Tag Archives: fitness

Baked Apple Smoothie 

Happy Friday my friends!
Today is April Fool’s day, and honestly I have never really been a big fan of the day.  Most of the jokes I have experienced have not been that funny.  So today I have something a little different for y’all today!  A delicious recipe with a surprise ingredient that until this week I would have never thought to use in a recipe.
Thanks to my partnership with Fit Approach I have been able to try several different Manitoba Hemp Hearts.  This time I received a few of their new Hemp Heart Bars to try! Can we say yes please!!  I have been a fan of Manitoba Harvest products since I first tried them a few years ago!  These bars are no exception! The bars come in 3 flavors: vanilla, chocolate and apple cinnamon. The bars contains 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas.  Sounds pretty good right?  On top of that, they taste really great too!  I was able to taste the chocolate and apple cinnamon one, but I am sure the vanilla one is equally yummy!
I enjoyed the chocolate one on a super busy day, and it kept me fueled up and going!  The apple cinnamon one I used as my secret ingredient for the recipe I am sharing today!  I really don’t know how I got the idea, because I have never thought about using a bar in a smoothie before, but it seemed to work well 🙂  It even came out tasting like a dessert, but with a healthy vibe to it 🙂

A little bonus from Manitoba Harvest! If you use discount code hhbarlaunch1015  from now till April 31, 2016, will get you 15% off!
They are also running a photo contest (oh yeah, fun fun) for your chance to win a free box of Hemp Heart Bars. Enter today for your chance to win this month!
Contest details:

Tag @manitobaharvest and use the hashtag #fuelledbyhemp to be automatically entered to WIN your favorite hemp food product each month. You may also be featured on our social steam below. Good luck! Please note – Our monthly draw is open to anyone submitting photos that is over the age of 18, residing in either Canada or the United States and that does not work for Manitoba Harvest (currently or previously). No purchase necessary.

I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, and Jess from Hello to Fit for our surprise ingredient themed week!


Baked Apple Smoothie

Baked Apple

  • 3 organic apples, washed, peeled and cut into semi-this slices
  • 2 TBS clarified butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 TBS organic brown sugar


  • 1 baked apple
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla milk
  • 1/2 apple cinnamon Hemp Heart bar
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • dollop of whipped cream (optional)



Baked Apples

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350* & line a baking sheet with foil
  2. Place prepped apples in a large bowl
  3. Add in butter and spices
  4. Spread evenly on baking sheet
  5. Bake for 40ish min, or until apples are soft
  6. Enjoy in a smoothie (or in oatmeal or alone 😉 )


  1. Place apple and milk in blender and mix very well.
  2. Add in Hemp Heart bar and blend again very well.
  3. Mix in protein powder.
  4. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream and/or cinnamon sprinkled on top!

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their awesome mouthwatering recipes!!

Do you have an awesome recipe you’d love to share? Link up with us on Fridays for our weekly Foodie Friday posts! (Co-hosted by Annmarie, Farrah, Esther + Jess.)

  • Please link back to the co-hosts, and comment/share at least a couple other Foodie Friday posts! Don’t just leave your link and run away! :O
  • Please only link up recipe posts! :)
  • Join us next week for some ‘In Your State’ themed recipes!

Be filled with joy and health!

Another Wild Workout Wednesday!

Is it just me or do the weeks seem to fly by even faster at the end of the year?  I can not believe it is already creeping into the middle of November!  I was just telling a friend today that this weekend is my last full weekend at my house till January!  (Hmmm…I might need to break out the Christmas tree!!)
Between work, pet sitting, travel for weddings, seeing friends and Costa Rica, and the holidays, it is going to be a packed end of the year!  Even still, I am determined to keep up on my workouts! I am feeling pretty strong overall and have seen improvements in my flexibility!  I am working on pinpointing the next half marathon training plan I am going to go with since that will begin on Dec 1! Eek!  I normally go into races just aiming to finish and have fun, but I feel that 2016 will be a year of PRs! Even if I can cut a few seconds off my times I will know the effort was worth it.  Between now and Jan 1 I need to find all my previous PRs and get some goals in place!

So last week this is what I planned to work on:
Thursday- Zumba & boot camp
Friday- Either piyo or elliptical
Saturday- Body pump & piyo
Sunday- Bike
Monday- Body pump & Grit then volleyball if the sand is dry enough
Tuesday- Walk or elliptical then zumba
Wednesday- Body pump and yoga

Here is what happened:
Thursday- Walking, elliptical and body pump.
Friday- Walking due to last min work changes
Saturday- Ended up with pretty much a rest day
Sunday- Walking plus moving LOTS of furniture!
Monday- Body Pump and 2 hours of volleyball
Tuesday- Bike 4 miles and zumba
Wednesday- Body pump and walking

As you can probably tell by now, my weekly schedule does shift around some.  I have learned to be much more flexible with my workouts the past few years.  Before I was in recovery, I would FREAK if I could not work out exactly as I planned and it was usually for 4-6 hours of a 24-hour period!
I still love to workout, but finding a way for it to enhance my life and not see it as a punishment has been so freeing!

