🌟 TRUST 🌟
I love trying new GSI Outdoors Products. Why? Because they have everything an adventurer could ever need. Recently I went on a “hike” or “walk” at Torrey Pines in San Diego. I was meeting a friend, and so I made my morning coffee, but didn’t have enough time to drink it. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try out the all new GSI Stainless Microlite Vacuum Bottle. When I read the description it said it could keep your drink hot or cold for hours. In fact, it says up to 8hrs. I was amazed, so I was eager to check it out. I poured my coffee in, had a few sips on my drive to Torrey Pines, but I couldn’t finish it all. So, I left it in my car, and went on my hike. I was eager to come back to the car and see if it was still warm. It wasn’t just warm, it was just as hot as when I left, nearly 2hrs ago. What?! Is this for real? I was amazed!
Topher, who loves his coffee hot, gave it a try, as well. He took it to a client meeting, and even after the client meeting he was amazed at how hot it was! I can’t recommend this Bottle enough for keeping beverages hot or cold for long periods of time. The perfect bottle for any camper or adventurer.
Get yourself one of these today here.
It’s cold outside, yes, even here in San Diego, and that means I’m eating all the recipes that warm me up! Growing up one of my favorite winter dishes my mom made was chili. I still love it, it’s super simple, but I wanted to spice it up a bit by making it “California Style” if you will. Supes healthy, because we are health nuts over here. The first way to do that is to substitute Beef for Lean Turkey. Ground turkey is nutritious and a lean source of protein. Woohoo! I was excited to work with Foster Farms specifically because they are a local California Company. There turkey also has no antibiotics ever, is raised free-range on organic land and fed an organic vegetarian diet, and 100% natural with no added hormones or steroids. Talk about a win! If your anything like me, then you probably care about where your meat comes from. I love meat, for me, it makes my body feel good, especially as an athlete. I feel recovered and fueled for workouts better when I have meat, but I am very mindful of the quality of meat I get. Foster Farms definitely get the KHM approval.
Lean up with me with this Turkey Chili Recipe.
Makes 2-4 servings (just depends on how hungry you are :))
1/2 yellow onion diced
2-3 garlic cloves minced (I use a mincer, but you can also chop it)
1tsp olive oil (I like to use Trader Joe’s Olive Oil Spray)
1lb Foster Farms Organic Ground Turkey
1 15oz can of black beans (or beans of your choice)
1 cup vegetable broth
2-3 cups butternut squash (can use frozen, just thaw first – I used Trader Joe’s, and I just use the whole thing. Can’t go wrong with too many veggies)
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 avocado for topping
In a large pot heat olive oil, yellow onion, minced garlic – sauté for about 3min over medium heat.
Break up the turkey into small pieces and drop into the pot. Cook until all sides are brown – 10-15min.
Drain the beans, then add beans, butternut squash, vegetable broth, and all the spices. Raise to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 15-20min or until the squash is soft.
Serve in a bowl and top with Avocado (you can also top with green onion, if you’d like).
These days I seem to never be able to keep my devices charged. Whether I’m traveling, camping, spending a day at the beach, whatever it is, my phone or laptop, etc. lose battery so fast, before I know it, they are dead. Thank goodness there are companies out there like Lander, thinking ahead, and creating products that help us stay charged up. Lander created a portable powerbank that makes it easy to charge your phone, iPad, laptop, camera batteries, etc. on the go. I love this especially when I’m camping, because I don’t want to turn my car on to charge my phone, or if you are off hiking in the wilderness and your car is no where in sight, that makes Lander’s portable powerbank even better.
The holidays are just wrapping up, but the new year is almost here, and 2017 vacation plans are starting to be made. If you have a camping trip coming up this year, this is definitely a must have. Obviously, most campers are looking to unplug…BUT…we all still carry our phones with us to take photos, or bring cameras, etc. This ensures that you don’t have a freak out because you forgot to charge the batteries.
