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FAQ Friday

Happy Friday!

One of the most rewarding things about blogging for me is interacting with readers. I can’t tell you how much I love receiving your emails, tweets and facebook posts about all of the incredible things you guys are out there doing. I am continually inspired by your dedication to making your life healthier and happier.

I also receive a lot of questions about everything about running, eating, yoga, gear, strength training, etc. I thought it would be beneficial to have a little “FAQ Friday” here on Peanut Butter Runner so that I could address some of the questions that I receive most frequently.

The #1 Most Frequently Asked Question… “I don’t have access to a yoga studio/time to get there/finances to pay for it, can you recommend a good yoga DVD for a home practice?”

Believe it or not, I don’t own a yoga DVD. When I practice at home I usually do ashtanga, my own sequence or a podcast but obviously that doesn’t work for everyone. I know that having that visual element is helpful to most people. So while I can’t recommend a DVD, I can recommend Yoga Download. It’s an online site that offers a ton of yoga classes to download or stream. You can do a monthly membership (as low as $9.95 a month) or pay by the class.

The benefit of Yoga Download is that they offer SO many styles of classes – everything from power to deep stretch! I think it’s so much better to use a service like Yoga Download rather than buy a DVD because you have so many more options and you don’t get sick of doing the same thing over and over again.

“I want to run a 5K but I don’t even know where to start. Running for even five minutes at a time is so hard. Does it get easier?”

I can totally relate! I still remember when I started running…getting past the hump of being able to run a couple miles without feeling fairly miserable was the toughest part. But it DOES get easier and becomes enjoyable and slightly addictive! The key is to slowly work your way into it so you don’t end up injured, frustrated or burnt out. I recommend following a program like Couch to 5K. This training plan will have you crossing the finish line of your first 5K in just nine weeks!

“What goes into a green monster? Can you taste the spinach? I’m scared to try it.”

I know many of you are on the green smoothie train already but if you’re not, it’s time to try! First and foremost, you cannot taste the spinach – cross my heart! The addition of the spinach is an easy way to get a serving of veggies in and it’s rich in nutrients and antioxidants!

Here’s a general guideline to making a green smoothie:

BASE RECIPE
1 small banana or 1/2 large banana (frozen for better texture)
1-2 cups spinach (fresh, not frozen)
1 cup milk (regular, soy or almond)
3-4 ice cubes

OPTIONAL ADD-INS
A scoop of protein powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
Chia seeds or ground flax
Other fruit like blueberries, raspberries, peaches, etc.
A tablespoon of nut butter

“What kind of protein powder do you use?”

There’s an easy answer to this…whatever Brandon buys! He handles the ordering of all of our supplements from bodybuilding.com (they have the best prices and give you all kinds of free samples!). I would say that 90% of the time we use Optimum Gold Whey Protein and I prefer to keep it simple with vanilla or chocolate. Honestly, I know that I could use a better/more natural protein powder but it’s so much easier to use what he orders.

“How do I tone/sculpt my arms?”

I think the highlight of my year came when Skinny Runner commented that my arms should be a national monument. 😀 Silliness aside, I get a lot of questions about whether my toned arms come from yoga or weight lifting. Though I’m sure that the million chaturangas that I do in yoga certainly help, I credit strength training for the shape of my arms. I have said this many times and I will continue saying it forever more but strength training changes the shape of your body like nothing else can.

That said, I think I’ve been promising you guys a “toned arms 101” video post for…um…about three months now and I vow right now that I will make it happen. I’m thinking this is going to be in two parts – biceps/triceps and shoulders. Please feel free to hound me daily until I get these videos done and posted! 😉

Okay, I think that’s enough for today. Do you have a question that you would like me to address? Leave a comment or shoot me an email – peanutbutterrunner (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have a FABULOUS weekend!

{ 49 comments… add one }
  • 1
    natalie July 8, 2011, 12:39 pm

    When are you two going to make beautiful babies!!!??! Kidding, so kidding, you don’t have to answer that. 😉

    I’m making a green monster today, darn it. Yoga Today has a YouTube channel, complete with hundreds of free classes, ranging in difficulty. I’ve never been to a studio [!!] and take full advantage of the interwebs.

    • 2
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:34 am

      natalie – my husband was so excited about this comment! he said, “peanut butter baby!!!” 😉 but the answer is…not just yet!

      hope you liked your green monster and thanks for the yoga today head’s up!

