SLS3 Socks review & meal plan

Happy Sunday! We were able to enjoy an overnight with just the baby thanks to my parents! It was nice to have just one child to attend to :) even though the haze and tiredness sort of took over and rest was the overall goal!
I’m pretty wiped out!

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Baby girl likes the BOB  – lots of walks this weekend chilling in that :)
Love the little toes!

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I’m seeking out “biker shorts” – that’s what I call them :)  that don’t ride up.
These are 2 different pairs of Athleta ones – they are SO short! and they ride up.
What is your favorite pair for running?

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I’m getting back into running and 5/6 days a week I’ll get in some kind of workout! We had a few awesome mornings this week so I got up to run a couple of them – low humidity, temps in the low 60s. Beautiful! Great way to start the day. I can’t do it everyday because some nights are harder than others! I am already excited for fall mornings and cooler weather though!  I have been testing out the SLS3 compression socks!

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These socks are super tight (good), and a little difficult to get on (which I’ve found is typical of good compression socks).  I love the butterfly design and colors that are available. These feel good while running and are supposed to help with performance and circulation, as well as recovery time. I think they are great!  The best test will be wearing them for the Rock n’ Roll half that I will be running on Halloween!  For now, I’m been wearing them for my 2 mile runs and am really enjoying them!

“SLS3 Butterfly compression socks boost bloodflow by about 34%. This increases oxygen delivery to the working muscles to enhance their performance. The circulation improvements also help the body eliminate metabolic waste products like lactic acid more easily. The combination of these effects allows you to work longer and harder, delaying the onset of fatigue.  The SLS3 Butterfly compression socks offer more targeted, significant support to the achilles tendons, tibias, calves and ankles, thus boosting the ability to reduce common ankle and foot injuries.”

The socks retail for $54.90 and you can purchase them here! If you sign up for their emails you can save 30% and get free shipping!

Also, If you are interested in running the Philly half in October, use code NATALIERUNS to get a discount!

And then the meal planning:

Sunday – lasagna (freezer)

Monday – sweet potato boats, chips & salsa

Tuesday – falafel 

Wednesday – zucchini panzanella

Thursday – lasagna roll ups (freezer)

Friday – leftovers/wing it

Saturday – easy summer meal/BBQ

What are you eating this week? I love light summer meals! And I love dinners that I didn’t cook :)

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6 weeks meal planning

Someone is 6 weeks old!

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This week I had my 6 week postpartum checkup and everything looked good. I have 15 lbs to lose – let the games begin! I took that as my kickstart to getting back to the gym as much as I can. I even had 2 days in a row of early morning workouts before the day began and it felt great!  I have a lot of work to do! It is going to take a while to get back to my running speed. Out of all the pregnancies – this one I ran the least and stopped the earliest. I did much more strength training. I’m not super interested in running right now either – I prefer the short heavy lifting workouts with running spurts thrown in!

We have had humid and hot weather.  These curls are real!
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And this is what the pool looks like for me – with a baby carrier too.
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I have this post in mind about how we are poisoning our kids. Kids meals at restaurants?
Handing out cheese at the deli counter?
Then a lollipop handout everywhere there are kids Yellow 6. Red 3.  Blue 1.   What are we doing to our kids?
This came about after I took the kids out to lunch for K’s 5th birthday.
I’ll be posting on that soon hopefully.

On a good note, K had her first sweet & sassy experience/haircut!
She didn’t get hair until she was 2, so at 5 this was the first time she needed a haircut!

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She loved it!

