Falling in Love (Guest Post)

**Happy Wednesday! I am just enjoying all the beauty that Sydney has to offer! Speaking of Australia, my guest post writer is a kiwi herself. Brittany from My Own Balance is a fitness guru with workout videos on YouTube that will get your heart rate going.  Brittany has a lovely post for you today!**

Hi everyone! First of all, I want to thank Jillienne so much for asking me to guest post while she is in Australia. Since I was just there in December/January, I can tell you all that she is having a fabulous time!


Jillienne is such an amazingly inspirational athlete so when she asked me to write something, I wasn’t sure how I could inspire you like she does. Then I remembered that one of the best ways to inspire someone is through passion or, as I am going to discuss today, *love*. I figured since it is February, everyone has love on the mind.

I often hear from my non-fitness obsessed friends that they just can’t stick with consistent workouts because they don’t love it like I do. But here is a little secret - anyone can fall in love with fitness, which can lead to a happy marriage with healthy living. I’ll tell you how!


You need to date around! You can’t expect love at first sight. Just like finding a mate, finding a passion for fitness takes some shopping around. Maybe you love how quick and efficient running is but can’t stand the treadmill, consider trying a HIIT workout. Or you hate weights but want more burn than yoga offers, try a barre class. The key is to keep trying different workouts until you find something you look forward to every week. Luckily with fitness, monogamy isn’t required so feel free to try a lot of different things!


Leave fear behind! It’s easy to say shop around but many people are afraid to try new things and get stuck doing the same thing they don’t like because fear prevents them from trying something new. You wouldn’t stay in a so-so relationship because you feared being alone, would you? Well, you shouldn’t stick with an ineffective workout just because you are afraid you will look silly, won’t like a new workout or are afraid to take the plunge to try something new!


You need to make a commitment! Ok you’ve shopped around, you’ve been fearless and now you’ve found something you could potentially love. It’s time to commit. Commitment can be hard but if you truly want to make lifestyle changes, it is necessary. Invest in yourself and do whatever is necessary to stick with your new crush.

You need to work at your relationship! We all know relationships are not easy. Your relationship with fitness is going to be the same. There will be days that even your favorite workout will seem like an insurmountable object because you are tired or stressed. These are the days you need to put in the work and push through. Remember, nothing good ever came to be without a little hard work.


You need to make fitness a priority! Your relationships are important to you and your relationship with fitness should just as important. If you don’t make your relationship with health and fitness a priority, you can’t expect to get the results you want. So treat this like any other relationship and make it come first even when other things seem important.

You need to make a life together! Plan for the long-term and think about what you want to get out of this relationship. What are your healthy living goals? Decide what they are and then make a plan to get there. If you have a long-term plan, you’ll be much more likely to have a successful relationship with your health over time.

So there you have it, a formula to fall in love with fitness!

How did you celebrate Valentine’s day this year? Any tips for falling in love? What does your relationship with health and fitness look like?

Don’t Suffer From Healthy Girl Guilt (Guest Post)

**I am enjoying my second week in Australia, and it is simply gorgeous! I can’t wait to give you all the details when I get back.  Today’s guest post is brought to you by Lauren from Focused to Be Fit.  I asked Lauren to guest post because I love her real approach to a healthy lifestyle!**

Oh, Hello!

My name is Lauren and I blog over at Focused To Be Fit where I write about finding the balance between getting fit while still having fun! I’m beyond excited to be guest posting for Jillienne today!

Do you suffer from healthy girl guilt?! Meaning, you often feel bad when someone offers you food or a cocktail and you turn it down? Or, do you find yourself skipping certain social events because they revolve around food and/or alcohol? Healthy girl guilt could also refer to having to deal with the constant questions from people wondering why you’re drinking that ‘Ew gross!’ green smoothie or saying that you’re lame for skipping the party to go to the gym.


I know that these are circumstances I face all the time and I wanted to share with you some ways I deal with getting people to lay off and accept that I’m happy being healthy!

1.) Be Consistent. If you haven’t made a lifestyle of being healthy and are more apt to just doing fad diets here and there, then it’s no surprise that people might give you a hard time. The problem is that they don’t believe you’re going to stick with it because they’ve heard this same story before. If you’re consistent, then they won’t be surprised when you turn down the pizza at game night and they won’t ask questions.

