A Recipe and Exciting News!

Hi all you few people that read my blog!🙂

I’m currently enjoying a nice glass of wine and some couch time with Nate and thought I pop in to say hello! My first week of training went really well! I ran 7 miles outside in the BITTER COLD! It was 11 degrees when I started and 12 when I finally finished. I was glad to get it done, though, and I’m even more excited for this weekend! It’s supposed to be a high of 50 on Saturday! Woop! My IT band has been tight, but I am working on strengthening my glute-med and doing some extra stretching and rolling.

On Sunday night, I was craving something warm and comforting, so I made miso soup! Here are the three base ingredients I use, and then I add whatever else I’m feeling like for the day.


The Hondashi calls for 1 packet per 2 1/2 cups of boiling water. Then I add 1Tbsp of Miso per cup of water. While I’m waiting for the water to boil, I put the dried seaweed in a bowl of cold water and it GROWS! So be careful! You don’t need nearly as much as you think. I didn’t have any tofu on hand, so I boiled some black bean noodles instead for my protein. I added those and some mushrooms and continued to soft-boil until the mushrooms were cooked. I added some green onions and it was ready to go! Once you have your base, you really can add whatever vegetables and proteins you want!


Miso Soup


  • 1 packet Hondashi
  • 2-3 T Miso
  • 2 1/2 c water
  • 1 T dried seaweed
  • 3 baby bella mushrooms
  • 2oz black bean noodles
  • 2 T green onions


Boil water. Add 1 packet of hondashi (follow directions on packet for packet-to-water ratios). Add Miso. While boiling, add seaweed to a bowl of cold water. Add mushrooms and cooked black bean noodles to soup stock. Add seaweed once it’s re-hydrated. Soft-boil until mushrooms are cooked. Add green onions and serve!

Now for the exciting news…. I bought my materials to get my ACE Group Exercise Certification!

ACEIn order to teach classes at the gym I currently work at, I have to have my Group Ex Cert. I have been there 10 months and I am finally ready to commit to studying and taking the test. Honestly, I haven’t done it because I simply was SCARED. I am scared I am going to fail the test! I am excited that I finally took the step and I hope I am teaching classes very SOON!

I also bought some amazing Brooks socks at Marshall’s yesterday!

brookssocksThe training socks on the left were only $5.99 and the race day ones were $4.99!

Well, I am about to dominate some Chicken Enchilada Soup! I should probably share that recipe too. Maybe next Tuesday. Oh, here are my workouts this week:

Monday – 4 miles, 3 rounds of: 50 squat with cable row, 50 kb swings, 50 plate switches, 50 jack press

Tuesday – Back and Biceps, 40 min cycle

Wednesday – 4-5 miles speedwork

Thursday – Pilates and 2 mile easy run

Friday – swim 1 mile

Saturday – 7 mile run

Alright, I’m out! Have a great night! xo, Maren

1/2 Marathon Training!

Hi all,

One of my goals is to write here more often. I have so many things I could talk about! I just need to get more organized with my thoughts so I don’t BLAB. Anyway, I signed up for Rock the Parkway again this year and I am SO excited! Here we are last year after finishing:

RTP Finishers

I need something to work towards. My ultimate goal this year is to NOT get injured. Getting injured always sets me back for up to 5 months and it’s just not worth it! Here’s my weekly training plan. I’ll be on the lower end in the beginning and the higher end closer to the race which is April 11.

Monday – 3-5 easy miles
Tuesday – GPP
Wednesday – 4-6 speed/tempo miles
Thursday – 2-3 easy miles/pilates/GPP
Friday – swim
Saturday – long run 7-12 miles
Sunday – REST!

So, some of my goals for this training plan are:

1. Fuel properly. This means NO booze the night before my long run. Unfortunately this also means no drinking on Friday nights. That may be difficult, but I REALLY want to be successful this time around and that unfortunately means I have to make some sacrifices!

2. Foam roll on every running day! Also, spend 20-30 minutes on Saturdays after my run stretching and rolling. I know this will help prevent injury. I was actually pretty good about this last year while training, so it shouldn’t be too difficult!

3. Rest if I’m tired! Adding the extra miles always makes me sleepy. I need to make sure I am getting enough rest and resting on my non-running days if I feel like I need to.

