Status

Kicking Off Week Two

We are starting the second week of the #30DayStreak!  I am feeling very good about this streak and think it’s just what I need to get back on track.

I did miss running on Day 7.  Last Friday, Scott and I were out and we think we ate some bad food.  Eep!  The next day we weren’t feeling so good, Scott having it worse because he ate more of the food than I did.  Saturday I was able to go out with Penny for a walk but Sunday I needed to take a break.

I didn’t miss Monday though! I’m feeling much better so I was able to head out for a run.  The run was horrible, my shins kept cramping up so it was more walking than running.  BAH!  But I got out and completed it, which is the point of this challenge.

Fried egg with brussel sprouts

Breakfast was delicious.  Sautéed brussel sprouts with onion and crispy prosciutto.  The sprouts were boiled first for about 5 minutes.  Onions were sautéed in a little olive oil and butter, then the sprouts were added in. Everything was seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and garlic lovers by Flavor God.  Sprinkled in the prosciutto at the end and topped with fried egg.

Liquid lunch today (rare that we do this but breakfast was on the late side) was a smoothie.  I don’t have a picture because I was too busy drinking it but it contained:

  • 2.5C Water
  • 1C Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1/2C Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 Huge Handfuls of baby spinach
  • 2 Frozen Bananas

Blend!  This wasn’t a super thick smoothie but it did the trick and it made enough for Scott and I each to have two servings.

Porkchop with roasted parsnip mash

Dinner was pork chops with parsnip puree.  This time I roasted the parsnips first with half an onion and a clove of garlic.  All drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with a little salt.  Roasted at 400 for about 20 minutes until softened and slightly browned.  Everything got blended up with some milk and butter in the food processor.  It was really good but very rich and sweet.  A little too sweet, it definitely needed something to help break that sweetness a bit.  Not sure what thought, a recipe I’m going to have to play around with a bit more.

The pork chop was seasoned with Flavor God’s Everything Seasoning and seared on each side in a cast iron skillet in a little lard.  Then I added a splash of stock and finished the chops in a 400 degree oven.  Simple dinner but so satisfying!

How’s the streaking and eats going for you this week?

Status

A Little Streaking, A Little Indulging

Today is Day 4 of the #30DayStreak!  How are you all doing with your streaking?  Scott has jumped on board and decided to go streaking too!

So far things are going well but definitely challenging. I will admit that starting running again from square one is much different than the first time I did it.

Now I’m sore!

Six years ago when I first started running, my shins hurt for the first week but otherwise running wasn’t a big deal. My main issue was endurance and working to build that up.  Now not only do I have to build endurance, my muscles need to get used to running again AND I have to work towards tolerating exercise at elevation.

My quads and my groin muscles are sore after running.  Running is so much harder now.

DAMN IT.

Aside from that, streaking is going well.  Please know, I’m not complaining, more just talking out loud about the changes I’m experiencing.

Eats have been spot on this week as well with a little indulging that I’ll address in a minute.

BREAKFAST

breakfast sandwich

Monster breakfast sandwich and it was amazing!

  • 365 Organic Whole Grain Bread
  • 1/2 Smashed Avocado
  • 1 Egg
  • Prosciutto
  • Cheddar
  • Onion
  • Lettuce

Filling and delicious!

peaches and yogurt

Sliced peaches with coconut Noosa and some dried coconut flakes on top.  Perfection!  There is nothing like Colorado peaches.  The coconut Noosa was fantastic! I wasn’t sure what to expect but it totally delivered.  Slightly sweet shredded coconut blended perfectly with the yogurt.

 

LUNCH

Salmon salad

I made a quick salmon salad with canned salmon and homemade mayo.  It was super simple with some green onion, celery, and seasoned with lemon pepper.  I planned on having this as a wrap but the lettuce wasn’t playing nicely so it got chopped up and I placed the salmon on top.

Along with some carrots and a cucumber and tomato salad.  That salad was lightly seasoned with salt and pepper then drizzled with balsamic and olive oil.

DINNER

 

Roast chicken and roasted root veggies

I planned a roast dinner for Tuesday which worked to my advantage because I was so tired and feeling a bit run down that I didn’t have much motivation to do anything.

