Six easy-peazy, healthy and delicious recipes to keep you fueled up, energized throughout the day, recovered and ready to hit the pavement. When it comes to making food, I try to approach recipes with simple values:
Is it real or made with nutritious ingredients? Is it balanced? Is this a reasonable portion?
Can you feel it? The Fiercely United Virtual Run is almost here!
To celebrate the friendships, the miles and the soon to be consumed post-race victory
cocktails (!) Tori and I decided to share two little vignettes about the BRFs (Best Running Friends) who will be running alongside us come race day.
Mel + Lindsay :: 13.1 BRF Team
She is the text message before a big day or a big moment. She is the ‘just because’ gift you receive because it made her think of you. She runs races with you not for the medal, but for the moments. She gets on an airplane and travels across the country because you need her. She is the friend you want to see truly happy because of all the smiles and generosity she has given you.
She is late nights, glasses of wine, dancing with your hands up and laughing until you cry. She reminds you that you can be carefree and grounded all at the same time.
I am blessed to have this friendship.
Along with avocados being a must have, must do, must eat in our diets, mangos have also made a roaring comeback when it comes to popular health food and good eats. They’re also ripe and in season, so they’re the perfect summer treat as a snack or side.
You know what makes them even more delicious? Slicing them up and pairing them with an avocado!
This recipe, the second in my Avoca-DO’s of Summer (see the first recipe here!), is super low on prep time and high on taste. I felt like a top-notch chef when I put it together. And, as food presentation goes, it looked so pretty! The bold and juicy flavor of the mango pairs perfectly with the creamy texture of the avocado (and let’s be honest, avocados don’t really taste that great alone).
This dish literally took minutes to make, and it was a perfect summer snack. I could also see making a lot more of it, cutting it in small chunks, and using as a side salad to chicken or fish. Try it. You’ll like it.
“There is an underlying purpose and meaning behind my training, always. It isn’t about the next race or the next workout. It’s about fitness and fortitude for the next test around the corner that I cannot see.” –Kristin Armstrong
Last year my test was running 26.2 unexpected miles. As my sister, for my sister. I made the decision to do it about 14 hours before it started.
My sister had signed up to run the Cellcom Green Marathon in hopes of qualifying for Boston. Several months into her training she was told she had to have surgery and it was scheduled for two weeks before her race. Her health had to be the priority, so instead of being in Green Bay, she was home and resting, post-op, as she should have been.
Endometriosis. This lovely autoimmune disease invaded both of our bodies during our late teenage years, (a gene passed on by our mom I assume, since she has it as well) and has wreaked havoc on them ever since. There is no cure, there is no one treatment that works for everyone and it remains to be very much of a medical mystery. Hers most recently has attached to her ureter, mine attached to my bowel. Our symptoms have included period pain, non-period pain, cysts, ruptured cysts, UTI’s, bloating, food sensitivities, constipation and irritable bowel. You learn to live with pain. Menstrual pain, pain with going to the bathroom, pain with intercourse or pain while just sitting and doing nothing. There are random moments when it suddenly feels like you’ve been stabbed with a knife and it’s not so cool when it happens around people you don’t’ know very well and you’re suddenly hunched over, sweating and need to leave the room. It honestly never really makes sense as to when a symptom with strike.
I gave him /yellow/. Run because you can. Run because you get to. He’ll tell you that it wasn’t easy. He’ll tell you that it hurt and wasn’t a lot of fun at times. He’ll also tell you that it was worth it.
Crossing the finish line always is.
“Today was worth all 14 weeks of my training. I did it for me, so I can continue to be good to others. Serenity, courage and wisdom can be shared. Thanks to everyone who helped me on this journey.
I found him on the course, told him the 13th mile was mine and I ran it with him. My three children cheered him up the final hill and then joined in for the final mile as well. Getting him to that finish line…together. It was a special moment.
Once again, he battled and won. He set a goal, stayed committed and conquered. He does this every damn day. I’m pretty sure he may need a /red/ flower too.
The story of Fellow Flowers began when thirteen women that I knew committed to run a half marathon with me for my birthday. These dear friends crossed a finish line that day wearing orange gerber daises in their hair, but there was someone else who is quite special to me that did the same. My Dad. This part of the story has gone untold. I share it in honor of his birthday.
Shortly after he learned about the e-mail invitation I had sent and hearing that thirteen women had decided to do this race with me, I received a text message that I’ll never forget.
It read, “I bought new shoes, new running tights, and a dri-fit mock turtleneck. I have printed off my training program. I want to run the first three miles of the training with you and the last thirteen on your birthday weekend at the Cellcom. It’s not about the drinking, it’s about the thinking.” He called us the Tortoise and the Hare.
My Dad has often said that his real birthday is the day he sought sobriety and entered in-patient rehab, which he did in late 2006. While I was on the third floor giving birth to his third grandson, unbeknown to me, my father was staying in the same building seeking treatment for his addiction. It was the hardest and best decision of his life as he has walked away from it and never looked back, beating all statistics of relapse and has been sober for more than 6.5 years.
Watching him cross that finish line is something that I never thought I would witness and I couldn’t have been more proud of his effort. This race was not about me. It was about him and his journey.
It started as a store in my dining room, that we quickly outgrew. It then turned into a store above my garage, which became a distribution center, where I’ve packaged thousands of orders to be shipped around the country and even the world.
Most days since September 13, 2012, I’ve excitedly climbed the stairs to lovingly process orders for Fellow Flowers. For the first few months, I wrote them out by hand. I was beyond thrilled to write out names and addresses of women who had ordered flowers and apparel. What’s been even better is getting to meet these women in person whose name I’ve recognized from doing this. I wish we had started to put tacks on a map so we could see where our flowers have bloomed. I can’t think of many states that I haven’t sent an order to. A treadmill and a stability ball have been my daughter’s playground for more hours than I can count. I know the post office workers by name and they were most helpful in getting us set up to process our own orders online as we started to grow. They fully expect me to blow in with my bins daily at 4:59 pm.
Tonight, we packed it all up, as we are transferring our distribution to Madison, WI. A bittersweet moment for me. I look forward to my new responsibilities as we continue our work to create a space for women to honor, share and celebrate the reasons we run. We thank each and every one of you for giving us the opportunity to grow.
It was our supportive parents who showed up tonight to help, along with my husband who’s behind the camera. He’s done his fair share of order fulfillment this past eight months as well. They counted shirts, hung shirts, boxed them, carried them and packed them into a U-haul, while also helping to watch kids. We thank and love them dearly.
Meet my beautiful mother, Tanya.
We are wildflower vs. cautious white flower at its finest.
This picture was taken in February at the Disney Kid’s Epcot race. While I was busy working the expo, she made sure my children were ready, made it there on time, cheered them on and ran her first one-mile race with Addi. She wasn’t too sure about it at first, but I told her she’d be just fine for a mile, which of course, she was. This week, I noticed this photo is the lock screen on her phone.
My mom would be the first to admit that my decision to transition into the life of Fellow Flowers wasn’t the easiest one for her to understand. And I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments where I wished she could have just trusted my gut, instinct and go with me on this one. Then I would remind myself that her concern always stemmed from a deep love for me. To watch me walk away from safety, security and what most would consider my dream job, working in a wonderful community where my family’s tradition and pride runs deep, was hard for her to say the least. I’m certain that my carefree way and ‘choose fun’ spirit truly scare the hell out of her. Maybe she wasn’t the first one telling me to go for it, but she never told me not to, and didn’t tell me I was crazy or try to talk me out of it. She needed to process, she needed time to take it all in, she needed to see it for herself.
On Mother’s Day, I want to say thank you.