October 21, 2016

Super Berry ProYo Smoothie Bowl

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by ProYo. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Right before Expo East this year, I was introduced to the one of exhibitor products, ProYo, a protein-packed frozen yogurt pop.  I really find myself needing to up my protein and not just eat sugar-packed protein bars on-the-go, plus I love ice cream & frozen yogurt. It seemed like a win-win and spoiler alert: they taste delicious! Each 4 oz ProYo tube is made with creamy probiotic yogurt packed with 20g of protein, 2g of fat, 3g of fiber, and only 140 calories plus is rated as low-glycemic. It's also gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO.  

I love that I get an extra helping of probiotics to help my tummy out as well as 25% of my RDA for calcium. The pops come in various flavors including Vanilla Bean, Dutch Chocolate, Banana Vanilla, and Blueberry Pomegranate. Truthfully, I can tell the pops have that slight whey/protein taste,but despite this I still had to tell my boyfriend to keep his hands off of them! 

Despite being delicious right out the package, I've found that the recommendation on the ProYo boxes to blend with water like a smoothie has been one of my favorite ways to eat them. It's great make 'banana ice cream' with frozen bananas and pop one of these in there for a different flavor plus extra protein.  

When I'm feeling a little more ambitious to whip up a pretty food-blogger inspired smoothie bowl, I've been making a variation of the one I'm sharing on the blog today.  I really prefer eating thick smoothies out of bowls and love being able to top them with all sorts of goodies (chocolate chips is a favorite topping!). This is a berry ProYo smoothie bowl topped with superfoodie toppings like chia seeds. 


Super Berry ProYo Smoothie Bowl


      1 Tube Blueberry Pomegranate ProYo High Protein Frozen Yogurt
      1/2 Cup of Frozen Strawberries
      1 Tbsp honey
      ½  Tbsp of chia seeds
      ½  Banana
      4 oz milk (based on preference)
      1 handful of ice cubes
Toppings (optional)
-       ½  banana
-       1 Tbsp peanut butter
-       ½ Tbsp chia seeds
-       1 Tbsp hemp seeds


– Squeeze ProYo Blueberry Pomegranate Tube into blender.

– Add ½ banana, honey, and ½ tbsp. of chia seeds
– Add 4 oz of milk and handful of ice cubes.
– Blend all ingredients together and pour into a bowl.    It maybe a little thick so use a spoon to help.
– Slice ½ banana and place on top of bowl. Top bowl with peanut butter, chia, seeds, hemp seeds, and anything else you’d like!
– Eat immediately and enjoy!

If you don't have any ProYo on hand this recipe could work by substituting 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt or various other substitutions. Obviously I totally recommend the ProYo (plus it's simpler), which you can find in the freezer aisle at Giant stores locally in the Maryland area or check out their store locator for more options. Check out more recipes on the ProYo website including mine :) 


Do you enjoy drinking smoothies or eating them out of bowls? What is your favorite snack topping?

October 13, 2016

My Go-To Post-Run Snacks with Relay Foods MD

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Relay Foods. As always all thoughts & opinions are my own. 

Thank you SO much for all of the congratulations on my previous post-yes a race recap for the Chicago Marathon is coming so stay tuned! 

With travelling and a really busy rest of the month ahead, I definitely am in need of some healthy and easy grocery shopping and meal prep options. I've reviewed Relay Foods MD before and even shared a yummy marinated mushroom recipe from Relay Foods that is still a favorite and easy side dish. I was definitely excited to place an order after getting back from Chicago so that food shopping was one less errand I had to run. 

Basically Relay Foods is an online grocery store where you can shop online from their stock of products and groceries from over 200 local farmers and vendors.  Most of their foods are organic, local, or all-natural and allow you to just fill up a virtual shopping cart online and either pick-up your groceries for free at their set pick-up spots or have them delivered right to your door for a small fee.  


Relay Foods also just released their new rigorous food standards, ensuring that they are always offering foods good for you, the community, and the planet. 

I just completed an order of my favorite easy snacks to refuel with after a run.  I always try to eat something within the 30-60 minute post-run window, even if it's a snack before I get the chance to make a meal. Honestly I'm always hungry so it's easy to eat, but it's good to try to get a snack with a good 3:1 carb to protein ratio that will help my body recover.  

Check out my go-to post-run snacks: 


1. Bananas with nut butter 

(right now I'm loving Relay's Own fresh ground almond butter). 

