Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Healthy Recipes: Homemade, Cheaper, Healthier: Peppermint Mocha

Hi all! Off the grid again (big surprise). Grad school and work have been killer, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Marathon update: Oh hey it's over! I plan on making a separate post on how it went, but the short version is I finished, PR'd from a time that was very slow to just slow (hey, a PR is a PR, right?). As of now, I have survived "zero week" (the week after the marathon), and I'll provide more details later. So far so good with recovery(:

It's the holidays...sort of. That means specialty beverage season is in. Unfortunately, those things are so, so bad for you (even with sugar-free syrup). I honestly think, unless you're diabetic, you'd be better off getting the sugar version because all those sugar-free versions are usually chemicals. It depends on where you go for coffee, though. Luckily, many places are doing natural flavors, so we're heading in the right direction. If you're unable to give up your favorite drink, maybe make it a "once a week" thing, like a reward for a hard week at work on Friday. Those drinks can add up and I'm not just talking about calories. 

It is important to know where those cals come from. When a drink adds up to (hypothetically) over 350 cals, 30g of sugar, 10g of fat, 40 carbs, those aren't high quality ingredients. You can cut some of this by choosing either non-fat milk (although milk with fat isn't usually an issue-it's usually "good" fat), hold the whip, ask for one or two pumps less of syrup, and getting a small size. The key is moderation. If you pick one of those modifications and buy the small size, you're heading in the right direction!

If you're not upset by the health quality of your drink and just by the cup if comes in, I can't help you...maybe bring your own cup to the coffee shop? Or find a new, real cause to get worked up over? (Ok- getting off my soapbox).

Now, here is my simple and quick recipe for a homemade peppermint mocha coffee. Now, if at speciality coffee shops you're paying for milk foam, this isn't really an alternative for you. But if you're looking for something healthier and cheaper (meaning you probably have these ingredients lying around the house) this will work for you.

-coffee (already brewed)
-peppermint or mint extract
-natural sweetener (stevia, coconut sugar, raw sugar)
-optional: any type of milk 

All you have to do is add your ingredients to your coffee. I usually add to taste, but my recommendations are a teaspoon and a half of cocoa and like a 1/4 tsp of the extract (maybe even less- it's REALLY strong). Add your sweetener and milk, and that's all!
Me before I starting my drive to work with my happy drink(:
If you hate mint, just omit or try a dash of cinnamon for a chocolate-y cinnamon beverage. 

Hope you enjoy your caffination variation(; 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

My Weekly Top Ten #7 & Changes that Made Me a Better Runner

First thing's first: MUSIC(:  I have a great top ten lined up for you all to get you motivated to sweat.  Its quite an eclectic mix, so I hope you enjoy it!

1. Emperor's New Clothes by Panic! At the Disco
2. The Hills (Feat. Nicki Minaj) by the Weekend
3. SIRI by Yogi
4. Lost and Found by Ellie Goulding
5. Working for It by ZHU x Skrillex x THEY
6. Yellow Flicker Beat by Lorde (more for a cool-down or hill-climb portion of workout)
7. Yes Please by Muse
8. Fiesta by Bomba Estereo & Will Smith
9. Classic Man by Jidenna
10. Sand Storm by Apashe
11. Bonus Song..Just because I couldn't narrow it down: Get No Better (2.0) by Empire Cast

Second: Changes I Made Over Time to Become a Better Runner

Keep this in mind, everyone is different.  Therefore, every runner is different.  These were things that I either just picked up during my running journey or made a goal to edit my habits in order to improve.  I attribute to many of these things as the reason I am able to do my second marathon coming up in a few weeks. 

Sidenote: Marathon Training Update: I can officially (knock on wood) run this marathon. I completed the minimally recommended 20 mile long run, and I am now in taper time (and enjoying it to its fullest extent).  If all goes well during taper, I will be able to run this race sans injury!

