Let there be Travel and Running {$500 Giveaway}

The downside to travel is once you’ve gotten accustomed to the thrill of running, hiking, eating, exploring new places…well home can seem a tad hum drum.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a home body and LOVE to enjoy time here with David. I don’t need to go out during the week or feel the need to constantly talk to people. But traveling once a month seems good for my whole outlook, maybe it’s because I work from home…I need to be freed once a month to shake off the cobwebs!
Vacation Planning for IcelandPOUND THE ALARM
Oh, oh, oh, come fill my glass up a little more
We ’bout to get up, and burn this floor
You know we getting hotter, and hotter

Well thank you Miss Minaji for setting the tone for my fun announcements!!!! I was starting to notice my calendar looking a little barren…just a trip to Iceland? Geez that’s all I have to look forward to. I kid. Mostly. Kind of.

Bex then came at me with this amazing mantra focusing on growing business and it reminded me to re-frame not only what matters, but what I expect. The results… well now here’s my travel schedule:

Aug – My birthday month, planning a local weekend getaway
Sept – Iceland and Caribbean Cruise
Oct – Czech Republic
Nov – Guatemala (99%)
Dec – I’m totally out of vacation, but maybe we can visit family!
Jan – We should be moving…fingers crossed.

The pro and con of all this travel is the black hole of planning which I seem to get sucked in to! I get so excited about what’s coming that I can’t decide which things to do first…hence the benefit of the press trips!

Plus oh YEAH I spend my whole week writing about travel, so I’ve learned all kinds of tips and tricks and can parlay my research in to really helpful articles.
Travel quotes to inspire youTRAVEL TIPSY DO DAH
Lately I’ve been cranking out stories over on Vacation.com and I thought a few of them might be useful for you guys. Ok tooting my own horn they are useful, but these especially.

Starting things off…can you guess which of these I might be going on?? Fitness vacations for adults>>
9 Fitness Vacations for the active adult - from skiing to climbing to running to yoga!

Next up what I learned from my repeat motion sickness at sea and how it’s getting better!!6 tips for managing motion sickness during a cruise - personally tested!For my pet loving friends, how about the best pet-friendly hotels in the US so you never have to be without your best running partner again!
Pet friendly hotels in the US - never leave your running buddy home again
GIVEAWAY
Now I’m not one to just rub in my fun travels, I want to get you excited about getting out there too!! My friends at myCharge want to ensure you can capture the experience, track your run and never worry about power!! So today we’ve got a giveaway for you.
giveaway prizesPRIZE PACKAGE

myCharge
Don’t want to wait and see if you’ll win? Use code OUTDOOR for 20% a myCharge! From the waterproof AllTerrain version I posted on Instagram to the sleek Razor , get going! OR checkout the giveaway on their Instagram feed too.

I ALWAYS travel with a charger now because it sucks to get stuck on a layover without power and what a bummer to hike to the top of a mountain and find your phone is dead…yes this happened to me at 12,000FT and I was PO’ed! The key here is that they have not only one for your general day, but for your day at the beach, while running or surfing or whatever crazy activity you have going on.

All right enough talk – enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Any exciting travel plans in your future??

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This giveaway is sponsored by myCharge all travel excitement is my own.

Minimal or Maximal Running Shoes: Which is Right for You?

Once you realize your shoe selection must involve more than who has neon orange or Playboy Bunny Pink, it’s time to look at how that shoe is going to turn you in to the next American superstar of running… visualization people!

How do you know what shoe is right for you? Should you simply buy one of each and test them out?Should you change each time a new trend comes out?

NAHHH leave that to the crazies like me who are willing to put our legs on the line to save you time, injury and moola.

Every runner you pass will have their own sweaty opinion…myself included. Over the years I’ve answered the question “how do you like those shoes” and “what shoes should I try” enough times to have a pretty standard answer now. BUT for you my friends a very detailed explanation of the two major trends in running shoes and what it means for you.
Minimal vs maximal running shoes - understanding the difference and finding the right shoe for youHISTORY OF THE TREND
While both types of shoes have had their heyday in different ways, here is what’s fueling the current trends.

