Runners Gift Guide -Recovery Edition

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Running|Gift Guide|Recovery

We all love a great Gift Guide for Runners and Exercise Enthusiasts alike. I had so many great ideas for gifts that I am splitting them up into 2 different guides. This week, I am bringing you all my favorite recovery gifts in a range of price points. I hope you like all of my suggestions and I look forward to hearing yours as well.  I believe all of these gifts are great for men and women. I will be linking up with Erika and April so please check out all of their great ideas.

1. Stretch Rope-
A simple, inexpensive,  yet so effective tool to add to your recovery routine. I’ve been using this for years and really find that I can get a much better angle for some of my favorite stretches. (Approx. $15) At this price makes a great gift for friend too.

2. Roll 8 Recovery

Roll 8 |Recovery|running

I recently received one of these for a birthday gift (recommended by my friend Suzy) and was immediately impressed with the deep massage it provided. Talk about hurting so good. This does not disappoint. It is a little on the pricey ($119)side but I intend to use it for years. At this time, it is only available on their website you can also see it in action on Youtube

3. Primal Sport Mud

I began using this product last winter while recovering from some shin and ankle issues. You apply the “mud” to the affected area and apply heat which provides a penetrating, soothing treatment. You can read my full review here. It sells for approx $16 and this size has lasted me 6 treatments so far.

Primal Sport mud|Recovery|treatment|running injuriesPrimal Sport Mud|Recovery|review
Primal Sport Mud(Available on Amazon)

4. Icy Feet

I came across these at an expo and was intrigued by them. If you’ve ever had Plantar Fasciitis , heel spurs or just sore and tired feet you know how painful that can be. It is often hard and awkward to ice the area. Enter Icy Feet ” an ice pack that was engineered with an exaggerated arch for constant contact where relief is needed most, a recessed heel cup so one foot could comfortably rest in the cold pack, a solid structure so that a foot could conform to the cold pack (versus the cold pack conforming to the foot), and two strategically placed straps so that you can elevate while icing.” Retail price is approx. $29 for one foot/$55 for 2 feet

  • Easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Streamlines icing process
  • Features an engineered insole shape with a recessed heel cup and elevated arch
  • Two strategically placed straps so that you can elevate while icing
  • One size fits all (left foot and right foot cold packs can be purchased separately)
  • Freezes solid
  • Continuous contact with the foot where relief is needed most

What’s your favorite recovery tool or gadget? I am always looking for new ones! Ever tried any of these?

Tuesdays on The Run link up|Running|exercise

Note: This post contains affiliate links

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w Pecans, Cranberries & Gorgonzola

Comments 51 Standard

It’s crunch time! Thanksgiving is only days away. Need another veggie side to feed your family and guests?  Look no further because these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with pecans, cranberries and Gorgonzola is scrumptious and sure to please. Savory, sweet and salty all in one.

Please join Tina Muir and I for our fabulous  Meatless Monday link up. Meatless Monday|vegetarian

Discover great new blogs and recipes below.

Prep the ingredients in advance for a stress free Thanksgiving. Note: take the time to arrange the Brussels Sprouts with the cut side down so that they brown and carmelize. #Gluten Free #Vegetarian

Brussels sprouts|Cranberry|pecan|Gorgonzola|Thanksgiving|Christmas

Brussels sprouts|Cranberry|pecan|Gorgonzola|Thanksgiving|Christmas

Finishing note: Adding the Gorgonzola on top of the warm Brussels Sprouts causes it to melt slightly and it is so so good.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Roasted Brussels Sprouts w Pecans, Cranberries & Gorgonzola
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Sweet & savory blend of Brussels sprouts, pecans, cranberries & Gorgonzola
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetable side dish
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs of Brussels Sprouts-halved
  • 4 oz pecan halves
  • 3 Cups fresh cranberries
  • 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
  • Olive oil, Kosher salt, pepper
  • 4Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons reduced sugar Maple Syrup
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 425
  2. Coat baking pan with olive oil
  3. Lay Brussels sprouts cut side down to allow for browning
  4. Sprinkle on cranberries, kosher salt, pepper, Balsamic and Maple syrup
  5. Roast for approx 15 min (depending on size of Brussels sprouts)
  6. Cranberries will begin to burst
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with nutmeg, pecan and Gorgonzola

Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? What’s your signature dish?

