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Tag: vegan

Teaming Up – How To Make A Long Run Even Better

Enjoy your run moment

After a long run, how can there really be anything else to do? We’ve enjoyed the scenery and taken some pictures. We’ve nodded or peace-signed to our fellow long-run-day runners. We’ve sweat. We’ve strengthened our lungs. Even our heart has worked and grown, specifically our left ventricle, pumping enough blood and provided enough oxygen to complete our run. So, what else do we need? Well, we need to think about fuel and our mind.

When you finally get to press the stop button on your watch, I’m sure you feel a bit of relief. Some words that may cross your mind, “Ahhh, it’s done! I did it!” You did! But before you leave your run behind you and hop in the shower or grab that coffee, go into your closet and take out your yoga mat and foam roller.

We’ve got to stretch and do a little bit of strength before we put our efforts to rest. So, find a nice quiet space to lay out your yoga mat. Sit down with a nice straight back, sitting “criss cross applesauce” or on a mediation pillow, and just take a few slow, deep breaths. Quiet your mind for a couple of breaths, only thinking of your breathing. Next, let your thoughts wander about your long run. How did you feel during and after? What sights did you see? What sounds did you hear that made your long run enjoyable?

After your reflection, go back to taking a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Think of nothing but your breathe.

Stretching & Foam Roll

Next, let’s team up this long run even more with caring for those muscles that worked so hard for you. Take your foam roller and start to gently roll out your glutes, quads, calves, and back. Remember to keep your core engaged and support yourself. After rolling out, move into a downward dog position and start pedaling your feet (about 6x), then perform 5 shoulder presses, followed by 5 alternating knee crunch-ins, and repeat this about 3-4x. When you are finished, you can lay on the mat and finish up with any favorite stretches.

Fuel! It’s really not just the first 30 minutes after your run that you need to worry about. It’s the entire day and every day after. Are you seriously going to give yourself a nutritiously calibrated post-run snack and then two hours later eat a pizza or buffalo wings? I hope not.

Long Run Nutrition Team Up Ideas to Fuel You Beyond your Long Run:

Post-run Smoothie: date, banana, maca powder, cocoa powder, almond butter, almond milk, frozen berries, spirulina

Lunch: mixed raw veggies and hummus w or w/o toast

Food for Fuel

Dinner: Wicked Awesome Salad! Chopped Kale, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Red Pepper, beans with Rice & Apple Cider Vinegar (mixed and sitting/soaking for 10-15 min). Mix in flaxseed meal and nutritional yeast. Then drizzle peanut sauce (peanut butter, a little apple cider vinegar, gluten free soy sauce, wIMG_6587-1ater, rice vinegar.)
This can be served as is or over warm quinoa. Not only do adults like this meal but little humans do too.

There’s so much that we can do for our body and mind even after we’ve put in a strong effort. Remembering that recovery and fueling is just as important as logging miles can be a struggle. However, once you get in the rhythm of stretching your body and mind in those ways, your body will thank you in the end!

Team Up!

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Is your makeup making you moody?

When you apply your makeup in the morning, does your skin feel irritated? Do your eyes feel bogged down from the under-the-eye concealer? Are your eye lids heavy from the eye shadow?Does your head feel foggy or do you get headaches often?

I have never been a girl that wears makeup often, but definitely am an occasional wearer. About a year ago, I ran out of my Afterglow (mineral-based and gluten-free) concealer, mascara, and eye shadow. I didn’t totally love it, so I ended up just buying some mainstream cosmetics. It took me awhile to figure out what was causing my sporadic feelings of head heaviness and eye sluggishness. One day I took a “time out” to retrace my steps. What did I do to feel this way? Luckily, after too long, I finally pieced it together and sought out answers.

The makeup that I had purchased wasn’t the worst out there, but it still was making me feel weird. According to the Environmental Working Group, my makeup posted an average of 3 on the danger scale and any health hazard was a bit lower than moderate. Not ideal but it doesn’t read as a threat to my health, per say.

