (and waking up at 5 am), I've come to the realization that I've gained back 7 pounds since Halloween, and lastly, and most importantly - my father just suffered from a minor heart attack over the past weekend.

My father has always been my biggest support system in my life, and when he was younger, he was very athletic. He played soccer, baseball, went skiing...if it was a sport, he was up for it. I share the same zest for life that he does, bu I also see myself using the same excuses that he has used in the past, causing me to be more relaxed about my workout schedule. Well, this will be no more! Just because New Year's is still a month away, that doesn't mean I can't make a vow to myself right now to be a stronger, healthier person. Starting today, I'll be giving up that yummy, but sugar filled Dunkin Donuts peppermint mocha latte, and will be incorporating homemade coffee and creamer back into my life. I'll start tracking everything I eat and follow Weight Watchers, since I've already been paying for it over these past six months, but stopped following it as soon as the seasons turned. And most importantly, I'll start running again! This will be my "holiday challenge." Are you up for it?!



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Morning Runs

Sun, 06/10/2012 - 5:11AM by egilbride 0 Comments -

I've never been a morning person, let alone a morning runner. Ive also felt that when I run in the morning, I get short of breath, my strides are uneven, I'm more likely to get a side stitch, etc., etc. However, I went running in the morning a couple days this week, and although I felt pretty craptastic during one of my runs, I felt pretty good during my second morning run. Actually, I felt great. It was nice and cool in the am (about fifty eight degrees), my breathing stayed pretty even, and I set a new pr of 9 mpm! So I'm thinking that I might start running in the morning more often. Here are some perks to morning runs:

1. It's generally cooler in the morning than it is mid-afternoon, so this, or running at dusk is the best time of day to head out in the summer, unless you enjoy being chained to your treadmill.

2. Most races take place in the morning, so you can get your body acclimated to the time of day that a race is being held.

3. If you live on a busy street, there aren't as many cars on the road at 5 a.m.

4. If you have a busy day ahead of you, you can get up early and just get your run done and out of the way, instead of waiting until later in the day, and then having to skip your workout.

5. Morning workouts actually help you wake up so that you're more alert throughout the rest of the day.

If that doesn't give you a reason to head out in the morning, I don't know what will! I'm off to run the Worcester Firefighters Memorial 6k, will post a recap within the next few days!