Again, keep in mind these are things that worked for me, and things that I am reporting that worked out of my own experiences.  I am not a professional trainer for runners, but I do want to share with my fellow runners and exercisers what I have done to improve myself as an athlete.  That being said, here is my list!
  • Weight Training
    • I have made weight training a huge part of my weekly workouts.  I do a full-body set of weights after cardio sessions about 2-3 times per week.  If I am short on time, my biggest focus are on these general body areas: core/abdominals, lower back, hamstrings, and glutes.  I love having a stronger upper body now.  
    • Because of running so much and the added weight training, I have also...
  • Gained Weight (a healthy amount)
    • For my height and weight, I had room to lose and I had room to gain.  In my gaining, I can tell just by looking at myself it is within the areas that were lacking in strength, mainly the upper body.  I was injured because of lack of strength in certain areas that I listed previously, and that led to an over-reliance on the places that I had muscle (my quads, hips, and calves).  That led to injury through overuse. Now, I can more equally distribute the work that I put on my body while running.
      • I have gained back most of the weight I lost while not running, which is odd.  My body looks completely different.  It makes you consider how much muscle attribute can truly change your body.
  •  Running without Music
    • I have completed a few runs without any sort of music, audiobooks, podcasts, et cetera.  I was a bit nervous it would be boring, and at times it was.  I noticed that when I did this, my pace was faster each time.  I was more focused on my posture, stride, and pace.  I also found myself using this time to clear my head and meditate.  All good stuff, if you ask me!  Again, I don't do this with every run, but at least I am not relying on a playlist to get myself out there.
  • More Rest
    • I used to be pretty regimented about my exercise.  For most of my athletic career, I have been an exerciser, no matter the circumstances, that worked out 6 days a week with the 7th day being rest.  Now, I am incorporating more rest in order to train for this marathon.  I have been exercising 5 days a week.  I have been timing these rest days as the day before (rather than after) long runs or mid week runs (6-10 milers).  It allows my body to get full rest before being put under the stress of running.  I think this recovery time has really helped me avoid injury as well.
  • Ice, Foam Rolling, Heat
    • I hate relying on all of these things.  I realize how important these small things are, though.  I am very diligent on icing as preventative and as treatment now.  Foam rolling is the ABSOLUTE WORST; it really hurts.  I would foam roll before, but it was not something I did regularly.  Now, I do it every time, post-run (given I have the time), and sometimes, I foam roll beforehand.  I also foam roll if I feel really tight muscles in general.  It sucks, but it hurts for a reason.  Those muscles need it!  Finally, heat, which isn't really my biggest vice, has helped soothe my muscles, specifically my neck, shoulders, and lower back.  My only problem is when it makes me overheat as I sleep (my heating pad has a timer-don't worry about me catching on fire or anything). Overall, treating my body right when I am not exercising is very important, and I refuse to neglect it this time around.  

Do you have any songs that motivate you?   What about running/exercising tips or suggestions that really have worked for you? Comment below! 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Music: My Weekly Top Ten #6 and Why I'm a Ridiculous Human Being

Hey all! Weekly blog post time!
(I know, you're all on the edge of your seats.  Calm yourselves.) 

If you want to skip to the music list, scroll to the bottom/second portion of the post. 

Why I Am a Ridiculous Human Being:
So, I signed up for another marathon (so all of my friends that I told to smack me if I ever did this can proceed next time I see you- I've earned it).  I am being sponsored by my family to represent New Balance and Miroballi Shoes for the Naperville Marathon on November 8th.  Usually, my cousin Dan does it (who is an incredible athlete that I truly look up to), but he is running the Chi Marathon and opted out.  So, I have some big shoes to fill...literally and metaphorically.   (Thanks again, Miroballi fam for this opportunity!)

