Monday, January 26, 2015

The 80 Calorie Brownie. It Does Exist.

As you all know, I have a crazy sweet tooth that rears its nasty little head into my life basically every day. I need that sugar fix and nowadays, I allow myself a small sweet treat when I want one because otherwise I will go bonkers. Trust me.

I have dessert most days of the week because A.) I believe it is well-earned and B.) in moderation it isn't going to hurt me or my waistline. I eat it, enjoy it and I move on. Sometimes these desserts are massive and I go nuts but not usually. I try to keep them small and have just enough to curb the sugar craving without undoing all of my hard work at the gym or on the trails.

When I had the chance to work on a Special K campaign for their new healthier brownie snacks and bars I was in! I love having little sweet snacks on hand at work or in my gym bag for when the sugar cravings come a-knockin' (and they always do).



These tasty little suckers are only 80 calories! They're super tiny which is great because it is just enough to do the trick and not too much to make you feel like you went crazy on dessert.


They're fudgy and delicious and individually wrapped which I find helpful in not eating the entire box in one sitting.

Recipe Tip!


Remember my healthy version of Fro-yo? Crumble one Special K brownie up and sprinkle it on top and it just got 10x better. It's ridiculous.



Special K Brownies are made with real cocoa, chocolate or caramel chips, and topped with a drizzle of chocolate fudge for 80 decadent calories per bar. Yum

Connect with Special K on Facebook and Twitter!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.

Friends, Food, Fitness & Fun

Good afternoon and Happy Monday! Like the title of this post suggests, my weekend was chock full of friends, fun, fitness and food - so basically it was perfect. :)

Friday started with a game night at Ashley's that went on until 1:00 in the morning. We take Taboo very seriously. Then on Saturday I was part of a super fun photo shoot with my favorite running friends, Teresa, Sheri and Natalie. We have a lot in common since we share a love of running and have all run Boston but each of us brings something entirely different to the table. We're all runners but there is a really interesting dynamic when you put us all together.

I honestly couldn't ask for a better group of women to be photographed with for an upomcing feature on The Everyday Athlete Project (soon to launch).  These women make me insanely proud to be a runner and to call them my friends.

And they're just total babes, so there's that.


We started the shoot all dressed up and fancy before getting into our usual attire which consists of lycra and dry wick. 


This little cookie monster photo bombed us much to our enjoyment.



I was super happy that Nick chose Balboa Park for the shoot because it is my special space in San Diego. I have run there multiple times a week for the past 5 years. Those are my trails!

I hate having my photos taken but it's actually fun when you're with a group of girls you love and an incredible photographer. Nick is super talented and I can't wait to see the finished photos. Eek! Fun stuff.


Saturday night was date night at an adorable little Italian spot in Hillcrest called Parma. I loved the ambiance and the food was super authentic, simple, and delicious. We demolished it too quickly to snap a picture. Oops!  

I was so proud of myself for waking up at the bright and early hour of 6 am on Sunday to run with a group in Del Mar. I am so, so, so glad I did because it was such a blast and I was able to meet some of my fellow California 10/20 Run Ambassadors (like Ashleigh and Avery).  

I also met Sheri's friends in town from Canada, Alice and Matt, and once we got to chatting, Alice and I realized we knew eachother from our blogs. It was kind of hilarious. Alice is Chatterrungirl... and she is AMAZING. I kind of adore her.



Puppy petting never hurts at the end of a run.

 After 10 miles at 8:00/mile pace, I enjoyed an acai bowl, a coffee, some great conversation and then went home for a quick nap. The weekend was absolute perfection.

Tell me about your weekend!







Thursday, January 22, 2015

My Sugar Detox | Lessons, Benefits & Full Disclosure

My sugar detox has come to an end and I want to tell you all about it!  It was quite an eye-opener for me and I've taken so much away from this 2-week reboot. I am also trying to figure out how to incorporate much of what I learned into something sustainable for me and my life as a marathon runner. Let's face it, I'm the girl who brings Starburst and Fig Newtons on my 20 mile runs for fuel and I may even continue to do so.