2.) Speak Up. If someone says something rude or offensive, take the time to talk with them. If you brush it off, it’ll happen over and over again and eventually it’ll cause bigger issues. Speak up and tell them this is the lifestyle you’ve chosen and that your health is very important to you and that you’d appreciate if they could just accept that. Communicating that their words are hurtful will go far.

3.) Start Drinking ‘Vodka’. Say what?! So, you’re at the bar and you want to hang with everyone but they’re wondering why you don’t have a drink in your hand. Well, now you can make everyone happy. When you get to the bar, just order a lemon water in a short glass. When anyone asks what you’re drinking, you can tell them it’s Vodka with water and lemon. Sip slowly so that no one is tempted to buy you another!  ;)

blog764.) Fill Up. If you know you’ll be attending a party with a lot of junk food and you don’t want to count on them having any healthy eats, fill up before you leave. If you go to the party hungry, chances are, you’ll eat whatever is there. If someone tells you to help yourself, nicely tell them that you ate before you came.

5.) Go Sweaty. Every Thursday is Girl’s Night for my friends and I. They know that I’m not going to miss my workout, so the evening with them always starts after I get done at the gym and no matter what the plan is, I go sweaty! They know I’m not going to be pretty, I’ll have mascara running down my face, and be a little smelly, but my workout is just as important as time with them, so I fit both in. Or another fun way to incorporate both, is having them join you for the sweat session!


 We should never have to feel guilty about being health conscious and while I do know how to have a good time, I like to keep a balance of 85% clean eats to 15% room for splurges – and believe me – I love my splurges!

blog15Brownie dipped in white chocolate fondue…yes please!

Once you’ve established healthy living as a lifestyle and not a ‘diet’, I promise it’ll become easier and everyone around you will be on board. Plus, hopefully some of them will join you in making their health a priority!

Thanks for having me, Jillienne! For more ways to find the balance between getting fit and having fun, stop by and see me over at Focused To Be Fit!

– Lauren

The Recipe for a Good Long Run (Guest Post)

**Normally I would have a Target Practice Friday post for you today, but I’m on vacation. Quite frankly, I’m just hoping to get in a good long run this weekend. Pun intended! Today’s post it brought to you by the witty runner, Ashley, from The Broccoli Blog.**
20131017-151232Good morning everyone, Ashley here from The Broccoli Blog. I’m very excited to be posting over here at Chasing Raspberries. Jillienne and I both started toying with distance running around the same time last summer which is how we found each other’s blogs. Now, with a few half marathons under my belt, I think I’m finally starting to figure out that recipe for a good long run and I wanted to share it with you.
Displaying Recipe for a good long run.jpg

Training for my first half and most of my second, I absolutely dreaded runs over about 8 miles and I have no idea why I kept signing up for these longer races. My stomach could not figure out a solid fueling system (most gels and chews make me feel sick) and I never planned well but finally things have started to click. Throughout my most recent training cycle I have had some seriously amazing long runs and I don’t dread them anymore, I’ve even started tossing around the idea of something further than a half marathon (Like a full??? Stop it I dont know)

A Solid Breakfast or Snack 60-90 minutes before
If you run first thing in the morning, a lot of people like to roll out of bed and go but for longer runs it can be dangerous to head out on an empty stomach. I like to eat some toast with nut butter and a cup of coffee an hour before I go, it keeps me pretty full without weighing me down.
Hydrate and eat well the day before
This is a lesson I learned pretty recently but should have been more obvious. It’s not just the day of the run that matters its everything you have put in your body leading up to that run too. I’m not saying that you have to eat perfectly 100% of the time. Elite runners probably don’t even do that. I’m just suggesting that you don’t eat a giant plate of bbq the night before a long run. Eat something balanced the night before and save the bbq for after the run, it will taste even better.
As far as hydration, chugging water before/ during your run isn’t enough. Your body should be hydrated at all times if you want to feel your best on a run.
Know Your Mid Run Fueling Needs
It took a lot of experimentation for me to figure out what I needed. For my first training cycle I completely gave up and ran with nothing and then I found out that there was a wall and I hit it hard. Fueling isn’t just for races, know what you need in terms of water and snacks and plan your route so that you either stop drinking fountains or carry a water bottle.
Prepare everything you need before you need it
Even if you don’t run first thing in the morning stressing out about finding the right socks or the right gummy bears is annoying and stressful. I like to spend a few minutes the night before making sure I have everything I need in case I need to run to the store for some peanut butter or something. Also, charge your garmin.
Have Fun
The most important thing is to not go into a run all stressed out and worried that it will be bad. Starting off on that foot almost guarantees you an iffy run. I also realize that sometimes getting better just comes from building a base and learning what to expect so if you have a few bad runs don’t let it get you down, your body is just figuring itself out so make sure you are listening to cues and helping yourself adjust.