What is on the docket for this next week:
Thursday- Zumba (and a massage!!)
Friday- Piyo and walk/run to test out the hip and my knee
Saturday- Up in the air
Sunday- Kickball and hopefully a walk/run
Monday- Body pump & Grit (if time allows) then volleyball
Tuesday- Walk/run or elliptical then Zumba
Wednesday- Body pump and yoga
I am joining Annmarie from The Fit Foodie Mama, Angelena Marie from  Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced , Michelle at Fruition Fitness and  Nicole from Fitful Focus for Wild Workout Wednesday!
IMG_1700Any half marathon training plan recommendations??  I need some help here!!

See you soon for another workout Wednesday!

Have a healthy and joyful day!


Workout Wednesday!

For weeks…errr…months now, I have meant to have 1 day a week where I discuss my workouts and training plans.  Since December 2014 I have been recovering from a hip injury.  I toyed around with running again on and off during the spring, but each time my hip felt like it was going to fall out of the socket.  I decided to just take it easy with running and participate in other workouts that didn’t bother my hip.  That meant a lot of swimming, some weight lifting, walking, volleyball, biking and light Zumba dancing!  Plus stretching and foam rolling to keep my hip feeling ok.
A few weeks ago I decided to try to start running again and I was surprised that it felt ok!  It was SLOW, but no pain! After all my years of running (wow, just over 10 now since I decided I wanted to run vs it being forced on me), I feel like I am starting over from scratch.  And of course there is the random heel pain that I have been having that has hindered things a little bit.
Thankfully a great friend recommended me these little toe stretchers and they have been really helping tons! Just a few min a day and I have had less heel pain! Yay! (Thanks Sharon!)
It feels good to be able to get out a few times a week, even if it just a few miles.  It has felt even better to get back out on the bike!
IMG_8916 IMG_8915
Even some indoor biking has been back in the rotation.
Lifting weights has always been a passion of mine! I have been on the weight floor on and off since I was in high school! I love doing things on my own, but once I discovered Body Pump classes, I have only lifted weights on my own a handful of times!  I mean, for me, it is great! In 60 min I can get a full body workout and I have loads of fun with my friends!  Plus it is motivating to me to show up for my classes! 🙂
Over the summer I was only able to attend 1-2 times a week due to my schedule and the class schedules!  But now I am able to make it 3-4 times a week!  I have already seen changes in my muscles and in the amount of weight I can lift! It makes me happy to have at least one area of fitness/body changing!

And then there is the Bosu Challenge!  I have been working on getting in the daily challenges and bonuses when I can also!  Not something I normally do, so it has been kicking my booty for real!
IMG_9536 IMG_9591 IMG_9207-1 IMG_9159
I have a duathlon in 11 days, so I have been trying to motivate myself to get myself out there and run/bike/run! So far it has not happened.  This weekend I am getting some aero bars for my bike (thanks to a gift cert I won from my MRTT group!!), and I know that will motivate me even more to get out there!  I was really hoping to be in better shape for this race, but alas, life has gotten in the way and thrown be for a loop a lot the last few weeks.  So my new goal is to finish and have fun 🙂

For my birthday I received an ithlete finger sensor.  It has been helping me to evaluate how my body is doing and how hard I should train each day!
Some days are better than others!  My main issue is needing more quality sleep!  So I am also working on that along with my regular training!

Goals for the next week:
Thursday- Body Pump + 2-3 mile walk/run
Friday- Probably a run depending on how long my tire replacement goes…If not a run, then elliptical for 45-60 min.
Saturday- Practice duathlon
Sunday- Speed drills on bike and running
Monday- Body Pump & 3 miles + 90 min beach volleyball
Tuesday- 10 miles on bike & Zumba
Wednesday- Body Pump + 3 miles running
Plus the Bosu Challenge each day!

So let’s see how this goes!


Motivation Monday: Kaseedee’s story!

Hello friends!  Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a great weekend!  The weather here in TX was absolutely gorgeous!  And I spent my weekend with a dear friend and her precious son! (More about the weekend soon).

It is time for another Motivational Monday story!  This time Kaseedee is sharing her story!