January's Sugar Detox requires the elimination of: grains, sugars (with the exception of one green apple a day), beans, legumes, alcohol, corn, soy milk and processed foods in general.  It is essentially a paleo sugar detox.

Sugar is everywhere and the addiction is real. 

More and more research is coming out about the harmful effects of sugar and its addictive nature. When doing a sugar detox you become laser focused on sugar and you notice it everywhere. This is somewhat frightening but it makes you more aware of the ingredients in your food. 


Kicking the sugar habit is hard! Let's not sugarcoat it. See what I did there?

Maybe for some people it's easy to completely eliminate sugar for a few weeks but that is not the case for me. The first few days of the detox were tough! I had to hunker down and stay focused to get through that adjustment period. It gets easier as the days go on and once you conquer a few tough social situations you feel like you're on top of the world! I had to make sure I didn't get too cocky because it's easy to fall. 

Created by January and sugar-detox friendly!

I couldn't do this alone.

I am so grateful I had a group to do this detox with and a coach I could run to with any and every question like "I went for a run and felt terrible! What do I do?" and "I got my period 2 days early. WTF?!" Without January and my fellow detoxers I would've crumbled. This is a fact. We held each other accountable.

There were so many benefits to me conquering the Sugar Detox and I am so glad I did it! 

I actually think everyone could benefit from a program like this.  It is only two weeks in length and regardless of whether or not it creates a complete lifestyle change, it will certainly educate you and give you useful information to carry into the future. 



One of the most important lessons came from facing my food fears.

I ate several of my "fear foods" like full fat whipping cream and butter and guess what -- I didn't gain an ounce and I was full most of the time and ate less often! This was one of the biggest eye-openers for me. Don't fear fat! It will keep hunger at bay and there are sooo many benefits to eating it. That said, I am still a firm believer in moderation and I personally don't recommend eating a full jar of almond butter in one sitting just because it contains healthy fats (duh) and I'll never be the girl that eats bacon every single day. It's just not me. I am just so happy that this detox brought me back to focusing on eating REAL food. Whole foods. 



If you eat convenience foods regularly, your'e in a food rut, you're tired of the afternoon energy crashes, or you simply feel like a sugar addict - you should try this!  The outcomes and lifestyle changes (even if subtle) make it worth every penny. And no, I'm not making any money off of this. :)

Of course there were a few aspects that didn't work well for me and make this diet somewhat unsustainable for me and my lifestyle. 
  • I don't love meat enough. I found meat and eggs to be the easiest source of food for meals since I was cutting out all grains and a lot of carbs. After a few days, I was completely tired of meat and by week 2, eggs made me gag. This wouldn't be a problem for someone who spent more time in the kitchen and was more creative in a culinary sense. (I suck at cooking).
  • I love carbs and grains too much! Who doesn't? I don't have any sort of digestive or health issues that would lead me to believe I should eliminate grains completely. However, it is obvious they're causing a blood sugar spike and drop so I need to experiment with how much and what types I am eating.
  • It can be quite expensive. I'm not one to pinch pennies when it comes to my health (I think it is the greatest investment) but it is worth noting grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic cuts of meat are quite pricey and this can be a bit challenging on the wallet.
Moving forward...

I have returned to eating grains while reducing my sugar intake and eating minimally processed foods. I'm more conscious about my food choices and my eating is definitely more clean. The detox was a nice little reboot and the kick in the butt I so desperately needed.  Thank you, January, for holding my hand through this process and making me believe it is possible to kick the sugar habit!

For more information on January and her services visit www.januarywellness.com. She's amazing. Truly.

Would you ever consider trying a Sugar Detox or a Paleo Challenge?






Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Meet the Blonde Behind "Eat Clean. Piss Glitter."

