Monday and Tuesday Workout and Meal Plan

It’s a two-for-one! Without further ado….

4:35am – wake up; Watermelon Spark and Arginine Extreme; Catalyst; O2 Gold
5:15am – (awful, miserable, slow) 3+ miles (3.25, maybe? I was still worn out from the Haunted Half Marathon, so it was a recovery run!)
5:45am – Muscle Fuel
6am – Power Pump (this was a much better workout than the run – my body didn’t hate me for lifting)
7am – Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake
9am – 2 scrambled eggs; 2 slices bacon; banana
11am – Spark
11:30am – 2 slices whole wheat crust cheese pizza; 1 slice whole wheat crust cheese bread
2pm – Spark
3pm – 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts and craisins; 1 granny smith apple
6pm – Chicken Noodle Soup, 1/3 cup steamed corn; Chobani Greek Strawberry Yogurt with NatureBox Honey Sunflower Kernels; Omega Plex

1932 calories; 45% carb, 28% protein, 27% fat

5:20am – wake up; Watermelon Spark and Arginine Extreme; Catalyst; O2 Gold
6am – Cycle
7:30am – whole wheat banana pancakes; grape jelly; banana; 2 slices bacon
11am – Spark
11:30am – chicken noodle soup (see recipe link above); peanuts and craisins; 1/2 cup chopped pineapple (ok…I don’t know if it was actually 1/2 cup, but “whatever the kids didn’t eat” is a little vague)
2:30pm – Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake
5:15pm – (it was FREE and I burned 640 calories in cycle this morning…don’t judge) Chick Fil A 8-ct nuggets and medium waffle fries – with honey mustard (duh!)

A word to the wise – my diet is probably 85% super healthy. It’s not that I don’t like junk food – I really REALLY do – but I know that my body doesn’t feel or perform at it’s best when I fuel it with junk. Case in point – those nuggets and fries were delicious, but I spent the rest of the night in and out of the bathroom.

1878 calories; 53% carb, 19% protein, 28% fat (THIS, by the way, is why the “fast food diet” is so bad. Not only is it high in calories, but you’re loading up on carbs and fat. Both macro-nutrients have their place, but only when they are of the healthy sort and balanced with protein. An occasional treat? Sure, but don’t base your diet on it.)

You may (or may not) have noticed that I’ve not been taking the MNS this week. I haven’t decided if I want to continue with the MNS or switch over to just the Core Plex and Omega Plex. I will always take some sort of multi-vitamin. As you can see, even with careful planning and effort on my part, I don’t eat nearly enough fruits and veggies…a good multi helps fill in the gaps. Let’s just say that I’m waiting on a test result to help me decide whether to go with MNS or just Core Plex. 😉

<3 Jama

Haunted Half Marathon 2014

I’d been running for less than a year when my best friend, Joy, said “there’s going to be a half-marathon in Kingsport. We should totally do it.”

I laughed.

She was serious.

She talked me into it and we started training together. We had no earthly idea what we were doing, but I printed off a plan from the Runner’s World Smart Coach website and we followed it. We ran in the rain, from my house and hers. We left our husbands with the kids and food for the grill and we’d run and talk and laugh. Those miles hold some of my fondest memories.

In October of 2009, Kingsport had it’s first Haunted Half and Joy and I crossed the finish line together.

Haunted Half 2009

In 2010, Joy was in Law School and not training as much, so I ran the entire half marathon and she ran a leg of the relay. This was going to be our new tradition!

Haunted Half 2010

In the Fall of 2011, after running together all summer, Joy was working towards her first full marathon. I was pregnant with my third and happily jogging along, still planning on doing the half with her. Then Joy was diagnosed with brain cancer. On the day of the Haunted Half that year, Joy had been in a coma for three weeks. I visited her in ICU just before I headed to the starting line. I rocked my “Run for J Lowe” t shirt and a baby bump and I finished that half for her!

Haunted Half 2011

Joy passed away in August of 2012. The Haunted Half that year was bittersweet. Six months after the birth of baby #3 and just over two months since losing my best friend, those were some hard-fought miles. With friends by my side, another one was in the books.

