No Time For Abs? You Sure About That?

Jannine Myers

I posted a 20-minute ab routine a couple of months ago, and since then I have received feedback from some of you indicating that it’s still a struggle to make time for abdominal exercises. I understand that struggle, since I too spend most mornings rushing to get my workout finished so that I can get started on my never-ending “to-do” list. But thank goodness I’m a big believer that staying fit doesn’t need to be dependent on an all-or-nothing approach; I truly believe that you can still get results by doing shorter intermittent workouts throughout the day.

With that said, I’ve posted below a few of my favorite abdominal exercises that I sometimes do when I’m short on time. If you do these exercises in succession (just follow along with the videos), you’ll be done in approximately 7 minutes – that’s it! The key to making these exercises work for you however, is to really get in tune with your body as you work through each exercise, and make sure that you do each one with slow and controlled movements; do not hurry, and do not simply go through the motions. If you start to feel a “good” little burn as you work through each exercise, you’re on the right track.

As you will see, these videos are far from professional – my 11 year old daughter recorded and cued me 🙂






A Savory Snack For The Not-So-Sweet-Tooth

Jannine Myers

I’m always posting recipes for sweet snacks – because, well, I like sweets – but I do like the occasional savory snack too, and especially ones like these mini quinoa pizzas which are great to have stored in the refrigerator, ready to eat at any time.

Quinoa, by the way, is such a great food for athletes; it contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a total protein, and it’s high in fiber as well as anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. These quinoa mini pizzas don’t really taste anything at all like regular pizza, but they are so much better for you and if you have already acquired a taste for quinoa, then you’ll probably enjoy these.



  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ cup corn flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • extra virgin olive oil, for lightly brushing
  • 7 tablespoons good quality marinara (such as Rao’s brand)
  • handful of your favorite shredded cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine cooked quinoa, salt, garlic, corn flour and two eggs in a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix well. Pack quinoa mixture into a ¼ cup measuring cup, and carefully unmold onto the parchment paper. Use the back of a spatula to flatten the quinoa.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and olive oil. Use a small basting brush to lightly brush the top of the quinoa pizza crusts. Transfer the baking sheet with the quinoa to the refrigerator and chill for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove quinoa pizza crusts from the refrigerator and transfer to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove quinoa crusts from the oven and top each one with 1 tablespoon of marinara and a little cheese. Return to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes. Remove pizzas from oven and serve warm, or let them cool and store in the refrigerator.

[Original recipe from]

When It Rains, Make Soup!

Jannine Myers

A few weeks ago I enjoyed spending a wet and rainy afternoon making a healthy cleansing vegetable soup, and yesterday, during another heavy rainstorm, I did the same. Last night’s soup (recipe borrowed from health and nutrition coach Ross Bridgeford), is one that is intended to nourish, repair, and replenish the gut. Here’s what Ross says about each of the ingredients:


  • Lentils: contain heaps of folate, fiber, manganese, iron, protein, vitamin b1, b6, zinc and potassium. Lentils promote good heart health, stabilize blood sugar and most importantly, contain gut healing properties. The insoluble fiber in lentils helps prevent IBS, discomfort and diverticulosis.
  • Sweet potato: Vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B3 and B6 rich, sweet potato is also an incredible source of manganese, fiber and potassium. Sweet potato is an antioxidant rich food that also serves as an anti-inflammatory, which is critical for gut health. Nothing damages the gut more than inflammation.
  • Spinach: Spinach is a super-superfood. Chlorophyll rich, it is one of the most impressive of the ‘dark leafy greens’ which are ALL incredible. In terms of gut health, spinach is also a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and contains huge amounts of vitamin K, A B2, B6, B1, vitamin C and omega 3.
  • Carrot: packed with vitamin A and C, carrots are mega-antioxidants – particularly their high carotenoid content. Brilliant for gut health due to their high content of Vitamin A, C, E and fiber.
  • Bell Pepper: also high in Vitamins A, C and E, bell pepper is a strong antioxidant which can support gut health, with bountiful amounts of carotenoids and flavonoids.
  • Avocado: full of healthy omega 3s (specifically ALA), avocado is also a strong anti-inflammatory, containing high levels of phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, and vitamins A, C and E.
  • Dill: supports proper digestion by stimulating bile and digestive juices found in the stomach, while also a powerful anti-oxidant. Studies have shown that dill activates the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase which increases your antioxidant potential and reduces free radicals in the body.
  • Cashews: equally high in phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and zinc. Cashews are a powerfully antioxidant rich food that also support heart health, bone strength and are proven to help lower weight.
  • Garlic: a potent anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral.