It made me think about how crazy runners are.  I was texting my cuz about this, and it sort of went like this...
  • me: "hey! how are you? I was wondering how the marathon pool worked for Chicago.  Are you in the annual pool?"
  • dan: "hi- yes i am, and i am running this year.  it opens usually towards the end of the year.  i have a voucher from our uncle perry if you're interested that i am not using- he paid for it before i told him i'm not doing it this year. its nov 8th, but you have to register by today or tomorrow."
  • me: "hmm... maybe. i'll get back to you! i wasn't planning on a marathon; i just did a half this past weekend.  i kind of want to i want to be trained though"
  • dan: "you have a month and a half, you could do it."
  • me: "sure, why not, send over the code, thank you!"

In my head, I was thinking in his mindset, too.  I've done this before, I'm close to the training program, 6 weeks is plenty of time.  Then, I sat down after enter and planned out my long runs, realizing 16 miles would be this week, 18 the next, then the big 20.  I almost laughed at myself I realized how ridiculous this endeavor was.  Runners are just crazy (in some good ways and some bad).  That's all there is to it.

I am doing my 16 mile long run today, so fingers crossed it goes well!  I am optimistic but nervous at the same time, if that is possible.  If I finish without issues, it will basically mean I can handle this race and training ahead of me.  Signing up for a marathon 6 weeks before the date is not the norm/stupid, but I have been keeping up my mileage and am a lot stronger in overall fitness due to weight lifting compared to my first marathon, so I want to experiment.  Plus, running makes me happy, and racing gives me a personal sense of purpose.  I needed a little bit of a boost, and this was a spontaneous attempt at making myself happy. 

It makes you think sometimes the smartest decisions may not be the ones that make you happy.  I am doing this go with the flow/don't overthink it thing with this marathon to try to help me move into that overall mindset in life.  So, I'll keep you updated on all that jazz throughout the next month and a half.

My Weekly Top Ten: 

Since I'm doing my long run today, obviously I'm making a motivational playlists.  I like to mix it up with podcasts, especially Conversation Parade and WTF with Marc Maron.  Here are my favorite songs this week that will definitely be my way getting pumped for this run:
(no particular order)

1. Hallelujah - Panic! At the Disco (nope, not sick of it)
2. Victorious - Panic! At the Disco
3. Downtown - Mackelmore (not sick of this one either, sorry)
4. Freedom  - Pharrell Williams
5.  Marathon - Jamie N Commons
6. Broadcast Live - T. I.
7. Like a Boy- Ciara
8. Devil - Cash Cash
9. No Twerk - Apashe
10. What the DJ Says - Empire Cast

Enjoy! And comment with some music suggestions for me(: 

Also if you're a fellow runner, some tips right now would be FANTASTIC! (help.)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Product Review: Alive & Radiant: Kale & Veggie Krunch

Everyone who knows me personally is familiar with my obsession with vegetables, specifically kale.  The fixation is real; my mom even calls me "Kale"; it's that bad/sad.
The gang
If you're a friend or acquaintance of mine, our first experience with me eating kale was probably eating it as a salad like a baby dinosaur, watching me with disgust as I threw it into my smoothie, or whipping out a bag of kale chips with a spoon so I could scoop out every last crumb.  I was probably also explaining to you, with kale in my teeth, about my Vitamin K deficiency blah blah blah greens blah blah blah bruising easily/randomly, and so on.

I came to the realization that I found that I like to justify my love of kale for health reasons, which are true, but I just actually like it.  It was through a deficiency that my obsession grew, and I wanted to find more and more ways to incorporate veggies, specifically my leafy green buddy kale, into my diet.

A lot of people I know think it is a disgusting food, and, frankly, if you can't handle a small, bitter bite to your veggies, I don't recommend it.  I think it is good, but everyone has their preferences.  I do recommend this brand of kale chips, though, that I order by the caseload (sorry, wallet).  Even if you don't like kale foods and recipes, these chips are incredible.  That bitter taste is nonexistent.  Although you can make your own in the oven, you are depleting the vegetable of it's essential nutrients through the heat of cooking.

Alive & Radiant does not fry or cook their products; they are raw in the sense that they "dehydrate" them.  They put them through a machine that basically dries them out and makes sure you don't lose the nutritional benefits.  Then, they add flavors to them in order to make them taste even better than just plain!   The way they flavor is through cashews, which is great for those who have dairy issues or are vegan.