Eating Healthy at Restaurants (Guest Post)

**As I am just about to hop on a plane to head over to Cairns, Australia (Hello! Great Barrier Reef), Megan has a great guest post for you today. Megan is a badass marathoner and has been a true inspiration during my first marathon training. Please welcome Megan to Chasing Raspberries! **

Hello, Chasing Raspberries readers! My name is Megan, and I blog over at The Lyons’ Share. I am so grateful to Jillienne for giving me the opportunity to share with you today! Jillienne always makes me smile – whether she’s showing off her new moves in the gym on Instagram, or telling us about how she’s dominating her marathon training runs, her enthusiasm for health and fitness is so motivating! headshot with quote - Version 2

Today, I’m going to share my best tips for staying healthy while eating in restaurants. Before I recently quit my job to focus on health coaching full time, I used to travel four days per week every single week … which meant I would eat at least 12 meals per week in restaurants! I’m sure you’ve heard that it’s healthier to eat home-cooked meals, but did you know that the average restaurant meal contains 2-3 times the calories an average adult “should” consume at each meal, according to JAMA Internal Medicine? I’m all about treating yourself when you want to and not being overly calorie-conscious, but if you’re trying to eat as healthily as possible, those 1,327 calories per meal can really add up and surprise you. (And remember … that was just average; there are some restaurant meals that top 3,000 calories!)

tips for eating healthily at a restaurant

So, if you’re trying to eat as healthy as possible, but still enjoy your restaurant meal, here are my top 4 tips:

  1. Follow The Lyons’ Share BDD Rule for eating out. When I’m going to a restaurant, I make a conscious choice before eating about whether or not I’m going to enjoy three things: bread, drink, and dessert. If it’s just a regular meal, I’ll only choose one. If it’s a special occasion, I’ll choose two. And if it’s a very special occasion, like an anniversary or a wedding, I’ll choose all three! Thinking of my options as what I get to enjoy (rather than what I have to restrict) makes it a much more pleasurable experience – and I still get to enjoy whatever I’m craving! The BDD Rule
  2. Make healthy modifications to your order. I believe in ordering what really sounds good to you, but also in making some modifications to make the dish as healthy as possible. So, choose a green vegetable side dish instead of the mashed potatoes and gravy, or opt for a whole grain instead of the french fries. In the pictures below, I was eating at a “hole-in-the-wall” Mexican restaurant, where it might seem virtually impossible to be healthy. But I did it! I went for the green salad, but passed on the cheese, chose not to eat the tortilla shell bowl, added healthy fat from avocado, and opted for salsa instead of the creamy dressing offered with the salad. I also enjoyed tortilla soup, but removed most of the tortilla chips and cheese topping – and it was still mouthwateringly delicious! making it healthier 2 making it healthier 3 making it healthier 4
  3. Make appetizers your friend, not your enemy. Appetizers can be a great way to sample many things from the menu of a special restaurant, or to tame your raging hunger before your main meal arrives, but they can often be even more calorically-dense (and nutrient-poor!) than the entrees themselves. So, I recommend passing on the Bloomin’ Onion or the cheese fries, and instead going for something with fresh, seasonal vegetables – the more color, the better! If I want to sample multiple dishes but am not overly hungry, I’ll often choose two appetizers as my entire meal, rather than an appetizer course and an entree course. bloomin onion(picture source)
  4. Request your meal to be prepared “dry” or with minimal oil. Have you ever tried to order something super-healthy, like a grilled salmon, a side of vegetables, or an egg white and vegetable omelet, and then have your meal come out of the kitchen swimming in a pool of butter or grease? salmon in butter Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 10.19.20 PM Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 8.55.15 PM(picture sources – 1, 2, 3)
    I love olive oil and think that healthy fats are essential, but the several tablespoons that restaurants often use can be overkill. Most of the time, restaurants are using partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil or other less-healthy oils, since they’re cheaper, and so I’d rather not load up. For this reason, I often choose to ask for my meal to be prepared “dry” (without oil) or with minimal oil.