2. Michele's Granola and yogurt (like this Liberte black cherry whole milk yogurt) 

Michele's Granola is a delicious Baltimore brand that is not too sweet or heavy on the sugar and is super crunchy. 

3. Organic chocolate milk 

(I limit dairy but chocolate milk has great a great recovery ratio and is super easy to drink a glass of while I'm prepping a larger meal!) or these single serve boxes

4. Trail mix

I'm a sucker for trail mixes especially ones with lots of different nuts, dried fruits, seeds and of course some chocolate chips. This Antioxidant Mix, Berries & Chocolate also satisfies my sweet tooth!

5. Energy Bars

It's easy to have an energy bar in my gym bag or purse to have on hand, especially if I'm away from my apartment or need to drive home from a run. Some of my favorites lately are the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar, Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate KIND bar, and Coffee Chia Health Warrior bar

Relay Foods has a great Refer a Friend (RAF) program in which if you're a current customer you can refer friends to try out Relay Foods with your link and you both save! 

Currently a RAF link will save a new Relay Foods customer $20 off of their first order of $60 or more and the person who's RAF link it was, will also get $20 credit. During the month of October it has been increased to $30 off of $60 (still for new customers only!) and the RAF link owner will also get $30. 


If you haven't tried Relay Foods and are curious, please use my Relay Foods link to save $30 off your first order of $60. If you already are a customer, share your code with friends to save! 

What's your go-to easy post-run or post-workout snack? 

October 12, 2016

I DID IT! {Chicago Marathon 2016 Initial Thoughts}

If you follow me on social media you probably saw that Sunday was one of those perfect race days. It went so smoothly I still want to pinch myself to make sure it really happened that way. 


Obviously since it was my third year in a row running the Chicago Marathon, you might have already guessed that I was a fan. Besides the flat and fast course, the whole thing is so well-organized. I love the city route, the atmosphere, the spectators that line the entire course, and all of the amazing volunteers. 

Race morning was a breeze, and I stayed calm, collected, and just let myself run. I can't thank all my friends, family, fellow runners, and followers for all the love, support, and good vibes I was given.  When I knew at Mile 20 that I had a Boston Qualifying time and my goal in me, it was just a surreal moment. I wanted that dream of running Boston really badly. 

I tried to tell myself not to get too excited since the race was just starting at Mile 20, but deep down I knew I could do it. I spend a lot of time trying to fake confidence and believe in myself (#workinprogress). The days before the race I was anxious about my goals and saying I was ready for the marathon despite so many people telling me I was going to rock it, yet it took race day for me to positively believe it.  I trusted the training and myself especially once I past the halfway mark. I knew that my legs and heart were going to get me to the finish line strong.  All those early mornings, hot & humid summer long runs, and tough workouts were worth it. 

The last 6 miles hurt (I'm pretty sure that's just a given in all marathons), but it was one of the couple marathons where I felt so in control for most of the race. My mental game was on point, and I stayed fairly composed during race until I saw the finish line. Immediately after crossing it I started sobbing. Sobbing so that people were asking me if I was okay, and I was like it's all good-they are happy tears! That elusive Boston Qualifying acceptance time (not just qualifying cuts it anymore!) was mine. I crushed and surpassed my goal time of 3:30 all while not only telling myself that I was strong but truly believing it.  


I'll have a full race recap up at the end of the week, but just remember to run happy & dream big. You have all the power to achieve your dreams already inside of you.  

My custom Momentum motivate wrap bracelet with my mantra from last year still holds true. 

And sorry that you'll have to keep hearing about the 2016 Chicago Marathon. Most of my races aren't this amazing so I'm soaking it alllllll in. 

October 7, 2016

Chicago Marathon 2016 Goal Chat

THE BIG RACE IS IN 3 DAYS, GUYS. Seriously can't believe at the end of this week I'll be running the Chicago Marathon for the third year in a row. This year feels a little different-like it snuck up on me somehow? I'm sure I'll be feeling more marathon excited once I get into Chicago tomorrow night. 


Honestly the whole idea of writing about my goals is scary. It's stupid because everyone I am friends with or who follows me on social media knows I'm running the Chicago Marathon. People who run who I've talked to more in depth know that I want a BQ. And that means a faster BQ not a BQ like last year where I will not get accepted to run the Boston Marathon. 