  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils (drained and washed)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 handful of cashews (roughly chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 brown onion
  • 200ml vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Additional broth (for the lentils, and a little more if you desire a more liquid soup)


  1. Prepare the lentils; rinse and drain, then cook. I simmered mine for 35 to 40 mins in approximately 1 cup vegetable broth and 3 1/2 cups water).
  2. Next, roughly chop the onion and garlic and warm gently in a very large saucepan with the coconut oil.
  3. While these are browning and flavouring up, chop the sweet potato and carrots roughly, add to the pan and get it all mixed together and coated in oil. Stir for about 2 minutes.
  4. Now add the vegetable broth and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are just warmed through but not overcooked.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the still-warm cooked lentils.
  6. Next, transfer to a blender or food processor (do in batches if your blender isn’t big enough to do all of this at once) and add in the avocado, roughly chopped red pepper, spinach and dill. Here is where you may want to add more broth if the consistency is too dense for your liking.
  7. Blend until smooth and serve with a few sprigs of dill and chopped cashews.

A Slip Doesn’t Need To Turn Into A Setback Fall

Jannine Myers

We all have goals and great intentions when it comes to improving our health and fitness, but for so many it seems that the same goals are hopelessly pursued week after week after week. So often people commit in their minds to change their diet and eat more mindfully, or to start a new exercise plan and stick to it, yet as soon as they slip and make a wrong choice they fail to get right back on track. It’s always more convenient to “wait until Monday” to start over again; it’s never today, or right now.

I’m not sure if this analogy I’m about to share will help, but when I heard it on the radio recently I thought it could be used as a useful tool to help break those bad habits that sabotage good intentions. The analogy referred to “slips” and “falls,” implying that a slip can be quickly and easily remedied, whereas a full-on fall can result in more damaging and long-lasting consequences. Most people “slip” frequently, but only a few acknowledge slips for what they really are; the rest act as if they took a crippling tumble or fall.

For example, think about all those times that you committed to eating healthier, but as soon as you slipped up, you used that slip as an excuse to start all over again, but – on Monday of next week, or worse still, next month. It could have been Wednesday at a staff lunch meeting that you over-indulged, but for some reason it makes sense to slip back into old eating patterns until once again, Monday comes around. 

Here’s where the analogy comes into play; imagine that you are living in a city where the winters bring snow and ice, and the sidewalks and parking lots are so slippery that it takes careful footwork to make it from your office building to the car. As you’re attempting to get across the parking lot during your lunch break, you slip on some ice but thankfully it’s just a slip and you’re able to catch yourself from falling too hard. You quickly get back on your feet and start moving forward again.

Why did you get back up and keep going? Because no one in their right mind would stay down on the ground if they were capable of getting back up. Yet when it comes to a slip in one’s diet or exercise efforts, most will choose to stay down on the ground, despite having the ability to get back on their feet.

With that in mind, the next time you slip and momentarily hinder your goal efforts, visualize yourself in that icy cold parking lot and ask yourself if you want to be a fool who stays down on the ground, or if you’re smart enough to brush yourself off and keep moving forward, towards your goal.


What are you going to do next time you slip? Stay down, or get back on your feet and keep moving forward?

Buckwheat Groats For Breakfast – Try Them!

Jannine Myers

One of the things I love about summer is eating cold cereal for breakfast! I usually make my own cereal however, simply because I’m hesitant to buy any of the boxed cereals that line the supermarket shelves; most of those contain nothing but excessive amounts of sugar and a generous amount of chemicals. The cereal I currently have in my pantry is one that I made using a mix of buckwheat groats and whole flaxseeds.

Buckwheat, by the way, has nothing to do with wheat or grains, but is actually the seed of the plant, which means that it is gluten-free. In addition to being gluten-free, buckwheat groats are a great source of fiber, full of B complex vitamins, and rich in rutin – a compound credited for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. Flaxseeds on the other hand, while rich in various nutrients, really need to be eaten in ground form to reap the full nutritional benefits (but I like using whole flaxseeds for this recipe, mostly for the texture and taste that they add to the cereal).

Here’s what you will need:

1 cup buckwheat groats

1 cup whole flaxseeds

3/4 cup water

1/4 tsp each of ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and 1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsps maple syrup (optional)

A generous scoop of Back to Nature Harvest Blend dried fruits and nuts (Raisins, Almonds, Pumpkin Seed Kernels, Sunflower Seed Kernels, Dried Apricots, Pecans)


Soak the groats, flaxseed, spices, and vanilla extract in the water, and let sit (covered) in the refrigerator for several hours. When you’re ready to bake the cereal, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F, and then transfer the groats/flaxseed mixture to a cookie baking tray. The mixture will be “gooey,” which is normal since buckwheat groats, when soaked, become very gelatinous. As it bakes in the oven however, at a low heat over a long time, the texture will eventually dry out and become crunchy. Bake the cereal for approximately 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so. After an hour (or more, if necessary) of baking, add the dried fruits and nuts and bake for a further 10 minutes.