Roast dinners means everything goes in the oven till it’s done! Minimal prep and very little clean up makes life easier.

Whole roast chicken seasoned with a little lemon pepper seasoning from Simply Organic and Flavor God, roasted until done.

Along with some roasted potatoes and carrots, seasoned the same way.  I also made a quick gravy out of the pan drippings.  It was such a comforting and perfect meal, totally hit the spot.

Pasta and garlic bread

Scott and I had what we refer to as A Big Bang Night.  We love this show and I will sit down and watch it every chance I get.  TBS has little mini-marathons almost every evening.

If the Big Bang crew is having a special evening, entertaining someone, or having guests over, they usually are eating spaghetti.  That seems to be their go-to fancy meal and honestly it always looks delicious.  And I don’t even like pasta that much!

Last night we decided to indulge and have a Big Bang themed night.  We had pasta with garlic bread and red wine. There was cheesecake for dessert, that we didn’t get to but will be eating tonight!  And of course we watched the show while sipping the wine.

I had a little too much red wine but eh, it happens.  It was a fun evening and an awesome way for us to relax and feel like we were indulging a bit.

Everyone is going to have a different idea of what indulging means.  I’m sure pasta and wine isn’t a big deal to others as it is to us.

But with indulging, the point is to still make it count.  My philosophy is always make sure it’s the best that you can get. Meaning, if you want fries, don’t wast calories on fast food fries, seek out some damn good handcut fries with sea salt. Not only will they taste better but it will be better for you which means you can still feel good about eating it.

For our Big Bang Night, the pasta was whole grain spinach spaghetti, the bread was from Whole Foods and I made a garlic butter spread for it using grassfed butter.  I made the sauce and added local sausage.  The parmesan cheese was freshly grated.

We indulged but it I made sure that what we ate still mattered.  That we weren’t just eating empty calories but something we could still feel good about.

That’s how I approach indulging and “treats”.  Nothing is off limits because I don’t really believe in restriction but I do try to always eat the best possible that I can get.

Tonight it’s leftover roast chicken and veggies for dinner!  Thank goodness for leftovers, they make life so much easier.

Status

September: Go Streaking

Penny and I running

As most of you know, I have been struggling to get back into running since moving to beautiful Colorado.  The altitude is hard for me to adjust to and that makes running a big challenge.  I need to change this because I hate not working out and feeling like a lazy jerk.

It’s going to take baby steps but in order to get my ass in gear I’ve decided to do a running streak for the month of September.  Distance and pace aren’t important, just that I run everyday for 30 days.

I’ll probably bitch about it and it’s going to most certainly be a challenge. But I can do anything for 30 days, right? Earlier this year I did a diet challenge and that got me back on track so logic tells me this should help.  I will be instagramming this challenge and posting a picture after each run, using the hashtag #30DayStreak.

I would love to have some friends join me! Are you looking to make a habit change as well?  Maybe you want to start doing morning workouts or perhaps you want to bike more?  Whatever your goal is, I encourage you to streak for it! Challenges are better when we can all support one another.

So are you in? Let me know what you will be doing for 30 days and where we can follow along!

Streaking starts on September 1st, which is next Monday!  So soak it all up this holiday weekend because we start first thing on Monday!

Here’s to streaking!  I hope you’ll join me!

Aside

Leo: Fitness Intelligence

I love fitness tracking devices.  Since last Christmas I have been using the Fitbit Flex.  While I do like the program, lately it has left me feeling a bit frustrated.

It has trouble charging and then it won’t stay charged for very long.  It also isn’t very accurate, as long as your hand is moving, it counts that as steps.

Basically I could just wave my hand to bump up my stats.

Currently I am looking for something better.  A replacement that is going to be a little bit more accurate and actually work towards helping make me a better athlete.

I was approached by a company called Leo Fitness Intelligence to take a look at their new device and talk about it a bit.

Promoting crowdfunding projects is not something I normally do.  However I was very impressed with this device and the amount of things that it does blew me away.