The weather is looking cooler this year which means I might feel better than last year. My training wasn't perfect. School and life get in the way. I didn't get my mileage as high as I ultimately wanted. It's easy to sit in taper and look at your training schedule and think you should have ran more, or done more speed workouts, or ran an extra 20 miler run.  But now the work is all done and the race on Sunday is the victory lap. 

I did run many hard workouts and ran some really great races so I am proud of this training cycle.   

It's just the idea of putting your goals out there and not achieving them that scares the crap out of me because it's embarrassing and a terrible feeling. There's nothing I can do but put my goals out there and hope that lots of love, support, and good vibes are with me on race day.  I believe in the power of positive thinking and mentally getting yourself prepared but not psyched out. 

 If you are just as anxious as I am before a race, just remember that you did all the work so now all you have to do is show up to the start line and have FUN. 

Goal A: Run a 3:30. A most likely fast enough BQ time and PR. 

Goal B: PR so sub 3:34:48. A PR is still a PR and even if it isn't a fast enough BQ, it's another BQ time which is a double accomplishment.  

Goal C: Run a strong race and finish healthy with a smile on my face. 
Honestly Chicago was a last minute decision. If things aren't feeling great, I want to finish strong and will have another chance at Goal A at the Philadelphia Marathon next month. 
I can breathe deeply and breathe out all that negativity and pressure. 

ALSO if you are going to be at the race expo on Saturday, you should totally come to the We Run Social meetup at 1 PM at the Runner's World Stage because I'M co-hosting! I'd love to meet some people and give/get some hugs. 


Is it scary for you to admit your goals publicly? How do you mentally prepare for a race? 

October 5, 2016

Chicago Marathon Training Weeks 14 & 15 Recap

IT'S RACE WEEK, GUYS. Seriously can't believe at the end of this week I'll be out running the Chicago Marathon for the third year in a row. Here's a recap of really my last two weeks of training. Don't worry a post on race goals and taper madness will come later.  Here's a recap of weeks 14 & 15 of my Chicago Marathon training. 


Marathon Training 2016 Week 14 (9/19-9/25)

Tuesday: Charm City Run training group coaching, 3.1 miles  I wanted to squeeze in a workout but didn't make it there early enough due to traffic. BLAH
Wednesday: November Project-Baltimore workout at the top of Fed Hill and run there/back , 5.0 miles 
Thursday:  Tempo Run with 4 miles at race pace, 8.4 miles 
cooler temps mean HOT DAMN feeling strong
Friday: Nuun Year Dash virtual run , 5.25 miles
Saturday:  Long run coaching and a couple miles to finish it out, 15.04 miles 

I FINALLY got the chance to meet Erica in person and she joined  me for 6ish miles around the Inner Harbor!
Bloggers always need a photo op

: Dogfish Dash 8K, 4.9 miles

Felt really strong and held a faster pace than I expected I was 8th female with a surprisingly speedy, beer-loving crowd. Full race recap to come!  

Total miles: 41.69 miles

Marathon Training 2016 Week 15 (9/26-10/2)
MondayRest and a massage :) 
Tuesday:  CCR training group coaching plus an easy run , 6.64 miles
Wednesday: November Project-Baltimore workout-PR day but took it easy, 5.25 miles
Thursday:  Rest
FridayNovember Project-Baltimore rainy circuit workout & extra tempo miles x2 at the gym , 4.9 miles
Felt SUPER crappy at NP and then post-bagel and coffee decided to get in 2ish tempo miles on the treadmill and felt a little better. 

Yup there's me on the stairs in the purple rain jacket looking tired

Saturday: Rainy running: CCR training group coaching followed by running to the start of the Donate Life Fun Run 5K and running back to my car, 10.21 miles

Didn't feel super strong but still managed to snag 2nd female in the 5K and run okay in the rain
Sunday: Easy recovery run, 6.0 miles

Total miles: 32.99 miles

Feeling really blah and crappy during Week 15. Maybe it was because of some taper weirdness or feeling generally crappy and like I was almost coming down with something. Maybe my body just needed some rest too! Anyways it always sucks not feeling great with less than two weeks to go until race day. 

I am happy to have a couple shorter races thrown into the mix, despite not actually gearing up for them as races. I think that getting to the start line and practicing pacing on a short distance helps-it also counts as speed work for me! Also I'm still healthy so let's keep that going. 

 How is your training going?  Have you done any races lately? 

This post was linked up with Courtney's Chicago Marathon training link-up, as well as Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap-Up. 
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