[Note: you may want to cover the cereal with tin foil part way through the baking if the edges start to darken or burn]

Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely. I like to eat my cereal with almond milk and some type of fruit topping. I also like to add some Natures Path Heritage Flakes, which does contain wheat.



A Typical Training Week For Ultra Runner Gia Dawn Madole

Jannine Myers

Last week I introduced you to 2014 Tahoe 200 winner, Gia Dawn Madole, and I promised to follow up with a sample of what a typical training week looks like for her. But first, here’s an overview of Gia’s perspective on training for ultra races:

Everyone has different philosophies on training for ultras. I am a high-volume low-intensity person. Runners all have different volumes of miles per week that works for them; personally I average about 100 miles per week, but for some it is 50 or 60. Training this way not only prepares an athlete to run the long distances that ultra races require, but it also helps the athlete stay injury free. Treadmills and tracks are the two places runners get injured most frequently, so I completely avoid them. I knew I was on the right track with my philosophy when during a 100 mile week I ran 30 miles on Friday, and then ran a 20 minute 5K race Saturday; not only was I was staying injury free, I was also improving my leg speed. Also, trails are very limited in Oklahoma, but I try to run trails and avoid the roads whenever possible.

Overall body fitness is also important in helping runners stay injury free. The only injuries I have had are self-inflicted ones from either tripping or rolling my ankle. My weeks vary widely depending on the amount of time I have available to train, as I juggle training clients in the gym, coaching runners, riding horses for clients and teaching horseback riding lessons. I listen closely to my body and if I feel my body starting to feel very fatigued, I will take a day off no matter what I have scheduled for that day. Below is what I typically shoot for in a week; the higher numbers are what I will aim for during peak weeks.

Monday – 15-20 miles

Tuesday – Boot Camp (early morning, around 6am), Core/Strength work, followed by Stairs (later morning), 8-15 miles (early afternoon)

[For Gia’s stair workout, she runs up and down some stairs in a building that has 22 floors; she does 4 to 6 sets which takes her about an hour]

Wednesday – 10 miles

Thursday – Same as Tuesday

Friday – 20-25 miles

Saturday – 20-30 miles

Sunday – 20-30 miles

[Gia occasionally splits her runs up into two-a-days, but due to her work schedule she often has to run all of her miles at once]

Gia can be found here on Facebook; her next two races are the Bigfoot 200 in Washington State on August 11-15, and the Grindstone 100 in Swoope, Virginia on October 2nd-4th.



A Double Dose of Healing Power – Turmeric and Ginger Smoothie

Jannine Myers

Turmeric and ginger are botanically related to one another; turmeric originates from the Curcuma longa plant, which is part of the ginger family. Both turmeric and ginger are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are also recommended as natural remedies for gastrointestinal problems. Since runners are often injured and/or plagued with “tummy” issues, I thought I’d share a turmeric/ginger smoothie recipe that’s creamy, zesty, and hopefully healing.



  • 1/2 large ripe banana, previously frozen is preferable
  • 1/3 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger (1 small knob, peeled)
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric (or sub cinnamon)
  • Approx. 1/2 cup raw carrot sticks
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice (~1/2 small lemon)
  • 1/2 cup (240 ml) unsweetened almond milk

[Optional: I also added a chunk of tofu (about 1/4 cup), and about 1/4 cup of Purity Organic Orange Carrot Turmeric Mango juice]

Found this at the Foster commissary, in one of the small refrigerators near the Delicatessan

Found this at the Foster commissary, in one of the small refrigerators near the Delicatessan


Simple – blend everything together! And enjoy……


[A slightly modified version of this recipe]

Ultra-Running Tips From An Ultra-Running Winner

Jannine Myers

With so many new members of WOOT, and several of you also new to both trail and ultra-running, I wanted to give you some great insight and advice from a Hammer and Nathan-sponsored athlete, as well as Altra Running Ambassador and winner of the 2014 Tahoe 200. Let me introduce you to 34 year old Gia Dawn Madole:


Me: Where do you live Gia, and what do you do besides run?

