If you’ve ever been on a run and experienced an intensely happy feeling, you were experiencing what many call a runner’s high. It’s the point during your run when you feel great and seem to be performing at optimal levels of speed and endurance. Runners have touted the great feeling of this high for years, and researchers have spent time trying to figure out exactly what causes this feeling of euphoria. For years it was assumed that endorphins were the cause of this high, but science hadn’t yet come up with the methods to prove it. Now scientists know exactly what causes the euphoric feeling and how it benefits runners mentally. Both men and women experience it, and both agree that it’s a feeling you want again and again.

This week I am all about my new program.  So high all the time….

What happens when you experience a runners high?

According to a recent Cleveland Clinic study, as you begin to run, your heart starts pumping harder and pushing blood through your body at a faster rate. Your respiratory system starts working harder and you mentally prepare yourself for vigorous exercise. As you continue to push yourself to go harder and faster, your body starts releasing endorphins. These hormones act like a stimulant on the body, resulting in what many call a natural high. Researchers have found that the endorphins released while running actually attach themselves to parts of the brain responsible for emotion. The more endorphins released, the stronger the feeling of euphoria.

Because these hormones stimulate such a strong response within the body, some runners don’t even notice pain during a runner’s high. Runners have noticed fractures, sprains, and even chest pain only after the runner’s high wears off. This may be because the release of hormones triggers what’s known as a second wind, and a runner that was previously tired or feeling pain is now excited, happy, and willing to keep running.

How running effects your mental health:

It’s obvious that taking advantage of the runner’s high has a number of mental health benefits. People who experience this euphoric feeling while running report being totally relaxed, happy, energetic, and satisfied with themselves. Running also releases serotonin, which is a natural mood lifter. If you struggle with depression, stress, or lethargy (which uh huh I sure do), running is a great way to naturally lift your spirits and release all of the negative energies associated with feelings of sadness.

So not only have I found a natural solution to my depression, the time spent running is also terrific time to mentally do a little meal prep.

Meal-Prep Sunday

  • Grocery shopping start to final meal in the fridge: 2.5 hours

Some of the things we did this week:

  • Cut and bag ingredients for the slow cooker meals.
  • Peel and chop potatoes and squash for quick fries.
  • Chopped and bagged vegetables.
  • Make garlic crackers.
  • Boil ingredients for soup / freeze.
  • Make two types of cookies for snacks throughout the week.
  • Make Quest Bar cookies for Edmonton
  • Make fat-sicles for Cinnabon (flax oil, coconut oil, beef broth)

Monday

  • Breakfast: Eggs and Toast.
  • Lunch: Rainbow Chard Salad.
  • Dinner: Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki (R).
  • Dessert: Quest Thin Mints.

Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: French Toast with Bacon.
  • Lunch: Smoothie with a Muffin.
  • Dinner: Chicken with Autumn Salad.
  • Dessert: Protein Fluff with Cookies.

Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: Pumpkin Pancakes.
  • Lunch: Soup and Crackers.
  • Dinner: Maple Bacon Pizza (R).
  • Dessert: Banana Cream Quest Bar Pie (R).

Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Yogurt Parfait.
  • Lunch: Kale Salad.
  • Dinner: Slow Cooker Balsamic Beef with Carrots (R).
  • Dessert: Cookie Dough Cups.

Friday:

  • Breakfast: Eggs and Toast.
  • Lunch: Left-Overs.
  • Dinner: Chicken, Yams, Brussels Sprout Salad.
  • Dessert: Clean Puppy Chow.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: Pumpkin Waffles.
  • Lunch: Left-Over Beef and Carrots with Microwave Rice.
  • Dinner: Judges / Owners Dinner with INBF family.
  • Dessert: Kamut Cake.

Sunday:

  • Breakfast: Egg Cups with Toast
  • Lunch: Left-Overs.
  • Dinner: Family Dinner.

The rest of the day, we eat up all the leftovers and clean the fridge out for oncoming week.

Weekly Grocery List

Staples: 

  • Coconut flour
  • Almond meal (can be made by crushing almonds in a food processor)
  • Rolled Oats
  • Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Coconut oil
  • Chili powder
  • Flaxseed
  • Almond butter
  • Almond milk
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Pumpkin seeds.

Meat:

  • Roast.
  • Free range organic chicken breasts.
  • Omega eggs.
  • Egg whites.

Produce:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Pomegranate
  • Butternut squash
  • Kabocha squash
  • Rainbow chard
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Apples
  • Banana
  • Red onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Beets
  • Frozen Raspberries

Dairy:

  • Fat-free Greek yogurt
  • Diya lactose free cheese

Bakery:

  • Bread for toast

I will be providing the recipes for the items with (R) beside them. If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to email me at anytime [email protected].

Have a strong, focused and bad ass week.

With love from the Trench Kitchen,

xoxoErika♥