I won a contest with them on Facebook (check out their page here; there are tons!).  I am reviewing the products they sent me via this contest (although I am already too familiar with their products).  I haven't found a flavor I do not like.  I was not sent every flavor available, so you should check out their website here for what is out there.

Here is what they sent me!

I love every flavor, and I definitely recommend it as a great way to bring your veggies along with you especially with a busy lifestyle.  They satisfy any chip craving, and you get a lot of bang for your buck diet-wise. If you're not interested in buying online, I know that a lot of Whole Foods Markets have them. 

Southwest Ranch Flavor
This flavor is perfect for those who love the taste of ranch, but don't want to ruin that with a fatty, creamy dressing.  It has that nice ranch "tang" and satisfies that chip craving we all get once in awhile. 

Cheezy Chipotle Flavor
I like this flavor a lot, especially when I am in the mood for salsa!  This has a nice cheesey flavor while keeping a bit of a spice kick at each bite.  I feel like I get to eat queso while not worrying about my arteries clogging with that fake cheese you usually get to make it.

Superfood Flavor
This flavor is awesome for those of you who like just plain, salty chips.  I like that it packs a superfood punch with spirulina, maca, and chia.  You get a lot of essential fats this way.  They even have a spicy version of this, which is the same essential flavor with that spicy kick you taste in cheezy chipotle.

Teriyaki Greens Veggie Krunch

I have no idea why, but the fact that this one has teriyaki flavor always makes me pair it with sushi when I have it.  I love that combination.  It has a sweet and salty (due to the spices and coconut) essence that makes it the perfect midday snack that captures both cravings in one sitting.

My personal favorite: Quite Cheezy flavor
This one is the flavor that I constantly crave.  It is a rich, cheddary flavor that goes with literally everything imaginable: your favorite sandwich, your favorite salad, or just by itself!  I love eating this one, and I honestly have not gotten sick of it after eating this flavor for years.  I love cheddar flavored things, but I have issues with dairy (and cheddar is one of the worst for you if you are sensitive to it).  This was the perfect solution for me, along with all of the healthy benefits I get from eating the chips. 

I would like to say that I divide the bags into servings, but, in all honesty, I finish them all mostly in one sitting.  I told you- this is a real addiction.

Thank you for the free case from the contest, Alive & Radiant!!! Much love, and keep it up!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Healthy Meal Prep: My "Kitchen Sink" Approach to Packing Meals

You were a good consumer this past weekend.  Not only did you grocery shop, you bought healthy and wholesome food to last you this week (since you are too busy throughout the week to go back to the store). 

Now, Wednesday and Thursday have rolled around.  Now, you've come home after a long day of work and school, and you open the fridge to only find a random assortment of what's left of your grocery list.  A few carrots, a handful of spinach, some hummus, a piece of chicken left over from dinner last night, a few berries, etc.  You have no idea what to do for the meals you need to pack the rest of the week.  You don't want to undo your healthy eating with fast food nor do you want to resort to the cafeteria during your break.  Plus, you spent a decent amount of money at the store and planned for a week of good eating.  Also, these handfuls of random food would be wasteful to throw away, even though none of them alone would constitute as a meal.

...So. What do you do?

This is the time to get creative.  I love calling this the "kitchen sink" approach.  Basically, you throw together the leftovers of what you bought at the store to create things like salads or breakfast bowls.  Here is where your kitchen staples, like dressing, lemon juice, and protein powder/oatmeal come in.  Here are a few examples of what I did on a Thursday when I had only a few random ingredients left over from my grocery run.


Protein Oatmeal with Toppings
 What I had to work with:
  • oats (staple)
  • protein powder (staple)
  • a few berries 
  • some sunflower seed cocoa cookies (2)
I cooked the oats, mixed in some powder with water, then topped with the rest of the berries I had in my fridge.  I wanted some crunch, so I found some small whole grain, cocoa flavored sunflower seed cookies that I crumbled on top.  That's it!