  • Gia: I was born and raised in OKC and currently live just east of OKC in Harrah, OK. I trained horses professionally and taught lessons (Hunter/Jumper and Dressage) after graduating UCO with a business degree in 2003. In 2012 I went back to UCO and got my accounting degree. I worked at a CPA firm until the Spring of 2014 and I just couldn’t stand having a “desk job” any longer. I started doing personal training at that point which allowed me more time to run and train myself. I still take a few client horses for training and continue to teach lessons. I have also recently begun coaching other runners and love being able to help them achieve goals that they only once dreamed of 🙂

Me: When did you start running, and when/how did you get into ultra-running?

  • Gia: I used to HATE running in high school. I played varsity basketball and running was always our punishment when the team screwed up. A friend talked me into doing a Warrior Dash the summer of 2012 and I thought 3 miles was insanely long; it was so hard and I was so sore after, but it was fun. I didn’t run again until I decided to do a 5k turkey trot. I placed 4th in my age group with a 21:20, so the competitive side of me wanted to see how well I could do if I actually trained and ran more frequently.  I ran several 5k’s following the Turkey Trot and was planning on doing the OKC Memorial Half Marathon, but decided the Friday before to switch to the Full Marathon. This “doing a race on a whim” thing has turned into my theme.
  • I ran my first 50K in September 2013 and my first 50M the following October. In December 2013 I heard about the Tahoe 200, and thought “Why not, it looks pretty.” The first of March I decided I should probably run a 100 miler before then, so I signed up for Prairie Spirit the end of March and Bryce the middle of June. I learned a lot at Prairie Spirit, mostly that during a race is not the time to try to lose weight by burning calories and not eating; you really need to eat more than once every 30 miles!  If I had only known then what I know now about nutrition (thanks to Hammer) it would have been a much more enjoyable experience.
  • As I journeyed into the Ultra Running scene the one thing that always stood out to me and one of the main reasons I love it so much is the people. At every race I have met people who are now lifelong friends, and at every race people have been kind enough to help me. I don’t think I would have finished my first 100 if Mason, who was a total stranger at the time, hadn’t offered to pace me and let me borrow warm clothes.

Me: What was the first 50k race you did (mentioned above), and how did you do?

  • Gia: My first ultra was the Do Whacka Do in Eric, OK – one year to the weekend before I ran the 2014 Tahoe 200 – I “chicked” the guys and got 1st overall 🙂 I learned a lot about hydration at this race, mostly that carrying only a small water bottle on a day where the temps reached 100 and you are running on a completely exposed trail, is not a good idea. Even to this day when I know it’s going to be hot, I make sure I have plenty of water.

Me: How many ultras have you run since your first 50K?

  • Gia: 50K – 3, 50M – 3, 100K -1, 100M -3, 200M -1

Me: Tell me about your most recent ultra, the Cruel Jewel 100; did you anticipate a top-3 win? When did you start training for it, and how did nutrition play a role in both preparation and racing?

  • Gia: I think with running ultras, anyone can out-run anyone else on any given day. Training definitely plays a part but there are so many variables that can happen out there. Going into CJ I was confident that I was fit and could run a good race and whatever place that landed me I would be happy with. CJ was more of a prep race for Bigfoot than an actual goal race. Of course I wanted to do well, but I am saving my super big peak weeks for next month as I get ready for BF.
  • I can’t really say there is a definite “time” that my training started for it. I stay active and run year round. I ran a couple of races earlier in the year as prep races for CJ. I let all my races feed into each other and use them to help prepare me for the next one.
  • Nutrition is huge when it comes to ultras. I have found that you have to find what works best for you and everyone is different. On shorter races (50k, 50M) I use mostly a mix of Hammer Heed and Perpetuem, and supplement with Hammer Gels. On longer races I supplement my Heed/Perpetuem with real food. I have found that I get really hungry if I try to rely on just the Heed/Perpetuem and gels during those races. Through trial and error I have found that my tummy really likes grilled cheeses but other food will do if those are not available. My stomach issues at CJ came from not getting enough calories at the beginning of the race. Most aid stations will have some real food available and I usually rely on them to get that real food. Next time I will make sure my crew has real food with them; once I started getting behind on calories my stomach began getting nauseous and it got even harder to get the calories in. I was finally able to get caught up but it wasn’t until around mile 75 that I started feeling good again. Getting behind on calories is one of the worst things I feel an ultra runner can do during a race. I shoot for roughly 150 calories/hour and if my stomach starts growling and I feel myself getting hungry, I’ll consume more – up to about 200/hour -but I try to do it in calorie-dense foods so that there isn’t a lot volume-wise sitting in my stomach.
  • In training I don’t run as hard as I do when I race so I tend to consume calories based on when I start to feel hungry instead of sticking to a strict calorie per hour plan. One of the MOST important things, I feel, runners can do in training in regards to nutrition, is to pay attention to their recovery nutrition. I will frequently have 2 to 3, sometimes 4 workouts a day, and can feel a huge difference when I am not able to consume a Recoverite drink after a workout. I feel this is what allows me to be able to successfully complete several workouts per day. Consuming a balanced diet (minimal processed food and sugar) will help an athlete train to their optimal ability.

