Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Be Thankful For The Everyday

Happy Halloween, all!  In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I want to send my thoughts and well wishes to all those affected by the rain, wind, and flooding.

Photo via The Happiness Project

I know it's the wrong holiday, but I want to take a moment to talk about thankfulness.  Disasters like this ought to make us stop and think about how lucky we are for what we have.  When we are at risk (or do) lose power, water, heat, or worse--food and shelter, we are reminded of how fortunate we are otherwise.

Gretchen Rubin explains it well in her blog post, On Awaiting the Arrival of Hurricane Sandy.  She writes what I've been feeling.  We are so lucky.  I was in danger, but I am fine, and so, too, are those I love. I am thankful for continued health and safety, power and shelter. The massive losses of such things make me feel so grateful.

So I'm daring you to remember, too: Be grateful for the everyday, for the normal, for the things we often take for granted.

Power brings friends together

Stay safe and dry, and have a happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Motivation: Running

It's Monday, again! In the past few weeks, some fantastic guest bloggers have shared their personal stories.
What about you?  
How did you first begin running?  What keeps you going?  I want to know!
Email me (dareyoutoblog (at) gmail (dot) com) if you'd like to share your story.

My own love-hate relationship with running can be found here at Angela's blog.  A refresher: I don't necessarily love running, itself, but I love the challenge and the ability to keep going, keep trying, keep reaching for better.  Nothing beats the feeling of running farther and longer than you thought you could.

I've said before that music motivates me.  Make a playlist just for running (or other workout of choice). Let the music, the beat, the lyrics push you further.  Here's 100 Running Songs to try.

If you need an extra push, come up with a personal mantra to get you and keep you moving.  Try these motivating words:


No matter how slowly you go,
you're lapping everyone on the couch!


And one of my personal favorites...


Want more images? Check out Pavement Runner's "Motivation for a Monday".  You can also take a look through my Pinterest boards for Fitness and Inspiration.

If you're training for a big race, FitFluential shares 7 Tips to Stay Motivated and Strong - Mentally and Physically - through Race Day.

Why do YOU run?  What motivates YOUR fitness routine?
Comment below and/or email me if you'd like to share :) 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Photos: October 12-25

Whoops - missed last Friday! Catching up now with the Live Lean Eat Green Photo-A-Day October Challenge. 

So, below, you have a HUGE ASSORTMENT of dares to choose from. They're all quick and painless, and also fun. Take your pick.

October 12: Buy yourself flowers. You deserve them.

13: Make something with pumpkin!

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

14: Burn some calories cleaning the house!

15: Go vegetarian for the day!

Had me some roasted vegetables.

16: Let me see you sweat!

Mehhh another self-photo. 
No more, Lindsay, please!

17: Call a family member just to chat.

Yes, my parents are still (and always will be) "home."

18: Buy a new healthy snack to try.

19: Go on a walk at lunch!

Rain or shine!

20: Have a treat!

My go-to sweet treat
Anything yogurt- or chocolate-covered.

21: Park farther away today.

No car. Went for this run instead.

22: Hand write a letter to a friend.

23: Eat some roasted vegetables.

24: Do 100 lunges before breakfast.

My glutes 100% felt this the next day. 

25: Pack a healthy snack for a friend.

Not a snack, per se, but consumable.
Something delicious I gave her a sample of once,
but she wasn't able to find after.
Yummy and relaxing.

Remember! You can follow along with my #liveleaneatgreen challenge photos and tidbits on Instagram.


I dare YOU to... 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#getafter a Reebok Run

Last week, I got to try something new. Woo! That's what we're all about here.

Andre, me, and Amber

On that chilly Saturday morning, I met up with Amber bright and early to head on over to the Reebok Crossfit Fifth Ave. box and store.  This wasn't my first visit, but I was happy to return for the very first run of their Running Club!

In the store, Amber and I browsed the apparel and shoes. I traded in my regular sweatshirt for a snazzy gray athletic jacket that would keep me warm for the outdoor run.

