Must Have Mondays..GI Jess’s Warriors

Hey Ya’ll…I’m so excited for todays Must Have’s.  I’ve gone back and forth with what items to give you today because I have a really great guest today and I wanted to give plenty of time to her.  So, I decided just to give you a few fueling items that I’m loving lately for my runs and then give Amanda the floor…..

Must Have’s this week….
*Generation UCAN

Here’s the deal.  There is a lot of science behind this.  Science and math just aren’t my things but I’ll do my best to explain just why and how GenUCAN works.   It’s called a “super starch” because it’s a sports drink…made with non-GMO corn starch.   It is extremely slow burning allowing your body to use your fat storage as fuel.  Also, because it is so slow to burn it doesn’t boost your insulin which means you don’t experience a crash.  I used UCAN during my entire marathon training process last winter and plan to use it again in the upcoming months.  I have been experimenting with it on shorter runs and I love it.  I had a history of getting headaches after every run over 7 or 8 miles.  Once I started using Ucan combined with proper post run refueling, the headaches went away. 
My favorite thing about this is that it’s gentle on the stomach.  I have some issues ok.  Like, anything longer than 7 miles and my stomach hurts.  Plus, I’ve tried tons of other products and they all make my stomach hurt.  UCAN doesn’t.  There is an energy enhanced option as well that I have tried once.  I plan on giving it a try this fall after longer runs.  I will warn you now, you are drinking flavored corn starch.  It takes some getting used to but for me the outcome is worth it.  You could say it’s an acquired taste.  Stick it in a blender bottle, give it a good shake, and you are all set.  I didn’t eat with the protein enhanced one but I do eat a little breakfast(greek yogurt, eggs) with the regular..shown below.  Some of you know I had a pretty miserable first marathon experience due to an injury.  The one thing I did right was my nutrition and pre and mid race fuel.   Hope ya’ll will try this!  Find out more info by clicking here

*Honey Stingers

I’m a huge fan of stingers.  I use them on long runs or sometimes I’ll just pop half a pack before a workout.  They are organic and they use honey as their main sweetener.  They aren’t too sweet and again, gentle on the stomach(can you tell this is a concern for me?).  I love them because they aren’t massive which means I can chew while I run.  They aren’t too sweet or sticky so they don’t make me too thirsty either.  There are two caffeinated options: cherry cola and limeade.  I usually stay away from caffeinated chews or gu’s because I’m pretty sensitive to it.  However, I plan on using these during Hood to Coast in a few weeks since we’ll be racing for 36 hours.  I used the cherry cola ones for a trail run Friday morning.  I didn’t feel jittery or weird so overall I was happy with them.   Check out their website here

So today I have my sweet friend Amanda to tell us a little bit about GI Jess’s Warriors.  I’ve known Amanda a long time.  We both grew up in the same church and her sister graduated the same year I did.  I’ve been in Texas for 12 years but thanks to social media, Amanda and I have connected through our love of running.  It’s so cool isn’t it?  I love that we can make connections with old friends and new friends over a common interest.  I asked Amanda a few questions so you could know what she, and GI Jess’s Warriors, are all about….
1.  Tell us a little bit about how/when you started running:  
I began running as a teenager.  I found that it was a good way for me to keep weight off and to relieve stress.  

2.  What is GI Jess’s Warriors For a Cause?
GI Jess’s Warriors For a Cause is a non-profit that was set up by my long time friend, Jessica Hambrick.  She noticed, while going through her own battle with cancer in her early 30’s, that there was a need to encourage other young people who have been inflicted with this terrible disease.  The group is made up of triathletes and runners who have caught Jess’s passion.  They are sharing her story.  She was a warrior who didn’t let cancer stop her from encouraging others and living each day to the fullest.  
We take healing baskets to those going through treatment in the cancer clinics throughout Memphis, find out their needs at home and do our best to help them through such a trying time.  We take meals, mow yards and clean homes.  

3.  For those that don’t know, how did you become connected with GI Jess’s Warriors?
Jessica and I have been friends since middle school.  We grew up in the same church youth group, went on choir tours and camps together.  We also went to high school together.  We both graduated in 1998.  She was so full of life!  Her charisma and zeal were contagious.  She married an awesome man, James, in her early 20’s.  They began a personal training business together and were focusing on building their business when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30.

4.  How can people donate or get involved?
You can find more information on the team by looking at their website here.  You can also like our Facebook Page: GI Jess’s Warriors for a Cause

I just want to say thank you to Amanda for writing this post today.  Please check out their website.  You can become a team member even if you aren’t local and it’s a great way to spread cancer awareness.  I just feel so strongly about taking time out from our lives, our schedules, our to do lists, to become aware of some things that we can be involved in to serve and give back.  So, that’s why I’m including these posts on Monday’s.  It’s perspective for me that sometimes gets lost in the craziness of my life, and often times the one thing I need to regain the most.  Thanks for reading today friends!

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