Me: What tips do you have for someone getting ready to train for their first ultra? Or for those progressing to a greater ultra distance?

  • Gia: You just have to get out there and do it. I think sometimes people get worried about what other runners are doing or how fast they are going, how far they are going …etc… instead of just enjoying the run they are on at the pace and distance they are running. I like to think of running ultras as an adventure and a chance to learn more about myself (whether its about what I need to eat to make my tummy happy, how to best prep for a race, or mentally how far I can push myself). If you’re unsure about what to do (training, nutrition, gear etc) don’t be afraid to ask – the ultra community is a very friendly group and I have yet to run into someone who is unwilling to help. A coach to help guide you can also be very beneficial in getting runners on the right track to enjoy the experience to the fullest. Most importantly …. Go have fun 🙂
Me: One last question, do you still participate in road races, or do you stick to trail races only?
  • Gia: I still go back every year and run the Edmond Turkey Trot but that’s all the road racing I now do.

There you have it ladies (and men); some great advice and tips from a great athlete, who like many of you, just kind of “fell into” the world of ultra-running. Granted, most of you probably won’t experience the rapid progressions or victories that Gia has, but you’ll definitely get to experience the same joys of ultra-running, provided you make your journey your own.

If you enjoyed this interview with Gia, check out next week’s post as I’ll be sharing with you what a typical training week looks like for her. Finally, here’s my favorite quote from Gia, taken from an interview on

  • “When I decide to do something, then it’s done and decided. Then I just ask, ‘Ok, how do I make this happen?‘”


Gia’s Race Stats:

Tahoe 200 75:56 – 1st Female 10th Overall
Bryce 100 24:48 – 3rd Female 10th Overall
3 days to 100K 8:54 – 1st Female 1st Overall
Ouachita 50M 9:38 – 1st Female 8th Overall
Post Oak 50K 5:15 – 1st Female 7th Overall
Turkey and Taturs 50K 4:55 – 1st Female 2nd Overall * New Course Record
Palo Duro 50M – 8:18 – 2nd Female 3rd Overall
Do-Wacka-Do 50K 5:26 – 1st Female 1st Overall


More Running Buddy Product Reviews

Jannine Myers

Earlier this year I reviewed the Buddy Pouch from Running Buddy, and just recently I was asked by a marketing representative to review two new Running Buddy Products: the Buddy Pouch h2o, and the Buddy Brite. First up is the Buddy Pouch h2o, another hands-free/belt-free pouch but this time a smaller one that holds a 7oz. water bottle.

On the Running Buddy website you can see the pouch being worn on the front side of a runner’s shorts, but for some reason the pouch did not sit comfortably when I tried to do the same. I tried re-positioning it several times, around the front and sides of my hips, but the minute I started running it bounced significantly and tugged my shorts down. Once I moved it to the back however, I had no problems with it at all – although I did need to tighten the drawstrings of my shorts.

On that first run with the Buddy Pouch h2o, I ran approximately five miles and included some faster pick-up strides; the pouch remained nice and secure. I have since run with the Buddy Pouch h2o several times, and I love it! I’d recommend this mini-hydration system for shorter runs that last less than an hour, and especially for those of you who live in hot and humid conditions where even a 30-minute run without water can result in a heat-related illness.


The second product I was asked to review is the Buddy Brite; it’s an Ultra-Brite LED that clips around the back of your running shoe.

Buddy Light

I already own several types of reflective running gear and apparel so I have to admit that I wasn’t overly excited to try out this product. But surprisingly, I was impressed with the level of visibility and I kind of like the bright neon green color! Check out this photo taken from an upper level balcony; I am down on the street and while it’s difficult to see anything in the pitch black darkness, you can clearly see the Buddy Brite on the back of my shoe!


I tested the Buddy Brite while walking my dog one evening, but I also wore it on an hour-long run to make sure that it would stay in place, and it did. This a great new product that can be worn by runners, cyclists, walkers, and even skaters.

At just $14.99 and $13.99, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with either of these products. It looks like these prices may be temporary however, so don’t wait to order if you think you’d enjoy them!