Monday, July 15, 2019

Why You Should Go to the Race Expo

I want to talk about race expos today.  Before my last race, I never spent much time at an expo, and honestly, most of my races didn't have full expos. Most packet pickups were just that for me and when a race expo was part of it I didn't think much about going. But this race expo changed my mind and now I want to go to every race expo I can, here's why:

Packet Pick up is part of the race expo anyway so you might as well stick around for a little while and let the atmosphere pump you up. There will be other people racing or people who are helping with the race and all of them will be just as excited about race day as you. It's like hanging out with all the endorphins that you get when you run times a thousand.

A lot of times when you go to an expo, they have free samples or products for the racers. Last time I got a free exercise band, 3 kids shirts, and lots of samples of protein bars, plus the stuff you get in your packet. Someone was also giving away nice water bottles and towels.

They have fun activities for kids. Or at least this one did. And if I can kill a few hours of the day with all three kids having fun, I will do it! They had lots of fun things for the kids like decorating cheer cards, temporary tattoos, free shirts and snow cones which my kids had a few each.

It's a chance to see a little bit of the course.  A lot of the race expos are at the starting line or finish line of the course. So you'll get to see how they are setting things up to make it easier for race day.

You don't have to go and spend the whole day at the race expo, you can definitely get your fill with an hour or so there, but the next time your race has a pre-race expo, GO! Enjoy the atmosphere, the excitement, and the free stuff to get you ready for race day.

Do you enjoy race expos?

What is the best thing you've gotten for free from a race expo?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Add Protein to Your Diet with These Foods

One thing that people always wonder is what I eat to make sure I'm getting enough protein.  To be honest, I didn't always think much about the nutrition part of all of this, but the last several years I've been doing better at it.  I don't eat organic, I don't worry about calories, I don't read many nutrition labels (except to see how much fiber or protein are in what I'm eating). But I do have my favorite things to eat after a workout to make sure I'm refueling right.

I was able to give Built Bar a try this week when they sent me a box to review. I gave them a try on Instagram and I will keep trying them and telling you about them too! They are awesome for both protein and fiber, which you don't find all that often. It was a huge plus for me because chocolate can cause some irregularity problems and I always watch how much fiber I'm eating. They taste great and have a good texture. They certainly fulfill the chocolate cravings and, as promised, it helped with not only protein but energy.  They have a ton of flavors to try and I'm excited to see which one is my favorite. You can give them a try by going HERE (affiliate link) and you'll get 10% off your first order!

I've always liked yogurt, which is great for protein, but I tried these Oikos Greek Yogurts by Dannon recently and I love them! They are thick and creamy, have 15 grams of protein and they taste so good and are sweetened with stevia.  I love how this is the perfect mid-day snack or add on to breakfast. It satisfies and keeps you full longer. Yogurt is also amazing for digestive health.

When it comes to protein powders, I'm not a big fan. I don't like the taste of them and I'm pretty picky about what I get. So when it comes to drinking my protein, I stick with Carnation Instant Breakfast and add some PBfit, which is just powdered peanut butter, to it. I love that it's natural and less sugar added. Plus it tastes good. PB fit is also fantastic for more than just protein shakes. You can add it to anything with peanut butter in it, and you can make peanut butter with it by adding some water to it.

Another quick snack to add a little protein that I like would be apples and peanut butter. I have to admit that it never even occurred to me to put peanut butter on apples until I saw Trevon eat it.  But, like the yogurt option, this is a great snack to get me to the next meal or something to add to breakfast or lunch to add more protein.

I've talked before about my favorite granola.  I've been making my own granola for a few years now and it is so good, inexpensive and very filling. You can find the recipe HERE. I eat mine on top of yogurt with lots of fresh fruit on top. It's one of my favorite breakfasts. I'm out of granola right now so I think it's time to make another batch!

Of course one of my favorite protein filled foods is chicken. We eat chicken often. Grilled, baked, roasted...I really don't have a favorite way to eat it. There are great ways to grill chicken and we always have it a few times a week for dinner.  When we have leftovers, I cut it up and put it on top of a salad for lunches, or make sandwiches out of them. Sometimes I warm it up with a bunch of veggies on the side.

Eggs are a big family favorite here. My kids like scrambled best, but I like them in just about any form.  It's easy and quick and they are a great option to add a little more protein to your diet. Have you ever added a hard fried egg on a hamburger or grilled cheese? If not, do it, it will change you!

There are a lot of options for protein out there. It doesn't really matter how you get your protein, although there are better options than others. It's always better to get your nutrients from your food than from supplements, but there's nothing wrong with supplements to help you get what you need. 

What is your favorite way to get enough protein?

If you were to try a built bar, which flavor sounds the best to you?