MAXIMAL SHOES
Two longtime mountain runners from Salomon footwear, started HOKA One One in 2010 based on what they’d found spending time in the mountains – i.e.  full suspension mountain bikes, oversized tennis rackets and oversized skiis provide a better opportunity to find the “sweet spot” that would maximize performance through stability and comfort.
Running in HOKA One One Maximal cushion shoes2.5 x times the amount of cushioning in a standard shoe, providing a broader base of support for shock absorption. The foot can also sink a bit into the shoe rather than just sitting on top of it. They also designed the shoes with a bit of a curve, called the metarocker, to assist with proper foot landing and improve performance.

While the Maximal running shoes trend started with Ultrarunners, it has quickly gained an audience in road racing. From the 5K to marathon the shoes are light enough to be worn at any distance.
Read my review of the HOKA One One Clifton >>

MINIMAL SHOES
Touted as the way to make our feet stronger, thus making us better and less injury prone runners the movement gained speed with the release of Born to Run. Many runners {myself included} weren’t ready to take to the streets in our naked feet and thus the trend of minimalist shoes took hold.

These shoes for me were the sweet spot between a heavy higher heeled traditional running shoe and well broken glass in my toe. For a long time I trained and raced in the Saucony Kinvara, which has a 4mm heel drop a defining marker of minimal shoes as it’s less than traditional shoes which were 12mm. Though I also did well in the Asics Gel Excel which had just a tiny heel drop {again body, feet, training, they all change, you need to as well}.

Zero drop shoes never felt quite right for me. Maybe it was due to weak hips or just a general preference.
Running in Saucony KinvaraThe concept is that with less between your foot and the ground, you have more awareness allowing your feet to grow stronger, preventing you from heel striking {because it hurts and you get injured must faster} and the wider toe splay should be a more natural shoe fit.

After a period of time many runners who had quickly jumped on board were sidelined with injuries and the trend has slowly dwindled since then. This is not to say that barefoot or minimalist running is wrong, but that it does requiring learning to run in a specific way and taking the time to adjust your body.

HOW THEY COMPARE
The two would seem complete opposites at first glance, but that’s not entirely true.

The maximal shoe design retains many of the elements which have drawn people to minimal shoes, like lightweight materials and very low heel off-set. For the non-shoe-geeks among us, every shoe has either a 0 drop or slight drop from the heel to the toe.

Mmmkkk, so which one should you wear?

Some people have a road bike, a commuter bike and a mountain bike, and they all have their purpose – People are frustrated, and we’re told so often there’s a magic shoe that will stop our injuries. Biomechanist Jay Dicharry

I think that quote might be the most important component of this whole article!!! READ IT AGAIN.

While finding the RIGHT shoe for you is hugely important, it’s doing all of the other things that I harp on like mobility, recovery, nutrition and learning proper running form which are going to truly resolve or prevent injury.

When should you try a new shoe model?

  • Are you suffering from repeat injuries that PT isn’t resolving? Time to try a new shoe.
  • Have you been wearing the same model for years and years? Bodies change, be open to trying something new.
  • Are you injury free and running PR’s? Don’t change.
  • Have you lost weight? Gained weight? Changed your other workouts? Anything that might have caused a shift in your body could change your running gait and thus your old stability shoe might now be doing more harm than good.

Neither shoe has true long term studies to back any claims (hence Vibrams  big fat lawsuit). Both have tons of convinced and converted followers though, so as with any trend from your feet to your mouth figure out what works for you.

At the end of the day, neither shoe is going to make you injury free. A program that involves cross training, smart training and hip strengthening work is going to keep you running strong. After that it’s about finding the shoe that makes you feel good when you run!

Read my more detailed post on HOW to find the right shoe for you >>

WHERE TO FIND THEM
Unfortunately not every shoe line is carried everywhere and not every shoe line makes either a maximal or minimal shoe. So you might just have to step out of your comfort zone to try a new shoe.

Maxmial: Hoka One One lead the market and is still the dominant player in maximal shoes. Other brands have started to release a version of the shoe, but it appears most are still tinkering with the design as this is an entirely new line for them versus the sole reason for HOKA’s creation.