How I Gained It: Growing up I felt I was an “average” size. I was active, played sports, never worried about what I ate. Then I got pregnant, and it all went downhill quickly! I was eating for two and didn’t really watch what I ate. I felt because I was pregnant I could eat whatever I wanted. I later learned what a huge mistake that was, when I weighed 273 pounds after I had my son!
Breaking Point: I realized about a month after my son was born that something had to change. I had no energy, and I was depressed and irritable beyond what I felt was normal. I wanted to be able to carry my son, take him for walks, play with him. I wanted to be there and be healthy for him.
How I Lost It: My journey has had it ups and downs. With encouragement from my husband, I joined the local gym. I had no idea what to do, and my first day there I broke down in tears on the gym floor! I found the gym scary and intimidating, but I found a trainer who helped me get started and has motivated me ever since. I have also enlisted help with my eating habits and found that I needed workout buddies to keep me going. Motivation is tough if you are on your own! I have been working for 10 years to lose the weight and keep it off. I have had setbacks, I have worked through injuries, but all in all I just keep pushing forward!
I have learned that I would rather be a strong woman than fit any “mold” out there. I have learned that skinny is not necessarily healthy, and you have to strive to be your healthiest, not a number on the scale. I am always looking for a challenge, and mix up my workouts day to day.
Now, I am doing things I never dreamed possible! I run endurance races with my son, I’m running marathons, I lift weights. I never in a million years thought I would complete obstacle races, but I have. I am just loving life more! I have energy, I am genuinely happy! We focus on clean farm-to-table eating with my son. Setting an example for him is my main goal. I don’t want him to go through the experiences I went through. I have also devoted my career to motivating others reach their goals: I now work full time in health and fitness! I feel I have found my purpose.

Thank you so much Kaseedee for sharing your story!  Congrats on working hard to achieve your dreams!

You can find Kaseedee here:

Twitter: @kaseedeej
Instagram: https://instagram.com/kaseedeej
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Kaseedee-J/142141549148604
Email: coachkaseedeej@gmail.com

If you have a motivational story to share, please let me know.  You can email me at chocolaterunnergirl (at) gmail (dot) com.


Motivation Monday: Tom’s story

It is Monday, so you know what that means, it is time for another motivational story!  Today we have Tom from Runs and Places sharing his story!  Tom and I connected on Instagram, and he is always on the run!  Find out why below!

Tom’s Story:
Having to hold your breath so you can bend over and tie your shoes is not fun.  Neither is breaking out in a sweat and feeling like your heart is going to pound out of your chest after you walk up a single flight of stairs.  But these are some of the things that I started noticing were happening to me when I was only 25 years old.

This isn’t something that happened overnight.  When I was a teenager, I played a few sports in high school and was in really good shape.  Then I graduated, started going to college, and quickly learned how much I enjoyed staying out all night drinking and eating junk food.  So as the years went by, my weight started to increase and any athletic prowess that I had built up when I was younger started to gradually vanish.  By 2001, I was in terrible shape…. but luckily for me I had started a new job working for a boss who happened to be a runner.  When he invited me to go out running with him at lunch time, I jumped at the chance and even though I couldn’t run more than half a mile without stopping to catch my breath at the time, I kept at it.  After a few weeks, I felt myself starting to improve.  It was a slow process at first, but every time I went for a run, even if I was only able to make it a few steps further or a few minutes longer than the day before, I considered it to be major progress and it kept motivating me to push myself even harder.  Before I knew it, I was going for 3 and 4 mile runs at lunchtime and still finishing up with enough time to take a shower, eat, and be back at my desk within an hour.  No more holding my breath to tie my shoes… no more losing my breath when I walked up the stairs.  I felt like a completely different person.
Not long after that, I noticed that there was a 5K in my neighborhood so I decided to sign up for it. Even though it was a local race, I instantly hooked on the feelings I got when I lined up at the start line with all of the other runners and then pushing myself even harder than I did in my normal workouts and then having a medal placed around my neck when I crossed the finish line…. as soon as I finished, all I could think about was when I would get to do another race.
It wasn’t long before 5Ks turned into 10Ks, which turned into half marathons and then full marathons…. and then I started setting some longer term goals: mainly to run at least a half marathon in every US state and a full marathon on every continent but I have a couple others as well (complete all of the world marathon majors, all of the Canadian provinces, and there are also a few specific races that I also want to do).  So far I’m up to 38 half marathons and 6 marathons in 29 different states, 3 different countries, and 2 continents.  During my time as a runner, I’ve had the opportunity to run through some of the most amazing cities in the world and I’ve also seen some stunning scenery on a variety of different terrains and environments.  I’ve run across the Golden Gate Bridge, done a lap around the Indy 500 track and the infield at Churchill Downs, run near the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and past the vortexes in Sedona, Arizona… I’ve run down both US coasts, through all of the Disney parks and down the Las Vegas Strip and the Atlantic City Boardwalk…. and those are just a few highlights.
With all of the different changes that have gone on in my life over the past several years (moving, changing jobs, the birth of my daughter, my mom and some other friends and family members passing away, etc…), running is about the only thing I can say that’s really been consistent.  It’s what I do when I need to motivate myself or when I just need to get away from things and clear my head for a little while.  It’s what I do when I need to cope with something that I’m struggling with or when I want to celebrate an accomplishment.  Most of the solutions to problems that I’ve needed to solve at work life or in my personal life have come to me while I was out running and whenever I meet another runner, I find myself sharing stories about past runs, favorite types of gear, and future races and becoming friends with them within minutes. Ten years ago, I never would have thought that running would play such a big part of my life, but today I have no plans to ever stop.
Go Tom!!!