Amber and Andre
Hanging out in the store

Amber recorded a "before" video for her vlog (video blog) about the event, and told me I was joining her. My first vlog? Sigh... fine. She dared me. So you can see that on her recap.

Or you can watch this:

Then the other FitFluential participants arrived, and Naomi and Betsy led us outdoors to warm up.  We did some dynamic stretching to warm up in the cold and then set off for what would be a two-mile run.

Naomi explaining the route

Running through the streets of a city is never fun; I find it frustrating to dodge people, dogs, trash, and more, as well as having to wait at every stoplight if I have a specific route planned.  This run, however, had fantastic company to keep things fun. Six-eight was the perfect size group to run with--large enough that people clearly became aware of our presence, but small enough that we could stay together and not take over the entire sidewalk.

It was my first outdoor run in too long!  Although the cold air was certainly something to adjust to, it wasn't so bad, because we made "pit stops" along the way for strength exercise!


^ Christy and I aced this partner wall-sit. 
Quads burning, we didn't give up until the minute was finished! 

In the end: ROCKED IT! We all had so much fun; I was sad when it was over!  I'll just be looking forward to the next Reebok Running Club event. See you there! 

Reebok Fitness: #getafterit

This definitely got me excited to be running again.

If you're not a distance runner, you can still take advantage of the cool air by taking YOUR workout outside.  Run a bit, then stop and do strength. Run a bit further, and do another bodyweight move. Dare you to.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Run Through Disability

Good morning, friends! This Monday's Running Motivation is brought to us by Kelley. Like our guest blogger last week, Kelley has overcome the physical limitations of her body and shares her accomplishments below with pride, and encourages us to change our perspective on disabled athletes.


Hey Everyone,
I'm Kelley the voice of and @Sheisonarun
I'm a differently abilied runner, blogger, and an ambassador for both Fitfluential, Sweat Pink (Fit Approach), Girls Gone Sport. I started running in October of 2011 and have never turned back. I've had a very different experience then most runners though because I have Cerebral Palsy.

According to the,cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture that is caused by injury or abnormal development in the immature brain, most often before birth. In the simplest turns it means that the body does not work that way that it is supposed to and makes the simplest things harder to do. There are different types of cerebral palsy. Some people suffer from more sever cerebral palsy then others and they affect different parts of the body more then others.

I'm very thankful to survive with a mild form of cerebral palsy. It really only effects the left side of my body and causes me to have some mild learning disabilities. I believe that my cerebral palsy is so mild because of the fact that I was in physical therapy from very early on in life. My PT started before I was ever even able to walk and I did it all the way though early elementary school. I do still walk with a limp, but it could be worse and a lot more noticeable with out the PT and the reconstructive operations that I've had over the years.

When I decided to start running in October of 2011 I know that it was going to be a challenge because of the fact that I do walk with a limp. My running stride is different then my walking stride, but my body seems to be able to figure it out. Most of the time I never suffer from any pain related to my cerebral palsy, but when I do I use my ankle brace and it goes away pretty quickly. The only time I notice my cerebral palsy during my runs is when the miles start to add up and my legs start to get tired. I can feel myself limping more and on longer running. I have become a stronger runner though so I've seen some improvement in my strength and my ability to run longer.

I do have one big struggle though and that's my speed. I am a slow runner. I've always been a slow walker so I know that I would be a slow runner, but I still having trouble getting past the fact that I'm a slow runner. I know that speed comes with work and that I will get there, but it's still really hard not to compare myself to other runners around me. I PRed in the Anywhere5k that I ran this past weekend. My PR was 42 minutes and I'm proud of myself.

So, if you're out running, at the gym or just getting your sweat on and see someone with a disability working hard please tell them they are doing a great job and to keep at it. From a differently abilied person it is really an amazing feeling to see that your personal success is noticed and not just the fact that the person has a disability. Stare at them because they are doing something amazing not just because they walk with a limp or are in a wheel chair.


Thank you, Kelley! Hearing your story is an inspiring way to begin our week. 

