Why Meal Prepping is AWESOME!

I find that the easiest way to prepare myself for a successful week is to plan, plan, and plan some more! So far this year, my life has depended upon my calendar, phone reminders, meal plans, and workout schedules. Though I have had to invest some decent time to planning, I have been ON POINT with my goals. So every week, as long as I plan, I know that I am setting myself up to have the best week ever.

On Sundays, I devote 2-3 hours to meal planning and prepping.

I know, I know. Some of you may be thinking "Ain't nobody got time for that!" But hear me out! If you invest to making a meal plan and prepping it once a week, you will be gaining back time during the week! The planning and prepping is over. Now you just cook and serve! After a long work day, I don't want to invest the time to figure out what to eat and then prepare it. By the time I get home or finish a workout, I want food IN MY BELLY! Without having a meal prepped, it actually causes me stress and unhealthy behaviors with food! Also, it also creates lots of dishes to wash and who really wants to invest extra time doing dishes!? Am I right?

Also, if you haven't noticed, those who maintain good health & fitness are usually meal preppers! Like Cameron Diaz! And that lady is FIT!

I make sure that the dinners I make have at least enough servings to get me & Peter through my lunch the next day. If there are more servings, I freeze them back for a rainy day. Like next week, for example. I have enough leftovers frozen that it will get Peter and I through a week of lunches and dinners. Talk about a mini vacation from cooking! And it's all healthy!!

So yes, you may be investing an hour or two into prepping your meals, but in the end, you are sticking to a meal plan, eating better, and if your lucky enough, may find that it is saving you money on groceries. Despite popular belief, eating healthy doesn't cost more. You just have to plan smart! :)

Do you plan/prep your meals?

Who hates doing the dishes by hand!?

Do you freeze back your leftovers or eat them all before they go bad?

Another Successful Week in the Works!

Since the meal and workout schedules are locked down for the week, I thought I would share with you what is in store...it is already Tuesday afterall!! Oopsie!

Food Plan
SUNDAY: Texas Caviar
MONDAY: Cottage Cheese Alfredo Sauce with Broccoli (I doubled the recipe & added 2 cups of broccoli and put over 12 oz of brown rice noodles)
TUESDAY: Beachbody Easy Meatloaf
WEDNESDAY:  Avocado Mac & Cheese
THURSDAY: Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
FRIDAY: Homemade Pizza 
SATURDAY: Taco Burgers with Salsa (Coming soon...maybe!)

I decided to explore meal options outside of My Whole Food Life, SkinnyTaste, and the Runner's World Cookbooks. I thought after a month, it was time to try some other sources. But, I did use My Whole Food Life for a very last minute Superbowl snack idea.

A photo posted by Lindsey (Run Freckles Run) (@lindseyszakacs) on

A couple of the recipes I included were given by friends out who are involved in my accountability group. When I saw their suggestions and drooled, I immediately added them to my list of meals I needed to make. That included this week's Cottage Cheese Alfredo and Chicken Tortilla Soup.

I also decided to take some of what I learned from past recipes and alter them to make something new. Let's consider SkinnyTaste's Taco Stuffed Zuchinnis. I LOVED the meat mixture so much that I decided I would try to create a taco burger this Saturday! If successful, you should be hearing all about it soon! If not...I'm sure I will still share the story of my disasterous idea. :) Peter and I will be overflowing with the past 3 week's leftovers, so that means no meal planning/prepping next week! I love our freebie weeks! It's not only easy on the wallet, but it gives me back a great deal of time that I typically use to plan & prep! Now, on to the workout schedule!

Run 5
Ab Ripper X3
Eccentric Upper
Run 5
Eccentric Lower
Run 5
Ab Ripper X3
Eccentric Upper
Eccentric Lower
Run 12

As I mentioned, I am now on to Phase II of P90X3 this week! If you remember, I was going to reward myself with chocolate after completing Phase I, which I did! I never realized how good 88% chocolate would be! Also, I still have some left! Yay me for having control!

But aside from that, I was really excited to move on to the next phase because I have already earned some great results from the first 28 days.

I can only imagine what these next few weeks will bring!!!

Also, I have finally used my Bowflex Dumbbells since I purchased them!

These dumbbells will allow me to really get flexible with weights. Five to ten pound dumbbells were just not working with me to achieve my full potential. This should allow me to build more muscle.

On to Yoga.

