Making the Effort … to get Technical!!

Let’s Get Technical… (I am thinking of the old song “Let’s Get Physical…) lol! Well truth is if I had a choice I would prefer to get physical rather than deal with technology. That sounds bad huh? Just not my forte..What about you? Don’t get me wrong I am amazed at how technology is shaping how we live, we interact with the world ( this blog), and it goes without saying how we work, and get information. But I am blown away at what the current technology can do to help each one of us on our wellness journey. Twenty years ago no one ever heard of 10,000 Steps Daily, but today how many are keeping track of their daily exercises by using a Fitbit , IPhone or any other of the smart devices and apps.

“This is the whole point of technology. It creates an appetite for immortality on the one hand. It threatens universal extinction on the other. Technology is lust removed from nature”.

-Don DeLillo

Apps, Smart Phones/Watches and Internet Hiking Guides have become my new best friends. I enjoy traveling and wherever I go I try to find a trail to hike or run. But I need to make this one point very clear, I have no sense of direction! I know it sounds a little crazy that I would continue to put myself out there if I really don’t know where out there is.. I try my best to compensate for that weakness and have backup plans. To plan, I end up searching for information and sometimes that means I print out a 20 page document to drag along up a mountain to check our location step by step. My hiking buddies and I used the 20 page detailed directions from to hike Mt Baldy. I have also recently used AllTrails to literally help me follow the right (badly marked) trail and the breadcrumb feature on the Suunto is lifesaver. The Suunto watch has an extended battery and a phone app Movescount that syncs information from the phone to an app that gives all the pertinent data that any self respecting hiker needs.

I plan on using a few more popular apps such as PeakVisor, GAIA GPS, MapMyHike GPS Hiking, and CAIRN. The PeakVisor will help to recognize peaks that come into view (most excited to use this). The GAIA GPS for planning hiking trails and includes camping locations. MapMyHike GPS Hiking includes a large digital health and fitness community. CAIRN links you to information on great outdoor gear and an inspirational blog. My recommendation is to reach out and take advantage of what is available, find what fits for your needs and do not let your fear of technology stop you from advancing.

Meal Prep- Chia Pudding made with Hemp Milk and topped w/ Pomegranate, Chicken & Black Bean Quesadilla, Egg Salad, Raw Veggie Salad w/Feta, and Chocolate Banana Almond Butter Muffins.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the Effort …to take responsibility for your health!

Seeing more Blue and Green hiking on Mt San Jacinto

Last week I talked about taking care of my health and that brings me to a touchy subject. Taking Responsibility for your own health….

At 25 yrs old I had been drinking, smoking, had no basic cooking skills and to tell you the truth I was intimidated by cooking so fast food was my main intake. I admit I was immature and felt terrible but finally woke up, took charge of my health, quit smoking and drinking and got educated. I always admired athletes and I wanted to feel better but it wasn’t until I took responsibility for my health that things finally clicked. I started running and as I began to feel strong I wanted to look at all areas of my health and the natural next step was Nutrition and going back to school. My interest in Nutrition just grew and grew and I still am amazed to think of the concept that what you eat can effect your health both positive and negative. Now take that one step further… Who is responsible for the nutrients you take in?

This is such a bigger subject than just taking responsibility, it is also connected to forgiveness and courage. Now you need to take it from here as I continue to try to for myself. Take a good hard look at yourself and your health and how you see your future self.

Making the Effort !

I did promise to show my supplements that I take and just remember that it is ever changing and this is in no way a recommendation for you. The information from the science and medical fields should improve as they learn more and each person should look at the latest to form an opinion. I take the time to read and research the latest information so that I can make the best decision for myself. Here we go!

Vitamin D3, Psyllum, Calcium, Glucosamine/Chrondroitin, Ubiquinol, and a Probiotic
These supplements help with promoting a healthy immune system, bone/joint health, and stomach/digestive health and should be used in conjunction with a healthy diet.