"Kitchen sink" salad
What I had to work with:
  • a handful of broccoli slaw
  • 1/4 of a cucumber
  • 5 carrots
  • a few leaves of lettuce
  • a chicken patty leftover from dinner the other night
  • hummus (staple)
  • lemon juice (staple)
All I did was put the veggies (some needed to be chopped) and protein (chopped up the chicken as well) into a salad container, put hummus on the top, then squeezed lemon juice all over the ingredients.  The lemon juice helps break up the hummus (which is what I used as a dressing, per se) while adding flavor and preserving freshness of the veggies.  When I ate this, all I had to do was salt and pepper.  You could do that ahead of time, too.

What are some creative on-the-go meals you have come up with?  Comment below!

Also, if you have some ingredients you want to get rid of and need ideas on how to use them, comment on this post!  I could give you some help(:

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Health and Safety: Should cell phones be banned entirely while driving? / How to recover (physically) to get into activity again

Yes, I have been busy with graduate school, moving out, and work, and my posts have been limited this month because of it.  As of September, expect me to ramp it up; I promise.  One of the reasons that I have written less is something I will explain in this post.

First Portion of this Post: 

Up until a few days ago, I thought that I have taken a safe approach to driving.  We have it ingrained in us to never text and drive, whether you saw that nerve-wrecking AT&T commercial, a TV show where a character was killed because of texting and driving (Glee, anyone?), or signs on the road that serve as a reminder over and over again.

Personally, I thought because I do not use my cell phone to text while driving, I labeled myself as a safe driver.  I think the focus should be shifted to awareness on cell phone use as a whole being banned or at least that the idea that people should be more aware of how distracting phones are when being used in the vehicle for any purpose.  I'm talking hands-free talking and, in my case, GPS.  Let me explain.

(Before I begin, please keep an open mind and understand that I have been struggling with what happened a little bit.  It is a little difficult to talk about, but I think it is important enough to bring up and share.  I was ignorant previously about safety, and I am taking an active approach to never let this situation happen again now that I am aware and informed.  I feel guilty about the situation, even though I am constantly remind myself as well as being reminded by EVERYONE around me, lol, that it was a car accident, emphasis on the meaning of the word accident. I'm getting over some shame, anxiety, guilt, anger-at myself, and some other emotions, so understand I am a little embarassed to share this with you all, too.  It is an important issue I want to spread awareness about, though.)  

Here we go:
I have been going to a new school, and driving there has been an adjustment because I am not used to the route and need directions.  I know by now how to get to my new college from my house, but I was leaving a doctor's appointment a few days ago (on the day of my accident).  I put my GPS on my phone before I began to drive in order to help me with the route from my doctor's office to my new school.  I made sure the phone was loud enough so I may hear the voice tell me when to turn, etc.

Long story short, I did not stop in time when I realized the cars ahead of me were stopped, and I slammed on the brakes.  I got into a 3 car collision, and, instead of going to my first graduate class, I totaled my family's car and spent the night in the ER hysterical for the others that were involved.  I couldn't bear the idea that this accident happened, although I know now and am still trying to make myself realize it was only an accident.  Everyone was okay, and I, thankfully, was the one that got the worst of the collision (just banged up and discharged that night), but it was definitely a lesson learned that I want to bring this to everyone's attention because of my ignorance about the risks of hands-free use of phones in the car.

I am not sure why this happened, but I can guarantee that the risks of me getting into an accident would have been reduced if I had memorized and written down the directions ahead of time (and pulled over to look at them whenever I forgot my way) rather than using a GPS and listening to it.

There are some arguments on why hands-free devices are okay, but I read a recent study that although your hands are free and you think your focus is on the road, your attention and your mind are not on the task your ultimately trying to perform (driving).  For instance, when some argue that talking to someone hands-free is the same as having a passenger, when that is not the case.  The study showed that having a passenger is different because the passenger is also paying attention to the road and sees when obstacles are happening during driving rather versus conversing with someone who is doing something else entirely on the other line (i.e. watching television, cooking, etc).