Minimal: Nearly every line now carries a minimal shoe, look for shoes with a very low heel to toe drop. Altra Running is also a big player with their zero drop and wide forefoot which many runners find feel better on their feet and provide added stability by giving toes room to grip.

I’ve shared my transition to HOKA because I found that my previous workouts in a more minimal shoe weren’t giving me enough cushion any longer for the miles I put in. But that’s not to say years from now I won’t find I need something different. Our running changes, our bodies change and we have to be open to adjusting regardless of the trend.

And where does all of this leave traditional running shoes? I’d like to answer that…but I’ve gotta run.

Have you tried different types of shoes?

What shoe are you running in now?

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How to Find 5 Extra Hours a Week for Running, Pre-Hab or Anything Really!

Attend your dogs funeral party dressed as a cat? Shoot I have a project due Monday and will be at the office all weekend.

Go run? Who has time with colicky babies, hungry teenagers and menopausal bosses?”

We know how lame it sounds to say we’re too busy, so we often blame circumstances or life in general for why we aren’t getting done the things we keep saying we NEED to do… I need to go for a run, I need to stretch, I need…well your need isn’t enough to get it done. You have to want to or you’ll continue to find reasons to be TOO BUSY.

Let’s get real about FINDing time without sacrificing the final shreds of your sanity, sleep or work.
Stop the too busy excuses - here are 8 easy ways to find enough time in yoru week for a run, pre-hab workouts or whatever you need to do!Step one is best defined by Zen Habits:

Freeing up your time starts with taking a step back to take a good look at your life. You need to block off at least an hour. Several hours or half a day is better…With this block of time, take a look at your life with some perspective.

Is it what you’ve always wanted? How would you get to where you’ve always wanted to be? What do you enjoy doing, but don’t have enough time to do? What things actually fill up your day? Are there things you could drop or minimize to make more time?

SCHEDULE
The first piece that can’t be overlooked is getting on a schedule. I’ll give you a fabulous example: My mum is now retired giving her all the time in the world for a daily walk {or to call her daughter, cough}, but for awhile I heard her saying frequently “she just didn’t have time for a walk“. Listen she is having a ball with card groups and crafts and decorating their new home, but really what she didn’t have was a schedule.

Parkinson’s Law: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion

Get yourself on a schedule! And yes once again I’m talking about the benefit of habits

  • Eliminates decision fatigue
  • Planning ahead means being prepared
  • Gives you deadlines
  • Gives you a foundation to plan from when other things arise

Time savings: 1-2 hours a week

FOCUS
Your schedule leads in to idea number 2…. FOCUS.  With the exception of walk and talk {listed below}, stop multi-tasking. Stop procrastinating.

People aren’t just cooking anymore — they’re cooking, texting, talking on the phone, watching YouTube and uploading photos of the awesome meal they just made. Designer Paolo Cardini questions the efficiency of our multitasking world and makes the case for — gasp — “monotasking.” Paolo Cardini - Ted Talk
  • Task switching requires up to 40% of a person’s productive abilities
  • Multitasking can lead to significant anxiety.
  • Monotasking helps people feel more relaxed and less busy
  • Eliminate distractions while you work (shut all those browsers, put away the phone)
  • Set a time limit (same Parkinson’s law at work)

If staying focused means getting a project done faster, that not only means giving you more time, but studies show it gives you a feeling of permission to shut off and relax. And sometimes, isn’t that what you need as much as the time? Permission to spend an hour at the gym or 20 minutes doing a few more hip exercises?

Time savings: Depends on the project.

STOP WITH NETFLIX
OH my gawd you guys, we started watching Dexter (yes like years late) and it was a black hole from which I wasn’t sure we would emerge. I had to know how it was going to end, surely he was going to get caught, was Debra going to kill him…WHATTTTT.  Hours that could be spent working out are lost to TV, NetFlix and yes even YouTube.

The best idea is to save some of your favorites to watch WHILE working out. We call it multitasking people! If you can’t forgo your show, make a deal to only watch it while on the treadmill, the elliptical, while stretching, lifting, whatever.

Savings: 1-2 hours per show!