I thought, can I really blame these feelings on my cosmetics? Because I couldn’t find any concrete data on the ingredients in my products and the symptoms I felt, I decided to be the test “guinea pig.” I bought new (organic and gluten-free) under-eye concealer, mascara, eye liner, and lip gloss from Gabriel Cosmetics. I applied it the same as other product, wore it for the same amount of time, and removed it the same way. My eyes, skin, and head felt the same as no make-up and I had no “heaviness” or “fogginess.”


I used my new product several times and have had no residual effects from them. Why? There are no hard facts about the ingredients in the product that I was using; however, unlike mainstream cosmetics, many organic, vegan, and gluten-free cosmetic lines are free from:

  • Coal Tar Derivatives or FD&C agents
  • Parabens
  • Soy
  • Mineral Oil
  • Peanuts & Tree Nuts
  • Lanolin
  • Talc
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Hydrogenated Oils
  • Gluten
  • Phthalates
  • DBP
  • Toluene
  • Lead
  • Formaldehyde
  • Nano/Micro sized particles
  • Sulfates
  • Synthetic dyes
  • Dimethicone
  • Petroleum
  • Bismuth Oxychloride
  • Nanoparticles

Instead, these natural and/or organic lines use ingredients from plants. For instance, Gabriel Cosmetics uses almond oil, jojoba seed oil, wax, shea butter, and chamomile extract in their lipstick. Alima Pure is all about nature and only uses natural, pure minerals. Now those ingredients I can feel safe and excited about!

To feel our beautiful selves, wearing cosmetics that are free of toxins, irritants, and preservatives is a big step (for some of us) that’s definitely in the right direction.

Give us the scoop on your favorite cosmetic line!


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How Kombucha Saved Me


I am pretty sure that Kombucha has saved me from an adult life of alcoholism. I’ve never been a big drinker, maybe a bit in college, but not after. I actually broke up with my college boyfriend because he drank too much. I married a man who is straight-edge and has never had a drink in his life. Addiction runs strong and passionately through half of my family. From smoking, pain medication, alcohol you name it, it’s in there. My addiction is running and just exercise in general. It’s healthy, but definitely an addiction nonetheless. Knowing and understanding addiction has always made me a bit on the cautious side when it comes to alcohol.

Drinking used to be fun and light-hearted in social situations, but in the last couple of years I’ve noticed a change in its effects on my personality. One drink and I’m in a bad mood and snarky to my husband. The days following one drink, I’m cranky and lethargic. The sad part, is that I didn’t even realize that it was happening until the last time – this past New Year’s Eve. Leading up to that night, I had many nights when I craved a hard cider. It was a craving that was more intense than the pregnancy cravings I had with both boys combined. A few days into the New Year, I expressed my feelings to my husband and being the straight-edge guy he is, was psyched to have a teammate in this particular corner.

Being gluten-free (due to celiac disease) is easy. Being plant-based is fun and easy. Being an adult who doesn’t drink alcohol is… well, I imagine it will be hard. I haven’t actually had to defend my “no thanks, I’m good” position yet.

However, a few months ago I started drinking Kombucha. Before I had my boys I loved it, but it’s not recommended for pregnant or nursing moms so I gave it up – no biggie. When my alcohol revelation popped up, I remembered how I loved Kombucha. One night, I craved a hard cider and instead I bought a Kombucha. The tasty bubbliness eliminated any craving I had and so my new, healthier addiction began. I can now visualize myself enjoying a good brew of Kombucha at our 4th of July block party, instead of a hard cider or other form of alcohol.

Honestly, I’ve seen the negative effects of alcohol too many times and I’m sure others have seen more than I have. But to experience those negative effects on top of witnessing the effects in others, is enough to give it up all together.