A photo posted by Lindsey (Run Freckles Run) (@lindseyszakacs) on

Most of you have seen that I have been arriving to my mat EVERY. DAMN. DAY! With that said, I made the decision to do yoga for a 365 day streak. I figured that because I've come this far, why not make the full commitment!?

As for running, we are taking it down a notch in mileage. This will allow me to repair from my 18 miler this past Saturday, but also prepare for my 20 miler on the 27th! AHH!

So there you have it! The week (at least part of it) ahead! It's going to be a good one!

What recipes are you making this week?

What does your workout schedule look like in the days ahead?

Do you do yoga every day? What did you notice from making that commitment?

We're Still On!!!

Phase 1 of my workout plan is behind me! That means I have new workouts to accomplish in the weeks ahead! But I will get to that tomorrow. Until then, let's rewind right now to Saturday!

I went out for an 18 mile run without a pre-planned route. I figured I have traveled the area enough to know exactly where to go and about the distance each road is. Yet, when I set out on my journey, I wasn't even certain if I was going to make it through my anticipated mileage, but, I set out on the road to see what I was capable of!

This long run weekend was very important to both Peter and me. It would ultimately be the run that decided if we would run the Rock N Roll USA Marathon or hang back for another. If Peter could get through his long run of 15 miles, that means it would be realistic for us to compete in the marathon. I went ahead and went out for my long run on Saturday without him since we have conflicting schedules when it comes to long runs. Though there was the chance that Peter wouldn't complete his 15 miler, I acted as though he had already mastered his mileage.

I had several ups and downs (times I wanted to quit, times I pushed through), but my heart pushed me out to Dam #4 Road around mile 7-8. I ran a lick of the JFK 50 route (the last rolling hills section where everyone is just ready to be done). It brought back some of those memories of wanting to give up, but my heart felt full. Although those last miles were strenuous and painful, I was overwhelmed with joyous emotion. It reminded me that I am stronger than I know and it was those memories that pushed me through this run...all the way to the JFK 50 finish line.

I took a brief break there and ate some nuts to get my energy back. After that, I only had about 3 more miles left until I hit 18. I decided to head towards my parent's who are not far from the area. When I hit their street, I did end up walking a lot of the hills, but despite the slow down, I still finished under 3 hours. Goal accomplished.

The run really exhausted me and Sunday's run did not go as anticipated. Typically, I have been doing 10Ks on Sunday, but yesterday, I only did 5 and walked all hills. I tagged along with Peter for the first few miles of his 15 miler, then turned around. Although my time was slow for me, I was not unhappy. I did it and that's what mattered.

Back to Peter. Believe it or not, after 2 weeks of missing his long runs and a week off of running for bronchitis, Peter managed to get 15 miles in. I was thrilled for him! So it looks like we are still on for the marathon afterall! Proud wife moment.

Of course his perseverance reminded me of myself. He is too stubborn to quit. Even if it hurts. :)

This week I am taking it down in mileage, but I will update you on my workout agenda tomorrow! I also have a kick ass food plan in store for those of you who'd like to steal some recipes! Check back tomorrow for the details! :)

Do you run without a route in mind?

Do you run routes of races to help motivate you?

What's the longest you've been able to run after an extended time off? What pushed you through?

Thirteen Things Thursday

  1. Stress has really been that friend who has overstayed their welcome. You just want them to leave, but they just want to keep bothering you.
  2. I have been working really hard at eating clean and although I am succeeding (more than I thought I would), I found out that I am probably not taking in enough calories. Back to the drawing board.
  3. My sweet potato chili looked nothing like the picture.

  4. I wake up feeling more confident in my body every day. I wish that selfies in your underwear were widely accepted instead of being thought as revealing, slutty, or indecent. I always think what would my mother would say as well!
  5. Speaking of selfies, I was feeling myself today.

  6. I am trying to read more. I started the Hobbit earlier this week and am already halfway through.

    A photo posted by Lindsey (Run Freckles Run) (@lindseyszakacs) on

  7. I also decided to read personal development books. My first is The Slight Edge. Liking it so far.

  8. I am not looking forward to my 18 miler this weekend. I mean, let's be honest, running isn't easy.
  9. Since I finish Phase I of P90X3 this weekend, I am going to reward myself with dark chocolate. And I mean SUPER DARK chocolate. The less sugar, the better.
  10. I am thinking about signing up for Adriene's streaming yoga service. I love her and I want to do her workouts on a daily basis. I want aspire to be her.

  11. I decided to do my first running errand. I ran to the gas station, taking the long way, to buy tampons. If anyone would have seen what I was carrying as I ran, I am pretty certain it would be quite comical.