SHOP ONLINE
When was the last time you ever made a quick stop at Target? you just needed toothpaste, but somehow ended up with an adorable yellow purse, new concealer and a cartoon of Vanilla Almond Milk {what they were on sale!}. But now you need to get home and put it away because it can’t sit out in the hot car, which totally derails the other plans you had, so you start rescheduling and it’s kind of overwhelming and hell you might as well just watch more Housewives.

Skip the lines, the driving, the checkout splurges.

Savings 1-2 hours per shopping trip.

SOCIAL MEDIA PAUSE
I have found recently a bizarre phenomenon where we want to workout so we can post it to social media, but in order to make time for that we are actually cutting the workout short…true story, I’ve seen it and FELT IT. Yeah part of my job is being on social and I know it takes time to get an image that I feel like is worth sharing, but none of that means squat if I’m actually failing myself.

Now beyond that could you possibly spend 15 minutes per day less time looking at FB, Instagram and Twitter? YES.

Now of course this goes against both of my jobs and I WANT to connect with you online…but let’s connect after your workout, especially on RunnerScope Monday’s when I give you a chance to runbrag!

Savings: 1.5 hours per week.
Find a solution to your need for time - here are 8 ideas to free up time for your healt
UTILIZE YOUR COMMUTE
I DO NOT mean being on your phone. Gah nothing chuffs me more than people trying to text, cause it’s my life they are toying with…side bar. Instead, I mean listen to podcasts or audiobooks that are going to mentally get you fired up OR help you ease out of the work day.  The stress of the day can make it really easy to come home and thinking nothing sounds better than your ragged black sweats and the a fore mentioned Netflix.

But we all know working out is a great mood booster and stress reliever, so use that drive time to decompress a little. Turn on your favorite jam (I’m loving Fight Song right now), listen to Rich Roll for motivating stories…or as AMC says “Silence is Golden”.

Time Savings: Really more of a gain, than saving.

WALK AND TALK
Listen I don’t call my random life updates walk and talk for nothing. It’s a GREAT way to multi-task…instead of meeting a friend for dinner or coffee, meet for a run or just for a walk. In fact, this is exactly what I’m doing with a brand new friend next week!!

I’ve also talked about the benefit of how moving together allows you to open up…so it might just be the best way to have a difficult conversation!

Time Savings: 1 hour a week

HANGOVER CITY
If Friday nights leave you too bushed to crack open your eyes until noon on Saturday, this might be the first change. Marathon runners will tell you training happens EARLY to avoid all the excuses that a day can bring.  And no this doesn’t mean no alcohol, many runners celebrate that post run glow with a beer or a glass of wine…just not 22 of them the night before a run.

Savings: 1-2 hours per party night

All right, we just found you way more than 5 hours to find time to workout or even the 5 minutes need to increase your hip stability. So the next time you find yourself saying “I’m too busy”, ask yourself why you aren’t willing to put time towards your run, strength, or whatever the task might be?

Do you really want to see a change? Are you committed?

What change could you make to have time for pre-hab, a run or cross training?

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Embrace the Struggle: Running in Humidity and Heat

Gasp…sniff…sob…”David, I can’t”…sniff.. “run here!”

David has surely dealt with many meltdowns over 13 years of living with a runner often in marathon training, but neither of us were prepared for my reaction to moving to Miami from Kansas City. The first few days, I noticed within moments of heading out the door I could wring sweat buckets out of my shirt. But hey there was water, it was new, it was exciting!!

Then summer marathon training hit.
Hilarious and true  runner thoughts on summer runningI was ready to gold plate my shoes, put them on a shelf and start talking about the good old days when I used to be a runner.

But the endorphins kept calling my name and the desire to be along the water enjoying our time there pulled me back outside, again and again. Finally, I formed a reluctant truce with the heat and humidity. While we will never be friends, I have learned what works to get me through the tougher months of training.

Note this is said from Orlando where it’s still hot and sticky, but I have winter months that are not…you know the whole things look rosier from afar.

EMBRACE THE WEATHER (ALL OF IT)
Awhile back on Facebook, I put out the question “what do you like about summer running?”

This was caveated by the fact that I listened to people whine about winter for months, so surely something must have appealed to them about the new season…I got one response that I admit has just stuck in my craw: “Nothing”.