As I sit here and reflect on all that has happened in 2016, it has me thinking about what I want my life to look like in 2017. What do I want to upgrade? What behaviors do I want to see improve? What habits do I want to implement? I’m not one for “New Year’s Resolutions”, but I am the type of person who is constantly assessing her life, and working on self improvement. Since moving to California, I have done a ton of self discovery, which is never easy. It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and truly acknowledge who you are, how you are reacting to situations, how you are treating yourself or others. Are you just talking about your dreams or are you living them? When I made the leap over 5 years ago, I never thought I would be where I am now.
Have you ever met someone who challenged you, inspired you, motivated you, and truly made you a better version of yourself? It is life changing. When I first met Topher, we sat for over 6hrs just chatting to each other, long after both our meals were cleared. There was no booze involved, just us and our big glasses of water, hydrating like crazy triathletes. My favorite thing about my relationship with Topher is that we can have deep and meaningfuls, and we both enjoy them. I have never met someone who could talk as much as I can about the deep sh*t that goes on in life.
Okay, so here I am just the other day, after we both have completed a week of cycling camp. I finished the 5 day camp completing 325 miles and climbing 27,000ft. Topher nearly completing 500 miles, and something like 41,000ft of climbing. We are totally mentally fatigued and we find ourself in a conversation that leads me to start thinking about gratitude, as well as forgiveness. Before 2011, I thought I had lived a pretty darn good positive life full of gratitude. I was grateful for my friends, my family, my work, being a triathlete, and just enjoying life. I had dreams and goals that I was going after, and then my life that I thought was ahead of me suddenly was stripped from underneath me. It’s an ordinary story of a girl who had her heart broken by a boy, and had a hard time moving on. We all know it too well, but it never is as easy as it seems. On the outside, we simply think it’s easy to move on, our friend deserves better, etc. All true, but where there once was love, makes it that much harder to move on. Anyway, as a lot of you long time readers know, I packed up my bags and moved out west to follow a dream of simply living somewhere where I can be outside swim, bike, running all year round.
Then life got tough, and it got tougher, but not without some ups. I remember lying on a picnic table at Cardiff State Beach nearly every day the first two weeks I lived here, and just being as happy as a clam. I would listen to the waves crashing, and look up at the bright blue sky, and think “I can’t believe I did it.” “I am here.” It was an indescribable feeling. One, I wish I could relive. But, I was depressed in side, heart broken, so heart broken that some days, all I could do was get myself to that picnic table and lie there. I could barely get myself out of bed for a run. So, I started with walking 10min a day, then 15min, then 20min, and the days started to pass. I was looking for work, and finally after a long wait, I landed my, then, dream job working at The Active Network. I wanted to work for a company that promoted and inspired people to be active. It was the perfect fit. But, after nearly 2yrs, I was laid off, as the company as a whole was in a big transition phase. At first, it was kind of fun, but then, it got kind of boring. I tried to focus on blogging, but truthfully, I felt directionless, and heart broken in a different way. I felt alone.
I was always afraid to share my true feelings, because I always want to exude happiness, love, positivity, but the truth is, we can’t feel those things without the tough feelings. We are human. I am human. And I feel pain, and it’s okay. For some reason, I never wanted anyone to see me cry. I was tough, right? I am tough. Nothing can break down my walls. But, suddenly putting up all those walls, started to create more walls, and more, and more, and more. In a way that made me want to always be perfect, as if it’s not okay to make a mistake, that maybe I will love myself more, if I don’t make mistakes. The walls got even worse, when I landed my next dream job at a digital marketing agency. I was proficient in social media marketing, and an expert in some ways relative to the new field that was just getting underway. But, I had so much to learn, yet I was afraid to let anyone see. I was afraid to ever say “I don’t know.” What a terrible feeling to have. None of us know everything, and life is all about learning.
We can’t walk around thinking we know the “right” way. There are so many ways of doing things, and there is no script to how things can be done. We may be able to find the most efficient, but is it the most enjoyable? It all depends on the goal. I could put all the dishes in the dishwasher to be efficient with time, but what if I enjoy washing the dishes by hand? So, here I am, at my 2nd job in California, and I’m feeling like I need to “know” everything. They hired me because I’m supposed to be an expert, right?! In some ways yes, but in a lot of ways, we all need to keep on learning. Social Media was/is such a big field, that no one is ever going to know everything, and it’s constantly changing and growing.