Hope you will join us for Healthy Holiday Favorites in December next week.

5 Must Try Healthy Fall Recipes

Comments 74 Standard

Vegetarian|Thanksgiving|Fall Foods|must try|healthy

This week’s link up is right in my wheelhouse. This month I’ve been focusing my Meatless Monday posts on healthy vegetarian dishes for the holidays, so I am excited to share them with you all in one place. It was hard to choose which ones to post so here are a few of my favorites:

 

1. Mushroom, Kale & Fresh Pea stuffing recipe

You won’t miss the meat in this hearty, healthy stuffing.

Mushroom, kale &Fresh Pea stuffing|MeatlessMonday|Thanksgiving|vegetarian|Vegan

2.Warm Fall Vegetable Salad w Lemon Dressing (recipe)

All your favorite fall veggies in one warm delicious, colorful bowl. You’re guests will gobble it up.

Warm Fall Vegetable Salad w Lemon dressing|Thanksgiving |vegetarian|vegan

3. Cranberry, Pear & Orange Sauce (Recipe)

The combo of the 3 fruits is delicious!

Cranberry Pear Orange Sauce

4. Pumpkin Kale Lasagna (Recipe)

A yummy alternative to the traditional lasagna recipe.

Pumpkin|kale|lasagna|holiday|Healthy|vegetarian

5. “Souper” Foods Soup (Recipe)

I could eat this everyday!

Super foods|Soup|Vegetarian|Vegan|Healthy

Hope you enjoy some of my favorite Fall Foods recipes. If you like what you see, tune into our Meatless Monday link up each week for more. Happy Thanksgiving!

Looking for Holiday Motivation to stay on track? I’m doing the #HolidaySweatChallenge join me! You can find out all of the details here

I’m double linking up this week with the fabulous DC Trifecta Cynthia, Courtney & Mar DC_linkup

and Jill Fitness Friday linkup

What Fall Foods are you loving right now? Are you hosting Thanksgiving?

What’s an “Undress”? Do you need one?

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I am on a quest to tell you about new exciting products that I discover and this is a cool one. What is the “Undress”?

In my interview with  Justine Dolorfino, Marketing Manager for The Undress, she describes it as “a fashionable and functional mobile changing room”. The easiest way to describe it is to show you:

1. Who invented the “Undress”?

Dennis and April, the  founders of the “Undress” are endurance sports enthusiasts in San Diego, CA. Their team includes runner, yogis, triathletes & cyclists.

2. How did they come up with this idea and why?

During an evening group run, Dennis realized that women were inconveniently changing in their cars, behind towels, or in bushes before and after a run due to a lack of facilities available at their run meet up. Dennis immediately thought, “There must be a better way!”

The Undress review|running|Gear

3. Who is your target customer for the Undress?

A woman who takes care of herself and has pride in her personal, professional, athletic accomplishments. She’s on the go and is looking for a product that can be a daily partner in her active lifestyle.

4. Why do we need an “Undress”?

If you’re always moving from appointment to work or your kids’ schools to the gym to your favorite running path-The Undress is here.

If you’ve ever thought, I could fit in a run after work but don’t have a safe place to change-The Undress is here.

The Undress gives convenience, flexibility, security, and peace of mind to women who want to have it all-not bare it all.

5. When and where will it be available?

Now that the Kickstarter campaign has ended,  The Undress will be available from their website. You can add your name and email to their wait list and they will let you know when it comes in. According to the site, there are currently 5 color choices and the Undress sells for $75.