I do recommend that you sign up for a few reputable health/wellness news letters. I am currently reading the Wellness Letters from University of California, Berkeley. In the February issue it discussed the long-awaited clinical trial funded by the NIH called the VITAL study. For the past 5 years the study looked at Vitamin D and Omega-3s and their protective effects against a wide array of diseases. The results were printed in the New England Journal of Medicine. The studies looked at whether the supplements could reduce the incidence of major cardiovascular events or cancer, but as what usually happens the study showed data that was unexpected and needs to be looked at closer ( read for yourself). Another important item to mention is that you need to be confident in the supplements you take. Look into the brands, if there are any recalls listed with the USDA and be careful purchasing supplements that are not made in this country.

Meal Prep for this week; Vegan Caesar Dressing (to be used for the Kale Caesar Salad) Fruit Salad, Almond Butter, Meatballs (for Green Curry and Marinara) and Tuscan Mushroom, Kale & Zucchini soup.

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the Effort .. to Take Care of Me!

Yes.. another destination Trail Run – Santa Rosa Plateau Scenic Loop

Hey there so ..Let’s just jump right in. This week I finally made time for some Wellness appointments and it got me thinking. Why do we put off making the effort to stay healthy? Is Prevention a dirty word? “Taking care of yourself”.. has gotten a bad wrap. Somewhere along the way the action of looking out for your health has become something that has to be fit in between a crazy busy professional and personal life and truthfully it is not given the priority that it deserves. The only time it is given the priority is usually when it .. is too late. We all need to recognize the importance of prevention and demand that the medical field accept it. I have tried numerous times over the years to ask my physicians about preventative measures with little success. We are the customer in this scenario and our wishes should be honored.

I am very lucky that I am rarely ill …wait a minute not all luck, I try to eat healthy and take care of my health. Also, I take supplements to boost my immune-system and of course running which has been proven to benefit the body by boosting the body’s natural immune system. How does this happen? Here are some of theories:

-running boosts the immune system by circulating protective cells through the body faster.

-the increase in the body’s temperature when we run may inhibit the growth of bacteria (some bacteria cannot thrive in that environment).

-running helps rid the lungs of airborne bacteria and viruses.

-exercise causes the loss of carcinogens through increased sweat and urine loss.

What about the mental benefits? 🙂

I definitely raised my body temp this week LOL! Speed Work -Done, Weight Day -Done and a Trail Run-Done.

My appointment was with Naturopathic Doctor and regardless if you agree or disagree with my choice I will tell you I have rarely had a medical visit that included at least 30 minutes just sitting across from them while they asked me specific questions and took detailed notes. She understood my health goals, she created a plan for me and I will be sharing the results of my lab work here. I strongly believe that we all should be getting at the very least regular lab tests when we have our annual check ups. It is like getting your health report card. I have also asked for a Spectra Cell micro-nutrient test and a food sensitivity panel, this will be a first for me and am so excited to see the results.

Go make yourself an appointment! Your Health is Priceless!

Supplements and what I take? -To be Continued Next Week

Meal Prep- Quinoa Tabouli (Tabbouleh), Apple Pancakes, Spinach Pasta, Rice Krispies Treats. *Recovery Chocolate Mushroom Cashew milk

Have a Happy and Healthy Week!

Making the Effort to take advantage of destination runs …and seasonal fruits/ veggies!!

Crystal Cove State Park, Laguna Beach

What a way to celebrate the July 4th Holiday but to …explore! Decided to take advantage of an extra day off this week by driving to a new location to run a trail. I have definitely been craving to see water and I am lucky that if I head the car west I will eventually run into it.

Living in the desert has made me appreciate different terrains. Sometimes I literally stop, take a minute and look around at the neutral colors of the desert in amazement. It also makes the green pines I see greener and blue water even bluer.