It wasn’t until just a few days ago, I had a realization. I have been writing down things I’m grateful for every day, but a lot of days, I just say things that are generic. I’m trying to practice this skill that is suggested as a key to happiness, but nothing was coming easily. I was bottled up inside. I was afraid to be strong in who I am. I was afraid to be vulnerable. To truly love myself. I have said that so many times before, I have heard it so many times before, but it’s different. I’m hearing the words differently now. Sometimes we hear a quote, again, and again, and again, and again, but it doesn’t sink in or it hits us differently the next time we hear it, and all those other times seem to fade into the background. That was me a few days ago.
Even when I was feeling depressed, I would go lie on the picnic table, and I appreciated the smell of the salty air, the sound of the waves crashing, and the blue skies, more than I can explain. I was sad and happy and full of gratitude at the same time. Where did it go? Did I become jaded? Did my walls get so big, that I couldn’t actually be grateful for where I am in life? Am I trying that hard to “be” somebody? Like I have it all together? Holy shit! It’s okay to not have it all figured out! It’s okay to admit, that “I don’t know.” It’s okay to be sad, annoyed, angry, upset, depressed. It’s not the first time anyone has felt that way, and it’s not “wrong” to feel that way. It sucks, and I don’t want to stay down that long, but it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed. I don’t want to focus on it, or thought chase, or become polarized and reactionary. But, I want to accept those feelings. I want to accept them, because without them, I can’t be thankful. Without the hard times, I can’t appreciate the truly good times. If I always pretend everything is perfect, if I always pretend like even when things are shitty I have it together and I know what I’m doing, I will never truly allow my authentic self to shine. To just be me. It’s exhausting trying to think I can take care of myself and I know exactly what’s best.
Photo from November 2011
I am truly truly grateful for my struggles. For every “bad” memory I have a thousand good. When my time is up on this earth, I want to know that I have spent every day living in gratitude. Living is not something to be taken for granted. We are given a gift. No matter what our reason for being here is, or how we got here, we have feelings, thoughts, passions, that drive us daily. Follow your heart. Listen to your heart. And if you are being pulled, go, do that. This world works in mysterious ways, and I’m so grateful that my path brought me to Topher. Someone who gets me.
And with that, I lead myself into my next blog post coming up which is why I started this blog in the first place, and how I have tried to go in too many directions to find my way, but what truly inspires me to write is my thoughts and connecting with all of you. If I can help anyone who comes to my blog, and I can connect with them in some way, shape, or form, I want to do that. I like sharing products that I’m passionate about, and working with brands that I’m passionate about, but more than anything, I want this to be a place where maybe we can connect on a spiritual level. Maybe, at some point in all of this, me sharing my deep life thoughts may help some of you. <3 We all have strengths, and we need to cherish them, and it is something I have struggled to hone in on on this website. Truly narrowing down, what I want this website to be, but I think I have figured it out. 🙂 Stay tuned!
Growing up in Wisconsin, I instantly had an affinity toward red meat, cheese, milk, ice cream and more! I mean it’s The Dairyland after all. There have been times where I have given up red meat, but honestly, my energy levels plummet, and I recover slower. It has taken some trial and error, but I have found that for me, red meat is really important to include in my diet. Cue in – Plaid Cow – A Meat Delivery Service.
You all know how much I love packages delivered straight to my doorstep. The reason being that honestly currently my life is crazy busy. They say the average person in the U.S watches “x” amount of hours of t.v per day. I probably only have time to zone out on the couch for 2-3hrs per week! That’s just the way life is right now. I’m totally okay with it, but it definitely makes even finding time to get groceries challenging. I’m always on the look out for easy, fresh, and affordable ways to make eating efficient. When Plaid Cow reached out, I was so excited to try their meat delivery service.