When prodded to find something positive because well I believe that would at least make the summer bearable for this person, it just turned in to an ongoing debate of why summer is awful.
Why we need to embrace the struggleHere’s the thing..you can’t change the weather, you can’t change your location, being outdoors is all kinds of good for us…so why not just get down and dirty with it.

Sweat your buns off, come home dripping, run through sprinklers and realize that wishing for another season means you are always missing out on what’s here.

On Periscope I just talked with everyone about embracing the struggle…we look at the beautiful PR photos, new jobs, trips and happy moments everyone posts, forgetting that they had to do the foundational work to get there.

  1. These hot weather runs are going to make you so fast in the Fall!
  2. “if you need to drop weight fast (Lose 4 Pounds in 12 Minutes!), it’s the best way to do so, with the exception of eating three-days-in-the-sun potato salad.” – Per Ted Spiker of RW
  3. Ice baths actually start to sound appealing
  4. Remember this is part of the process
  5. It gives you appreciation for the good days
  6. It reminds you to be compassionate for the difficulties others face
  7. Once you stop fighting it you can put energy in to enjoying the run or finding solutions
  8. It’s an opportunity to practice pushing through the hard moments like you will on race day
…people who have had success in the past, give up during the struggle. They have forgotten the amount of willingness, energy and frustration that they put up building their first company that made them successful. They forgot what a struggle it was, and they don’t feel like doing it again, so they give up or do something else.Dan Martell

TIPS FOR RUNNING IN HUMIDITY
Honestly there’s nothing that’s going to make it better other than your mind. It’s hot and wet your body can’t dissipate heat, so you just have to hydrate, slow it down and smile your ass off. How’s that for coaching, ha ha!!
11 tips for running in the heat and humidity - plus how to mentally embrace the struggleBut here are a few more tips that can help with hot weather running:

  • Slow down – One of the reasons I like LHR training is I know exactly how hard my body is working and it helps me to put my effort in perspective. When it’s hot, stop using your pace as a guide and go on effort.
  • Don’t underestimate a breeze – While morning running may be your choice if the evenings carry a breeze it may be worth flipping your schedule. This was the case in Miami…though I was too stubborn to change my schedule.
  • Ice – Because the humidity prevents your body from releasing heat you need to get creative with your core temperature down. This could mean running with a cold towel on your neck or carrying a handheld with ice water {checkout these options for carrying hydration}, other folks have great sherpas that bring them iced sponges.
  • Visors, not hats – Back to your body needing to release heat, don’t further trap it under a hat. If you like shading your face try switching to a visor.
  • Ice hat – Caveat to the above is if you soak your hat in water then place it in the freezer overnight. Take it out 5-10 min before your run and let your brain soak in the cool. {Hey we know running is a mental sport, so trick yourself in to feeling cooler!}
  • Sunglasses – While this won’t actually make the humidity any better, it can impact your overall run. As the sun rises and you being to squint, your brain is working hard to help yours eyes, which has been shown to zap your energy…yup it all adds up! Relax the face, give your eyes a break!
  • Shade – Try to plan out routes that have as much shade as possible if you are doing longer runs or go before the sun comes up. While the temperature may not be any different the feeling of that sun beating down on your already overly hot arms, legs and face can make a tough run worse.
  • Caffeine – A few different studies have shown that caffeine prior to a run can improve performance without impacting hydration, important in the summer, so go ahead and enjoy your morning Espresso or perhaps an iced latte because you’re focused on pre-cooling!
  • Lightweight Clothing – I’ve had numerous tops that seem to become dresses in a long humid run because they soak up the water and stretch! This is not only bizarre looking, but entirely uncomfortable!
  • Smile – Seriously!! Studies have shown that smiling will make you feel better because it’s hard to have both positive and negative thoughts at the same time….plus no one is making you run! You GET to run.
  • Electrolytes – I’ve talked before about the importance of electrolytes, but they become even more important as you are both sweating and guzzling water to stay hydrated in the summer heat.

Why does it feel so much harder to run when it’s hot?
The heat alone makes your heart rate rise, but with the added humidity your body can’t cool down because the sweat never evaporates.