I am a huge fan of State Parks and Crystal Cove did not disappoint. I chose a tough but scenic trail, about a 10 mile loop that would give me some views of the blue and green. Now there was one thing I did not anticipate.. humidity (ugh!). It turns out when I left Palm Springs it was about 15% humidity and after wringing out my shirt after my run I checked the weather app for Laguna that morning and it said 79% humidity. Well, we will call that added training:) The trail really pushed me and I got more training being comfortable with elevation, sand, technical parts, and single track. I had packed a lunch and after my run I sat myself down at a picnic table and smiled while I ate.

10 miles and a gallon of sweat

Training for this week turned out to be pretty good. I ended up with 25 miles (quality) and was able to get one day of weights in. Still need to incorporate more yoga/stretching. So how are your weekly workouts going? If you are in a rut I recommend you get out of your ordinary, it will ignite your enthusiasm.

Now let’s talk Seasonal Fruits and Veggies- I think it is obvious that the benefits of seasonal produce are huge. The benefits are not only the taste and convenience but the high quality. “Knee high by the fourth of July…” that is a Midwestern saying about Corn and who doesn’t love Corn. Also Figs are in season so that has been on my mind this week. FYI- You probably won’t find a better plant source of calcium than Figs. Remember to freeze left over produce to use later when season is past.

Meal Prep- Corn Salad, Yukon Gold Baked Potatoes, Shrimp, Frittata, Fig Bar, and Flour-less Almond Butter Cookies

Have a Happy and Healthy Week.. Enjoy!!

Making the Effort to face our fears!

Hi All! First things first- Another busy, active week with temps reaching the three digits. What does that mean? It means I took that as an invitation to head up..up to Big Bear Lake again today. Last week my extra training was a run/hike with elevation gain (vert) and this week there needs to be some altitude. Palm Springs is just about 500 ft above sea level so basically I can drive anywhere to get to higher ground…lol! Big Bear Lake is just under 7,000 ft and so beautiful. I also will be heading up to the Tram- Mt San Jacinto soon but more about that later.

My training for this week included arm/leg weights, easy run (trying to keep my heart rate under 140), a long run ( 10 mile run) and then time spent running at higher altitude. Total miles was just under 25 , not much but happy with the effort I put forth.

As I was running this week thinking about Western States (of course!) I began thinking about my blog entry and knew I wanted to talk about Fear. My Fears and yours because yes we all have fears and we have the opportunity to conquer them.



  1. an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.
  2. be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful or threatening.

Guess what we all have fears. You and I may have different fears due to many factors but they still are with us. I had many fears as a child and young adult but I credit Running for my growing up. The act of Running has given me the tools to have self confidence, courage to face my fears, discipline, work ethic, to have acceptance and to honor my self worth.

Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you .

William Jennings Bryan

The inherent nature of life is constant change. To fear change is to fear life itself.

Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I still struggle with fear, whether it is as simple as trying to boulder up some rocks, going on a new trail, signing up for a college class or looking into my future but I will keep moving forward and so will you!

Meal Prep- Baked Chicken Breasts, Zucchini Pizza Boats, Broccoli Soup and I made up some Cherry snack bags to take to work.

Baked Chicken Breasts – Lemon Herb and Garlic

Make different flavors so that you will not feel like you are eating the same leftovers for days:) and to save money buy bulk and freeze what you cannot use now. I will be making the Lemon Herb Chicken into a cold Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts later in the week.

Zucchini Pizza Boats and Freeze some for smoothies. A dear friend gave me these Zucchini from her garden.

Broccoli Soup – Broccoli is a very good source of Vit K, C and Fiber.

Kale …Schmale… Just Kidding!

Excited about some New Books…

Making the Effort to train, and prepare to prevent injury!

Hi All! Hope you had a beautiful week!