  12. I started using my Mac's calendar to commit to my life goals. I have filled it up with running, yoga, and other fitness blocks. I've also made time for power hours and personal development.
  13. Speaking of life goals...I won't dive into them now (that's it's own post), but here's a snippet of one. One goal involves where I will be a year from now. After our Disney trip, I WILL be living a life that is closer to my dreams. That's why I am working my ass off now! When our Disney trip is over, I won't be dreading the thought of coming home. I will be excited about it because a new adventure awaits!

Have you ever unknowingly ate LESS calories than what you should have been (I know! How could this happen!?)

Do you take underwear selfies?

What books are you reading?

What are some of your LIFE goals?

How Do You Deal with Stress?

I know I have been highlighting on stress a lot this past week, but it is something that most of us experience. For me, it has been happening a lot more often than I would like and when I am in a moment of high stress, it is hard to find an outlet. My poor husband is the one I primarily have to unload to while I am experiencing that white hot moment, but I have difficulty knowing how to let go and just relax.

I know that working out is a HUGE help to overcoming stress and anxiety, but how do you overcome those periods of intensity when you can't workout? I'm talking about when you are in public and for most of us, this public place is work. You can't just get up from your desk and start to run. I mean, maybe you are lucky enough to have a company that has a gym available, but for a lot of us, we don't have that benefit.

I go on frequent walks to breathe and clear my head, but I find that I must return and resubmit myself back into that moment, especially if it isn't resolved, completed, etc. So please, share with me what you do to overcome stress and anxiety when working out isn't an option. Natural remedies, tips, suggestions, etc! :)

After a stressful day, I came home feeling weak and exhausted. I was on the fence about skipping my run. In fact, I was nearly pulling the other leg over to the "Skip the run" side. I was trying to find every excuse in the book. But I reminded myself to remain an example. As an accountability leader, I need to push through that voice in my head that tells me to give up. So once I got home, I shut off the thoughts, I changed into my running clothes. Within minutes, I took to the road. I still gave myself the option of giving up if things didn't work out.

Yet, once I began running, the strong fire that was built from my stress began to pour out in strength. What once made me feel weak was now seeping out through my powerful legs. Though I worried that I would tire quickly, I continued to pedal hard against the asphalt.

I waited for myself to burn out early, but it never came. Instead, I powered up hills that once felt steep and upon reaching the top, felt stronger and more powerful than what I had at the bottom. I felt unstoppable.

When my watch signaled I had reached 5 miles, I took my very first glance at it's face and was surprised with the time. I had a feeling it was going to be faster than my last few runs, but I underestimated how fast.

To my delight, this was the quickest 5 mile time in about a year. At least since I started JFK training. I could say it was the stress which powered me through, but I have to also give credit to my cross training with P90X3. Anyway, my once tense muscles were now relaxed and my mood was bright. I felt like I went on a mini vacation in that brief moment. The panic, dread, and dispair that polluted my day before this evaporated. I could breathe easy.

Following dinner, I wanted to put the cherry topping on my therapy session with yoga (which this marked my 32nd day streak!). I chose Adriene's "Yoga for Stress & Anxiety" and after, I was so zen. Yoga has proved way more beneficial than I could have ever imagined!

So it's obvious to me exercise & yoga have a great benefit to reducing my stress levels, but the point here is that one cannot just workout at any given moment. So what do you do?

How do you handle stress and anxiety in the moments it occurs?

Does stress make you want to skip your workouts? Do you?

To Race or Not To Race?

Another stressful day!!! But I keep reminding myself that this is motivation to follow my dreams!

Anyway! Yesterday, as I shared, I started my new P90X3 workouts for the last week of Phase I. I completed the Warrior, which was not at all what I expected. Since I began P90X3, I was doing a modified schedule for their "mass" program. Since I have been marathon training, I did my best to fish out all their cardio and use those as my running days. The remaining would be specifically their muscle building workouts. Although the Warrior does incorporate squats, lunges, push-ups, and core work, there was a good bit of cardio involved. Shew! Not what I was looking for at 5am! But I stuck it out because I was not going to quit mid-workout. No point!

A photo posted by Lindsey (Run Freckles Run) (@lindseyszakacs) on

Now let's move on to a more serious topic. Uh ohhh! Things are about to get real people!

Late last year, my husband signed up his first marathon: the Rock N Roll USA. To be the supportive wife that I am *flashy smile*, I decided that I would sign up, train, and run it with him. It sounded easy enough at the time, but it didn't take long to discover that this would prove more challenging than we originally thought.

