November 14, 2018

Running and Nutrition Through the Winter

This post was sponsored by Optimum Nutrition as part of an Influencer Activation and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I'm so excited to share that I am a runner again! I can't believe that I waited so long to share it here on the blog. Back in July, my dad who is a runner was going to start running again after an injury. He asked me to run with him. I am super lucky that my parents only live 1/2 mile away from us! He was going to start with "low mileage" at 3 miles. Well, if you haven't run for awhile, 3 miles is a lot! I was scared the entire night before. I made it through that first run without too much trouble but it was pretty hard for me.

After that, I started running twice a week with my dad. We meet at 5:53 AM (no joke, not a minute later either) and run anywhere from 5 1/2 miles to 7 1/2 miles. It is a very special time where we get to chat the entire way. My dad jokes that I took away his thinking time that he used to use his runs for since I talk the entire way. It passes the time and is quality time for us to spend together. It is very special to both of us.

As the weather has gotten much colder and some of the mornings have been down to 36 degrees, it can be harder mentally to get out there and run. Especially when my bed is warm and cozy and it is so cold out. We are now bundling in a few layers with hats and gloves which is something I am still working on getting over each time I have to get up but guess what? I feel so much better if I go than if I skip it! My goal is to run through the winter. I'm praying for a milder winter here in Michigan so it is not -15 degrees because I don't think that I can handle that.

I talk about it all the time on the blog that exercise is super important to me for mental health reasons. On days that I skip all exercise, I do not feel completely myself. I feel a little down at times and when I exercise, I feel great. It is important to me to focus on health and wellness no matter what time of year it is.

After my run, I jump in the shower really quick before Troy heads off to work and I try to get it done before the kids get up but it never works so often times, I have kids in the shower with me or calling "Mama!!" outside of the shower. I try to eat within 30 minutes of running but often times, it is more like 45 minutes or so.

What I like to eat after a run is a smoothie. That is my "treat" to myself since it takes a couple of extra minutes to prepare than a piece of toast with PB or a yogurt. My go-to is: tons of baby spinach, a frozen banana, milk of choice (sometimes almond milk but usually whole cow's milk), Optimum Nutrition protein powder and either flax or hemp seeds. I often top it with a handful of cereal for crunch and to make it more satisfying or I throw in a spoonful of peanut butter. I love this breakfast after a run.

Right when I finish running, I make sure to drink a bunch of water before getting in the shower. Then, all through the morning especially, I drink a bunch of water to rehydrate. I notice that if I drink enough water, I don't feel as tired in the middle of the day. I snack more on days that I run and try to focus on nutritious snacks that are protein-rich along with fruit fruit and vegetables.

I love the Optimum Nutrition Cake Bites and couldn't believe when I first tried them how tasty they were. I grab a pack of these and snack on them at my desk while I am working mid-morning. They taste like dessert but have 20 grams of protein and come in many flavors like birthday cake, peanut butter chocolate, red velvet cake and more. They also make a fun holiday snack in the gingerbread or chocolate mint flavors.

I cannot get over how delicious the protein almonds are too! They are covered in chocolate and taste just like chocolate covered almonds but are full of protein. They make a great recovery snack. A lot of times, products with added protein taste awful and these Optimum Nutrition products are truly delicious! Every product tastes like dessert and is satisfying for the perfect treat.

The Protein Crisps are tasty as well! I shared them with a friend who runs and he really liked them and said that he couldn't believe that they were so low in sugar. They have 20 grams of protein and are gluten-free.

Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream is a healthier frozen yogurt with just 5 ingredients, is packed full of protein with Greek yogurt and tastes like an indulgent dessert with rich cream cheese, berries and graham crackers.
I love the products from Optimum Nutrition. I have been using them all year! I started using their products back in May and made this Berry Cheesecake Ice Cream with their protein. You can easily find these at Walmart. I love these high protein products to help refuel my body after a workout!

So that's where I am right now: trying to run my way through the cold weather and fueling my body afterwards to feel my best! What's your favorite form of cold weather exercise?

Share this post: