My Busy Life. Getting a Boost from Pure Earth Juice

This post is sponsored by Del Monte and Pure Earth Juice. All opinions are my own.

I kind of touched on this a few days ago, but now that my personal training schedule is starting to fill up, life is becoming really hectic. I’m in the middle of marathon training, and the schedule that I planned out a few weeks ago is getting harder to keep up with because I keep scheduling clients earlier and earlier. Something has to give, and I’m not going to let it be my running.

Instead I have been taking my breakfast on the road several times a week to save time in my morning routine. I’ll make a smoothie if I have time, but even that sometimes is difficult. This morning as I took off for work I grabbed a banana and my new juice obsession Del Monte Pure Earth Juice.

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Living a Plant Based Life

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

I recently received a message from a parent of one of my cross country runners, “Hey Debbie, Question for you, do you have a vegan diet with a day by day list of what to eat? I have to get on an exact eating plan.

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I am not a nutritionist or a dietician, so I couldn’t give her exactly what she wanted, but I could give her a little advice, “I always planned my meals similar to non-vegan ones. Breakfast can be cereal with non-dairy milk, a smoothie, a tofu scramble. Lunch a salad, sandwich. Dinner the same. Choose healthy vegan protein sources like tofu, tempeh, beans, or seitan. Nothing wrong with using meat substitutes, especially at first. Read labels because there are a lot of hidden animal products in many foods.

Because it’s really not difficult to live a plant based life.

When I first adopted my vegan diet I simply substituted plant based alternatives. For dinner, many of my favorite recipes were easily prepared using a faux meat. Over the years I have also learned to make seitan, cook tempeh and tofu so that they taste delicious, and discovered the joy of jackfruit, but the idea remains the same. My meals today look and taste much the same, but no longer contain any animal ingredients.

A vegan lunch was even easier because in the past it usually consisted of a sandwich, a salad, or leftovers. I pile my sandwiches high with fresh, crispy veggies. And avocado. Always avocado. I’ll toss beans, nuts, seeds, or quinoa in my salad for the punch of protein. I do tend to make my own salad dressing more frequently now, but there are plenty of plant based options.  Just as I told my friend, it’s a matter of reading labels. I do not make my own bread (yet), but with careful reading it’s possible to find it without milk, honey, or eggs.

Breakfast, surprisingly, was more difficult.

I am always in a hurry in the morning. Always; especially on work days. So taking the time to create a vegan scramble (unless it’s leftovers from the night before) just isn’t in the cards. Even a smoothie seems to take more time than I have.

My previous beloved granola with yogurt was not available to me anymore. I made the switch to cereal, hot or cold, with soy or almond milk (plus toast, always toast), but I always felt like I was missing something. Well, I was. I was missing the satisfaction and protein burst that I’d had before.

Until now.

SilkSilk, a champion of vegan dairy alternatives from soy, almond, and coconut milk, to truly non-dairy coffee creamer, not to mention (since we’re just past the holidays), the best Holiday Nog, now has a Dairy Free Yogurt Alternative.

Made from completely plant-based ingredients, Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative contains six grams of protein per serving, is made with real fruit, live and active cultures, and is completely free of dairy, cholesterol, and artificial flavors and colors. It’s also gluten- and carrageenan-free, and a good source of calcium and Vitamin D.

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And, as I found when I tasted the samples I was sent, it is absolutely delicious. It has a smooth and creamy texture that blended well with the granola and fruit that I added-in. It also added a luscious creaminess to the smoothie I made (okay, sometimes I can find the time). It comes in six yummy flavors, so there are a lot of options: Black Cherry, Strawberry, Blueberry, Vanilla, Peach & Mango, and Tropical Pineapple.

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I can’t wait to make a non-dairy parfait, which is on the menu for my next breakfast. Keep an eye on the Silk Pinterest Board. I’ll post the picture (and the smoothie recipe) there. You can also join the Silk Community by signing up for their newsletter.

What is your favorite breakfast food? Are you always in a hurry like me, or do you save yourself time to make breakfast?

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Favorites: Yoga, Candles, Vegan Wellington & Turkey Trotting!

Wow! It’s Friday again! The weeks are flying by, the holidays are looming, and I haven’t prepared my Holiday Wishlist Gift List. Remember when you were a kid and the last weeks before Christmas seemed to last forever? Not anymore!  While I never have been one of those people who have their shopping done in November, I’m hoping to at least get my list done soon. I don’t want to be always be running around at the last minute.  In the meantime, I compiled a list of some of my favorites that I want to share with you.

Old Town La Quinta Turkey Trot

Delray_turkey_trot_logo 2There is no better way to start off Thanksgiving Day than with a Turkey Trot 5k. My husband is the director of our local race, the Old Town La Quinta Turkey Trot, which is celebrating its 16th anniversary. If you’re visiting or live nearby, we’d love to see you out there. If you can’t make it to our race, I’m sure you can find one closer to your home.





Vegan Thanksgiving Wellington

WellingtonSpeaking of Thanksgiving, there is still time to order your Thanksgiving Wellington from Native Foods! I always choose to give turkeys something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, and this delicious, plant-based puff pastry filled with seasoned seitan, yams, stuffing, and kale will make everyone happy.





Yoga Central is going Global!

Yoga CentralEven though I’m not the most consistent yogi, one thing has never changed: my love for my favorite yoga studio, Yoga Central in La Quinta. It is owned by my friend April, and she, along with her staff, are the most amazing instructors! Now, the classes at Yoga Central are available 24 hours a day in the comfort of your own home through Yoga30!  Here’s how you can get access to my favorite studio and teacher: Got to Yoga30 and select either Yoga Central as your referring studio or April Jones as your referring teacher. By doing this you are affiliating yourself with Yoga Central, but you are free to choose any class or teacher on the site.

$5 Day Pass
$14 Monthly Unlimited (costs less than one drop-in fee at any studio!)
$71 Six Month Unlimited Pass
$134 Annual Unlimited Pass
There is a 7-day free trial offer available on the Yoga30 site. Because this is so new, there are currently three classes available from Yoga Central, but more are coming soon, including an all-level Vinyasa, Gentle Flow, and a Hips/Hamstrings mini class.


Old Factory Candles

Old Factory CandlesI recently received a gift set of Old Factory Candles to try out and review. These candles are sold exclusively on They are all hand-poured in the US with natural soy wax, hand trimmed cotton wicks, and premium fragrance oils. Each gift set comes with three themed scented candles that burn 20 hours. I chose to try Spa Day because I love the scents of lemongrass, cucumber, and green tea.

I love these candles. They smell so good and last forever. I can close my eyes and feel like I’m really in a spa (aside from my dogs barking at every movement). There are a lot of scents to choose from including Fall Harvest, with Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry and Autumn Leaves, Vacation which comes with Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei, and Awapuhi, and many others. A gift pack of three 20-hour candles costs $25 and they are eligible for Amazon Prime.


What are your Thanksgiving plans? Will you run a turkey trot? What is your favorite candle scent?

On Running: Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

The above is called a disclosure and it’s required to let you know about sponsored relationships. Now let me give you another, personal disclosure: I made the switch to the Mizuno Wave Rider several years ago (circa version 15) and I’ve never looked back. I am a true fan. I even recommend them to my cross country runners and clients. So when I had the opportunity to review the new Wave Rider 18 running shoes, I eagerly stepped up to the plate.

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Yes, I keep all my retired favorite running shoes. Don’t you?

My running has been a little lackluster lately. It may be autumn for the rest of the country, but here it the desert the highs remain in the 90s and I’m just tired of the heat. The mornings have cooled off a little, but I still feel sluggish and tired. I finally decided that, instead of feeling sorry for myself I need to find a new running goal. I haven’t raced since the Rock and Roll marathon in June, so it’s time to lace up my running shoes and get training again.

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That made the timing of the release of the new Mizuno Wave Rider 18 all the more perfect. New race, new goals, new shoes to start training in. I’m not sure what race I will choose, but it will probably be something close to home. The Palm Springs Half Marathon comes to mind. It’s in mid February, and even though that sounds like a long way off, it’s only a little over four months, perfect for someone who has been more busy coaching than doing her own running lately.