Look at all that amazing bling!!!

You can find Tom here!
Blog: http://www.runsandplaces.com
Twitter: tomruns_262
Instagram: tomruns_262

Thank you for sharing your story Tom!  It is making me want to go run right now!



Hopefully it is not a surprise that I am a #SweatPink Ambassador!  I love the sweat pink founders and the amazing ladies I have met as being a part of this group!  One thing I really love is all the challenges they put together for us!  Not only are they fun & butt kicking, but they introduce different companies to us!  It is a win-win all around!

The challenge for the entire year kicked off on Monday!  So far this week the mini challenges have been pretty great!
Monday, 1/12: 30 sec. planks (any variation)
Tuesday, 1/13: Run or walk for at least 1 mile
*after not being able to run for a few weeks due to my hip issues, I was pretty stoked to get in a mile of mostly SLOW jogging*
Wednesday, 1/14: 10 burpees (any variation)
*Did not get a picture of this…Haha*
Thursday, 1/15:  20 squats (any variation)
*Body Pump means a LOT of squats!!!*
Friday, 1/16: #FREEFriday – choose something to share and tag #NoExcuses
If you follow me on Instagram, I will be posting about this tomorrow!

Saturday, 1/17: share a healthy snack or recipe

IMG_5751Did you do Mad Libs as a kid?  We did as a family growing up and they were always hilarious!!! I wish I still had some of the ones we did then!
Well the awesome Sweat Pink gals put together one for this challenge!

Wanna join in the fun? It’s easy! Just…

  1. Copy the questions below
  2. Fill in the blanks with your own answers
  3. Tag 3 friends to share how they’ll make 2015 the year of #NoExcuses!

Hey 2015, it’s me, Esther, Chocolate Runner Girl (nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name)

This year I would like to complete a triathlon, get my PT cert, and reach my goal weight. 

It would also be super duper awesome if I also run a 10 min mile this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because I’m totally worth it!

The thing I am looking forward to most this year is a mission trip (more details to come!!!)

I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning which is my green tea to help me get up, get my tush moving, (verb) and get after my #NoExcuses 2015. Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is working out alone and I have used it to get out of going to the gym and working out by myself on more than 476,938 (number) occasions. I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to be on my own to complete  workout!

Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the (invisible) dog in the middle of the night, I’ll still bust my butt!

I will stop blaming the hubs [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of the chocolate when everyone knows it was really me.  😉

My work schedule [job, hair, car, husband, kids] is not the reason I make excuses. I will show my work schedule [same as before] who’s boss this year and get my run [type of sweaty activity] on (even if it is at 5 am)!

I know that any kind of workout [type of workout] is better than laying on the couch eating chocolate.

I will reward myself by getting new workout gear as I reach new goals!

#NoExcuses 2015 has just begun and already I am imagining myself a winner. I can’t wait to rock a Quantum Pullover (article of clothing) from Augusta Active. I can’t wait till my sweaty friends are jealous of how fresh, clean and sparkly (adj) I am between workouts with help from ShowerPill body wipes. I can see myself rocking warrior 2 [yoga pose / workout move] in new Tie One On Leggings [article of clothing from Actio926] from Actio926 and looking fit and fly while doing it. And of course, I’ll be taking my workouts to the next level and improving my muscles [noun] with my new ActivMotion Bar to help me train for my next  half marathon [distance] race with Sasquatch Racing.

Oh, and let’s not forget how amazing my pullover & leggings [article of clothing] will smell in/ during my runs [favorite type of workout] after washing with some WIN Detergent. And lastly, I’ll keep rocking my 2015 with clean eats and nutrition from Beaming with Health!