Leo Fitness Band

It’s a band that is worn around the leg while you work out.  It monitors all of the signals that your body is putting out while you are exercising and compiles that into real time data that is easy to understand.

It helps you train better and can help you reduce the risk of injury by monitoring how you move.

Muscle Intensity

 

This works no matter what exercise you are doing, everything from biking to kickboxing.  Most fitness devices only monitor things like walking or running, big impact exercises.  This can help with a wider range of activities.

The amount of information this device puts out blows all other fitness trackers out of the water.

It’s pretty amazing!

Please go to their website to learn more about the Leo Fitness Intelligence.

The more people using this device the better the device becomes.  It learns from everyone and then takes that data to help make you a better athlete.  No other device does that.

They need support to get this moving.  There is even a Thank You program!  If you refer 3 friends who contribute to the campaign you can get a Leo for FREE.  That’s right.  They want everyone to have a chance to use Leo so they created a program to reward you for sharing with your friends.

Here’s a link to the Thank You program.

I love the idea of this fitness tracker!  If this sounds like something you would like as well, follow the links (not affiliates) and check out Leo.  I think that you will be impressed!  They have 7 days left on their campaign so make sure to head over and donate.  Don’t forget to check out their Thank You program as well so you can get your Leo for FREE!

 

Disclaimer: Leo Fitness Intelligence contacted me and asked me to share about their device.  I was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.

Fitness Friday: Up and At ‘Em

Scott and Andrea running I am choosing to focus on the positive of this past week. I only ran twice but I did get up three times at 6am to start my day.

This is HUGE.  I’ve been struggling with getting back into an early morning routine.  Even though I love early mornings and morning workouts, it’s been a challenge to get back into the habit.  Of course I blame poor eating for that.  The more crappy I eat, the more I just want to stay in bed in the mornings.

Duh.

I worked hard this week to make sure that I got to bed early and was able to get up early.  Adopting that habit again isn’t easy but the more I do it, the easier it becomes.  In order for a new behavior to become habit, it has to be done consistently for 14 days.  I’m working on making morning routines the new habit.

This past week, I made sure I got to bed early with plenty of time to read and relax.  Most nights it was lights out by 9:30.  I felt amazing when I did that and I’m looking forward to more of those evenings.

Scott said that he wanted to start running again.  We seem to go through this cycle of him running for a bit and then phasing out.  This time I hope he sticks with it!  He’s been getting up in the mornings with me and we have been running first thing.  Even though I have always viewed morning runs as “me time”, it’s nice to have company.  It motivates me a little more to get up and get moving.

And yes we are still at a mile.  But with sleeping habits changing and eating habits changing, I see us being able to up the mileage very soon.

Did you get a chance to move this week?

Fitness Friday: Cramping My Style

New Balance Fresh Foam 980I had an alright week with running.  Definitely one of those times where I could have done more.

Monday I went out for an afternoon run and it was horrible.  My left shin cramped up pretty badly which then caused my calf to start cramping as well.  UGH  I had to stop 1/2 mile in and walk the rest of the way back home.  It was another 1/2 mile before my leg stopped cramping.  I tried stretching it out but that didn’t help at all.

It was so weird! I have never had that happen before.  Yeah I have had sore shins from running but they have never seized up while running.  Strange!

I took Tuesday off to give my legs a break.  I went out Wednesday morning for a run and that was much better!  I did have to stop for a walk break because my calves were getting achey.  But otherwise I was able to keep running no problem.

Friday I did an afternoon run again.  The bad news is that my stupid leg cramped up again.  The good news is that it didn’t take nearly as long to recover.  I walked a bit, tried to run again and then had to stop.

DAMNIT.

Now I’m annoyed at the situation.

My Calves are really tight and I’m wondering if it’s from the hike I did last week.  The trail had a pretty steady incline on the way up and I did have to walk through a lot of snow.  I’ve been stretching them out this week and making sure I get in some bananas!  If I don’t eat a banana, I notice that my calves are more likely to start to cramp or get a charlie horse when I’m sleeping.  It’s weird I know but if I make sure to get at least a banana in during the day then my legs are fine.  I normally eat bananas mixed in with a smoothies and it definitely makes a difference!  Apparently my body needs the potassium.

I just made a smoothie and used two frozen bananas!  Take that, stupid leg!

I’m also going to make sure I’m well hydrated and I’m going to fiddle with the laces on my shoes to see if either of those help.

My Garmin has been having trouble connecting to satellites lately.  I start it while I’m getting dressed but most days it doesn’t even connect until I’ve already started my run.  Weird.  I wonder if it’s because all the trees are full now that it’s summer?  Anyone else having trouble with their Garmin?

As always, next week I will shoot to be better!  How did your week go?

Fitness Friday: That Time I Saw A Moose

This was a much better week!  I ran twice this week and went on a hike so I am pretty pleased with how the week turned out.

Tuesday I did a lunchtime run and it was so stinking hot.  I did have to stop and walk but I didn’t really care.  I was out running and that’s all that mattered. Then we took the dogs out for a walk and I ran some intervals on the trail with Penny to wear her out a little more.  We let the dogs cool off in the river which is Avery’s favorite part. He will lay down in the river while Penny will dig around for rocks.

Wednesday I went out again in the afternoon for a run and thankfully it wasn’t nearly as hot and there was a lovely breeze going.  I only had to walk once during the run which made me extremely happy!

The heat and the fact that it’s a later run (for me, I’m a morning exerciser) is why I had to take walk breaks.  Otherwise I’m willing to bet I could have run the entire thing.

The best part of the week though was going on an afternoon hike up in the Poudre Canyon.  I went with Kristin and two other ladies all of which have way more hiking experience then I do.  This is exactly why I wanted to go, to gain more hiking experience so that Scott and I can get out more and explore.

The plan was to hike the trail up to Zimmerman lake.  It is an “easy” 1 mile hike in to the lake and 1 mile back out.  Easy in quotes because for a n00b like myself, I don’t really consider anything easy.

We passed the trail head since it was very small and mixed in with another larger trail.  We stopped to turn around and that’s when Kristin quickly pulled over because there was a moose hanging out eating in the field next to the road.

Moose in Poudre CanyonNot the best quality picture I know but considering this was taken with my phone zoomed in and from the backseat of a car, it’s really not too shabby.

I could have happily went home at that point because MOOSE.  This was my first time seeing a moose and it was awesome.  His horns are starting to grow in and they are all velvety.   He was beautiful.

We headed back down and pulled back into the first trail head that we stopped at and finally spotted a sign for Zimmerman Lake trail.

Zimmerman Lake Trail Head

That’s how tiny it is so you can see why we missed it the first time around.

We were up around 11,000-12,000 feet in elevation.  The air still had a chilliness to it but not so much that it was cold.

Zimmerman Lake trail

The trail was snow covered, more than any of us were expecting.  We all agreed to push through and try to make it to the lake.

This made the trail a lot more challenging! My quads and calves were definitely working hard.

Zimmerman Lake

We made it though and it was totally worth it.  Look at that view!  Gorgeous lake!  It was very peaceful and calm up there.  Yep, I get to live here.

We didn’t stick around too long because we had somewhere to be and maybe because we also saw some bear poop.

For my first major elevation hike I did really well!  I made sure that I was well hydrated and I brought my camelbak.  When we first started up the trail I was a little short of breath but I took things slow and didn’t try to force my pace any faster.

Once we reached a certain point my breathing leveled out and I was able to breathe normally and wasn’t quite as slow on the trail.  I also didn’t get a headache.  I’m calling this a successful hike!

Afterwards we headed out to meet up with some more friends for some beers and food at a local bar located on the river.  It was an awesome day!

 

 

Fitness Friday: More Walking

I would love to share with you all the running I did this week but I’ve got a big fat 0 next to that amount.

Totally my fault and I know I should have planned better.  Next week will be better!

Our favorite walking spot isn’t quite so flooded out anymore so we can go and get some short little walks in.  The other day when we were out, we came across a gigantic snapping turtle in the middle of one of the paths (not the one we were using!). Click to see a larger image.

snapping turtle

HUGE!  The dogs were not interested in him at all.  Either they just didn’t care or they didn’t realize he was a thing and assumed it was a rock.  He was very grouchy and he had every right to be.  We just let him have his space and moved on.  He wasn’t there today so hopefully he made it to where ever he was headed to.

The city has gone in and reconfigured the walking trail where we go and now it’s much closer to the river.  Since we have river access and it’s been much hotter lately, we have discovered that Avery loves the water.

Avery in the Poudre

He will go and lay down in the water like it’s no big deal.  This is a dog that hates rain and tolerates baths because there’s cheese involved.  Never would have thought that he would be all about lounging in the river!

Penny will go in but she isn’t about to lay down.

How was your fitness this week?

Fitness Friday: Andrea 0, Procrastination 1

Penny and Avery on the trailI want to get back the core of what started this blog; food and exercise.  Showing how living a healthy lifestyle can be fun and fulfilling while not depriving yourself of good food.  I do not believe in being restrictive when it comes to life and food.

When I started this blog I shared my journey becoming a distance runner and I also shared our journey changing our eating habits and becoming more healthy.  After a while I moved away from that and focused more on recipes and kitchen tips.

While that is still important to me and I’ll still be sharing recipes and kitchen strategies, I’ve realized that I need to go back to my roots.

We’ve come full circle.

I’m starting and learning how to be a distance runner again.  Starting from square one and learning how to run in the mountains.  We’re also back to changing our eating habits for the better.

I’ve struggled with both of these things for the 2+ years that we’ve been living here. Getting back into a routine but also finding the motivation to do so.  I used to read blogs to help with motivation but I struggle with finding blogs that focus on realistic healthy living (food and exercise) and that are also written well.

I tried having accountability partners and I’ve tried joining groups but none of that worked for me.

What works for me is seeing someone else’s journey and being able to relate to them in some way.  Since I can’t find that, then I need to be that.  And that’s what this blog is going to get back to.  A space used to show off life and a journey back to being active and eating well.

Fridays are going to be about fitness and what I did that week to move and be active.

I would love to share great stories with you from this week but I didn’t do anything.  That doesn’t mean that I was sitting on the couch all day every day.  I’ve got two dogs and they need to get out for walks and exercise.  Scott and I scouted some new trails but we’re still looking for one that’s perfect.

For the first half of the week I was recovering from a cold so sleeping was way more appealing than running.  Walking the dogs and playing with them outside was about as much as I could muster.  I’m ready to get back at it this coming week!

I’m all about being realistic.  Not working out happens.  I’m not perfect and I’m OK with that.  It’s a process and I’m learning all over again.

Goals for this week are to get out and get running in the morning and maybe getting some cross training in.  How did your week go?

 

Running Clubs In Fort Collins

Penny and I runningAs I slowly (oh my god so slowly) get back into running, I’m pretty excited about two new running groups that have popped up.  They involve my favorite things; running, food, and drinks!

Not surprising that two such groups have launched in Fort Collins where we have plenty of runners and places to socialize afterwards!

The first group is bRUNch Running, where participants meet at a local restaurant and then from there either do a 5K or 10K loop ending back at the restaurant where it’s time for brunch!  There is no membership fee but participants do have to purchase a ticket to the event.

Tickets are $25 when purchased in advance and $30 at the door. Ticket price included: entree, two drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), tax and gratuity. A dollar from each ticket sold benefits the Food Bank for Larimer County. bRUNch is open to runners and walkers of all levels.

The northern Colorado group will meet weekly through September. On September 28 there will be a final The bRUNch Run, a 5K timed race at Denver’s Stapleton Central Park. Throughout the season, participants will bRUNch at restaurants like the Mainline, Rainbow and Mulligan’s Pub in Fort Collins and Sports Station in Loveland.

The website has a calendar up and you can purchase tickets through there.

Another running group that we have here in Fort Collins is called the North FoCo Running Club.  They meet every Thursday at 6pm at different locations.  They run a loop and meeting back at the location for a drink after the run.  Their schedule is up on their website. I’m not sure the mileage for the loops, I think that might be determined on site.

So if you’re looking for some new fun social groups that also involve running, now you’ve got two to check out!