Training this week included Vert, Speedwork and some Strength. I again had to adjust the “Plan” due to work schedules and heat. I was able to get in all I wanted to do, expect maybe another easy long run day, but still happy with the results. In my years of running, I haven’t felt comfortable adopting the run every day method of training. I ran every other day giving my body a day to heal and try to continue that now. I started running at 25 yrs old and I was working as a full-time hairdresser. That means I was standing at least 10 hours a day at work and just noticed swelling if I had too many running days in a row. I was also very careful to ice my knees after a tough run and I can say I have had minimal injuries during my 27 yrs of running, which makes me super lucky and happy:)

Mileage is all relative and a very personal subject with runners. I have not been able to build up too high, but concentrating more on a strong base. I have been focusing on leg strength, lunges, squats and weights for over a year and I have noticed positive results. Running on the trails demands strong muscles, sturdy ankles and balance, so I need to prepare. I feel good about continuing with what is working but I will be adding 2 miles to my long run day every 3 to 4 weeks because my goal is the Ultra!! Let’s not forget about speedwork and hills, which was also added in this crazy mix.

1 hour easy running and 1 hour weights

Stretching… yuk! I will admit it, I do not like stretching but I know how important it is so I have tried to do more. I want to include some yoga back into my routine if I can get just one more day in the week …LOL! And I would like to introduce you to my new friend…

No.. that is HARRY. I mean the Muscle Roller.

Muscle Rollers, I will say this…IT HURTS BUT IT WORKS! I think I contemplated throwing the roller out the window after I used it the first time but it helps if you cannot afford a massage daily, which I cannot.

Another important piece to prevent injury I believe is what you eat. I have not always ate healthy. In my early 20’s I knew very little about cooking and definitely visited the fast food spots too frequently but facing up to feeling like crap half the time I realized it had to be my health so I quit smoking, drinking, started eating better (no red meat) and running, haven’t looked back since. This is why Making the Effort is so very important to me. Making the Effort is just that, putting forth the energy to change. Success or perfection isn’t guaranteed but taking responsibility for your health will produce improvements.

Visit your local Farmer’s Market

Taking time to eat as healthy as I can is a priority to me. Food is fuel, and the building blocks for the body. After a run those micro tears in the quadriceps need fuel and nutrients to repair. The bodies many systems need to be functionally properly for those muscles and you to be ready for the next run. Visit a Farmer’s Market and you will not only pick up some gorgeous produce, but most have branched out to sell eggs and meat, so for us it is one stop shopping. The quality cannot be denied, but especially with organic produce the need to wash your produce is a must.

I try eat clean and limit my processed foods intake. I have taken the time to educate myself on basic cooking methods and found that I really enjoy it. I even started baking bread. I recommend to anyone that is interested in making changes to your diet that you start by not looking at what you have to give up but first start adding the high quality foods in. So look at your meals and try to get them more nutritionally dense, add spinach, kale or other veggies in where you can. For Example, if you have scrambled eggs in the morning don’t go cold turkey with egg whites only but to your usual scrambled eggs add spinach, and tomatoes. If you restrict your self too much you are just setting yourself up for failure. Once you start feeling better you will want to make those additional changes. Of Course , get educated by reading the latest info out there. I recommend medical sites such as EatRight.Org (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) , Health.Gov (Dietary Guidelines for Americans), and most of the respected teaching hospitals such as will have an informative website. I do take supplements .. but that is a conversation for another day.

Have a Healthy, and Happy Week!

This Weeks Meal Prep- Cashew Butter, Grilled Asparagus and Tomatoes, Grilled Salmon, Tuna Salad, Baked Yams and Chia Pudding w/ Blueberries.

Making the Effort …to be healthy and strong in body and mind.

The Desert Sunset

What a week! It is odd how looking back over the work week it just becomes a blur of rushing around, too many phone calls, grabbing meals on the go, working late or coming in early, and trying to remember to take gym clothes (in case you do stop by after work). How was your week? I hope you got a chance to make time for your health.

