Status

Resolution To The Max

Scott and Andrea shoes

Have you thought about the new year and formulated a plan on how you’re going to take back and take charge of your health?  I know that right now we’re all focused on the holidays, and cookies, and booze.  Don’t worry I am too!  BUT we also need to look ahead at this brand new full year ahead of us and decide on how to address our health.

Scott and I are committed to taking back our health and getting back in shape this year.  We’ve let it slack for too long for lots of reasons.  And now it’s time for us to step up and make time for us to be healthy and active again.  How are we going to do that? With tons of support!

Scott and I will be supporting each other but I’m also part of a group challenge as well that will be doing daily check-ins and using each other as accountability partners.  We will be doing the new Insanity: MAX 30 program  It’s a workout at home program, so no gym involved and no equipment other than yourself.

The basics of the program are that it’s a 30 minute program 5 days a week for 60 days.  The workouts are 30 minutes long and you push yourself to the MAX until you either can’t go any longer or you’re starting to lose good form.  It’s a cardio HIIT style workout and each day you strive to do better than you did the day before.  Even if it’s just one more rep or one more move, the goal is to do better each day.

Scott and I are so into this and I want you to join us!  The only thing that you have to buy is the DVDs, there’s no other equipment involved. A one time purchase for DVDs that you can use over and over again.

My long time blogging friend, Rose, is running the accountability group.  You can read more about the program and the group on her post.

Some folks have started the program already and others are waiting until after the holidays and starting on Jan 5th.  I want you to be a part of our group!  We all have 30 minutes a day that we can dedicate to our health and well being.  WE CAN DO THIS!

If you’re interested in joining our group either comment below or email me: Andrea AT FoodEmbrace.com and I’ll get you connected with our group!  You’ll have the support and motivation that you need to work through this program and complete it.  We will all be supporting and cheering each other on.

Are you with us?  LET’S DO THIS!

Status

30 Day Streak Wrapup And October Unprocessed Month

Scott and Andrea runningWe did it! We have made it through the 30 Day Streak Challenge!  How did everyone do?

Did I run or exercise everyday?  Short answer, no.   Longer answer, there were a few days where either the weather wasn’t cooperating or that I didn’t have the energy or time to head out.  I learned a lot during this streak though and realized a few things about myself.

For one, I am not a runner.  At least for this period in time running and I are breaking up.  But I did find an activity that I love and have put the passion I used to have for running into cycling.

I’m not ready to call myself a cyclist just yet but I hope to become one.  I have also realized that I’m ready to give the gym another chance. Before when I tried the gym, I didn’t go and got frustrated with it because it wasn’t running.  I still had it stuck in my head that I needed to run for exercise and to lose weight.

Very foolish thoughts.

Next week I’m going back to the gym to sign up and start taking classes.  Spinning, Body Pump, and yoga are the classes I’m going to start off with and we’ll see how it goes.

During this challenge I learned that one of my biggest obstacles was exercising on the weekend.  I struggled trying to figure out when to add it in and then ended up not doing it at all.  I made it more of a bigger deal than it should have been, which is something I tend to do.  This is not OK.

New goal is to workout at least one day during the weekend but also respecting my bodies signals.  If it’s telling me I need a rest then I’ll rest.

I am also committing to another challenge for the month of October!

Veggies noodles in a peanut sauce with curry shrimp

October Unprocessed run by Andrew over at Eating Rules.  This is the fifth year of this challenge and each year it grows bigger and bigger.  The idea is to cut out processed food from your diet and to start cooking more meals at home.  It sounds simple BUT we as a society eat a lot of processed foods and we don’t even realize it.

I cook a good bit already but I’m committed this month to cook even more at home.  Aiming to get us back on track and ready to tackle the winter holidays properly and in a healthy way.

Since Andrew has been running this for a few years now he has loads of resources ready for you and any questions you might have.  Like The Kitchen Test to help you determine what is processed and what isn’t.  Along with a lot of guides to help out including a free PDF download.  Make sure to head over to his site clicking any of those previous links and you will find everything you need to know.

Yes cutting out crap means more time is going to be spent in the kitchen but is that a bad thing?  If everything is planned and there’s a prep day that means less time in the kitchen during the week and only one major cooking day.

We can do this!

I’ll have a post up later this week with some resources that will help keep us on track and tips so we can make this month a success!  Let’s do this!

Status

Dropping The Runner Label

For a good chunk of my life I was a runner.  That’s how I classified myself and for a while, how others classified me.  I was a distance runner who ate half marathons for breakfast.  I lost weight and got back in shape by running.  There’s a lot of people that I met through running and they know me as a runner.  It was a huge part of my life for a long time.