Now it’s your turn! Simply fill in the BOLD parts and share with everyone how you’re going to take charge, kick butt and make 2015 your best year yet with #NoExcuses!

Even though the challenge began on Monday, it is NOT too late to sign up!! You can sign up HERE!
For $5 you will get all of this!

  • Every Sunday you will receive an email with weekly prompts (workouts, healthy snack ideas and more)!
  • Opportunities to share your #NoExcuses #SweatPink challenges for a chance to win fun weekly prizes from brands like Augusta Active, ShowerPill, Beaming with Health and more.
  • Each week they will announce the winners, prizes and our favorite Tweets, IG posts and blog posts from that week!

What are YOU waiting for??
If you do happen to sign up, please let them know that Esther M from Chocolate Runner Girl sent you!  Thank you!

Have a fantastic day of #NoExcuses!!!


Race Review # 31 and a Louva Gear review

Oh my, it certainly is the most busy time of year!  Last week I had intended to get so many posts finished and up, and then life happened.  10+ hour work days, sickness, several meetings/parties, keeping up with my half marathon training, normal household items.  Adding all that together did not give me much time to do much else other than sleep.
I did to do an update from my latest race!

On Dec 7th I ran my second 10 miler of the year!  Well I guess run would be more like a jog/hobble.
The day started well. I met my running buddy Lauran and we drove up to the race together.  It was a gloomy morning but not to bad with the temperature!  We got to the race with some time to spare, so we just chilled in the car.  The temps were starting to drop a bit and we did not want to hang out in the colder air till necessary.
It was finally about time for the race.  We hustled for one last potty break and then hit the starting line.
I was sporting my new Louva Gear (more below) and  I was so glad I was wearing them with the weather not making up its mind!
The race itself was a 5 mile loop that we ran twice.  The first 5 miles were alright.  My first 2 miles of anything are pretty much my warm-up and where I get in my groove.  By mile 3 I was feeling pretty good and was in a good 4:1 run/walk interval.  The course was pretty much all hills.  Rolling hills, but still hills.  It was not flat like it said in the description.  That was a little frustrating.   I was in the same group of people for a while and then started to leave them a bit behind after mile 3.  There was one guy in front of me who I wanted to get to but pretty much just kept chasing him the entire race.
Around mile 5 I noticed that my biceps were a little sore. They were chafing. BOO!  It was super damp and humid out so my shirt was more wet than usual from sweat and the mist I was running in on and off.  I knew there was a med station at mile 7 ( ya know, since I saw it at mile 2), and I was hoping they would have some Vaseline.  When I got to mile 7 my legs were really hurting from the hills.  I stopped at the med tent and they were not there!  They have gone into their cars because they had gotten too cold.  They rolled down the window a crack to see what I need.  I asked for some Vaseline and they told me they did not have any. ???? I was shocked.  And annoyed.  Now my arms were going to be even worse!  This was the FIRST time I have done a long race and have not seen Vaseline (or something like it) for runners!! Major bummer.
By mile 8 I was hobbling.  The hills were NOT my friend.  I texted Lauran thinking she would be finished! She was, but not the way I expected.  She hurt her ankle at mile 3 and ended running at mile 5 when she passed the looping point.  I felt SO bad 😦  She has worked her tush off this fall running and getting ready for her first marathon (In Jan)!
We ended up texting for a few min and I told her where I was and that I was in pain.  She ended up coming out onto the course to find me and she ran in with me from the mile 9 sign.  The last ‘mile’ was super short cause the signs were not in the right place!  We ran towards the finish line and she left me to go finish!  I was 15 min off my goal for this race, but I am just thankful I finished!  My Louva sleeves kept my arms warm for the race!  I don’t know what I would have done without them!!
Even though it wasn’t pretty, I am thankful to have race 31 in the books!!
So a few weeks ago I connected with Louva Gear on twitter! They were kind enough to send me a free pair of sleeves!  They came at just the right time for this race.
I am always a little nervous about sleeves since my upper arms are pretty bulky.  Several other sleeve brands I have tired did not make the cut.  The one pair I have other than these I can only wear on my forearms.
Anyways, these sleeves are super comfy, and I LOVE the thumb hole!  They kept my hands warm yet I was sill able to do things with my fingers!  IMG_4665
One neat thing about the Louva sleeves is that you can WRITE on them!  I am going to get some things written on them for my half this weekend!  I can’t wait 🙂  How cool is that!
If you are in the market for some new sleeves that are great quality, yet inexpensive (only $12 a pair), then head over to LouvaGear.com and get some!!

Hope your week is going well!