We both have hit numerous roadblocks, which were mainly injury related. And although they have since healed, Peter now has Bronchitis. So a question has been presented to us: Do we or do we not participate?

We have until March 12th to get marathon ready. However, Peter hasn't been able to get a long run over 13 mile. With the snow we had experienced last weekend, he skipped his 15 miler since he got his workout shoveling us out for HOURS.

Then, he came down with bronchitis and had to skip his long run yet again. So now my concern is that with two skipped long runs, will he be able to get his mileage up with only 5 more weekends to go?

It's not that I don't have complete faith in him, but I want to be able to allow us both a 2 week taper, which then gives us only 3 weeks to get his long runs up. I have no doubt that trying to pull 15 miles after 2 weeks of missed long runs is going to be a challenge. I also don't want him to force in miles when his body may not be up for it after having bronchitis. I mean, you kind of need healthy lungs to run, right?

After my run on Sunday, I blantantly told Peter, "If you don't want to do this marathon, that is fine by me." First, I don't want him to push his body far beyond what he should after having an illness. That is something I would do and I would never recommend it. You'd end up being sick forever!

Also, I am not feeling marathon training. I don't know if I am just over racing since the JFK 50, but I am not feeling long distance. Sure, I feel awesome when I finish out and have that glorious feeling of "AH! I did it!" But this training has been rushed and that makes it more of a chore than playtime.

I will continue pushing as long as Peter does, but if can't do it, I don't mind bailing. I may feel a bit of guilt (that's just my personality), but why force yourself to race when you aren't enjoying the journey? I'd much rather take a break from training and hold off for another marathon. But knowing me, I'll change my mind 16 million times beforehand.

Have you ever bailed out of race training?

If you were helping someone train for their first marathon and they couldn't end up running, would you still participate?

Do you think I should still run?

Ready to Rock Another Week and In Search of the Perfect Soup

I finally have made it through the first 3 weeks of P90X3! So that means I am now transitioning into Phase II! I find this quite impressive since I have never gotten this far into any Beachbody workout!

Yoga With Adriene
Run 6.2
 (switched this out with my Saturday run and did 10 miles)
Ab Ripper X3
The Warrior
Ab Ripper X3
Yoga X3

I've already finished up with Sunday & Monday. So let's rewind back through those real quick.

First, I switched Saturday and Sunday's mileage. I did 6.2 on Saturday just to gain some time with how busy we were. Then I did the 10 miler on Sunday. Since the temps were up to the high 40s/low 50s over the weekend, I was able to take both runs to the road. This was absolute therapy to me! It felt so great to get outside and have fresh air again!

I was also glad I could push through some hills. Though my treadmill does do inclines, I don't feel it is anywhere near as effective as being outside on them.

Anyway, it was a beautiful run, despite that white stuff. ;-)

After my run, I wasted no time. I immediately did the X3 Ab Ripper and followed up with weighted squats. Not only do I want some chiseled abs, but I would love some beefed up legs. :)

Then, it was time for the food prep!

Here's what's on the menu this week!

Food Plan
SUNDAY: Rustic Tomato Soup
MONDAY: Fettuccine with Spinach and Feta Sauce - Runner's World Meals on the Run
TUESDAY: Sweet & Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry - Runner's World Meals on the Run
WEDNESDAY:  3 Bean Sweet Potato Chili
THURSDAY: Hearty Red Scalloped Potatoes - Runner's World Cookbook
FRIDAY: Homemade Pizza 
SATURDAY: Guacamole Chicken Burgers

I already made the Rustic Tomato Soup.

Although good, it wasn't the taste I was looking for. And since I am determined to find the perfect homemade tomato soup, I think I will try making it once a week until I find one that satisfies. So if you have a great recipe, share it with me!!!

Later that evening, I decided it would be a great time to finish out my final day of Yoga Camp.

In all honesty, I got a little emotional that it was the final session. I am going to miss this being a part of my daily routine. Sure, I can do other yoga practices on a daily basis, but it just won't be the same. :(

Today, I did hit P90X3's The Warrior and made the fettuccine, but I think I will keep you all in suspense on that one until tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Have you ever finished a Beachbody Workout? Or how far have you gotten into one? Which one(s) did you do?

Do you switch running days to accommodate a busy schedule?

Do you have a great tomato soup recipe that you can share with me!?

Did you complete the 30 Day Yoga Camp? What are your favorite YouTube Yoga Channels?