Guest Post: Allison from Balance in Bites

I have another guest post! Allison has some great motivation and tips for new runners! My favorite tip is number 6!! 😉


Hey there bloggers! This is Allison from Balance in Bites here with a guest post for MegaNerd.

Have you ever wanted to run, but told yourself, “I’m SO not a runner.” Or maybe you’ve seen a runner pass you by on the street and wondered, “How do people get to the point where they can run that far?” Well, in the past few months, I’ve gone from not being able to run for 3 minutes straight, to a oh-hey-whats-up-7-miler runner. A lot of people have been asking how I did it, so here are some tips!

1. Start out slow. I mean REALLY slow. This isn’t a race! If you can only shuffle along for 20 seconds before walking, that’s fine. Your first few times out will be tough, but don’t get discouraged! When I started out, I could barely jog for more than a minute. I kept going out a few times a week though, and eventually I could run for a longer period of time. It WILL get easier. But if you start out at a fast clip, you’re in danger of getting completely winded and discouraged, and you won’t want to continue.

2. Have a plan. If you don’t have a set plan,  it’s far too easy to say “Oh, I’ll run tomorrow.” Next thing you know, it’s next week, and you haven’t run in 5 days. It’s happened to me! It’s also a lot easier to get discouraged if you don’t have a plan – if you just go out and figure that you’ll just run as far as you can, you’re more likely to stop and give up after a couple minutes. I highly recommend the C25k plan (Couch to 5k). It’s how I started out, and the running/walking combination is great – very manageable!

3. Keep a running log. Jot down how far you went (in time, or in miles) and how you felt. This is a great way to keep track of your progress. Before you know it, you’ll be going farther and faster, and being able to see this progression can be really motivating. It’s a good reminder of how far you’ve come.

4. Invest in good running shoes. You’ll want shoes that are supportive and comfortable. My favorites are the Asics GT series. You’ll also want good socks – ones that fit your foot well and don’t bunch up or rub in weird places. The worst thing is getting a bad blister on a run. Seriously painful.


5. Invest in a good running watch.This is almost as important as running shoes, in my opinion. It’s the best way to keep track of your progress, and to make sure your run/walk splits are accurate. Once I went out without a watch to do a run 3 min – walk 3 min – repeat, and I thought I could just figure out the time in my head. I ended up zoning out and walking for 10 full minutes.

6. Positive thinking. There will come a day, probably sooner than later, when you don’t want to go out and run. You’re tired, you’re hungry, it’s raining, the gym is closed, you have too many things to do, your muscles are sore, or you just plain do NOT want to go. Remember how good you’ll feel once you’re done with your run. Imagine that runner’s high. In my whole running career, I don’t think I’ve ever regretted going out for a run. Like Nike says: Just do it!

Some miscellaneous things I find very helpful for running:
Bananas! Half a banana is great for a pre-run snack. I try to eat at least a half hour before I go out. The potassium is great for staving off muscle cramps, too.


2nd skin blister pads. These are a life saver for blisters that you might get. You can also try these ones, which are for little cuts and scrapes:


An ipod! I love listening to good tunes while I run. It’s a great way to pump yourself up.


Good old fashioned water. A must for runners, both before and after. You will probably be sweating a LOT. Make sure you get enough liquids back into your body.


So yes, you CAN be a runner! Start out slow and build up gradually. Think positive thoughts. You can do it!

And to MegaNerd – here’s hoping you feel better soon so you can get back into your running shoes!


Guest Post: Lindsey from Sound Eats


For those of you who don’t know me I’m Lindsey, the blogger behind Sound Eats. Megan and I actually didn’t meet through blogging, but we met years ago when we were randomly paired as roommates our freshman year at UCF. Ah, the good ol’ dorm days. 😉


I wanted to share some healthy on-the-go tips, most of which actually helped me get through my crazy busy college/ dorm days.

  • Emergency snacks. The easiest thing you can do to assist your healthy life on the go is to always have an emergency snack stashed away. My favorites are Larabars and portioned baggies of raw almonds. You will always one or the other in my purse. Apples, bananas and sealed bags of veggies are perfect to throw in a purse or backpack, too.


  • Water bottles. Keeping a large (BPA free!) water bottle on hand is invaluable. I love my giant 32-ounce water bottle because with the ounce markings on the side I can easily keep track of how much I’m drinking, and I only have to refill once to hit 64 ounces. Plus – water is free. And the cheapskate in me prefers to refill at a water fountain than drop a couple bucks on the same amount of water in a plastic bottle that will just get thrown away.


  • Plan your meals. When you’re busy and on the go a lot of times balanced meals can be among the first to go when convenience wins out. When you do have time to eat at home, make sure it’s a filling, balanced meal. If you know that you won’t be home for lunch or dinner, pack your meals. Invest in an insulated lunchbox (hey, they’re not all dorky looking anymore!). Sure it’s an extra bag to carry around, but it’ll be worth it when you start getting so hungry that greasy pizza place starts to sound good.
  • Never lower your standards. Just because you’re so hungry you’re getting cranky does NOT mean it is ok to rationalize a visit to a burger joint or pizza place. If you live a busy life and allow yourself to rationalize this thought process once, you’ll be more likely to do it again.
  • Scout out healthy options at local eateries. When I was at UCF I always knew where I could go for a healthy snack or meal. Subway, a small Greek food kiosk (with awesome hummus and pita!), no-sugar-added fruit smoothies, Clif bars from the bookstore, etc. Just another tool to equip yourself to live healthy all the time!


  • Fit in exercise in small forms. We’ve all heard it before – park further away from the store, take the stairs, etc. While I still feel it’s important to get in good, regular workouts, it does help break up your day to take the stairs, park at the top of a parking garage, walk instead of drive to your errands, etc. And heck – when you need a study break or are on a commercial break at night, fit your strength training in then! Push ups, planks, crunches, squats and lunges can be done anywhere without any extra equipment. Invest in a simple weight set and your exercise options increase dramatically!


  • Take a multi-vitamin. I know a lot of people question mutli-vitamins, and I by no means have a professional opinion on the issue, but I always take a daily woman’s multi-vitamin. Especially when I’m busy or traveling, I’d rather take a vitamin to ensure I’m getting all my vitamin needs.


  • Know yourself. I firmly believe everyone needs to know their bodies and what is good for them and going on in them. If you know your body, you will be able to tell when it needs a break or when it’s craving more protein or veggies. Or sleep! Sleep is even more important to those balancing a busy life! Know your body and treat it well – it’s the only one you’ll ever have.

These are all tips that can also be used during the upcoming holiday travel season, too. As a vegan, I am always practicing these healthy tips because not knowing what options may be available to me I find it absolutely priceless to bring my own snacks, meal bases and to check out restaurant options before I go there. This is helpful for any healthy diet!

I hope some of these tips can help out any of you who are as busy as I know Megan is!

What are your healthy-on-the-go strategies?

MegaNerd – feel better!