If you are interested, click here to read up on some arguments on cells on the road. They list both pros, cons, and why. It is just an interesting read.

My point is not to say that cell phones should be banned, or that hands-free should be banned.  Honestly, I am not sure where I stand.  All I know is that it is definitely a personal stance/promise that I am making to take every precaution now that I have experienced this and am aware.

My purpose today is to spread awareness about the risks of hands-free use.  I was ignorant a few days ago of the distractions this could possibly cause.  Now, I know this, and I will never put myself in the situation where a cellular phone is a contributor to a possible accident.  I will make a bigger effort to make sure I know where I am going ahead of time, for example, like I listed earlier with written and memorized directions.  If I am lost, I will pull over and look them up or something to that nature.

I am still shakey as I get back into driving, and I am still sore, but I am incredibly lucky.  It was a terrifying experience, but it is a lesson learned.  I hope that this post will help you all be more aware of this issue.  I understand if you judge me for what happened, but I can tell you right now (although I know and am reminding myself it was only an accident) I am still judging myself for it.  This does not do anyone, including myself, any good.  I now have learned from it, and I will push forward as a safer person on the road.

Second Portion of this Post:
Here are a few tips of how to recover from something, like an accident or becoming injured from a life event, when you lead an active lifestyle.  I am not a physician, so please note this, so these are just personal tips and guidelines that I gave myself as I have recovered from this.
  1. Listen to your doctor.  What they say, goes.  Although you want to get back on the horse, nothing is more important than recovering and getting yourself back to health.  It does not make sense to ignore your doctor and try to push yourself through an injury, even if it seems you are not hurting or can push through it.  If your body went through a trauma, you have no clue what has done to your mentally or internally.  If you were prescribed something for the pain, take it, and feel good enough to exercise again, your judgement may be clouded.  Your body may not be ready, yet.  Your doctor, on the other hand, does.  If you want to become active once more and have no clue when they recommend when to start up again, ask them upfront.
  2. Take some recovery time.  Relax.  Focus on yourself mentally.  
  3. Listen to your body.  Let's say you have taken the time off, you are not taking any prescriptions for the pain, you feel ready to start exercising. If you start to exercise and something does not feel right or starts to hurt, STOP. 
  4. Think about the best way to jump back into things.  Plan your routine ahead of time.  I suggest low impact exercise and to avoid anything that involves something that was sore previously.  I wouldn't even touch that area until a week or even longer after it does not feel sore any longer, to be safe.  I would consider even shortening your usual routine.  You may want to do cardio, for instance, for your usual hour.  Reduce it to 30 min or 45 min maybe.  Follow up with your doctor on what they recommend, too.
    1. Things that are low impact exercises: walking, elliptical, biking, mind-body yoga (with caution, if something does not feel right or may strain an injury, avoid it or modify it.  let your yoga instructor know before class begins what happened and what they think)
      1. Yoga is what I recommend more for your mind than for your body.  Yes, it has that movement aspect, but it can help calm your mind and put you into a place of peace that you may need in order to mentally/emotionally feel better.
  5. Nourish yourself correctly.  Eat wholesome foods, and eat enough each day.  You may have decreased appetite due to stress, but that is okay.  Try your best. Your body needs the calories to repair your body.  Although you may not be exercising, your body may be using hunger to cue you to keep eating because a) your metabolism does not drop just because you decrease your activity level for a few days and b) your body may need extra nutrition to repair.  
  6. Stay hydrated.  It is important for your body to be not only nourished by food but by water as well.   
 Thank you all for listening to the story, and I appreciate you keeping an open mind on this matter.  Stay well, and stay safe everyone!

What are your opinions on this matter?  Will you make more of an effort, if you do use hands-free, to not after reading this? Do you have any recovery tips to share? Comment below.  