(All info above was provided by Undress via Justine Dolorfino)

As of yet, I have not been able to test out the product myself to give you my honest opinion on the practicality of it. I like the idea of it and I could see the women in my running group using it before and after group runs. I also think it would be great at a race and especially on a relay race like Ragnar.

I’d love the opportunity to try one out myself when they are available to the public.

So what do you think about the Undress? Would you buy one? When would you use it?

Wow workout link up

Fresh Cranberry, Pear & Orange Sauce-Meatless Monday

Comments 70 Standard

Happy Meatless Monday! Please join Tina and I to showcase the best Vegetarian recipes out there.We hope you will check out all of the great recipes in the link up.

Meatless Monday|vegetarian

Cranberries are synonymous with Thanksgiving but who says they can’t be healthy too? I am continuing my November Thanksgiving Sides series and bringing you a fabulous alternative to canned cranberry sauce. Who wants to eat a sickeningly sweet, sugar laced canned cranberry sauce when you can easily make your own healthy version? I’ve mixed it up a little by adding in some pear and orange. The best part is that you can make it in advance, freeze it and just pull it out on Thanksgiving Day. Not only is the Cranberry Sauce healthy, it takes less than 30 minutes to make. Hope you enjoy! Bonus: the whole house smelled great.

Thanksgivin|Cranberry|Pear|Orange

My daughter helped me out with this one

Thanksgiving|Cranberry|Orange|PearCranberry Pear Orange Sauce

5.0 from 3 reviews
Fresh Cranberry, Pear & Orange Sauce-Meatless Monday
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Homemade alternative to canned cranberry sauce with a little twist of pear & orange
Author:
Recipe type: Thanksgiving Sides
Ingredients
  • 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
  • ½ C fresh squeezed Orange juice (about 1 large orange)
  • 1 Orange-Peeled and diced into small chunks
  • 1 Pear-Peeled and diced
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbl Honey
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into a medium saucepan
  2. Bring to a low boil then reduce to a simmer
  3. stir often for about 15 min until fruit dissolves and sauce thickens
  4. Allow to cool
  5. Chill or freeze for future use

This Cranberry sauce is so easy to make and so much better than the canned version. Hope you give it a try for your Thanksgiving and Holiday Dinners. Your family and friends will love it. #Vegetarian #GF #Vegan

Can’t wait to see the other fabulous Meatless Monday Link Ups this week!

Happy Birthday To Me & Skirt Sports Announcement

Comments 65 Standard

Happy Birthday to me|blogging

It’s my Birthday! I usually have mixed feelings about the whole aging thing. Don’t get me wrong I love the presents and of course the cake. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is my fave. Sometimes I just don’t like the number. So this year, I am approaching it with enthusiasm, looking at all the positives and for sure exploiting the birthday things just a little.

Birthday Run|MRTT|running groups

My husband’s birthday is two days after mine so our birthdays usually become a 3 day long event. I started celebrating yesterday with a group run. Many of my favorite running buddies came out to run 4.5 miles in honor of my 45th. Yup turning 45 today! They very kindly brought muffins and homemade granola bars to celebrate. Love these ladies! I am gracefully embracing my new age group category as well 45-49. Hey it’s better to be the youngest in the age group right? I need all the help I can get.

Free Birthday drink|Starbucks|Happy Birthday|Red cup

Next I was off to get my free Birthday drink from Starbucks. I always think it’s so nice of them to bring out the “red cups” in honor of my birthday. I even went for the extra shot-I’m really living on the edge today.

 

Today, I’m having lunch with a couple of friends at the mall so might be tempted to buy myself a little birthday gift. I mean can you really have too many yoga pants or running jackets? Thankfully, my husband doesn’t read my blog too often so he will never know! I’m wondering what kind of surprises my family has in store for tonight? Do you think my husband remembered to make a dinner reservation somewhere? As long as there is birthday cake, I am happy!

Speaking of living on the edge, I finally entered the Instagram world today so please follow me and I will return the follow of course. I really don’t want to look like I have no friends LOL.