So let’s get back to our health goals… We have set them, we have verbalized them, and we have started documenting the training. We have a great beginning. But be careful, training if set too rigid will fail. There are just too many variables in today’s world that you have to be able to adjust for so know that going into it. My plan for this week was not what happened and that is Ok. I still feel good about the work I put in, the effort I made. This week I was hoping to get more altitude training but when my hiking buddy mentioned that this weekend would be good for a night hike .. I was thrilled!

Jason Koop (author, ultra runner/coach) discusses how we must…. “Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable”. I swear that man was talking directly to me…lol. I am a planner, a type A, a worrier and so on so this advice hit home hard. The cool thing about it is that he is talking about everything. If you want to race in the winter and you know there is a possibility for bad weather, then train in bad weather. If you want to race with elevation, train in elevation and if you want to race in a night race (yep.. I have signed up) then train in the night. That is so simple to me and yet so brilliant. Planning for all aspects of a race is definitely up my alley.

Night Training Hike here we come! The night could not have been better suited for a hike with a full moon to help guide us. It was very warm, about 95 degree when we started out at 8:00 pm. We had our gear and we headed out in the night on a trail that we are familiar with.

What a moon!

I quickly realized that it is not so much training for the technical, the head light, the reflective gear but more about adjusting your eyes to seeing the trail in that light, and being able to calm your mind when your new surroundings have you anything but. I will admit I didn’t really expect the nerves or the anxiousness that I felt. I have hiked and ran this trail maybe 30 times so it is familiar but not in the night, not in the dark, and not with all those sounds! I have to laugh I never thought bugs could make so much noise. I am thankful we didn’t see any glowing eyes out there. The hike was hard and hot with no running, we were too unsure of ourselves and our footing but it was beautiful.

The city lights seen from the Boo Hoff Trail

I am gonna say it again. Seek out those scary goals.

Making the effort to be healthy.. let’s start there!

So it has been a week… and of course the “plan” I had for exercise had to be amended due to work, weather or in other words life. I am sure you have been there. The school year is wrapping up and much needs to be done even at the end of a school year. Employee evaluations, cleaning the kitchens, and preparing for Summer School all while putting a plan into place for next year. So that being said I have had to adjust my run/lifting schedule. I had to squeeze in time early (4:00 AM) on some days and drive to a cooler place for heat relief. But actually those are the days I enjoy most! Early hours at the gyms are rarely busy,

and early runs in the streets peaceful and invigorating (necessary precautions taken).

I am very lucky that living in California affords me the opportunity to be close to mountains, and to beaches within a couple hours drive. I enjoy driving up to Big Bear Lake and especially if I need some altitude training. Big Bear is at about 7,000ft and my favorite trail has about a 1000ft gain.

Big Bear Lake 2019

I had an awesome run on the trails, and definitely felt the elevation but with more time spent that will improve. I had planned an easy run today to complete my week but I found myself caught up in baking and doing some meal prep. I listen to by body, and trust me I push it when I have to but today decided to give myself a break.

Now let’s talk Meal Prep…. I am not one of those people that take the whole day on a Sunday and end up exhausted . I enjoy cooking and baking and take advantage when I feel inspired. Today I wanted to try a new recipe, Cashew Sandwich Bread by @lauraleabalanced. It is gluten free and made with cashew flour which I had never tried before. I am not a trained chef or baker but I do love to mess around in the kitchen especially with alternative products. My diet is not completely vegetarian, I just do not eat red meat, not gluten free but I have noticed the older I get my digestion is affected, this is why I enjoy trying out alternative ingredients. I also find this area of health just expanding so much and I am very interested in it. Meal Prep today :

  1. Cashew Bread
  2. Egg Cups w/Spinach & Tomato
  3. Baked Yams
  4. Almond Butter filled Dates

So now you are caught up on how this week I was “making the effort to be healthy”! To be Continued……..

Happy Sunday All!