I want you all to meet someone. She is a blogger, a mom, an athlete, a paleo-ish woman, the proud owner of a wonderful ass, a PCOS fighter, a Rheumatoid Arthritis victor, and now the author of her very own book! Whitney from Eat Clean. Piss Glitter. is one of my favorite bloggers and she just so happens to live a whopping two miles from me here in San Diego. I've loved her blog since the moment I started reading it and her Instagram account is easily one of my favorites. 

Her book is so insightful, raw, funny and fascinating and I was dying to pick her brain after reading it. I had the chance to ask her about fertility, diet and fitness and I love what she has to say!  Meet the blonde babe behind Eat Clean. Piss Glitter. 


On fertility

First things first, you’re pregnant again! Congratulations!  There was a time when you thought you might not be able to get preggers because of health issues and you changed your diet and have now been knocked up not once, but TWICE.  How does food play into fertility?

Knocked up again! Fertility is so tough and fragile. I had never been so miserable in my life than when I believed I would not get pregnant on my own. So, I want to start by saying if one of your readers struggles with infertility, my heart truly sits with theirs. I believe there is hope and I highly encourage them to look into well known Naturopathic doctors in their area. 
That said, I do believe in my case, food was my cure. I had a lot of ups and downs in my diet, starving myself, binging on cereal and after being a vegetarian for 6 or so years, I felt in my bones I needed meat again. As a vegetarian, I definitely ate very clean, but is my belief that the lack of fat, iron and vitamins played a ruckus on my hormones and my ability to thus get pregnant. Within two months of adding meat back into my diet, basically adhering to a paleo diet, I was knocked up after a year and a half of trying. This was after being told conceiving on my own would be very difficult, and refusing the additional hormones I was prescribed to correct Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. 
So, I think my getting knocked up really truly boils down to time being able to run its course, getting synthetic hormones completely out of my body after years of birth control, and a diet with more nutrients that allowed my own hormones to do what they should and COULD do. 
If you are on your own journey of fertility, I would strongly urge you towards three things: the primal lifestyle, a naturopathic doctor (a good one who comes highly recommended, there are quacks out there, for sure) and patience. Do not expect to be knocked up after a month of eating differently. Hormones are tricky little boogers and you have to give your body time and love to get them right.

On fitness

You played softball at UCLA back in the day so you’ve clearly always been athletic. What have you learned about fitness over the years and how has your approach to working out changed being a busy mom and all? (What we really want to know is HOW’D YOU GET THEM ABS after growing a human in there!?)

Funny you mention my abs because I was just looking at the cover of my book and thinking GAHHHH, will I ever get those again? Why am I pregnnnnannnt?!!!  Rant aside, I am very thankful to be pregnant (and excuse me while I go off on a tangent here), but, I have always had an emotional struggle with my body. I am happier with it now than I have ever been, but as a grown woman I still have moments looking in the mirror where I am fourteen again hating every inch I can pinch. So, in all honesty, being pregnant is not an easy journey for me. I am not one of those women who just absolutely loves being pregnant and who is constantly glowing. 
I was very active in my first pregnancy lifting weights every week, running and then walking when the time came, hiking all over town and drinking a ton of green juice at the time. So I luckily did not gain much with my first child and was able to bounce back pretty quickly. I also have genetics on my side. 
My mom gave me two things, a donk and abs. We both have big butts and tiny waists, and I am lucky in that my waist is the last place where I gain weight. And finally, I was MILITANT about my diet after I gave birth because I was breast feeding and only wanted super nutrients in my Wubba’s body, and I just really wanted my body back. After a babe, you really do not have the luxury of time you used to be able to dedicate to working out, so for me, nutrition has to be on POINT.

On Diet

You obviously weren’t always a Paleo girl and your philosophy on food has evolved tremendously – what did that evolution look like?  How did you know Paleo was it for you?  