For our first Plaid Cow meal, we decided to make Lettuce Tacos. Topher and I like to have red meat once a week. It’s jam packed with iron – which is really important for keeping the body energized. As a triathlete, I find it important important to include red meat in my diet 1-2x per week. Red meat is actually jam packed with lots of awesome nutrition, it gets a bad reputation because it has become mass produced, and lots of companies started injecting hormones into the meat, which is no bueno. The most important thing is to make the distinction between grass-fed and organic meat vs. factory-farmed, processed meat.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) – lowers cholesterol, releases energy into the body’s cells.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) – keeps nerves and red blood cells healthy, responsible for the functioning of several critical body processes. When deficient the most common symptom is fatigue (really important for endurance athletes to maintain their B12 levels).
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) – protects the immune system, has positive effects on the metabolism, premenstrual syndrome, hormone control, emotional disorders, skin conditions, cardiac diseases, kidney disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome, and more.
Iron – Keep iron levels high is important to preventing fatigue, again really important for endurance athletes who need the energy to maintain their volume and intensity of workouts.
Zinc – helps with the proper functioning of the immune and digestive systems, control of diabetes, reduction of stress levels, energy metabolism, and an increased rate of healing for acne and wounds.
Selenium – benefits heart health, fights inflammation, increases blood flow, and helps with antioxidant activity.
Creatine – increases muscle size, and helps to increase athletic performance
Carnosine – anti-aging and promotes longevity, helps buffer lactic acid production, improves memory, acts as a natural anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, improves physical performance, promotes eye health, and more.
Most studies that have shown an increase in cardiovascular disease and diabetes are observing those who are eating processed red meat, not organic grass-fed beef. “In a massive review of 20 studies that included a total of 1,218,380 individuals, processed meat was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, no association was found for unprocessed red meat.” (Source here). What I’ve learned is to each their own and to make no judgment. There is truly no right or wrong, it’s all about preference and what makes sense financially and healthily for you. Personally, I love red meat. But, to me it’s important to get it from a source that is of high quality. That’s why when I heard about Plaid Cow, I was super stoked to try it. DRUG FREE. GRASS FED BEEF. (They also have chicken).
After opening up the packaging, then it was time to sort, and then come up with what we wanted to try first. We decided on the ground beef, which led us to make lettuce wrap tacos. YUM! P.S How awesome is the packaging? I love packaging, and appreciate the companies who invest in good packaging. <3 Kudos Plaid Cow!
It made 6 tacos! 3 for each of us. Our bellies were happy and so were our mouths.
Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving! I took 2 weeks off from blogging (probably the worst time to do it due to the holidays, but I needed to disconnect and recharge), and now it’s time to get back at it! So, stay tuned for lots more to come!
This gift guide is all about swimming. And my favorite swim brand is TYR, so you are going to see a lot of them in here. I always like to include things that either I currently use, or I would love to be using. None of this post is sponsored, I just truly enjoy all of these products. If you haven’t heard from me before about my favorite goggles, the TYR Nest Pro goggles are the best I’ve ever tried. I have tried a lot of goggles, but for the past 7yrs, these continue to be the ones I want to use and purchase time and time again. They are the best. I hope you find something you like for the swimmer in your life. (these also work for triathletes, but I will be doing a dedicated Triathlon post next week :)). Happy Swimming!
Here are some photos of me in my fave swim photos over the years!
Photo by Topher Riley
Hope everyone is having an awesome week!
I love checking out the different gift guide recommendations out there. And so over the coming weeks, I will be sharing my gift guides for different passions of mine. Today’s is all about Running.
Running is my first love when it comes to sports. I remember even when I played soccer, I would wake up early before school some days and get a run in, because I wanted to be better and faster. As a runner, I love to share some of my personal fave products that you might want to get as a gift for the upcoming holidays. Here are my favorites…
Another favorite of mine lately is Lumo Run. Want to improve your run in 2017? This is the gadget for you. This awesome piece of technology reads braking, bounce, rotation, cadence, and drop. It is quite the handy device. Topher and I both have been using it, and it really is making us more mindful of our running. They give drills to do to help improve each area of the run, and we definitely are seeing the improvements.