So there you have it! I hope these tips help you enjoy your restaurant meals, while still sticking to your health goals. Thanks again to Jillienne for letting me share here today!

So tell me in the comments … How often do you eat at restaurants? What is your favorite healthy tip for dining at restaurants?

Enjoy Life (Guest Post)

**Hello from Melbourne, Australia! While I am exploring the wonders from down under, I’ve asked a few incredible bloggers to guest post for the next two weeks. Holly, the happiest blogger I know, will be kicking off the amazing line up today!**

Well hello there Chasing Raspberries friends!!! I’m Holly and I blog over at Eat Great BE Great. My blog centers around my passions for all things that are health and fitness related. I write about fitness and healthy living tips, original recipes, my favorite food products, recipe reviews, a glimpse at my everyday life and much more, so I hope you get the chance to stop by!

I was so excited when Jillienne asked me to do a guest post for her while she’s away on vacation. I’ve been a fan of her blog since the start! I love her recipes and pretty much everything else, but most of all I love reading about her fitness journey (and her current marathon training). I have always admired her drive to be an amazing athlete. She seriously has the fitness spirit!

A few weeks ago, I posted a Motivation Monday post where I shared some of my favorite motivational/inspirational quotes from around the blog world. This quote in particular really struck a chord with me, and I thought today would be a perfect opportunity to write about it.

#YOLO: How To Live Life To It’s Fullest

Over the past month or so, I’ve known quite a few people who lost loved ones from either disease, old age or untimely and tragic deaths. And then around the same time, I came across that quote. I don’t want to be morbid and depressing, but it really got me thinking about how precious life really is. We get up in the morning, we get ready, we go to work, we come home, we workout, we eat meals during the day, we go to sleep, then we wake up and start our day all over again. This routine becomes ingrained in our very nature, that sometimes we forget to take a step back and just appreciate it all. Life is a beautiful thing, and it’s easy to get caught up in the negative and stressful parts of it. I know that none of use are immune to these kinds of things, but it’s the way we deal with it that makes the difference.


I needed this reminder, so now I’m reminding you. We need to stop and look around, breathe and take a moment to be thankful for the mere fact that we get up in the morning. We’re so used to taking things for granted, but the fact of the matter is, we have ONE life, and it’s important to make the BEST of it.

Be Positive – Be Happy – Enjoy Your Loved Ones – Enjoy the Beauty of Nature – Enjoy the Little Things – Take Risks – Step Out of Your Comfort Zone – Live Life to the Fullest


How do you take the time to enjoy life?

What are you most thankful for?

Target Practice Friday: 20 Miles and Aussie Land Bound

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

First off, Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Secondly, oh my gosh it’s been a crazy week. All week I have been getting ready for my trip to Australia because I fly out tomorrow night! I’ve never been on a flight over 5 hours so this 17 hour flight should be interesting. Hopefully I can sleep through it and wake up in beautiful Australia!

Marathon - My foot is feeling better, so I ventured out with two 10ks this week. To slow my pace down, I called my mom during one of the runs. We talked for 40 minutes! (I’m definitely a social runner!) Counting the 13 miles on Saturday, I ran 25 miles this week.


Guess what?! Tomorrow I run 20 miles!!! Wish me luck!

Improve Pace - Didn’t work on improving pace this week since I’m focusing on avoiding further injury!

Yes, this was at work. Yes, I’m one classy lady.

Handstand - I worked on handstands and headstands. I think I’m slowly starting to improve! Yay core strength!

Eating Clean - Other than the Girl Scout cookies that I devoured this week, my eats were pretty good.

Since I will be on vacation next week, I have an awesome line up of guest bloggers! I hope you enjoy their posts as much as I do!

And be sure to follow my adventures in Australia! I plan to post pictures on Instagram!

Triathlon Swim Clinic

Hi my lovelies! I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Mine was pretty great. It started with a long run that was supposed to be 16 miles but ended up being 13 miles long. My heel is still swollen so I took it nice and easy.

Thank goodness for KT tape! This stuff is seriously amazing. I noticed such a difference the minute I put it on my foot.