Well, I actually became a vegan when I was first diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and almost had to quit softball as a result. I had read a few things about
inflammation being caused by processed foods and junky meat (which I still believe), and as I became obsessive about reading everything I could about inflammation, arthritis and the link to food, I abandoned all processed foods and meat. So I started eating a ton of veggies, fruits, and tofu for protein! Holler! Within a week, I had NO SYMPTOMS of the RA. And I flushed my five bottles of pills taken twice daily right down the toilet.
After a while as a vegetarian I found I just could not get full. So I started eating carbs and carbs and carbs. I would literally come home from softball practice and eat eight bowls of whatever organic whole grain goodness I found in my cupboard. My diet was slowly shifting from being very nutrient dense to vey nutrient deficient. And surprise, surprise, I started to feel off again. I would go on juice cleanses, lose weight, feel better emotionally because I was thinner, and get right back on the horse of seeing what I could eliminate from my diet next. To the point where my hormones went whacky, I lost my period for almost two years and finally decided I needed to eat meat again. 
I again removed all processed foods from my diet like my beloved organic cereal and dairy, added in organic, free range or pasture raised chicken and started consuming more coconut oil. After getting knocked up eating this way and feeling so good in my body, I haven’t really had a chance to look back or abandon it. While I was pregnant I was a guinea pig for my friend January and we both experimented on the ketogenic diet and it is a diet I still do in phases because it makes me feel so amazing.
Today, I try to just listen to the needs of my body. I typically eat good, humanely raised meats like chicken, and grass-fed or pasture raised beef if I can find it, a ton of eggs, high quality full-fat dairy, a lot of BUTTER, greens, coconut oil and a dash of fruit. So I am not really paleo. I am not sure my diet really has a label other than, I eat shit that I believe my body digests well and uses for some wicked awesome energy.

What is it like living with a husband who is not super Paleo? Do you ever get the urge to eat his Oreos and Pop Tarts?

I do get the urge and I do eat them. In fact, most Sundays are dirty Mexican food at our house. (Paleo enthusiasts around the world just collapsed, I know). But I have found when I totally restrict a certain food from my life, I go nuts. I need balance. I need to eat his chips sometimes and just get over it. 
When I feel something is off limits and I reach for those chips, I beat myself up over it for days. Now, I just go for it, next meal is green. Over it.

I just did my own sugar detox and ate mostly Paleo for 2 weeks but I added in some grains. What are your thoughts on grains since it’s such a hot topic in the nutrition world? Are they slowly killing us? 

I think when grains are properly prepared they are great. (See Weston A. Price guidelines for grain preparation ) I even think grains that are not properly prepared can be digested by some people just fine. I would not go so far as saying grains are slowly killing us, I think foods from a plastic wrapper in general are slowly killing us alongside a very high carbohydrate load. 
I am a huge fan of Dr. Peter Attia and the amazing organization he co-founded, the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI). Dr. Attia and I both believe it is the overconsumption of carbohydrates that seems to be causing us so much suffering, but we will all need more evidence before we can say this is the way we ALL need to eat!  Please, please, please watch his TedMed talk and read this article.
But you Kate, you are burning a ton of energy and I believe your muscles are super efficient at burning through glucose, so you eat those grains when you feel in your bones that you need them. And those donuts. :)  

On the book


Your book is funny, honest, and smart without being condescending.  Congrats on writing it!  What made you decide to write a book in the first place and what was that process like for you?

Thank you so much! I first set out to write the book for the teenage Whitney that was suffering with eating disorders and starting to feel terrible inside and out. But after writing down everything I wanted to share that I had learned about nutrition, my book had no soul. It was just facts I believed in. So I went back and added the heartbeat, which is my story. A pretty dark story at times. So I realized I was not ready to share this with teenagers, I needed to share it with other women who would hopefully pass down the information to our younger counterparts.
The process was all encompassing, wonderful, dark and exhausting. You start to doubt yourself, people start getting angry with you and you start to wonder if anyone will read it besides your mom. There are a lot of ups and downs in writing a book, but to be honest I just had a fire inside that was burning me to share my story and what I believed. If I can help one other woman in the whole world, then the last year of my life was totally worth it. 

On that baby bump


And finally, can you PLEASE start posting more bumpies? (Bumpie: A selfie with a baby bump) I’m obsessed with pregnancy and I need more of your beautiful pregnant self in my life!