I also want to highlight The Dash by Bragi. This product has blown my mind. Keep an eye out for a dedicated product review blog post coming in a few weeks, after I use them in all three sports – swim, bike, run. But, I went for a run in them, and I was just amazed! Definitely a must buy for fitness enthusiasts. I honestly want to get these for every single person I know. Product is flawless.
The countdown continues, and we are nearing when training really starts. Fortunately, since this race is in August, we still have time to enjoy the holidays, and not worry too much about training and kind of doing whatever feels good. I’m really focused right now on strength training, and then I mix up swim, bike, run, on how I feel that day, or what makes sense for my work schedule, etc. There is plenty of time for “structured” training after the new year, so right now is all about strength training and then doing whatever I feel like in terms of cardio for swim bike run.
I love having the flexibility right now, as work is keeping me very busy. Topher and I have teamed up and are working with brands for content creation (photos and videos), as well as influencer outreach, and social media marketing. We are so excited about all the new clients and that we are really busy with work, and that is my focus right now. Down the road we will hopefully hire some interns to help with the work load, and then free up some time for training for Ironman Sweden. (business plug – know anyone who needs photos/videos for marketing material for their business for social media? Or know a business that needs influencer outreach/social media management? We’d love to help! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. OR know someone interested in interning for content creation and social media marketing? We definitely are looking for people to intern with us!)
Okay back to training…
That is my motto in general right now. I sometimes get so overwhelmed that I don’t even start something. Hence, why I’ve been blogging less, which I apologize for. It’s taken a lot to get the Daily Strength Training going, so that has been my focus. Check it out if you’re interested in improving your consistency with strength training. I know for me it is the hardest thing to stay consistent with as a triathlete, and so I created a 12min daily strength training program for triathletes and runners. It doesn’t matter if you are training for a 5k or an Ironman – it’s important to incorporate strength training, and why not do it every day so that it’s a habit, and we don’t miss a day. You can sign up for my daily email here. Or you can check back daily here to see what the workout is that day.
Workouts Last Week – I track and plan on Training Peaks – 8hrs 33min Total
(Photo by Topher, edited by Me)
(Photo by Topher, edited by me)
I love trying out new activity trackers. I’m a numbers junkie, and a fitness tech junkie, and it’s so fun seeing all these amazing companies come out with really cool products. The latest that I got to try was AmazFit. I immediately was drawn to the stylishness of it. It really looks like it is just a part of my jewelry for the day, which I love. Sometimes when I want to leave “fitness Katie” at home, and feel like “fashion Katie” but yet my “sports watch” or “sporty activity tracker” usually ends up cramping my style. 😛 So, I was excited to try it out. I have been wearing it for the last 10 days to get a good read on what it’s like, how it feels, accuracy, etc. Read on to see what I liked, and there’s a coupon code for you to use to get 40% off at the end!
After wearing it for 10 days here are my top 8 reasons this activity tracker could be for you/what I liked about…
#1 It’s so light weight and comfortable, I forgot it was there.
#2 It’s really minimalist and doesn’t cramp your style.
#3 Tracks sleep and activity
#4 Water resistant up to 3 feet
#5 Vibration alerts for call notifications
#6 It’s a perfect activity tracker for simplicity and elegance.
#7 It has a long battery life. Lasts up to 10 days
#8 No Skin Irritation! This is because it has a Ceramic Casing, which means it has low thermal conductivity, is comfortable, and hypoallergenic.
The holidays are coming up, and this might just be the perfect gift for that active fashionista you know.
I wore it working out, getting FROYO (lol), sleeping, etc. I never got annoyed by it and it never irritated my skin, which is a big win for me. All of your stats can be found on the app. So, pretty much every morning I would open up the app to see how I slept, and then right before I go to sleep, I would check to see how many steps I got in throughout the day. I love tracking my sleep, and although I’m very active, I do like to see how much I got up from my desk each day, as I don’t want to just work out and then be a desk potato. So, always having an activity tracker on, monitoring my steps, encourages me to get up and move a bit. 🙂
Check out AMAZFIT here. And get 40% off your purchase with coupon code: MYAMAZFIT. It retails at $79.99, so it’s also budget friendly, too! Happy Shopping!