  • 3
    Pam Leverette July 8, 2011, 1:16 pm

    Dear Jen,
    You have yet inspired me again!!! I’m going to get on the “green monster train”! I love all those ingredients but have never put them together. I normally have a protein shake with frozen blueberries every morning, so adding a frozen banana and spinach will be easy. Thanks also for the yoga info. Yoga classes in my city are expensive and offered at inconvient times for me. I’ve got several yoga sessions from the Viera channel on the DVR but I am bored with them so I’m going to give the web a shot! I am so looking forward to the arms video! Shoulders are my favorite body part to work (besides legs)! Again, thank you for inspiring me!
    Pam

    • 4
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:35 am

      pam – thanks so much for your kind comment! let me know what you think about the green smoothie when you try it! 🙂

  • 5
    Eric Davis July 8, 2011, 1:54 pm

    Check out YogaVibes.com as well! Definitely have to go make a Green Monster now!

    • 6
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:35 am

      eric – thanks for the yogavibes tip! let me know what you think about the green monster!

  • 7
    Cara July 8, 2011, 2:21 pm

    OK. OK. I promise to TRY a green monster smoothie within the next week.

    I belong to http://www.YogaGlo.com for home practices and to get inspiration for new sequences, moves, or transitions for the classes I teach.

    For any vegans or those with a dairy allergy or sensitivity, I use Spiru-Tein protein powder.

    And I will admit – you’ve got killer arms! 🙂

    Thanks for the educational Friday update!

    • 8
      Courtney July 8, 2011, 5:14 pm

      Loooooooove yogaglo.com and Kathryn Budig!

    • 9
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:30 am

      oh cara – thank you so much for the yogaglo tip. i will most definitely check it out!

      so glad you finally hopped on the green smoothie bandwagon! 🙂

  • 10
    Holly @ Pink Runner July 8, 2011, 2:27 pm

    You are awesome Jen, I can’t wait for some arm workouts and maybe a few yoga videos?? You deserved the SR arm comment because they look great!

    • 11
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:28 am

      holly – thanks so much for your comment! 🙂

      i will definitely consider the yoga videos – fun!!!

  • 12
    Sydney Robyn July 8, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I have been curious for a while now whether or not you eat before morning yoga classes. I am always torn; waking up early enough to not have breakfast come back at you in floor bow is a pain, but I tend to feel weak if I don’t. Just curious what you’ve found works for you.

    • 13
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:27 am

      hi sydney –

      it depends…i really practice better on an empty stomach but sometimes i just can’t stand it and have to eat something. when i do it’s half of a banana with some peanut/almond butter, a small piece of plain toast or a glass of juice.

  • 14
    Danielle July 8, 2011, 3:11 pm

    Wow, the amount of motivation I feel every day I visit your blog is so amazing! I would LOVE to see that video on strength training!

    I have a question for your FAQ fridays.

    -Have you ever experienced weight gain or a time you weren’t happy with your figure and felt inspired to change your eating habits or workout routines?
    Have a great weekend ! xox

    • 15
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:26 am

      danielle – thank you so much for your kind comment!

      i will add your question to the list.

  • 16
    Nikki July 8, 2011, 3:20 pm

    For those of you who are beginning out in yoga, like that visual ‘help’, and have Comcast, there’s always OnDemand!!! They have TONS of free yoga episodes and TONS of other exercise styles!

    • 17
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:25 am

      nikki – i forgot about comcast on demand. great suggestion!

  • 18
    skinnyrunner July 8, 2011, 3:44 pm

    hehe, but i was serious. if i saw you, i might cut your arms off and sew them on myself. like that’s not weird.

  • 20
    Emily@RunningPerspective July 8, 2011, 4:28 pm

    love you!!!!! and totally would loveeeeee that arm post!!

    • 21
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:24 am

      thanks emily! 😀

      promise it’s coming!

  • 22
    Jacqueline @SmartSolitude.com July 8, 2011, 4:45 pm

    You do have gorgeous arms 🙂

  • 23
    Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) July 8, 2011, 5:55 pm

    I’m with Skinny Runner- your arms should DEFINITELY be a National Monument 😉 I can’t wait to see this video too! Oh, and I LOVE green smoothies!! You totally can’t taste the spinach! 😀

  • 24
    Jenn July 8, 2011, 6:03 pm

    Do you take any daily supplements/vitamins? Do you think it’s possible to lose 15-ish pounds in 6 weeks?

    • 25
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:23 am

      hi jenn! thanks for the questions.

      i take a prenatal (NOT because we are actively trying but because it’s recommended if you are of child bearing age and there is a possibility that you could become pregnant) and a vitamin d/calcium supplement (because i tested deficient for vitamin d at my last appointment). so nothing too crazy!

      i would say that 10 pounds in 6 weeks is attainable if you follow the 2 pounds per week guideline!

      diet and REGULAR exercise!

  • 26
    Girl In The Pink July 8, 2011, 6:05 pm

    What type of arm moves to do when you are strength training?! A post on that would be great! 🙂

    • 27
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:20 am

      you got it! it’s coming SOON!