I dare you to seek your own self-improvement and celebrate your own personal successes. (And while you're at it, celebrate others', too!) 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Find the Courage to Run When Others Say 'Don't'

Monday Motivation: Time for another guest post for our Race Season Series! Today, Taylor Ryan shares her running story. Read on to learn how physical obstacles can be overcome with a careful approach and a can-do attitude.  Let her achievements motivate you this morning.


Telling The Doctors & Husband to Shut It: Finding the Courage to Run When Everyone Says Not To

I was 15 years old the first time I remember it happening.

It was in the middle of cheerleading tryouts. I was on the ground, sitting with my legs outstretched. I took a deep breath in and as I exhaled I reached for my toes.  It was something I had done a thousand times before. As a gymnast and cheerleader “touching my toes” was effortless. Except for this time. All of a sudden, it felt as if a knife had been stabbed into my lower spine and I couldn’t move... at all.

Just like that cheerleading was out of my life.

 After a few x-rays and physical exams, the doctors told me I had a herniated disc. Something I thought that only old people suffered with. They also told me I should NEVER: tumble again, cheer again, or run again.

Okay, I got the first two, but run? Not that it mattered at the time because I hated running, so I decided it was best to simply wallow in self pity. For a few years.

Then came college, the “freshman 15” turned into the “freshman 30” and I realized something had to give. This sitting on my butt thing, eating Ben & Jerry’s and drinking a 6 pack at parties wasn’t cutting it.

 I turned to what the doc’s told me I shouldn’t do... run. And I paid the price.

I woke up every morning to a sore back, if I ran too hard I ended up with it going out, my body hated me. At times it was so bad my husband (then boyfriend) would fight with me... telling me that if I signed up for this race or that race he would not be there to support me or take care of me when my back went out.

Finally, I got the hint and re-evaluated things. Running just wasn’t what I needed right now. So, I did my research and turned to strength training to tighten my core and make my body stronger. I decided I wasn’t going to let my back dictate what I could and couldn’t do, I would take control!

This went on for 4 years. I would run here and there but nothing over 3 miles. Any time I talked about running any thing farther, the fights would start and I would suppress the desire to lace up my running shoes.

Finally, I said screw it. I’m in the best shape of my life, I am a personal trainer, and I know how to push myself and when to pull back. I was going to give it a go. I told my hubs that I would listen to my body, that at the first sign of pain or aggravation I would back off and walk away from running forever. But I told him he had to “have my back” and support the decision.

We also decided that my running would not come before my strength training. No matter how far the race, I would stick to 3 days of strength training to keep my back as healthy as possible. We agreed with a handshake.

I started back with a 5K back in December. It wasn’t the fastest race ever, but it felt great to be surrounded by fellow fitness lovers and have my feet on the pavement.

Then it was a 10K. I took the training run by run, working to not over do it (as I had done in the past). I got fitted for running shoes and did everything by the book.

I felt better than ever! No back issues, no shin pains... and my passion for the road ignited, I couldn’t stop there. So in June, I signed up for my first 1/2 marathon. I promised my husband that I would go by the original deal: listening to my body, keeping overall fitness the center of my life and if my body failed me, it would be adios running.

But I had to do this race, for myself.

And that’s where I am today, gearing up for my first half marathon in Myrtle Beach, SC October 21st! Training has gone awesome. I honestly contribute my success and performance progression to my strength workouts. While most people are aiming to hit as many miles as they can, I focus on keeping the big muscles strong and in shape so that I can start and finish the race upright. This isn’t to say I don’t log miles, but as of today (2 weeks out), the most miles I have logged in a week is 20.

 Here’s another bonus, remember how I said that first 5K was nothing special? Well, I ran another one a month ago and finished 1st female overall. Sweet!

 My persistence, determination and strength have gotten me here. No longer am I a person that says, “Oh, I shouldn’t do that.” Instead, I am a woman that says: “What the heck, I’ll give it a go.” My back is just one part of me, my body works together to make up for it’s weaknesses... thank you body! Wish me luck on the race!


Taylor Ryan is a NASM certified personal trainer. She blogs at Lifting Revolution and runs an all women’s fitness community at She currently lives with her husband in Charleston where she owns and trains a 7-location women’s boot camp.