Instagram|Blogging|Birthdays

And now some exciting news: I’m honored to be chosen as a Skirt Sports Ambassador!

Skirt Sports|Ambassador|running|skirts

As you all know, I often profess my love of skirt sports and I am so excited to be working with such a fabulous group of women. I love their message and this was a great birthday present. Stay tuned for a fabulous Skirt Sports giveaway coming soon. One of my favorites is this one

Skirt Sports|Ambassador|Convert to Skirt

 Do you embrace the aging process? Do you rock the running skirt?

Fitness Friday linkup

Check out all of the great fitness posts with Jill

Veteran’s Day 11K-Trail Running is not for me

Comments 46 Standard

What better way to celebrate and honor our nation’s Veterans than to participate in a charity run for The Wounded Warrior foundation. This small, low key race is put on every year by Metro Run Walk at Burke Lake Park in Virginia.

Veteran's Day|Run| 11K|Burke Lake|VA

Burke Lake, VA is just gorgeous this time of year with the changing leaves and beautiful views on a sunny November day. When I heard about this race being held on a Tuesday at 11 am for a great cause, I was all in. Love a weekday race when the kids have school and an 11 start time is a definite plus. The race double loops around the lake on shaded trails. I am not really much of a trail runner unfortunately. But these views cannot be beat.

Burke Lake|VA|Running|Racing|Veteran's DayBurke Lake|Va|Running|DC|Veteran's Day|Run 11-11

Our day started off with a multi chapter meet up with some other MRTT mamas. We have such a huge presence in Virginia and I always love to meet new friends at races.

MRTT|Run 11-11|Burke Lake|VA|Running

This was a small, maybe 150 runners very low key race. My friend, Alexandra (still in her post MCM recovery) agreed to forgo her usual speedy pace and run with me. We don’t have a chance to run at the same pace too often so it was nice to chat with her while running. We decided to just treat it as a training run and enjoy the beautiful fall scenery. We stopped a few times to take some running selfies.

Burke Lake|VA|Veteran's Day|11K IMG_3743_2

This is one of my favorite pics-note the matching Skirt Sports outfits. Cute huh?

Burke Lake|VA|Skirt Sports

I was a bit hesitant as I never run on trails. This time of year, the leaves are everywhere and it is hard to see where you are stepping and what may be underneath. All was going well until about mile 5 when I tripped over a root or branch or something and fell. I twisted my ankle a bit and cut up both of my palms. I was glad Alexandra was with me and I walked it off for a few minutes and ran back the last almost 2 miles to the finish. It was sore but runnable. I will spare you the pics but apparently I wasn’t the only one. When we arrived at the finish, we found our friend Cynthia all cut up and bleeding as well. She also fell and broke her phone. There were 4 or 5 others waiting in line for first aid. By the looks of them, I faired the best.

In retrospect, I probably should have gotten a pair of trail running shoes or just stayed away from the trail all together. It’s a shame because it really is such a beautiful venue this time of year and a very well put together hometown race for a great charity.

Recover|ice|runnng

A little ice and rest and I will ok. This has certainly been my year of running injuries! So looking forward to 2015. I think I will stay away from the trail runs for a while.

Did you do anything special for Veteran’s Day? Trail Runs-love ‘em or hate ‘em?

 

 

Celadon Spa-Relaxation & Recovery

Comments 74 Standard

As runners, exercise enthusiasts and moms we can all certainly use a day at the spa for a little relaxation and recovery right? I was offered the chance to come into Celadon Spa in Washington, DC (1180 F ST NW) and try out their Hot Stone massage and Foot Reflexology. Yes Please!

Massage|Hot Stone|Reflexology|Celadon DC|RecoveryHot Stone|Massage|Reflexoogy|Relaxation|Recovery|DC

From the second I stepped through the door, I felt instantly relaxed. The staff was welcoming and friendly. The waiting area was warm and inviting with hot cider and fruit infused waters. Pastries and yummy looking carrot cake were available as well. I was impressed with the wide array of products they carried.  A large boutique offered familiar hair care products (Bumble & Bumble, Keratase), Nail supplies, jewelry and numerous gift items. One could certainly do lots of damage in there or get all of their holiday shopping done.