Meal planning week! Last week’s treats were making some raw-nola that didn’t turn out and adding coconut oil and making them into raw muffins that are awesome for breakfast. The ingredients were pecans, oatmeal, and dates. I must have processed this mixture too long!  But it was a good mistake :)

Additionally I made the cookies of Happy Healthy Life’s cookies and cream ice cream to add to the ice cream I already made by Minimalist Baker. We had some zucchini, cucumbers and strawberries and lots of basil from our garden this week!
The husband is traveling this week, so I have grandmas staying with me most of the week and we’ll see about the menu :)
Going to try my vegan recipes on my mom :)

MEAL PLANNING

Sunday – kebobs on the grill, beans, mac & cheese and this yummy Minimalist Baker Caesar Salad

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Monday – Panzanella salad (one of my faves) with tomatoes, cukes, croutons and mahi mahi tacos

Tuesday- Quesadillas with chicken, nachos & Queso & cheese and rice

Wednesday – Soba noodles with vegan red pepper sauce (below: this sauce was AWESOME) and portabellos
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Thursday- Minimalist Baker Falafel with pasta fagioli.

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Wow. I can’t wait until her cookbook comes out in November. Her recipes are AMAZING!

Friday -out to dinner for B’s b’day! easy meal for the kids.

Saturday – Chicken Parm (that a friend made for the fam!)


What are you cooking this week?

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5 weeks (mom/baby updates) & meal plan

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Time is flying and baby girl will be 6 weeks old this coming Wednesday! She is a good baby, much easier than my two girls. I’m following Baby Wise to a tee, I wake her up at 7am everyday (I never had a set wake up time with any of my kids but this seems to be key to my day/knowing the schedule every day), she eats at 10, 1, 4 give or take. The evenings are a little tricky. Sometimes she eats every few hours until 9pm when I put her down, but she’s been sleeping great, so it’s working.  I feel like I know what she needs when she is crying most of the time, but that crazy time of day I’m still trying to figure out. She eats, stays awake for a bit and goes to sleep after 45 min to an hour.  If she is overstimulated it takes longer and is harder to get her to sleep, otherwise she likes to be on her belly to go to sleep and is using a pacifier most of the time.  She is sleeping 7-8 hours at night, which has been amazing! Her older siblings are big helpers and love to hold her and talk to her. It’s really cute, and much easier than having smaller kids to have 3 that can help!  

Mom –

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Six weeks for me means I can swim in the pool, wooo – that was a tough one with an early June baby! I’m lacking in sleep (and muscle tone – yikes!!), but it’s getting better. I had one day where I was able to get up around 6 and do a workout – however by 2pm I was a tired cranky mess! I’m hoping since she’s sleeping so well, I’ll be back into a routine soon. Here and there, just about every other day, I get in workouts which is just enough to be something.  I feel sort of sad knowing this is our last baby – I walked into Babies R Us and just thought, hmm.. why didn’t I embrace pregnancy a little bit more the first time (and all the times after)? It’s such an amazing thing (but so scary to an active person). I was so scared at the changes to my body, and not super comfortable with all of it! I didn’t want or have a baby shower (the first time) because the thought of sitting in front of people 8 months pregnant and opening gifts was daunting! Wish I did now! It’s such a celebration of an exciting time!  I committed to running the Boston Marathon 2 months after my due date to ensure I would get right back into shape. After #2 I signed up for a half marathon, #3 I ran Broad Street 10 days later (insane). Fast forward to #4 and I have committed to nothing! I’m taking it easy and trying to maintain my fitness. I just wish I took a little more time to enjoy, now that I will not have another pregnancy!  There’s definitely a little sadness here, but happy that I have younger siblings that will hopefully have lots of babies!  Heather had a great post last week about how pregnancy changed her for the better. I totally agree! 

Last, I have about one goal a day – whether it be a recipe, a workout, cleaning something in the house, doing weeding in our garden (first time we are actually trying hard at this), something with/for the kids – that I try to accomplish. Anything else is a bonus!

Meal planning for this upcoming week. Meal planning even now really helps me to stay organized, save money, and not question at 5pm what’s for dinner! My go-tos for myself are kale salad with ranch and pumpkin seeds for dinner and Hilary’s burgers with raw veggies and basil vinaigrette for lunch. I need some more variety though!

Sunday – BBQ
Monday –  lasagna from the neighbors, best!
Tuesday –  Leftovers! from the freezer

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Wednesday – Birthday girl chooses dinner! Pizza!
Thursday – mushrooms & biscuits (minimalist baker) – with falafel! 
Friday – grilled portabellos with nachos and leftovers!
Saturday – Bday party, for #2 – turning 5!  Leftover beef & broccoli (detoxinista) for me!