Haunted Half 2012

2013 was an amazing running year for me. I stepped up my training and started bringing home trophies. I had my sights on a full marathon in December and planned to use the Haunted Half that year as the tempo portion of an 18-miler. I destroyed that race. I crossed the finish in 1:49:38, collapsed and cried, knowing that Joy was there with me.

Haunted Half 2013

I’ve run the Haunted Half since it’s first year, and I will run it every year for as long as I’m able. This year I am in great shape overall, but not the best running shape. It was a tough year, but for the first time since 2009, I ran the entire race with a friend. In all the years prior, I’ve started with my buddies and we’ve drifted along the course…those of us feeling good will pick up the pace, while those not having the best race will hang back. Rachel and I both felt pretty awful from early on. We weren’t even to the halfway point when we decided to stick it out together. Even though my performance was disappointing, I will never regret those miles, because they were miles I spent with a friend…just like I did that very first year.

Haunted Half 2014

Now, just so we don’t get too sappy (Joy would’ve HATED that), I’d like to point out Jenn in the pic. She started with us, but she’s a sucker and suffered alone. Ten minutes ahead of us. To be fair, I don’t think Jenn would have been able to handle our whining, so it’s probably good she dropped us. Punk.

For the record, any weekend that you run a half marathon or longer, you get to eat whatever you want. It’s a rule. I hopped back on the healthy food train on Monday and will be posting my food and workout plan shortly.

<3 Jama

You Tell Me: What Do You Believe About Mental Illness?

I am taking a break from my regularly scheduled Workout and Meal Plan posts…partly because these last couple of days have been insanely busy and I have no idea what I’ve shoved in my face hole.

I also feel like, since this is my blog, I can talk about whatever I want. This does have to do with health and wellness and little encouragement (I hope), so it fits. It’s also personal, although I’m not really comfortable sharing to what extent.

In different communities, there are different beliefs about mental illness. Medication is hotly debated, as there are some who feel that they absolutely could not function without some sort of chemical help, and others who believe its a spiritual problem, or something to be solved with counseling, or dealt with through alternative means. I’m curious what you think and why.

When I say mental illness, I’m referring to any disease of the mind, from depression and anxiety, to learning disabilities and addiction, personality disorders, and the like. You don’t have to share personal experiences if you don’t feel comfortable with that, but I would love to know why you believe the way that you do. Please, be kind. Remember that, although you’re sitting in front of a screen, you are talking to real human beings, made in God’s image, so don’t type anything you wouldn’t say to your closest friend.

I’ll say that I fall somewhere in the middle. I absolutely believe there is a time and a place for medication when it comes to mental illness. It seems, though, that we face a few very specific problems in our country: we over-diagnose “mental illness,” many people expect an easy out in the form of popping a pill, and many mental issues are actually spiritual problems.

So, talk to me. Show me your side. Be encouraging.

And know that, if you are suffering from any sort of mental illness, there is hope.

<3 Jama

Wednesday Workout and Meal Plan

Morning y’all! I’m posting this courtesy of MyFitnessPal. If you don’t have the MyFitnessPal app, I highly recommend it! I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of food, exercise, and progress with weight goals. It’s easy to use and I like being able to look back and see what I was doing/eating when I am at my most fit. This is how I can tell you my calories and macros at the end of these posts. Love. It.

So. Wednesday. And before I start, remember that I told you I’d be completely honest. My diet isn’t perfect. I really enjoy GOOD food (quality food, healthy or not). McDonald’s makes me gag, but a good burger just can’t be beat. 🙂
4:35am – Slam (I decided to try drinking a Slam before my workouts and saving my Spark for after…love it!); Biocharge
5:15am – 4ish mile run (we got a bit of a late start, so we were just shy of 4 miles)
6am – Power Pump
7am – Watermelon Spark; MNS Color Pack
7:30am – Pumpkin Spice Meal Replacement Shake
9am – turkey sausage and scrambled eggs; grapes; Omega Plex
11:30am – Watermelon Spark; MNS Color Pack
12pm – bacon, mushroom, swiss burger and fries (there it was!); MNS White Packs
6pm – (I haven’t given this meal a name yet…I’ll name it and post the recipe later!) chicken breast, Rotel, and black beans over rice; blue corn tortilla chips; Omega Plex
10pm – Nighttime Recovery

1,790 calories; 37% carb, 24% protein, 39% fat

<3 Jama

BBQ Chicken and Roasted Potato Casserole

This is super duper easy, y’all, and the hubs loves it!