  • HR increases up to 10 beats per minute in humidity ranging from 50% to 90%
  • HR increases by 2 to 4 beats per minute in temperatures from 60°F to 75°F
  • HR increases up to 10 beats per minute in temperatures from 75°F to 90°F

There you have it, you aren’t crazy. It doesn’t just feel harder, it really is more work for your body. With that said…the campaign to move to California or Colorado resumes immediately. Hey I don’t have to LOVE the struggle, I just have to LEARN from it.

How do you embrace bad weather running?

Would you prefer a snowstorm or hot/humid day?

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19 RD Approved Gluten Free Desserts

Open refrigerator…stare…wait for food to magically turn in to something delicious.

It never works, but someday I imagine with robots and technology it will.

After long runs I refuel with my green smoothie and a solid breakfast, so surprisingly the fridge staring doesn’t actually start until two days later! DOH – Delayed onset hunger is right in light with DOMs (delayed on set muscle soreness).

Life is too short not to enjoy dessert when you truly want it…but I also like to keep it healthy and allergy friendly. No need to mix guilt or unnecessary stomach pain with my sugar thank you.
19 Gluten Free Desserts from Registered Dietitians - healthy dessert recipe ideas with many dairy free tooHere I collected 19 gluten free desserts from health minded Registered Dietitian bloggers to save you and me from making less stellar choices in the face of runger.

All recipes are gluten free and many are dairy free because that is how I roll! Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community

FRUIT BASED
Grilled Fruit Dessert -Gluten free dessert from Kara Lydon- click for 19 more RD approved gluten free desserts
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes with Lemon Yogurt Glaze by Joy Bauer
Zucchini, Carrot and Apple Walnut Bread by Prevention RD
Grilled Berry Chia Banana Split by The Nutrition Twins
Ginger Plum Ricotta Pie by No Nonsense Nutrition
Peach Cobbler Scones by Flavor RD
Grilled Fruit with Pineapple Sorbet by Kara Lydon {pictured above}

BROWNIES/COOKIES
Healthy Raw Brownie - Gluten Free recipe from The Organic Dietitian - click for 19 more RD approved desserts
Cherry Almond Walnut Blondies by The Gluten Free RD
Oatmeal, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cups by The Candid RD
Raw Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake by the Inspired RD
Raw German Chocolate Brownies by The Organic Dietitian {pictured above}
Banana Honey Nut Baked Oatmeal Squares by Abbey’s Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Cookies from Kate Scarlata

CAKE
Berry Lemon Bundt Cake - Gluten Free recipe from The Spicy RD - click for 19 more RD approved desserts
Double Berry Lemon Bundt Cake by The Spicy RD
Classic Chocolate Poundcake by Regan Jones
Multigrain Vegan Blueberry Bake by Avocado a Day

BITES/BARS
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bars - Gluten Free recipe by Love and Zest - click for 19 more RD approved desserts
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars by The Lean Green Bean
Goji Berry Cookie Dough Truffles by Grateful Grazer
No Bake Cacao Bites by Gluten Free Rosie
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chewy Bars by Love and Zest {pictured above}

Need More Ideas
Gluten Free Meal Plan for Runners
Find UDI’s gluten free products
Connect with UDI’s on FB

And here area a couple of my favorite EASY, snack ideas. Clearly I”m not an RD, but a nutritionist told me they were all good…or maybe a more technical term like “balanced”. See I’m on a mission to up my protein intake and this bread helps me do that while satisfying my sweet tooth.

My first go to lately is protein overnight oats!
Overnight Protein Oatmeal - gluten free and even a sering of vegetables!1. Mix together chia seeds, Vega Protein, UDI’s gluten free oats, shredded zucchini, cashew milk
2. Put in fridge
3. Watch magically in the morning as you have ready to eat food!
4. I like to top mine with blueberries and just a touch of granola for crunch

My other recommendation is to make some blueberry chia seed jam and enjoy with a slice of the Millet Chia bread from UDI’s {also higher in protein than other breads!!}.

  1. Mix 1 tbsp chia seeds and 1 tbsp water then set aside
  2. Mash 1/2 cup blueberries
  3. Combine the two
  4. Add in a little NuStevia or maple syrup to reach your sweetness level
  5. Slather on your Gluten Free UDI’s bread

What’s your go to healthy gluten free dessert?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.