Last week I made the Detoxinista’s Zucchini Lasagna  – was delicious!

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Round 2 of Minimalist baker mac & cheese, delish!

And these delights, which I will be making again, they’re gone!

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What are you making this week?

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Gear Beast Armband Review

GEAR BEAST IPHONE ARMBAND

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I had the opportunity to try out the Gear Beast Wristband for iPhone6.  The one that I tried is called “Case Compatible.” It fits with different cases, and is made for the otterbox. I have a thinner case than otterbox but it fits nicely, with a little extra room. The case features a velcro strap to go around your arm, and it doesn’t slip. It comes in 4 different colors – I have purple.  Any bands I have tried in the past I have had to take off the case in order to use them but the Gear Beast Wristband is super convenient in that I can just put my phone with case right into it.  The case has a lifetime warranty (can’t beat that) and is as comfortable as a large phone can be on your arm while running.  I don’t really access my screen while I’m running but it seemed to be easy to push the buttons and use the screen as needed while in the case.  There is just a bit of extra space since I do not have the otterbox.

You can find this case on Amazon for $15.99, or if you are looking for a different phone case, take a look at their website! You can also find lots of other running products there too!

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Breakfast bites {gluten free, nut free, vegan}

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picture credit Elena’s Pantry – breakfast bars – above

I don’t know about you, but I need a quick healthy breakfast option for myself & the kids. Bagels? Cereal? Egg Sandwiches – things we ate growing up that are not considered healthy!  Some of the breakfasts we eat are fruit, yogurt, and “pudding” made from Amazing Grass – and smoothies! I can’t get the kids on board with a morning smoothie though – they have one each night instead.  Here are a few good recipes for breakfast:

Minimalist Baker Banana Bread

Coconut Yogurt Waffles

Cookie Dough Smoothie (salted caramel)  – photo and recipe: Running with Spoons

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Toast with Avocado (for me, though I like to have this for lunch!)

Peanut Butter Balls (oatmeal, PB, agave, chia/flax)

A good friend found these cookie/muffins called “Aussie Bites” at Costco – they are packed with yummy ingredients and an easy grab for breakfast! And really tasty too! I wanted to try to make them myself, and they turned out nicely.  You could try adding in or switching out different seeds for these. I was out of chia seeds but they would be good with those too! This recipe is gluten free, nut free and vegan.

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BREAKFAST BITES  ~ makes 20

10 small dried apricots, chopped and soaked in water for about 10 minutes to soften
1/3 c softened coconut oil
2 1/2 c gluten free oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt
1/2 c coconut sugar
2 T maple syrup
1/4 c cranberries or raisins
1/4 c unsweetened coconut
1/4 c ground flax
1/4 c sunflower seeds

Chop and soak apricots for about 10 minutes in water to soften. Drain and put in food processor until smooth. Add in coconut oil and process. Add oats until they are flour. Add remaining ingredients until mixture balls up. It will be dry. Press into a silicon mini muffin tin, and bake at 350 for 15 min.  Makes 20. Let these cool for an hour in the pan to set.  If you make these, let me know what you think!

Meal planning WEEK – 

Sunday – BBQ.

Monday – We had a HUGE zucchini in our garden, so I opted to make Detoxinista’s Zucchini Lasagna with that.

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Tuesday –  Honey Sesame Chicken with broccoli
Wednesday –  dinner delivery from a friend (the best!)
Thursday – Minimalist Baker Garlic Mac & Cheese
Friday – Fish Tacos – the fam has this once a week with mahi mahi!
Saturday- breakfast for dinner/leftovers

What are you cooking this week?

I did back to back workouts Fri/Sat – one a 2 mile run (woohoo!) and one was a Blonde Ponytail Circuit with 8 1/4 mile runs and sets of 20 exercises between such as:
.25 mile run
20 pushups

.25 mile run
20 deadlifts.

I’m dead today!  The goal for this weekend was to get this post up :) Score!