3/4lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3cup bbq sauce (go with an all-natural, no sugar sauce)
3-4 baking potatoes
2tbs butter or margarine
1/2cup shredded cheddar
1/2cup low fat sour cream
cooking spray
salt and pepper

In the morning, place chicken breasts and bbq sauce in crock pot and cook on low for 8 or so hours. Pull chicken apart with a fork.

Preheat oven to 450. Spray a 9×11 baking dish with cooking spray. Slice potatoes into cubes, place in dish, and add salt, pepper, and butter or margarine (just enough butter to keep the potatoes moist while cooking…NOT MUCH!). Bake potatoes uncovered for 30 minutes or so. I like crispy potatoes, so I cook them a little longer, stirring about halfway through.

Add bbq chicken to potatoes and spread sour cream and cheese over top. Reduce heat to 350 and return to oven until cheese is melted.


<3 Jama

Tuesday Workout and Meal Plan

I was planning on “sleeping in” until 5:20 this morning, but woke up at 4:09. Seriously. Who does that?

I fiddled around on Facebook, went back to sleep for a bit, and then got started at 5:20 anyway. So there!
5:30am – Watermelon Spark
6am – 1 hour cycle class (Shout out to Kathy at the Wellness Center who kicked my booty…and quads and calves and hamstrings)
7am – MNS color pack
7:20am – Chocolate Mocha Meal Replacement Shake
9am – banana and 1/4cup almonds; Omega Plex
11am – Watermelon Spark and MNS color pack
11:30pm – sliced apples; black beans and rice with low fat sour cream, shredded cheddar, salsa, and onion; 1/2cup greek yogurt; MNS white packs
3pm – Boars Head Blazing Buffalo chicken breast; 1tbs hummus; 1tbs peanut butter (I get that this is weird. I’m fine with it)
7pm – BBQ Chicken and Roasted Potato Casserole; Omega Plex
9:30pm – Nighttime Recovery

1802 calories; 48% carb, 27% fat, 25% protein

There you have it! Things will start to look a little different once I incorporate more Performance Elite products over the next several days.

<3 Jama

Monday Workout and Meal Plan

When starting a healthy lifestyle, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what to eat when! This week I’ll be posting my daily workouts and meal plan as a way for y’all to see what a typical day looks like for me. This also holds me accountable if I decide it might be a good idea to eat a doughnut or 10. 😉

4:45am – Watermelon Spark
5:15am – run (4.5 miles)
6am – Power Pump (50 minute lifting class)
7am – MNS Color Pack
7:20am – Chocolate Mocha Meal Replacement Shake
7:30am – run (1 mile with Abby Dog)
9am – banana and 1/4cup almonds; Omega Plex
11am – MNS Color Pack and Watermelon Spark
11:30am – Chicken Noodle Soup, sliced apple, and MNS White Packs
3pm – Iced Coffee and Dark Chocolate Bar No Sugar Added frozen yogurt from Menchies, with slivered almonds, strawberries, and cherries
4pm – Watermelon Spark
5pm – 4oz Boars Head Blazing Buffalo sliced chicken breast
7pm – 3/4cup brown rice and 1/2cup black beans, topped with shredded cheddar, low fat sour cream, onions, salsa, and black pepper; Omega Plex
9pm – bedtime! Nighttime Recovery

So, for the day, I ate 1,782 calories; 54% carbs, 24% protein, and 22% fat. My goal is 40/30/30, so I was a little carb heavy today, but that will serve me well in cycle tomorrow morning!

<3 Jama

Clean and Healthy Bath Products

This is totally a shameless plug for my friend, Lorie’s, business!