Hope to be back soon!

xo, Maren

Sweet Potato Lasagna

Hi all! I am finally updating my blog because I have an awesome new recipe to share. I had lots of requests for the recipe, so I thought it would force me to actually post for once. As I was freezing at work all day yesterday, I started looking for a warm, comforting recipe for dinner. I was browsing Pinterest and I came upon this recipe  from Stupid Easy Paleo. Since I don’t eat beef or pork, I thought I would tweak it to make it my own. I added more vegetables and switched out the pork for ground turkey breast. I also used sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash since they are so much easier to cut!🙂 Here’s the recipe:

– 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
– 1 yellow onion, chopped
– 1 green pepper, chopped
– 1 cup baby bella mushrooms
– 1.25 lbs ground turkey breast
– 1-2 medium organic sweet potatoes, finely sliced
– 1/2 cup black olives, optional
– 1 can trader joe’s organic tomato sauce
– 18oz jar trader joe’s traditional marinara sauce
– 4 eggs
– 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
– 9×13 in glass pan

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. chop and saute onion and peppers in choice of oil at medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside
3. In the same pan, add ground turkey breast and cook until fully cooked. Add mushrooms and cook a couple minutes longer
4. While meat is cooking, prepare your sweet potatoes. Try and slice very thinly or else they won’t cook!
5. Add vegetables back into the pan and mix. Add marinara and tomato sauce into pan and mix thoroughly.
6. Crack and mix up 4 eggs in a bowl. Add nutritional yeast to the eggs
7. Now, it’s time to layer your lasagna. Add a small amount of the sauce mixture to the bottom of your pan. Then, add a layer of the thinly sliced sweet potatoes. I made my bottom layer pretty thick with sweet potatoes. Then layer 1/3 of the sauce mixture. Next, add 1/3 of the egg mixture. Repeat these steps 2 more times. Note: I added less sweet potatoes in the 2nd and 3rd layers and I still felt like there was a TON of sweet potato in the dish.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes
9. Serve on top of a huge bed of spinach and enjoy!

Note: you can use real cheese instead of nutritional yeast if you want, but this makes it dairy free. The eggs help keep everything together better and with the nutritional yeast, it adds a cheesy look and flavor!


Starting fresh…

This weekend Nate and I went to Omaha Beer Fest and had an absolutely amazing time! Even though I was seriously missing my BLEND’s, I still had a great time! Beer Fest was held at Stinson Park, which is walking distance from our place. How convenient, right?! We sampled WAY too many different types of beers, then went and had some sushi, which I honestly barely remember. 

It’s two days later now and I am STILL feeling down about Saturday. It’s so weird. I remember my friend Amber used to get “two day hangovers” where she would be SO down in the dumps and felt like she couldn’t get out of it and I am feeling the exact same way! I am so sluggish today and my workout was pathetic. Yesterday, I had CPR training from 8-1 and then worked until 6, so it was an incredibly long day. I sat there feeling fat, hungover, and depressed all day at work and decided I no longer can do this to myself. It’s not fair to me or to anyone around me. 

I’ve decided to cut sugar back out of my diet. I don’t eat a lot of sugar anyway, but I have totally gone back to gum. I chew almost a pack a day again. I did SO well cutting it out, but ever since I moved back to Omaha and started working at the gym, I got addicted again! It’s going to be so hard for me to cut out sugar, but I know it’s going to help with my mood. All I did was want sugar and carbs yesterday. It’s not fun at all. I am also going to try and cut back on the drinking. I don’t drink excessively, but I look forward to a drink at the end of the day and that usually turns into 2-3 drinks. It’s got to stop. I work SO hard in the gym and eat so healthy and then booze just negates all of my hard work!

So here I am putting it in writing that I am DONE with treating my body like shit. It’s time to treat myself better so I can feel better! Here’s to a new day, a new outlook. Now I just need the damn sun to shine!



It’s a dreary Tuesday afternoon over here and I’m sitting with the fireplace on underneath a heavy blanket. WHAT?! Hard to believe when it was 76 and sunny yesterday. After a cut-back week on my training plan last week, I’m back at it again this week. Here’s what this week looks like:

Monday – 3 miles plus a variation of Monday’s GPP workout (I didn’t have a box)

Tuesday – 30 min stair climber, 15 min elliptical, a light back workout

Wednesday – 5 mile tempo run

Thursday – 3 easy miles, and teaching Tabata at the Y!!!