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Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

So with that in mind I was excited when I laced up the Wave Riders for their first run. So excited that without thinking I managed to dress to match my shoes! I took them on a short run and I wasn’t disappointed. That same lightweight ride, with just a little bit of support that I appreciate from previous models, the comfortable fit with plenty of room in the toe box, and, let’s face it, the good looks, all contribute to my overall opinion of these shoes.

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The new Wave Rider 18 incorporates several key Mizuno technologies:

  • U4ic Midsole delivers optimal shock attenuation, resilience, responsiveness, and superior ride that is 30% lighter than AP+
  • Dynamotion Fit relieves the stress that the foot naturally places on footwear eliminating distortion.
  • Mizuno Wave Technology provides runners with a stable ride from landing to toe-off. Features a Double Fan Wave with articled forefoot Wave Plate for the optimal blend of shock attenuation guidance and lightweight flexibility.

It weighs 7.8 ounces (9.2 ounces for men) and has a 12mm drop. The MSRP is $119.

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Mizuno incorporated the inspirational influence of the Japanese concept of “Hado,” the intrinsic vibrational life force energy that promotes powerful transformations. Hado is executed in the Wave Rider’s sleek dynamic design relaying the power and kinetic energy of running, harnessing the transformative possibilities of every run.

To me Hado means that sense that you have when you know without asking or speaking, what is going on around you. You feel the energy of other people, nature, animals, even your home or office.  Hado circulates around us, allowing us to pick up the mood of others, sense impending trouble or relief, even that prickly feeling of possible danger. The Hado of running means becoming one with your body, the ground that you run on, the air around you, and using that energy to transform your running experience.

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Picking up on the happy, energetic Hado of my dogs (especially Lily).

Now that I have a purpose to go along with my new shoes, I can already feel a difference in my running. It feels more…joyful is a good word. This morning I ran along the local trails just enjoying the lightness of my feet and my soul. I listened to the sound of my breathing and the crunch of my feet on the trail. I’m not very fast anymore, but I felt fast and sleek. Ready to get back to training. Ready to run.

The Wave Rider 18 is a great everyday, all purpose shoe, that can go from the road, to light trail running, to racing.  Which makes them perfect for me, because that is my running life. I plan to use them for my half marathon training (and probably treat myself to a new pair for the race).

If you are looking for a great neutral shoe, that is lightweight, with just a touch of support, the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 may just be perfect for you too. It has my stamp approval!

Have you tried the Wave Rider? What do you look for in a running shoe? Light weight? Support? Minimalist? Good looks?

Celebrating National Coffee Day with Keurig 2.0

Yes, National Coffee Day was Monday (which is when I’m writing this), so I’m a day late. But I didn’t want to miss my chance to show off my Keurig 2.0, which I received free through my association with Influenster. All opinions are caffeinated my own.


I have had a Keurig® for a couple years. My son gave me his when he and his wife received a newer model as a gift. So I already knew that I loved the coffee (and that I would probably be drinking a lot more for a while). Still, I was excited when my new Keurig 2.0 arrived. Even though it was past the time in the afternoon when I should be drinking coffee, I hurriedly opened up the box and got everything set up.

While this model has more automated bells and whistles than my old version, with a timer, touch screen selection, a wider range of cup sizes, plus a snazzy colored light that makes the water look pretty,  the largest reservoir of any Keurig model at 80 ounces, and hot water on demand, the big selling point (for me) is that you now can brew a carafe of coffee at one time.


They make a larger size K-Cup® (called the K-Carafe®) for the carafe brew, and you can choose the amount of coffee you want to make, from 2-3 cups, 3-4 cups, or 4-5 cups. Obviously, the smaller amount you choose, the stronger the coffee so I always choose the smallest size.  The carafe is handy when you’re making coffee for several people, or if you just want to drink a couple cups yourself.


I really love this Keurig® 2.0. The coffee is delicious (Donut Shop is my favorite, though I also love the Hawaiian Blend and French Roast), a cup of coffee is fast and easy to make, and I love the colorful, touch screen display. I haven’t even explored all the settings yet, though I did figure out how to make the water light red. I love the carafe feature, though I think it is best when you are serving several people. I noticed it doesn’t keep the coffee as hot as I like for my second cup, so I will usually make myself one cup at a time.