So, my kids exhaust me at times, my work is too much sometimes, my husband works a lot, but it’s nothing that a little yoga, mediation, and Kombucha can’t fix.

Peace. Plants. Love. Kombucha.

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5 Thoughts For Celiacs

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, so I get the frustration. But, I’m writing because I’ve read one too many posts about people feeling bad for themselves for having celiac disease. It can definitely be a bummer at times, but what can we do to not make it feel that way?

  • Be strong: don’t give in to temptations. Your health isn’t worth the crappy calories in that typical American diet dish anyway.
  • Be confident: who cares what anyone thinks. If you walk into a situation without a single care about having to eat a certain way, no one else will care either. Adapt the attitude that you’ve made the choice to follow a gluten-free diet, because you did. Yes, it’s been recommended by a doctor due to having celiac disease, but ultimately you made the choice to take care of your body.
  • Be Proud: do you know how many people are prescribed a certain diet, whether they are diabetic, have heart disease, etc… and ignore those sugesstions, paying a price for it later? A LOT! Be proud knowing that what you are putting into your body, is not damaging your condition further.
  • Be a Vegan: You don’t have to literally be a vegan, but that attitiude that we plant-based foodies have is indisputable. We’ve definitely gotten some criticisim for going plant-based, but in the end all data shows that plants do absolutely no harm to the body and actually protects against various cancers, diabetes, and heart disease, unlike dairy & meat products. Adapt that same attititude for being a Celiac. Data proves that maintaining a completely gluten-free diet heals the intestine and eliminates symptoms. Why would you do anything different?
  • Be Empowered: Take control of this gift to bring health to your body. Own it. The minute you take ownership and dive into making your body your temple, is when everything else will fall right into place.

Here is a picture of my latest and favorite recipe. I’m plant-powered so, this was made only with plants. Organic, Gluten-Free & Plant-Based Pizza: Chickpea crust made with chickpeas and a little millet flour, and spices. Toppings: homemade tomato sauce, homemade pesto, red peppers, mushrooms, spinach, olives, squash. People who loved it: my husband, my 6 year-old and my almost 3 year-old, and ME!



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People are amazing. Most of us have this inherent gift or love for something at a young age. For me, it was/is people. In 4th grade, my teacher, Mrs. Sullivan asked us to write about what we wanted to be when we grew up. What a big question, one of which haunted me for years. I had no idea what I was going to do with my love for people, so I said I would be an Occupational Therapist. I have a cousin with cerebral palsy and I thoroughly enjoyed her therapists, so I thought that maybe it was for me too.

Despite that looming question and my love of helping people I was able to somehow, over the years, mold my two loves into this wonderful career of teaching fitness and wellness to people of all ages and abilities. It brings me so much joy.

Technology has assisted me in “meeting” new people, ones that are utterly inspiring. Often times I wish I could reach through the podcast I’m listening to and shake his/her hand. As of late, my attention is focused on Bryant Terry. Rich Roll recently interviewed him on his podcast and I was entranced by his voice and knowledge regarding food. It wasn’t so much that he is a vegan with amazing cookbooks, it’s his expertise and ambition to bring plant knowledge to everyone and inspire communities to cook together and bring the goodness of home & community gardens to their kitchens, plates, and tummies. This idea of community cooking intrigued me and I immediately wanted to start something. Being new to Portland, we’ve only become good friends with one family, the Pluhar-Daniels Family. So what did I do? I suggested a family dinner, where we cook and eat together.

veggie sushi

Our first dinner together, we made veggie sushi and our little guys made their own pizza. It became a plant-based meal for the adults and vegetarian meal for the kids. The kids seemed slightly more interested in the sushi rolls than their pizza, so next time we will make more of it for everyone!

In the future, we hope to have one afternoon a week dedicated to preparing, chopping, and cooking meals for the week! But, for now, we will stick to the family dinners and hopefully graduate soon. 🙂

What do you love about people and has anyone inspired you recently to do something?

-Keely Grand


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