Friday – Hopefully an upper body workout

Saturday – 10 miles

Sunday – REST!

I am still nursing this rib injury, so I am taking it easy lifting. I am losing muscle like crazy. It’s been 2 1/2 weeks and I feel so weak already. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get an upper body workout in Friday, but we’ll see. I plan to have an active rest day Sunday since it’s supposed to be nice again this weekend! I cannot wait! We were teased so bad yesterday with nice weather and now it’s crappy again today!

Anyway, I wanted to post about a new website I read about on Bonnie‘s IG this morning! I headed over to liftweightsfaster.com after seeing Bonnie’s post and I watched the video that showed some lifting variations for squats, push-ups, and dead lifts. I just love finding NEW ways to do common moves! You should definitely check it out if you haven’t yet.

Also, I don’t want to jinx it, but I MAY have found a job! I am going to be teaching some classes at the Y and I am hoping to be doing more than that!! I’ve got lots of great ideas and I’m hoping to make this the best summer EVER! More to come🙂

xo, Maren

Question of the day: Favorite variation of common exercises?

I cannot wait for…

sunrise boot camp



























1. Sunrise boot camps

2. Sweaty workouts

3. GREEN!!!

4. Shorts and sandals. But more importantly, a pedicure and a tan

5. Summer nights

6. 7. 8. 9. FRESH food…and marshmallows

10. 11. 12. Wedding season!

13. 14. Cold drinks

Me and everyone else across the country cannot WAIT any longer for spring and summer. It’s been such a brutal winter, so before I head out for my 4 miler in 20 degree (but feels like 1) weather, I thought I’d warm my soul with some colorful pictures. I’ve been spending my days with my 1/2 marathon training plan, unpacking boxes, and looking for jobs. Once I get the apartment in one piece, I will post pictures! I promise to get back to more regular blogging soon.

xo, Maren

Banana Quinoa Muffins

Happy Wednesday! I am so glad I waited until after lunch to write my post. I woke up this morning cranky and unmotivated, but forced myself to get my 4 mile speed-work in at lunch and wow do I feel GREAT now! My IT band has been super tight after Saturday’s long run, so I was worried about it, but two days of rest, excessive amounts of icing and lots of foam rolling and I’m feeling almost normal. Crazy what RICE does for you.

Last night I caught myself in a little bit of a binge, but I was glad I recognized it, voiced it to some friends, and moved on. It made me wake up in a grouchy, “hungover” mood! Stupid food and the power it has over us! The rest of my day is going to include an upper body workout, running to pick up the new quest bar (!!!), shoveling, and packing my little heart out.

Anyway, I am blogging because Monday night I made these delicious muffins that I adapted from Anne over at fannetasticfood.com. Here’s my recipe below:

Quinoa Banana Muffins – Makes 24 small muffins

banana quinoa muffins

Dry Ingredients:


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup peanut flour (I get mine at iherb. Use my code PBR654 for $5-10 off!)
  • ½ cup protein powder (I used Plant Fusion Vanilla Bean from iherb)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup egg whites
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 t vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.
  3. Add wet to dry and stir until combined.
  4. Spoon evenly into two greased muffin tins.
  5. Bake for 17-20 minutes. Fork test.

Note: Mine kind of burned around the edges. It didn’t affect the flavor at all, but they were super dark. Next time, I am going to bake them at 350 for a little longer and see if that helps. I’ll update this if needed.

Look how fluffy they are!

Look how fluffy they are!

Enjoy and let me know if you try them!🙂

xo, Maren


I’ve wanted to be a consistent blogger for the past 3 years, but I can never seem to make anything of it. Nate and I are moving AGAIN. This will be 3 cities in less than 3 years, so I’m not exactly nostalgic towards “things”. People however? This is going to be tough. I never thought I’d move back to Grand Island, but here I am. Happy. I have a great job. I love all of the people I’ve met and developed relationships with, and I honestly do not want to start over again. I know Omaha will be a great opportunity for Nate and for me, but it doesn’t make leaving these amazing people any easier. I decided I am going to write this so I can keep in touch with all of the amazing people I’ve met over the last year and a half.