Hot Stone Massage|Reflexology|Celadon Spa DC|Review|RelaxationHOt Stone|Massage|Reflexology|Celadon DC|REcovery

Now for the good stuff: The 75 minute  Hot Stone massage “An amazing treatment incorporating massage with the use of smooth basalt desert stones. Warm stones are applied with oils to chakra points and tired muscles, unlocking natural healing energies and helping to rebalance the body.” (Celadon Spa)

This was my first Hot Stone Massage and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I usually get a deep tissue massage and while I find it helpful for my sore spots, I wouldn’t say that it is relaxing. The Hot Stone massage is different from the start. Warm stones were placed in the palms of my hands and soles of my feet while I was lying on a heated massage table. Warm massage oil was applied and larger stones were used to massage the entire body. This was heavenly and I really enjoyed the warmth of the stones accompanied by the massage on a chilly day. Very different from any massage I’ve had in the past.

Next, I experienced my first 1 hour Foot Reflexology treatment. This was a like a deep tissue massage for the feet and I enjoyed it much more than I expected. As a runner, my feet and ankles are tight and always have little spots that need more attention. My therapist hit all of my sore spots and really seemed to be educated in the art of reflexology. I’m intrigued by this whole technique so look for a more detailed explanation of Reflexology later this week.

Celadon Spa was relaxing escape for this mother runner and a great way to recover from long runs. Side note: I ran my fastest race in a while the day after I had these treatments. Coincidence? Who knows? I will certainly be back again in the future. If you live in the DC area, consider visiting Celadon for one of their great services mention that you saw the review here for 10% off. Holiday Gift cards would be great for any runner or mom for a day of recovery & relaxation. I received my services in exchange for a review however all opinions are my own.

What’s your favorite way to recover & relax? Ever had a Hot Stone Massage?

I’m double linking up today with Erika and April and Jill and Joy so make sure to check out all of the great posts in the links #DishtheFit #TuesdaysonTheRun

 

 

Tuesdays on the Run

Mushroom, Kale & Fresh Pea Stuffing

Comments 56 Standard

Happy Meatless Monday! I’m continuing with my Thanksgiving Sides series and bringing you a fabulous healthy Vegetarian & Vegan Stuffing idea. Please join me and Tina Muir for our Meatless Monday linkup. Feel free to add your own recipe to our link and check out all of the other great ideas below.

Meatless Monday|vegetarian

My husband (non-vegetarian) and I have quite the cooking battles around Thanksgiving. He really likes to show off his carnivorous cooking so this year I am upping my game with my vegetarian sides. Stay tuned to see what happens. For this week, I’ve modified and enhanced a recipe I originally found in Bon Appetit to make it healthier and vegetarian friendly. It makes a great addition to the Thanksgiving table. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

PS You can still enter here to win a RunMino shoe tracker

Mushroom Kale Fresh Pea stuffing|vegetarian|vegan|ThanksgivingMushroom, kale &Fresh Pea stuffing|MeatlessMonday|Thanksgiving|vegetarian|Vegan