Sunday Morning spent on BooHoff Trail.. my kinda church! Hope your day is starting out well! Today’s Trail hike/run is about 7 miles total with about 1540 of vert ( that is the part you want to cus about) . Today my hiking buddy and I had a FKT for us or PR … whatever people are calling it now. We completed the trail in 2 hours and 3 minutes.,,, that is pretty good for us:) Around here ( the desert) we need to get an early start so we were hitting the trail by 6:30 AM.

Luv my SUUNTO Watch! So that brings me to the next topic regarding goal setting. Documentation– I believe it is vital to document ..and not just your training but all of your health activities. Keep tract of preventative tests or trips to a physician, make it into a habit. For training, it is a great motivational tool , that rewards all your hard work and shows you what you still have to achieve. Black and White doesn’t lie. I have had more success keeping on track with a written log ..but that was before these smart watches. So however you want to do it is fine just as long as you document. Approach your training or goal with the same amount of energy you would give a project at work or an assignment for school. Spend time working out a plan and then follow thru. Now you may have noticed I have not told you my current goal… LOL! Here is the accountability part. I will run a Ultra Trail Race this next year – 2019/2020. Ultra just means anything longer than a marathon ( 26.2 miles), and the trail part hints at climbing (oh boy). I did the LA marathon last year and I did the Antelope Canyon Half Marathon this past spring ( amazing!!). I am now in my “building my base” phase which means I need to consistently run 8 to 10 miles when I go out on the roads at least 2 to 3 times a week and then start building up from there. The other days of the week I need to work on strength, climbing and speed. I will also talk about Altitude Training .. ( but that will come later). Speed will be my least priority since .. No I will not win a race and I do want to enjoy every race I participate in! Well.. thanks for your time but this girl here is getting hangry and I need to replenish the stores.

The Healthy Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

My name is Marta Shand and I am an advocate for health and wellness.. your advocate as well as my own.  I have a bachelor degree in Nutrition, and I have worked in both the clinical and hospitality settings.  I currently work in the field and support student nutrition.  I am not a clinical dietitian, nor do I claim to be an expert.  This site has been created to hopefully  inspire and promote good health and being well.  I invite you to come along in my health adventure.

What is Wellness?

-the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.  Oxford Dictionaries

-the quality or state of being in good health especially as an actively sought goal.  Merriam -Webster

Right there.. Do you see that? In both definitions it talks about the effort put forth – towards a goal.  Now that is something I can do and you can too.  I believe in putting that energy in researching or jumping in and trying ways to increase your physical, mental or spiritual health.


I have been called a cheerleader (not that I ever was) and there is something inside of me that yells..”Woohoo.. great job”  or ” You can do it..”  or “Let’s climb Mt Baldy..” and luckily that voice is usually pretty loud.  Now that might mean that I can, most of the time get myself out of bed to go for that morning run.  But I need help once in a while too (this blog is a way of making myself accountable).  So that is probably where we should start ..

Motivation- I will share what works for me and maybe you can give it a try.

Goals- I need a goal to work towards and sometimes the scarier the better.  You have to tell someone.  If you don’t verbalize it I think it is too easy to give it up.  Speak it.. and Believe it!

For example, I never would have thought that someone my age (50+) could climb a mountain ( over 14,000 ft) but I did with the help of an awesome hiking buddy.  This one wasn’t my idea but I went along with it, and to date it is one of my most fondest memories.  Trust me we did not come close to the -fastest ascent and descent of Mt Whitney but we did it in one day and it was epic!  So that is how goal setting works for me.  Have you tried setting a tough goal?  What about a marathon? or Entering a Spartan Race?  I guess what I am saying is .. Scare Yourself!  Pick a super tough goal .. and yes you will need to set small ones to reach it but some of us do better when really challenged.  Does it really matter that I climbed Mt Whitney? .. No, but did I improve my health and see some of the most beautiful sites I will ever see while doing it absolutely!

running -grateful