Archives for plant-based nutrition

Fitness Update March 23rd Eat Plants First

Before we get to the fitness update, I have something SO EXCITING to share with you! Today is the grand opening of my Etsy shop! Wait. What? Your Etsy shop? I know, I know… just bear with me here. I have been working on a way to provide valuable information to people seeking change in their nutrition. The number one concern I was hearing, was “how do I get more plants in my daily life?” So, I created a downloadable and printable quick start guide called, “Eat Plants First”. Go check it out here, I’ll wait. I’m so excited!

Eat Plants First

What do you think?! I made it super colorful, because I’m all about “eating the rainbow”. The more colors we eat, the more variety of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants we get.

eat plants first

If you didn’t head over to the shop to read more about the quick guide, it’s ok, I understand! We are all busy and have many tasks going on all at once, every day. Above is a little preview of the fun logo I created for the quick start guide. My goal was to keep the guide as simple and straightforward as possible. Page one covers why it’s beneficial to switch to plant-based, or simply just add more plants to your daily nutrition. I also talk about some easy changes you can make to your kitchen to help with the transition. Page two is an 8.5 x 11 page you can print and attach to your fridge or pantry door, which will guide you in making the best choice possible for each meal. Page three gives some more details, for those who like to read the fine print. The number one goal? EAT PLANTS FIRST. If you can remember that, you are already taking steps to improve your health.

In the upcoming months I hope to add more items to my Etsy shop, which will be more tools and guides to help you maintain or switch to a plant-based lifestyle. Your support will make it grow, so please share with anyone you know who is interested in plant-based nutrition.

Fitness Update

Below are the workouts I did over the past week:

Butt & Thigh workout online through Fitness Blender

8.5 miles run with some moderate hills

Rest Day

Upper body weights + 3 trail miles

Yoga Stretch + 30 burpees later in the day (Day 1 of 15, thanks for the inspiration Amy!)

5 mile run at an easy pace, listened to Rich Roll Podcast (interview with Conor Dwyer)

4 mile run, with 7×800 in the mix.

Here is a quick visual of my training calendar for March so far. It has felt really good to be back on track this week.

training calendar

WEEEEEEEE! I got my new Be Well Fitness log in the mail, so as soon as this week is up, I’m going to start in my new journal.

be well fitness log

Until next week!

Sleep hard.
Get moving.
Trust Your Gut.

Survey Results and Training Plan

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU from deep within my heart to everyone who completed the reader survey last week! I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of responses, and it has reassured me I am headed in the right direction with my posts. If you haven’t taken it yet, and want to participate, please feel free to hop on over and take it now. It will only take a few minutes.

Survey Results

One thing just about all readers had in common? You want more running related posts! So once I give a quick review of the survey, I will talk about my training plan for the next 11 weeks. And it also looks like many of you want me to continue with the plant-based recipes, so we are golden there!


The other thing everyone had in common? You ALL said YES or MAYBE to a “Travel” section on the blog; not a single NO! Mr. Zucchini Runner and I travel quite a bit; particularly locally in AZ, so I am very happy to share our upcoming adventures with everyone! We just got back from a quick trip to the Grand Canyon and a quick stop in Sedona!

It also seems people were less enthusiastic about a paid eBook, but for those who were, the topic of choice was, “How to Transition to Plant-Based Nutrition”, with a close second of “Running Basics” and “Pantry Reorganization” TIED. More people were interested in a FREE handout, with the same topics in winning order. So I will need to see what the best approach is for that one. Stay tuned for updates!

Now, on the weekly Facebook posts, it seems like “Meditation Monday” and “Shopping List Sunday” were close contenders. I have noted this in my weekly posting schedules and I will try both for a while and see how it goes!

There was also some great feedback and post ideas provided in the “share your other thoughts” section, which I hope to incorporate in upcoming posts! Thanks again and if you have anything else you’d like to share, or other suggestions please comment below or take the survey. 🙂

Training Plan

My training for 2017 is going to be very different from 2016. My approach for 2016 was to just keep it light and low and nothing too strenuous. Mr. Zucchini Runner and I were giving ourselves one last shot at starting a family, which meant taking it extra easy on the body. As a result, I ran about 500 miles in 2016 compared to 935 in 2015. In addition, we did a LOT of yoga, and many of those miles were very short runs, at a very easy pace.

In 2017 we are moving on, and letting go. We have tried all that we want to try and do, in regards to starting a family. So, if it happens it happens, but we are no longer going to put our life on hold for the “what ifs” or the “maybes”. 2017 is about getting into the best shape we have been in so far, with the main rule that we also do it in the healthiest way possible. How do we define that?

In a word, BALANCE.

We will not strictly or rigidly eliminate any single food group that we enjoy. We will practice moderation however, and be extremely mindful of the food we consume. If we eat something that doesn’t have high nutrition, it is a choice we are making and not an evil or bad food.

As I mentioned in my previous post, where I discussed my 2017 goals, I have a fitness log — the good ole fashioned paper kind — where I am tracking my workouts and nutrition for the next 3 months. Week one is already complete and it is working out very well so far!

Below is a rundown of the fitness plan I have mapped out.

This planner is called the “Be Well Fitness Log” by Inkwell Press. I purchased it at Office Max.

Essentially it looks like this:

  1. Monday – 20 minutes of weights + 3 mile run
  2. Tuesday – Strength workout (30-45 minutes; CVX, PiYo or The Challenge)
  3. Wednesday – 5 mile run (tempo and easy alternating weeks)
  4. Thursday – 3 mile run (with pick-ups/sprints alternating weeks)
  5. Friday – Upper body weights + bike/spin indoors
  6. Saturday – Long run day
  7. Sunday – Yoga

I will of course modify this as needed, but I always do better with a plan as my guide. You can already see where I adjusted week 1 in some spots, based on having company in town.

Below shows a detail of a single day, which also focuses on nutrition. I have chosen not to count calories, but instead give each meal a rating.

  • 0 – no nutritional value; cookie, fudge, etc.
  • 1 – minimal nutritional value; granola, almond milk, processed foods like GF crackers, bread, etc
  • 2 – some nutrition but no color; baked potato, wild rice, quinoa
  • 3 – some nutrition but high sugar/fat; fruits and nut butters
  • 4 – good nutrition; has lots of veggies but some protein (veggie burger, beans, eggs)
  • 5 – ideal nutrition; all greens, essentially if I ate a plate of nothing but broccoli, brussel sprouts, spinach, bok choy and kale with onions and garlic

The above is the epitome of what I consider leading a life focused on plant-based nutrition. The best scenario would be to have green leafy plants first and everything else is secondary in a descending order. I’ve never done Weight Watchers, but I would imagine this is similar to their concept, except I don’t value processed foods. This method is not an exact science, it’s just a self-imposed one I have developed to help me to keep my food in check.

Below is the training I’ve completed so far for 2017, based on my Strava data. I have managed to run 48 miles, which I’m pretty stoked about! The key with all of my runs this year, is that I want to keep my heart rate under 160 beats per minute for 90% of my runs. (If it is a race, all bets are off and I won’t even pay attention to HR.) So far, easy runs have fallen in the 135-145 bpm range, average runs fall in the 145-155 bpm range and decent effort runs reach 160-163 bpm; which is typically my long run or a mid-week tempo run. I will keep that in mind as I move forward with training and keep you all posted with how it’s working.

So, how’d I do? Is this post helpful and informative?