Lorie has been making homemade bath products for several years now. I’m proud to say that I got to be one of her guinea pigs in the beginning, trying out all her little handmade soaps. She has now built this amazing business and makes the most awesome bath and body products I’ve ever tried. I’ve been working on her Etsy shop, revamping names for products and writing her descriptions. I’m really hoping to bring people in with my funny stories, have them order a thing or two, and then be a customer for life. No joke…once you try her stuff, you’ll be hooked. I feel kind of ripped off and icky now when I use anything else!

Clean and healthy doesn’t just apply to diet and exercise, but to what you’re putting on the outside of your body, too. I feel a lot better using Lorie’s soaps and lotions, knowing that she makes everything by hand with natural ingredients. Plus I’m supporting a local business and general, all-around, awesome mama.

So, check out her Etsy shop and giggle a little at my descriptions. Then order a thing or two. You’ll make two mamas happy!

For the Love of Suds on Etsy

<3 Jama

Easy (Clean!) Chicken Noodle Soup

My hubs has the crud and said that he wanted some chicken noodle soup. Since Campbell’s is out of the question, I searched Pinterest for a canned-like, clean, chicken noodle soup with NO vegetables (per his request. He’s not a veggie fan).

That apparently doesn’t exist.

Despite my very best mothering efforts, I can’t reverse 40 years of vegetable-hating or turn my three boys into fancy eaters overnight. I was on my own.

The recipe that follows is what I came up with. It is super simple and PLAIN. It’s perfect kid-food. Or husband-food if he hates vegetables and wants some comfort soup. Campbell’s it ain’t, but it was as close as I could come and keep it healthy!

Jama’s Own Clean Chicken Noodle Soup

1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into TINY cubes
32oz organic, low-sodium chicken broth (I used Harvest Organic from Ingles)
6oz (half a bag) of Whole Wheat No Yolks egg noodles
garlic powder
crushed red pepper

Get 3qts of water boiling in a large pot for the egg noodles (per package directions). Cook the chicken through with just a splash of chicken broth. Add garlic powder, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper – all to taste. Add the rest of the chicken broth to the chicken and spices and let simmer while your noodles are cooking. When the noodles are ALMOST done, drain, return to pot, and add chicken and broth. I let the noodles finish cooking in the chicken and broth mixture so that they had a little flavor. I’m guessing about 10 minutes? I gave it a couple of tastes before it was just right. Boom. Chicken noodle soup.

This was a HUGE hit – like everyone got seconds kind of huge hit. The next time I make it, I’ll cook some veggies separately to add in to mine and the kids’ bowls. Tonight I just made some grilled cheese on whole wheat sourdough bread. Comfort food that I can feel good about!

Here’s the deal, y’all – not everything has to be fancy. Kids generally don’t like fancy stuff and, while I do cook a lot that requires a more mature palate, there is nothing wrong with making something super simple that you know your family will love. Tweak it, make it healthy, and enjoy it!

<3 Jama

Go-To Pizza

Every Friday is pizza night at my house, and has been for a few years now. We’ve gone from buying different types of dough from the store, to using french bread from the grocery’s bakery, to making my own dough from scratch. Whenever we decided to cut out sugar and white flour, I was tasked with discovering a pizza dough that would make my boys happy that didn’t include the offending ingredients. It was easier than I expected!

I took my old recipe, switched to whole wheat or spelt flour (whichever I happened to have on hand) and just cut out the sugar. That’s it. And it’s GOOD!

Jama’s Easy Clean Pizza

2.5-3 cups whole grain flour (wheat, spelt, or a mixture of those with a potato or rice flour)
3 1/2 teaspoons quick-rising yeast
1 cup hot water (from the tap is fine, but make sure it’s HOT!)
pinch of salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1C flour, yeast, and salt, and blend well. Gradually add water to mixture. Blend at a low speed until moistened, then beat for 2 minutes at medium speed. By hand, add 1.5-2 cups flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. On a floured surface, knead in 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for about 15 minutes.

Divide dough in half and press out onto two pizza pans (I use pizza stones…do that if you have them!) and prick randomly with a fork. Let rest again in a warm place for 10-15 minutes while your oven preheats to 450.

Bake at 450 for 5 minutes.

Add sugar-free pasta sauce or some roma tomatoes, cheese, and your favorite toppings and bake for another 5 minutes or until desired doneness.

<3 Jama