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4 weeks old…homemade salad dressings

Baby girls is 4 weeks old – she has been a great baby so far, very chill and easy. The kids are so helpful and are loving her and constantly want to hold her.  Sleeping – just one middle of the night feeding around 3am so I am surviving but would LOVE to get up and get back into the workout routine! I’m just a nicer person when I start the day that way. I’m also super laid back about it right now because I’m tired!

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<where am I???>

I workout when I can. If I do workout, usually I don’t find the time to make dinner or something else that I should be doing. In fact, I could use a dinner delivery service for the next 2 months! That time of day always seems to be stressful!  I have been trying to make easy meals, and do a rough meal plan over the weekend because I find it to be easier for me to stay organized! We were celebrating our 10 year anniversary this weekend and were at the shore, so meal planning started Tuesday.

This week’s plan was ~
Tuesday – warmed up garlicky chicken from freezer that a friend made + veggies and OSG quinoa patties for me
Pasta Fagioli. Basically I opened the freezer and took out whatever I could warm up and threw together some patties for myself.

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Wednesday – naan bread pizza with hummus and veggies
Thursday –  fish tacos (mahi mahi) with black beans, sweet potatoes and avocado

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Friday  -Mushrooms Marinated and zucchini parm. Zucchini from the garden…
Saturday – happy 4th – have to round up some yummy BBQ food!
Ooh I made an adapted recipe of MInimalist Baker Cheesecake Cups. So delicious!  We have been buying a ton of cashews and soaking over here! I used pecans, dates, almonds, oatmeal and coconut oil with maple syrup for the crust and followed her filling recipe. Yum!

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In the past few months, I discovered a raw cafe, here is their taco salad! Yum!

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They offer lots of kale salad options and dressings. One that I made a ton while I was pregnant was massaged kale salad with avocado, yum!  Another one of the salads at the cafe was ranch – and when I tried that, I wanted to make it!  I didn’t stop there – the Detoxinista’s cookbook contains a handful of great recipes, my favorite is the Everyday Basil Vinaigrette,

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Love this dressing with raw veggies!  Here are a few recipes that I want to try with my favorite here below:

Rawtarian Ranch Dressing! http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-ranch-dressing-recipe

Detoxinista:
Creamy Tahini Dressing: http://bit.ly/1dqXyNp
Raw Apple Cider Vinaigrette: http://detoxinista.com/2013/07/raw-apple-cider-vinaigrette/

Do you have a favorite homemade dressing?

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2 weeks old & meal plan

Happy Father’s Day! Hope all the dads out there have a great day!

Today we went to a local farm for brunch and I had a zucchini panzanella. Delicious!

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Baby K is sleeping a lot and a good baby! I feel like I have some time to workout when she is sleeping, and got some meal planning in too! Not sure if I’ll actually have the time to cook the meals on the plan, but we will see!  As far as workouts, one day I did a strength workout, and one day I made it to two miles running at a slowww pace. It feels so good!  At the same time, I know our family is complete, and I’m trying to enjoy every minute with my sweet baby girl!  I’m taking it easy for sure and not in a big rush to get back into training mode.

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The kiddos had a race the other night which is super cute. We saw some good form on our 4-year old Lil Runner :)
Leading the pack.

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3-year old wiped out and was a DNF and 6-year old was waving to the crowd as he cruised into the finish :) 4th place!

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And now for the meal plan!
I have been loving Minimalist Baker for recipes lately. Her cookbook is coming out in November! Can’t wait!

Sunday – mushrooms and biscuits with creamy spinach!
Monday – Leftover Chicken Marsala and rice, broccoli
Tuesday – Portabello Burgers with Buddha Bowl and farmer market Quiche
Wednesday – Cheesy Mac and Cheese (detoxinista cookbook) w/ Zucchini
Thursday – Honey Sesame Chicken (maybe) – 10 year anniversary!
Friday/Sat – we’ll have dinner taken care of for this weekend!

What are you cooking this week?

Other recipes to try:

Garlic mac & Cheese!

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