Afterwards I went home to what is becoming a ritual after a long run –  eat good food, watch good TV (reruns of Friends or Sex and the City), and good old fashioned RICE. It’s funny… I am starting to feel like a lazy log after long run Saturdays. I know that I run a billion miles on Saturday, but for some reason I feel like I should be out and about rather than watching TV. Oh well… I’ll get over it! Like next week when I’m flying to AUSTRALIA!!!

On Sunday I went to a free triathlon swim clinic with my friend Yi.  I am slowing getting ready for the triathlon session since marathon training has taken over my life lately.  The clinic was very educational and perfect for anyone just getting into triathlons who is nervous about the swim.  The clinic started with individualized swims to determine our swimming level. Once we were placed in the beginner, intermediate, or advance group, the training began.

The intermediate group started with paddle board kicking. <– my kryptonite! Then we swam laps freestyle, where I received pointers like keeping my elbows up and my arms straight ahead of me as I entered the water. The clinic also emphasized gliding in the water like a fish rather than tightening up.


While I am glad I went to the swim clinic, I think I knew most of the information from swim lessons I took late last year. What I really need is a triathlon bike clinic! Surprisingly cycling is my weakest sport in triathlon.

Now for what you really want to know… the Veggie Grill winner is…

#93 Nikki Brendza for liking Chasing Raspberries on Facebook! Email me your address at jillienne@chasingraspberries.com and I will send these to you right away.

Question: Have you ever been to a triathlon clinic?

Target Practice Friday #29

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

Marathon - Confession: I have not ran once this week since my 18 miles last weekend. The reason I didn’t run was due to severe heel pain in my right foot. However, I went to the doctor’s yesterday and he said that I have retrocalcaneal bursitis, which can be treated with good old fashioned ibuprofen and icing several times a day.

Even though I wasn’t running this week, I did swim…


and strength train.

I am going to attempt a slow 16 miles this weekend since the doc gave me the all-clear.

Improve Pace - The only improvement here is that my 18 miles were at a 10:40 minute pace instead of a 11 minute pace! Color me surprised!

Handstand - I worked on headstand pulsing this week. Fun stuff!

Eating Clean - My focus was on eating well this week. I think I was successful in eliminating excess snacks and choosing healthy meal options.

For funsies, what’s your fitness name?

Happy weekend! 

Running Fuel and Hydration

If you haven’t already figured it out from the title of this post, today we are going to talk about running fuel and hydration! As you know, my life has been revolving around marathon training, so fueling up and staying hydrated are always on the brain.


As we have already established, I have gained weight during training. Quite frankly I’m okay with the weight gain. I’ve already come to terms with the fact I will not have a six pack by the time I go to Australia. Oh rats! Maybe I will…never! :)

But in all seriousness, it’s important to fuel up during long runs. I have been told to eat between 100 – 300 calories during a long run. Since I am a good student, I do as I’m told. I’m really an over achiever when it comes to the fueling up subject. I’ve tried just about everything on the market, but here are a few of my favorites!

During the run:

Clif Gel Shots – After an hour of running or before I get tired, I start fueling up with a gel. Some people can’t stand the texture of gels but I loooove the mocha flavor. Plus it has a little caffeine which is never a bad thing on a distance run.

Clif Bloks or Stinger Chews or Sport Beans- Starting around mile 7 or 8, I eat 1/2 a Blok, or 1 Stinger Chew, or 2 Sport Beans per every mile I run. This is my little mental trick for getting through each mile. To be honest I’ll do just about anything for food! I put the chews and beans in a small sandwich bag for easy access. I like to mix all three for some variety!

Stinger Waffles – Sometimes during the distance runs, I want to eat something that resembles real food. The Stinger Waffles are delicious and taste like dessert! I love the chocolate flavor.

After the run:

Zico Coconut Water – The perfect source of electrolytes after a long run. Plus you can find it at Trader Joes which makes my life easy.

Vega Protein Powder – Your muscles will thank you! ‘nough said!

Coconut Water + Chocolate Protein Powder = Mind Blown! My friend Gaby deserves a Nobel Prize for coming up with this combination!

Nuun U Natural Hydration – I special ordered this stuff because it doesn’t have artificial sweeteners. It’s great during and after the run.

Think Thin Bar – With 20 grams of protein you can’t go wrong. They are pretty tasty too!

There you have it! These are the fuel and hydration sources that keep me running.

Also, be sure to enter the Veggie Grill Giveaway to win 3 free entrees!

Question: What is your favorite fuel/hydration?