This blog will consist of my daily rambles about fitness and food, as well as what I am up to in  Omaha while I’m job searching (and soul searching).

Saturday, Nate and I had plans to search for an apartment to live in, but I had to get an 8 miler in before that. Of course it snowed 2” the night before, but I knew if I didn’t go right out, I wouldn’t fit it in all weekend. I headed to my favorite place, Lake Zorinsky, and busted out 8 snowy miles in 1:13. Not bad for fresh, slick snow. After I finished, I showered quick and we were off to search. We ended up finding a really nice place in Aksarben! But I basically didn’t drink an ounce of water all day and ended up with a SUPER tight IT band on Sunday morning. I took Sunday and yesterday off from all exercise and I am feeling much better this morning.

I started today out with teaching 5:15am cycling and then subbed for Mel at 6. Nothing like coming back to teach back-to-back and burning 1000 calories before 7am! J Here’s what the rest of my workout week looks like:

Monday: unplanned rest

Tuesday: teach 2 cycling classes, CX WORX

Wednesday: 4 miles speed work, lift chest/tri’s

Thursday: teach cycling, 3 mile easy run, possibly lift back/bi’s

Friday: teach tabata

Saturday: 8 mile run SLOW

Sunday: off

I say slow because I clearly pushed it WAY too hard last week and then paid for it by having to miss my run yesterday. I am training for Rock the Parkway ½ marathon on April 12th, so I will slowly be building up my mileage. I’ll be running on Mon, Wed, Thurs, and Saturdays.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. I’ve got a yummy recipe I’m making tomorrow, so I’ll get it up on the blog Thursday!

Xoxo, Maren

Blend Retreat Day 1

Hi all! I am so excited to share my weekend in Park City, Utah at the 2013 Blend Retreat! First of all, I need to shout THANK YOU!!! at the top of my lungs to Janetha, Lindsay, and Katie (and their friends and fam) for all of their ridiculously hard work. Without them busting their booties, Blend never would have been so amazing! Anyway, I am going to do this in 3 posts so it’s not so long. Plus I have a very small attention span, so yea.

Amber and I woke up at like 3 something to catch our 6am flight out of Omaha! We drove to Omaha the night before and stayed at our friend’s house so we didn’t have to leave at like 1am. When we got to the airport, we met up with Amanda who lives in Lincoln!

Amber and I excited to leave Omaha

Amber and I excited to leave Omaha

We landed in Salt Lake City around 7:30am (they’re an hour behind us) picked up our bags and then went to go get our rental car. I ended up getting a Nissan Rogue. It wasn’t too bad, but the non-tinted windows drove me nuts😉

Our ride for the weekend

Our ride for the weekend

We were all starving so I took to my Urbanspoon App on my phone and the first thing that popped up was Penny Ann’s Cafe! We thought the menu looked good and it was super close to the airport, so we headed that way. When we pulled up, we saw that it was in an apartment building, but the entryway was cute, so we went on in!

Penny Ann's

We were greeted by a SUPER friendly waiter and some coffee right away. We all looked over the menu and I decided to go with an omelet. There is not a single restaurant in Grand Island that serves avocado with their omelets. I was seriously in heaven! I’ve also gotten dirty looks when I ask for egg whites. The server didn’t think two things of it! It was awesome!

Egg white veggie omelet

Egg white veggie omelet

I got to choose 5 different toppings to put in my omelet. I don’t remember what I all chose, but the combo was perfect! The potato things on the other hand were not very good. They had like no flavor! I was bummed!

After we ate, I called Candice (after creepin on the Blend fb page for her number) and we met up with her and Meg to go get pedicures!

Our pretty toes!

Our pretty toes!

(Candice’s pic)

After we got our toes done, it was GPP time! I can’t even describe how excited I was to FINALLY get to go to the GPP gym! I have been following (sort of) their workouts for a long time! On the agenda for the day was the BAT Medley. Crazy because I actually did this workout last fall when they posted it on Halloween!



Inside the gym

Inside the gym

We started the workout promptly at noon and Neil Anderson, the owner, led the class. I was so excited to finally meet him! I seriously felt like I already knew him since I’ve watched so many of their demonstration videos and seen him on Janetha’s blog so much!


After the workout, we headed to Park City to the Hyatt Escala Lodge to check in! And wow, is this place amazing!