Ohhhh bumpie!!! You fancy, huh? I like that. Yes. I will. Now that I am out of shell of feeling just chubby and not pregnant, I am going to rock this bump. Lookout for bumpie workout vids. :)  
And thank you Kate, I absolutely adore you. I so admire your love and devotion to running, I get it. Sometimes I miss it. Just not enough to run as much as you. xoxo
more of these please. xoxo
She's great, right!? Go check her out over at www.eatcleanpissglitter.com.  Her book is available as a digital download and in paperback from Amazon! 

Want to win a FREE copy with a lil love note from Whit? 

Leave a comment saying anything you want! It's a free world after all. 
I'll pick a winner at random next TUESDAY, JANUARY 27!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Snacking on the Go with Special-K

As you all know, I am just coming off of a sugar detox which was the perfect reset after the holidays (and I am writing a whole post on that for later this week). I seriously overdosed on cookies and treats over Thanksgiving and Christmas and I needed those two weeks to serve as a nutritional "boot camp" to get my butt back in gear.

That said, for two weeks I completely cut out processed, packaged food. This was great but I must admit, it was tricky. I have the bad habit of overbooking myself and often end up with too much on my plate. I'm always running from work to the gym and then straight to somewhere else to meet up with friends so if I forget to grab a piece of fruit or run out of almond butter packets I am in a bad (hungry) situation.

Anyone who has ever dated me knows I get "hangry" when I need food. I become ridiculously irritable and I can't function until I get some food in my face. I try to stay stocked up on fruit but sometimes I run out and when I do, I resort to the snack bars I keep in my gym bag. I'm sure everyone around me is grateful I carry snacks because I am not pleasant to be around when I am "dying of hunger" as I say.



Special K recently came out with a new line of bars made with tasty, wholesome ingredients that you can see like, rich chocolatey chunks, crunchy salted pretzels, real fruit pieces and chewy rolled oats. They're super yummy and perfect for when I need a little something but I don't want to spoil my appetite before dinner.


Many bars are packed with calories which isn't great if you still plan on having a big dinner. These Special K bars only have 100 calories so I don't feel like I am counteracting all the hard work I just did at the gym or on a run. And they help with my incessant sweet tooth! Win/win.
busy days call for simple snacks

I have to say, I try to avoid packaged food but from time to time, it can be a lifesaver, especially for a girl on-the-go like me. And a hangry one at that!


To learn more or to see where you can buy these bad boys, check out www.specialk.com and visit their social channels:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SpecialKUS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SpecialKUS


What is your favorite snack on-the-go?


This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Special K.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Recap: Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon, Yoga Six, Birdman, Big Eyes & More!

Hello, hello! This weekend flew by and probably because it was just so great!  On Friday, Brittany cooked me a lovely dinner and then we went to see Birdman. I highly recommend it!


Saturday morning, we woke up at a decent hour and went to yoga at Yoga Six in Point Loma. It's a beautiful studio with a good mix of classes but it's definitely on the pricey side. The drop-in rate is $20 but luckily I had my ClassPass. I can't wait to go back a few more times this month!




my ToeSox :)
Afterwards, I'd normally go home and get ready for the day but Brittany coerced me into going to the Little Italy Farmers Market looking like a straight up fool. Clearly I love her if I'm willing to walk around a crowded market looking like this:

Uggs and Shorts. HOT!
We mozied on over to an adorable little cafe called Harbor and had some brunch and then laid in the grass and read for awhile.  It was such a relaxing Saturday and the weather was just ridiculous. Well...it usually is in San Diego but sometimes it still blows my mind.





Saturday night we went out for pizza in prep for my half marathon the next day. No, this was not Sugar Detox approved but it is my tried and true pre-race dinner so I went with it.  13.1 miles is a pretty long way to go, especially when you haven't been running long distances. We went to Caffe Calabria afterwards and got decaf lattes and read a little more. I know you're thinking we're the biggest nerds ever -- and well, you're kind of right. We gettin' old!  And this book is juicy! Can't put it down!