Monday, August 10, 2015

Healthy Habits: Baby Steps to the Most Important Meal of the Day

I had one of my class attendees come up to me three minutes prior to a cycle tabata as I was taking attendance and stuffing my face with oatmeal and ask how I was eating breakfast so close to our class.  I was a little surprised at this question at first, but it made me remember I couldn't stomach breakfast unless it was a small morsel of food, no less before exercise, for a very long time.  She told me how she takes extremely early classes, but she also feels sick if she eats beforehand.  Consequently, she consumes food post-exercise and feels the same result.  Sound familiar?

I am not a nutritionist, but I did go to one while I was training for my first half marathon two or so years ago.  I had no clue what to eat before runs, during runs, or at all throughout the day for recovery.  I was clueless.  I have a few tips for you, even if you aren't a runner, on how to incorporate breakfast and slowly ease it into your diet.

When you exercise, you need to have something in your stomach, bottom line.  It doesn't matter if it is a small snack.  When you think about it, your body is at rest and hasn't eaten in 6-12 hours, depending on the person.  If you get up to exercise in the morning or to start your day in general, where does your energy come from?  People forget that calories=energy.  If you have a good, clean start with some healthy breakfast options, you will have better mornings with more energy through your daily activities or increased performance during your workouts. 

It is the most important meal of the day for a lot of reasons:  boosts your metabolism, makes you less likely to binge later in the day, et cetera.  Many use it as an opportunity to cut calories out of their day, but the consequence is that you eat more later and are starving.  You have more control over your appetite with small, healthy, and reasonably portioned meals rather than skipping.

I have devised a suggestion for how to start eating breakfast.  Again, I am not a nutritionist, but these are some guidelines on how I began to start eating breakfast which became an essential routine for me now.  I have a good breakfast every single day, and I definitely wake up hungry now when I couldn't stomach it before.

Week 1 Options:
(start small with easily digestible foods)
  • piece of fruit
    • best choice: banana (easiest to digest and calms the stomach, good source of carbs and natural sugar)
  •  glass of juice
    • best choice: orange juice, no sugar added (look at your ingredients!) 
  • half a smoothie
    • 1/2 a cup greek yogurt or protein powder, ice, splash of your milk of choice, with a handful of frozen fruit and a half a banana (frozen is best)
      • eat the other half after your workout or later that morning!
  •  mini energy bar, chews, or "goo
    • examples: GU/clif goo packet or sport beans/chews (before a workout), mini clif bars, cut a kind bar in half, luna bar in half (eat the other half after workout)
Week 2:
  • hard boiled eggs with fruit
  • whole grain cereal (1 serving, half a serving) with milk of choice and 1 serving to half a serving of fruit
  •  energy bar (full)
  • 1 piece of toast with peanut butter (or nut butter alternative) and sliced banana 
  • egg white or egg omelet with goat cheese or avocado and veggies inside
  • overnight oats (half before workout, half after)
    • put plain oats in a container with milk night before eating, add toppings like yogut, cereal, nuts, fruit, cacao nibs, protein powder etc
 Week 3:
  • greek yogurt with nuts, handful of cereal, fruit
  • full serving of cereal, milk of choice, fruit
  • full smoothie
  • oatmeal with choice of toppings
    • my favorite: 1 tbs of pb with 1 tbs of no sugar added jam or chopped fruit and a scoop of protein powder with chopped fruit on top
  • overnight oats (full) 
  • 1 piece of toast with avocado smashed on top with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and one or two eggs however you like them!
 Now, if you're still getting used to a certain "week", just continue it until you're ready for more food in your stomach.  Even I have a hard time eating week 3 type of breakfast at a 5 am workout, so for something that early, I would choose something from week one and recover with something from week two afterwards.  It is all about balance(:

If you want more suggestions, or have on of your own, comment below!  I hope this helps you all become major breakfast eaters like myself!  Just be patient, and don't be afraid to experiment to see what types of food work best for you.