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mushroom, Kale & Fresh Pea Stuffing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A great Thanksgiving side to satisfy meat eaters, Vegetarians & Vegans. Mushroom, Kale & Fresh Peas with a multigrain stuffing
Author:
Recipe type: Side dish-Vegetarian & Vegan
Ingredients
  • 6 C torn multigrain or your favorite hearty bread
  • ½ C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 lb baby bella mushrooms-cleaned and diced
  • 3 celery stalks-diced
  • 6 C raw Kale (ribs & stems removed, chopped)
  • ½ C fresh peas
  • Olive oil for sauteeing
  • Kosher salt, pepper & sage to taste
  • ½ C white wine
  • 1 egg white (omit for Vegan recipe)
  • 1½ C Veg stock
  • Fresh Rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray or brush with olive oil
  3. Place torn bread in large mixing bowl
  4. Toast pumpkin seeds for 10 min until browned and add to bread bowl
  5. Heat olive oil in skillet and saute mushrooms, celery, kale and peas until softened about 6-8 min
  6. Season with salt & pepper & sage
  7. Transfer to bread bowl and combine
  8. Reduce heat and add wine to skillet scraping up any left over veggies about 1 min
  9. Pour over bread & veggie mixture
  10. In a small bowl, wisk egg white and veg stock adding salt & pepper pour over bread mixture
  11. Bread should be moist (you may need to add more stock)
  12. Transfer mixture to casserole dish, top with fresh Rosemary
  13. Cover with foil and baker about 30 min
  14. Remove foil-increase oven temp to 425* and bake to brown top about 20 min
  15. Can be made the day before and cooked day of

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side? Are you hosting Thanksgiving Dinner?

5 Fab Fall Fitness & Beauty Finds

Comments 68 Standard

Fitness|Fall|Beauty|Accessories

Now that we are into Fall, the weather is getting chillier and skin is getting drier. One day it’s warm, the next hot. I love to keep active outdoors all year around and these are some of the fitness & beauty finds that make me more comfortable in the elements. They are easy to find and inexpensive. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Arm warmers|Running|Fall

1. Arm Warmers-In the fall especially, the weather is hard to predict and ever changing. When I have an early race, I want to stay warm but don’t necessarily want to commit to a jacket. I’ve found these Smart Wool Arm Warmers to be just perfect.  Leave them on for the start and the first few miles. When you are warmed up, push them down and use them as a sweat band or even to wipe your nose. I’m always glad to have them. They are btwn $17-25 on Amazon

Smartwool PhD Knit Arm Warmer

Disposable Gloves|Running|Fall|Winter

2. Disposable Gloves- Fall, we never know what to expect from you. You are hot and you are cold. I don’t like to take out my “real” winter gloves until it’s really cold and I know that I will keep them on for a whole run. I’ve lost some nice gloves over the years when I thought they were secured in a my pocket. Enter the disposable gloves. You can find them at most running stores and race expos for $1-2 a pair. Wear them pre race and until you are warmed up then ditch them. I try to stock up on a few pairs so I always have them.

Aquafor|Fall Running|dry skin

3. Aquafor-One of my favorite all time products!  As soon as the weather changes, my skin really starts to get dry. I use Aquafor in a few ways. I rub it into my feet at night and then put socks on to wake up with super soft feet. No more dry heels! On long runs or rainy runs, I rub some on pre run to avoid blisters and keep the rain off my feet. Also great as a hand lotion. I buy it by the tub to last longer. You can find a 3 pack on Amazon Aquaphor Healing Ointment Dry, Cracked and Irritated Skin Protectant, 3.5 oz Jar, (Pack Of 3)

Epsom Salt|running|recovery

4. Epsom Salt-I am so not an ice bath kind of girl. In the fall and winter, I love a nice long, hot Epsom Salt bath after a run or tough workout. It’s not just for old people! You can find all kinds of scented Epsom Salts at your local pharmacy. A large bag usually lasts 2 baths for me. An inexpensive way to recover and relax.

.Fall|beauty|musthaves

5. Carmex-My lips get chapped and dry as soon as the heat goes on. Running or exercising outside can leave you with cracked and bleeding lips. No Mother Runner wants that! I’ve found Carmex to be a great lip protectant and healer. Available in unscented and cherry. I always have one with me on a run.Carmex – Lip Moisturizing Tube, Original Balm – 0.35 Oz (3 each)

What are some of your favorite Fitness & Beauty Must Haves for Fall? Did I forget anything?

I’m supporting all of my blogger friends today and double linking up with Courtney, Mar & Cynthia as well as Nicole

DC_linkup

Fitful Focus

(Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links)