And the old Keurig? Well, since it worked perfectly, I paid it forward and kept it in the family my giving it to my youngest son.

How did you celebrate National Coffee Day?

Fueling the Vegan Athlete. Vegan MoFo Day 2

This is the first in a series on Fueling the Vegan Athlete. After seven years as a vegetarian, and four years following a completely plant based diet, I feel confident that I am eating a variety of foods that help support me as an athlete. Over the next few weeks, I will share some of the products and foods that I love.

Mofo Graphic_squareWhen my husband and I decided to become vegetarian, one of the things we were both concerned about was whether we would be able to fuel ourselves properly without meat. At the time, Alan was training for his first Ironman triathlon, and I was doing my usual combo of running, cycling, and strength training. Was meat necessary? As newbie ethical vegetarians (the vegan part came later), we certainly hoped not.

Remember, this was all new to us, before I knew anything about plant based athletes like Rich Roll, Brendan Brazier, Robert Cheek, and so many others. In fact, almost every sport has high level performers who are fueled by plants. Some, like local boxer Timothy Bradley, the former WBO welterweight champion, use a vegan diet specifically while training because he feels it boosts his energy and clears his mind.

As all vegans know, the most common question about a plant based diet is, “where do you get your protein?”  My answer, memorized after years of repeating it, focuses on how much protein our bodies actually need, that many plant foods, including beans, rice, soy products, nuts, seeds, quinoa, lentils, and wheat gluten, contain high levels of protein, and that as a general rule, most people who are eating enough calories and eating a variety of food are getting enough protein.

Fueling the Vegan Athlete

That being said, I sometimes like to use a protein powder to add to my morning smoothies, just to help me get an extra boost after a tough workout. Remember, I’m not a nutritionist, but I do know that protein is recommended, along with replacing carbohydrates, to enhance recovery. There are a variety of plant based proteins to choose from, including pea, soy, and rice proteins.

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I was recently given the opportunity through my relationship with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador to try out and review Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 protein powder. What, hemp? Not the kind you smoke, but hemp the super plant that has been used for centuries for food, clothing, rope, building materials, and more. In fact, every part of the hemp plant can be used. Yes, hemp is a species of cannabis sativa, but it has no psychoactive effect and will not cause a positive drug test.

What hemp does have is a great taste while providing all the essential amino acids, making it the most complete protein in the plant kingdom. It also provides essential fatty acids omega 3 and 6. And Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 combines all of these benefits in a water soluble powder that comes in three flavors, vanilla, chocolate, and original. It has about 20 grams of protein per serving (original version) and because it is water soluble, it can be mixed or shaken (no blender necessary!).

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But how does it taste? I received a sample of both the chocolate and vanilla Hemp Pro 70. I used the vanilla to make two smoothies. I tested out the water solubility by adding the powder to a bottled green smoothie that I brought with me to Blogfest. I simply poured the packet into the bottle and shook it up.

It was a perfect combination! The powder blended thoroughly, and added a rich flavor to the green smoothie. I felt confident that I was adding not only extra protein to my smoothie, but the omega 3 and 6 that hemp protein provides. Yes! It tasted good.

Once home I got a little more creative and used the vanilla Hemp Pro 70 in a delicious peach and vanilla smoothie. With bananas, peaches, vanilla NuStevia, and almond milk, it was smooth and delicious. The recipe is posted in full on Instagram.

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For more information on Manitoba Harvest and their hemp products, check their website. In addition to their high protein Hemp Pro 70, their product line includes Hemp Hearts, a deliciously crunchy protein that can be added to yogurt, oatmeal or salads, Hemp Pro 50, which is high in protein and fiber, and Hemp Pro Fibre, which has 13 grams of fiber per serving.

Using a protein powder like Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 is an easy and delicious way to make sure that you are getting enough healthy, plant based protein in your diet.

Do you use protein powder in your smoothies? Have you tried hemp protein?

Disclosure: I was provided with a couple packet of Hemp Pro 70 in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.