Hyatt Escala Lodge

Hyatt Escala Lodge

(Hyatt’s facebook picture)

They were having a happy hour sponsored by Attune Foods and some Justin’s Nut Butter to top on our amazing graham crackers from Attune so we went and checked in super quick and then came back down to meet some chicks! From the second I walked in, I was lookin for my girl Janetha! Finally when we got back down I spotted her! I wish I could have had a picture because I think it was the biggest hug I’ve ever had in my life! I was SO SO SO excited to meet Janetha finally in person! She has been SUCH an inspiration to me over the past 3+ years! Everything I know about healthy living is because of her…seriously.

Janetha and me!!!

Janetha and me!!!

Ahhh so happy🙂 After the snack break, we went upstairs and got ready for the cocktail hour. Amber and I both brought super dressy clothes and I was so excited to get all dazzled up since we don’t really get to do that EVER in GI!

Amber and me

Amber and me

The cocktail hour was hosted by Silk! They made some awesome cocktails (so I heard) but since there was cab, I was all over that! I can’t help my wine addiction😉 Amber and I hooked up with our new friend Paula! She is a total Cali (Valley) girl that has the biggest heart! Love this girl times a million!! xoxo Can’t wait til Amber and I can go visit her!!

Amber, Paula, and me

Amber, Paula, and me

(Paula’s pic)

They had tons of veggies, spring rolls, blackbean burgers (the bomb) and peanut sauce! I loved it all

My appetizers and of course wine

My appetizers and of course wine

After the cocktail hour, we headed to the Blend Dinner! The hotel served us a buffet of all sorts of goodies! There was halibut, chicken, quinoa burgers with mushrooms and sauce, bulgur wheat salad, lettuce salad, etc.

Neil, the owner of GPP, and me!

The buffet line

But the best part was of course the dessert!! I knew it all had dairy in it and I was SO incredibly full, but I had to try the tarts!

Our dessert options

Our dessert options

(Paula’s picture)

After dessert and being uncomfortably full, Amber and I headed back up to our room to check out our swag!! We didn’t really have time to go through it before, so instead of going to bed like we should have, we stayed up and went through all of it. I seriously felt SO spoiled! I cannot believe how many amazing companies supported the blend retreat! The picture below is seriously only half of it!


We finally hit the beds about 10 pm (11 our time). We had to get a good night’s sleep before our 7 am bootcamp!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

xoxo, Maren

Update and a Recipe

Hi all and Happy Friday!! The sun is FINALLY shining here after an entire week of clouds and rain. At least it hasn’t been too cold. It’s finally nice today and I plan to spend the afternoon/evening outside! I just wanted to send a quick update on how my week off from working out has been going. I kept really busy all week outside of work so I really didn’t miss working out. But today when I was preparing for my cycling class tomorrow morning, I really wanted to work out. I think it’s because I know I will work out again tomorrow, but I really miss it! I needed this week off and (shocker!!) I didn’t gain 10 pounds! I learned to listen to my hunger cues more and not worry about whether or not I needed to eat before and after my workout (I probably don’t need to most days). Hopefully I can remind myself to think back to this week off when I am struggling with eating/working out. I also really enjoyed spending the extra time with Nate. I feel like we don’t spend enough time together and it was so nice to be with him all night during the week!

Anyway, today, I went to lunch with my old gf Christine and her baby Zoey! Isn’t she a doll?!


Zoey and I at Hunan’s

We went to Hunan’s which is where Christine worked in high school! She wouldn’t let me take a picture of her. She is getting married in July in Florida and since it’s the same day as Tana’s and I’m in Tana’s, I won’t be able to make it.😦 Bummer, but she is having a reception in August back here! This summer is going to be crazy with weddings!

So, I do have a super easy recipe for a nice detox drink that I have every morning. I stole this recipe from Kasey at Powercakes and it’s now a staple in my diet! I’ve got my roomie Amber and my friend Susan hooked on it too!

ACV Morning Mixer


  • 8-16oz water
  • 1 TBSP Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg’s)
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 10-14 drops vanilla liquid stevia (I use NuNaturals)
Ingredients minus lemon

Ingredients minus lemon

Mix in a container, add ice and drink 30 minutes before breakfast!

photo (79)

Enjoy! I hope you all have a great weekend! I’m out!