Carlsbad Half Marathon!

So every time I run the Carlsbad Half, I run it untrained and "just for fun" but this was the first time it was actually FUN. 

Amy and I met up beforehand and drove up to Carlsbad together. We were perfectly on time but decided to wait in the most horrendously long line for the bathroom inside of the mall (instead of hitting the porta-potties) and we paid the price. We were late to the start and I started in Wave 4. This meant that the entire way I got to pass people. From start to finish. The weaving was not so fun but who cares when the course looks like this: 

I mean, c'mon right? Best hometown race ever!
I can honestly say this race felt effortless. Well, as effortless as running 13.1 miles can feel. I didn't struggle up a single hill or feel out of breath at any point in time. I ran comfortably. Truly. And I ended up finishing in 1:43 - which if you remember from the days when people had pagers, 143 means "I Love You" so when I saw my finish time I thought: "Running, I love you!"  

It's so interesting how just a few months ago I ran that same time for the first half of the NYC Marathon and then went on to run another 13.1 miles. I could not have done that yesterday. I need to start incorporating speedwork and tempos back into my schedule because I have lost all the speed I gained a few months back.


I hung out with my people at LaraBar afterwards and chatted with the other team runners. They're all so awesome and I am so happy to be a part of that lovely group.


me and amy. she is seriously the best.

Amy and I went for brunch afterwards at a restaurant at the La Costa Resort.  It was gorgeous!

brunch view
I didn't get home until close to 3 and I immediately took a nap. I slept so hard and it felt amazing. Then Brittany and I went to see Big Eyes, which I also HIGHLY recommend! So good! We are on a big movie kick lately, can you tell?

Did you race this weekend?

What movies have you seen recently?


Stay tuned for some fun posts coming up this week: 
  • My Thoughts on Sugar Detox & The Paleo Diet
  • An Interview with the Blonde Behind "Eat Clean. Piss Glitter."


Friday, January 16, 2015

Five Friday Faves

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared some of my favorites from the week but today I thought of about 20 awesome things so I picked 5 and here I am! I also just wanted to pop in and say “HI!” 

Here we go – HAPPY FRIDAY!

1.) The Dog Who Takes Himself to the Dog Park on the Bus -> Seriously, you might die from the cuteness of this story!  Your heart will surely melt at the very least. 

2.) My friend Teresa finally mastered the recipe for the PERFECT homemade coffee creamer and you have to try it! She and I both share an affinity for creamy, delicious coffee (and running, of course).



3.) CLASSPASS!  Sign up for ClassPass and get a $50 VISA card! This is a ridiculous deal and I had to share because it ends January 18!


I’m using my first week of a one-month class pass and I’m beyond obsessed!  I've been to SparkCycle and Studio Barre so far and tomorrow I'll be checking out Yoga6.  


WHAT THE HECK IS IT? It's basically an all access pass to a ton of trendy boutique fitness studios in your area for ONE price. There are over 70 in the San Diego network and I will try them all (ha! I wish!)  Boutique fitness studios are SO PRICEY so this is the way to go (especially if you work at a little non-profit like me and have expensive fitness taste).

These Classes normally range from $15-35 PER CLASS (Core40 is $35/class for example).  If you sign up now it will basically only cost you $50 for an entire unlimited month because they’ll send you $50. You would only get like 2 1/2 classes for that price normally versus an entire month.   Get on it!  -> p.s. I will get $50 too! We all win! Ha! But in all seriousness this is an absurd deal. I love free money - who doesn't?!

4.) Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.  My book club just finished reading The Husband’s Secret and I know it sounds super cheesy but it was really good actually and this book is by the same author. It has already sucked me in and I have a  feeling I’ll finish it by the end of the weekend. You should read it too so we can talk about it!




5.) GIRLS is back! Ahh, all is right in the world again. But can we just talk about how short the episodes are!? I decided I will save them up and watch 3 in a row next time because it feels like such a tease.



Happy Friday! What are you lovin' lately?