  • 28
    Marie July 8, 2011, 9:06 pm

    Ooh, can’t wait to see the strength training video! 😉

  • 29
    Rachel Mount July 8, 2011, 9:26 pm

    I’m a huge green smoothie fan! The only thing I would add is that I use frozen greens (easier to keep on hand, as they don’t go bad). And I still think the flavor/texture is great. I just don’t use quite as much since it’s more densely packed. Here’s my post on my ratios for frozen:
    http://www.onebiteworld.com/2011/03/01/green-smoothies-for-everyone/
    It’s just easy and cheap, especially in the winter.

    • 30
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:20 am

      rachel – thanks for the tip! i bet the frozen greens help with the texture as well in the same way as using frozen fruit!

  • 31
    Brittaney @ Fit Chick Britt July 8, 2011, 10:16 pm

    Can’t wait for the arms videos!! and yes they should be a national monument!

  • 32
    Eryka July 9, 2011, 12:22 am

    I recently discovered that I love adding 1/4 c. black beans to my green monster. They don’t change the taste at all, much like the spinach, and the texture is a bit creamier. (I leave out the Greek yogurt to make it lactose free). YUM! Thanks for sharing!

    • 33
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:19 am

      that’s a cool tip eryka! thanks for sharing. i think adding black beans sounds scarier than spinach for me but i will try anything! reminds me of the black bean brownie craze!

  • 34
    Cailin July 9, 2011, 6:47 am

    Your arms are amazing!!

    With weight training do you tend to stick with free weights or the machines?

    Also, do you eat the green monsters as a meal replacement or snack?

    • 35
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:18 am

      definitely free weights. i don’t even remember the last time i used a machine!

      i have green monsters as meals and snacks. if it’s a meal i add protein powder to boost the calories and sometimes i’ll have toast or something on the side.

  • 36
    Meghan @ StruggleMuffins July 9, 2011, 5:10 pm

    Your arms are pretty inspiring. Though I don’t have the awesome definition you do, I noticed that lifting weights has given me much more shape in my arms than yoga has been able to. Yoga strengthens, no doubt but the effects are much more subtle and take longer to achieve.

  • 38
    Nicole July 10, 2011, 11:59 am

    I must try a Green Monster…MUST! And Yoga Download looks pretty sweet…have to check that out. Thanks!

  • 39
    Shelly in MI July 10, 2011, 4:06 pm

    Yep, ur arms are the bomb. I like this blog.

    • 40
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:16 am

      thanks shelly! 🙂

  • 41
    Allison July 11, 2011, 10:29 am

    Jen,
    I came across your blog months ago and love it! It is very inspiring to see someone live such a healthy lifestyle. I am in the process of changing my eating habits for the better so I made a green monster this morning and it was so good! So good in fact, my children who are 6 and 4, asked for one! I gave them what was left in the bottom of the blender and they totally drank it!

    • 42
      Jen July 11, 2011, 10:36 am

      allison – so glad that you discovered my blog and are enjoying it!

      i’m happy to hear that the green monster was a hit. how cool that your kids loved it too! seems like a great way to sneak veggies in! 🙂

  • 43
    Christina July 11, 2011, 1:55 pm

    Tried my first green monster this weekend and am enjoying my 2nd right now! My husband and I are totally hooked and are excited to have found a guilt-free way to re-fuel after our morning workouts. Thanks so much for the recipe and suggested add-ins!

    • 44
      Jen July 11, 2011, 4:34 pm

      christina – awesome! glad to hear that you are both enjoying them!

  • 45
    Shannon October 23, 2011, 8:41 pm

    Hey Jen! I’ve been reading for a while but haven’t posted, BUT I came across this post and I NEED the toned arms 101 video! My arms have been the source of some angst since I can remember- I KNOW I can get them toned, but I must not being doing enough or the right thing! Argh!
    So I’m hounding- just like you said:
    TONED ARMS 101, please?? 🙂

    Oh, and I made the spicy black bean soup today and my husband and I loved it!
    Thanks!

    Shannon

  • 46
    Helen January 18, 2012, 9:43 pm

    This comment is way after the fact but I just tried my firstgreen smoothie and it was … AMAZING! It tasted just like a peanut butter cookie my mom used to make without adding sugar! Your posts are inspiringand have helped me stick to my training schedule. Thanks!

  • 47
    Trina March 23, 2012, 3:41 pm

    I love my green smoothies with a cup of coconut milk, and a think of non fat greek yogurt. I have been having a green smoothie for breakfast for the past 3 weeks, I have fallen in love with them.

  • 48
    Alison Tessener April 2, 2014, 5:47 am

    Very Inspiring!! I love your recipes! I started this week on the 7 day challenge! Love it!

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