Thank you Taylor!  Good luck to you! Can't wait to hear how it goes next weekend. 

Tell us: Have YOU ever dared to go beyond your apparent physical limits? How has it worked out for you?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Friday Photos: Oct 5-11

First off, let me tell you about something super exciting.  I got to meet one of my favorite foodie bloggers, Liz of I Heart Vegetables.  I love her blog, and turns out I loved the person behind it, too!

Liz's Photo

It was really exciting meeting her in person, and chatting about blogging, food, photos, life, and.. everything!

This is what a Blogger Date looks like.

We hit up the Chobani Soho store, and I think Liz enjoyed her first taste.  She got the Dark Chocolate Pistachio, which I certainly recommended, and instead of my usual Fig & Walnut, I opted for the Blueberry Power (sub in honey) on this particular morning.

We left happy :)

Hope to see you again soon!! 

And now, on to the October #LiveLeanEatGreen Challenge!

October 5: Try a new vegetable.

Cooked with (baby) artichokes for the first time ever. 
Not easy! Full story to come.

6: Do a Tabata workout

This was fun. I like Tabata workouts. 
Quick and intense.
Used my Gymboss--makes Tabata easy.
I chose to do plank jacks, which definitely wore me out!

7: Go makeup free today. You're beautiful.

This was semi-unintentional. 
I'd probably have ended up makeup-free on this rainy Sunday, anyway. 
But the sweet responses I got on this instagram photo made me glad I participated. 
Thanks, friends!

8: Eat at least 3 different colors today.

Date with Liz at Chobani SohoBLUEberries in there!

Sweet Potato Fries: ORANGE

Mashed caulifliower and onions: WHITE
(Yes, white's a color!)

9: Spend 15 minutes stretching.

Saying hello to my toes

I loved this one. I love stretching. 
This made me and my body super happy. 
I try to spent about 5 minutes a day stretching, sometimes more.
Devoting a solid 15 minutes felt wonderful, mentally and physically.

10: Show me your favorite healthy fat!


Duh. That was easy.

Oh, also these:

11: Run some sprints.

It's been way too long since I've run.
Life's gotten to crazy, and I've chosen to focus my workouts
on the short-but-effective strength training that, I hope, has kept me in shape. 
Here's to getting back in the game!

Dare you to join in Lindsay's October Challenge!!!!! During a really hectic time in my life, these small dares have been a simple but significant way for me to keep my health in mind and take action. Give it a try! Join in! Do one, two, or all the remaining days' challenges. Dare you to ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

WIAW: What I've BEEN eating

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  I've gotten such great responses to the foodie photos I've been posting lately, including many comments that, hey, maybe "Paleo" isn't so scary after all!

For this reason, I'm going to try to photograph my food more often, so you can see that Paleo eats are not really unpalatable as you might think. Granted, I'm not a Paleo purist, but I do eat real foods that are Paleo- or Primal-approved. Below is what I ate today, and if you like what you see, you can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see even more good eats and inspiration.

You can also check out the Paleo tab above to see some previous informational posts, meals, recipes, and reviews.

So now for a brief WIAW: Started off my day with...


Coconut Eggs and Broccoli

Lunch was my go-to quick-and-easy "Tangy Tuna" mish-mash.

Tuna, avocado, carrots, slaw, dijon mustard, ACV

Evening snack: ... grazing.
     Pine nuts
     "Chewy Almond Bar" from Hu Kitchen, soon to be my favorite place in NYC.                   

Most natural ingredients ever.

Late Dinner:

Portobello turkey burger (ok, slider) 
with a side of sweet potato fries
And I spy some sauerkraut up there, too!

Not so bad, right? Bet you even forgot that it's all so-called "Paleo."  ;)

This month's WIAW theme involved "Spooky Snacks". Although I wasn't doing anything Halloween-focused, hope I proved that Paleo doesn't have to be "spooky" at all.

That's what I ate! What did YOU eat? 

Did you like this? 
Want more evidence of REAL-FOOD EATING in the future? 
[See you on Instagram and Twitter!]