Moving to Colorado has come with a lot of changes, all of them personal and all of them for the better.  I can see that now, hindsight and all of that. For a while though, I was a little lost.

Running has been a constant struggle since the move.  When we first arrived, I was coming off an injury and still had a solid foundation but no distance.  Elevation is not my friend when it comes to running.  Running became something I hated instead of loved.  I could never catch my breath, my legs constantly cramped up, and I could never get past a damn mile without wanting to crash on the ground.

As a “runner” and being used to distance like it was nothing, this was a confusing and frustrating time.

I’m a runner! I have to be able to run!  Everyone who knows me as a runner is expecting me to run.  

Those were just a few of the thoughts that ran through my head constantly.  I would beat myself up over the fact that I wasn’t getting the hang of running here.  Everyone told me to just keep plugging away at it and eventually things would work out.

Except that is exactly what I was doing.  For two years.  It’s been two years and I still can’t run even a mile without a lot of issues.  This was stressing me out.  Naturally I gained weight which made things even more stressful.  I’m not “me”.  I don’t feel like me and I certainly don’t look like me.  Being in a new city, meeting new people all while not really feeling like me because I didn’t have running to turn to, yeah, I was completely lost.

Priscilla, my hybrid bike

Then a bike showed up in my life.  The town we live in is amazingly bike friendly.  It’s pretty easy to bike from one place to the next and ever since we moved here, Scott and I have been wanting to get bikes.

We finally made the plunge and our bikes arrived earlier this month. We each purchased hybrid bikes, nothing fancy, a pretty basic bike.  I hadn’t been on a bike since middle school so I was a little nervous at first.  Of course you never forget how to ride a bike but maneuvering one and managing turns and hills does take some practice!

I’ll be fully honest, the number one reason we bought bikes was to start biking to breweries and bars instead of driving.  Priorities and all. My thoughts on biking didn’t extend any further than that.

I never considered biking as serious exercise before. When I was running, I thought that was superior.  Oh sure, cyclists can go long distances but runners have to do it on their own, not with the help of a bike.  I know, I know, that’s ridiculously elitist sounding.

The first time we headed out on our bikes, we went to a brewery and then we biked around downtown for a bit.

That first bike ride kicked my ass and made me seriously rethink my stance on cycling as exercise.  That’s all it took for me to fall in love with biking.

It also made me realize that I don’t have to be a runner any more.  I don’t have to live by that label. As simple as that sounds, it was a hard realization for me to come to.

Biking has given me freedom and validation that I’ve been looking for for two years.  Freedom in breaking free from the runner label, validation in that, yes I actually can do serious cardio at elevation.  This is kind of a big deal and very much a WHOA moment for me.

So for now I’m ditching the runner label.  Maybe I’ll try running again at some point but currently my focus is on biking.  This is where life has taken me and I’m happy here.

 

PS: I’ll share more in another post about exactly why I love biking and why it fits my lifestyle right now.

 

Status

Tweaking The Streak

We are smack in the middle of the third week of the #30DayStreak!  At the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel!  If you’ve been following along on my instagram then you know that there are some days where I’m doing something other than running.  At the beginning of this challenge my goal was to run for the 30 days.

While doing this challenge I’ve realized that running and I need to breakup for a while.  Currently I do not enjoy running.  I dread it.  Without this challenge, I think that I would have kept plugging along trying to run and then bitching about it.

Instead of doing that, I’m focusing on things that I do enjoy and that I want to do.

Avery and Penny on a hike

Like taking hikes with my dogs.  We take our longest walk on Tuesday mornings because that’s when we meet up with our walking group.  It’s a 2 – 3 mile hike (depending on the heat) and it’s awesome.  Fantastic views and very peaceful.  The rest of the week we take smaller hikes 1 – 1.5 miles.  I would rather hike with the dogs instead of just walking around our neighborhood.  Hikes are calming and very relaxing.  The dogs and I enjoy hikes way more than neighborhood strolls.

Poudre Trail

I recently purchased a bike and have fallen in love with biking.  I cannot wait to get on my bike and go for a ride.  I’m pretty sure this is going to replace running for me, at least for the time being.  Biking deserves its own post so I will be sharing my thoughts on biking and my transition next week.

For the remainder of the streak, my focus is no longer on running.  Now my goal is to get outside as much as possible and to move my body mindfully everyday.  Whether it’s a hike with my dogs or a bike ride, I want to be out embracing the day.

How has the streak been going for you?

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?