Back from BLEND!

Hi there!! I am glad/sad to be back from a totally awesome weekend at Blend Retreat. It. Was. Awesome. I met so many amazing bloggers, made some great friends, and got some fantastic swag. Seriously. I think my bag doubled in weight on the way home.

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Not pictured because I ate it: pop chips, beanitos, and dry soda. Good thing we had all those snacks because we were super active!! We had 2 boot camps, a crazy good hike and more. I’ll post a full recap soon, I can’t think right now, I’m still sleepy! I am so glad I have today off work. I’ll be traveling later this week for work, so I got to take an extra day. Win.

For breakfast today I did not feel like cooking at all (actually that means I didn’t want to do the dishes that follow cooking, just keeping it real). So I had a Core Power protein drink and some fruit.

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This morning I had the honey flavor which was so good. After the hike this weekend I had the vanilla one and it seriously tastes like melted ice cream. It would be fantastic blended up with some ice for a creamy treat!

I’m officially hooked on these, they are protein packed, not too sweet, and they don’t upset my stomach like a lot of protein drinks do (I’m thinking because it’s lactose free). The nutrition stats are great too, but a little higher in sugar than I’d like for a meal drink, but perfect for a post workout drink (which is what they’re made for). I haven’t seen these in stores around here so I hope I can find them! I’m already craving one 🙂

How was your weekend?

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Making Resolutions

Happy Friday!! I decided somewhat last minute to take today off, for a few reasons. One, I was feeling a little fried, and I saw on my pay stub that I have nearly 80 hours of PTO, and I had finished all my work for the week. Win. I slept in, now I am sipping coffee and blogging, and it’s amazing.

Pretty much everywhere you look in blogland, you see 2012 recaps, or super detailed resolutions for the bloggers, which really got me thinking about how I am fairly on the fence about the whole resolutions thing, and here is why: If you really want to make a change, why wait until a certain date on the calendar says to?

But, on the other hand, the end of the year makes a great excuse to look at where you were a year ago, where you are now, and use the turning of the calendar to refocus on getting what you want out of life.

This year, I am taking the time to set a few goals for the year, but at the same time, I am not doing anything drastic, just because it’s 2012. Maybe that’s why a lot of resolutions are failed or forgotten, some of it is forced by the calendar, and people aren’t 100% behind themselves. (Don’t get me wrong though, I think that a lot of people also have great resolutions and excel at them, it’s different for everyone.)

So this year I’ve decided to set some goals I would like to achieve. Nothing drastic or dramatic, but things I really want to accomplish.

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1. Run a half marathon. This will be a fast one to nock out, since it’s 4 weeks away. After my first, I will see if maybe I want to run another one, the Salt Lake City half sounds like fun!

2. Reach my goal weight of 140 lbs by my 25th birthday (Aug. 31).

3. Vamp up the blog. The last few months have been great, and now that I feel like I’ve found my groove, I just want to keep going.

4. Get back into dance.

5. Set up, and stick to, a budget with the husband so we can move towards a new car and a house 🙂

6. Apply to get my masters in strategic communications from the University of Utah (once I’ve been in Utah for a year so I can get the resident’s rate).

So here is the kicker, it’s one thing to set goals, but you need to create a plan for success. 

1. I feel like I am already half way through the half marathon goal, so that one is already set. IF I decide to do the second one, I am going to look into a longer training plan, that includes more cross training. If I decide not too, I am still going to continue running. Let’s face it, I am hooked.

2. So this is a three parter, but ultimately it boils down to consistency. One, to broaden my fitness horizons with new workouts, new challenges, and continually pushing myself physically. Two, eat a balanced, healthy diet with the goal of weight loss in mind. No crash diets or detoxes or quick fixes, they don’t work. Three, get into the game mentally. I have a tendency to ebb ad flow when it comes to my weight loss focus, and that’s not going to help any.

3. I have some exciting plans for this, but I think I’d rather keep it as a surprise for you.

4. I miss it SO MUCH! I found a few studios I want to try in the area. Time to bust out my leotards and ballet shoes. This is something I’ve been putting off because I feel “too big” to go back to dance. But really, at 400+ calories an hour, what better way to get toned?

5. It’s just something good to do every year to keep things on track.

6. This is something I’ve been toying with for a while, and I think it’s a great time to do it.

I am sure that other things will come up, but I think that this is a great place to start 🙂

How do you approach the new year? 

Fall Into Fitness Sunday

Good morning lovelies!! To those of you visiting from my guest post on Tina’s blog welcome!! If you are interested in reading more about me, check out my About Me post and my My Journey post. I’m also training for a half marathon, if you want to read my plan about that.

For those of you who haven’t seen, I did a guest post on Tina’s blog Faith, Fitness, Fun about putting things into perspective for her self-love reflection series.

Because of my little cold this week I’ve fallen a bit behind in my posts, and I completely forgot to do my Fall Into Fitness update! So alliteration aside, welcome to my Fall Into Fitness Sunday post :). For past Fall Into Fitness posts see here (the intro), here, and here.

Last week I put out some goals for the weekend:

  1. Hit the pavement twice. I did this! Not this weekend though, I still can’t breathe through my nose, today I am thinking a nice long walk is in order.
  2. Do some blog organizing and planning. I still haven’t updated my my pages, but that is happening today for sure. My guest posts are well under way and I am so excited!
  3. Make a list of must-read books. I started on this, and then I bought Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and I just can’t put it down!
Instead of weekend goals, I am going to stretch them out to week-long goals, so here are mine for the week:
  1. Stick to my training schedule. I am falling more and more behind in my training plan for my 5K, and getting sick didn’t help one bit. I am fired up about the race (on the 15th) and I am just going to use it as a chance to challenge myself and push myself to see what I can do.
  2. Continue meal planning and making meals ahead of time. This is a huge aspect of helping me meet my goals, neglecting to plan my meals for the week (generally, I am not crazy about it like I used to be, check out my grocery shopping post for more info on that) really makes it hard to stay consistent with my healthy eats.
  3. Take time to disconnect and truly relax. This is something I really need to focus on. No more iPhone blog checks before bed, no more checking work emails before I hit the hay. I want to create a technology free zone for at least 30 minutes before I go to bed. I am hoping this will help me sleep better and feel like I am having some “me” time.
How is your fall going so far? Any new plans? Races coming up? Events? Special goals?

Fall Into Fitness Fridays

Happy first official day of fall everyone! How fitting that it fell on the same day as my Fall Into Fitness update? Look at this, the leaves on the tree outside our house are starting to change! So exciting!

I’ve had quite the week here I must say. Everything just kind of happened somewhat last minute, and I am just exhausted. Most weeks if I know that this is going to happen I prewrite some posts on the weekend, but I kind of dropped the ball on that one. If you fail to plan you plan to fail, right? It also doesn’t help that the two posts I did have ready to go we having technical difficulties, and I just didn’t have the time to sort them out. So yeah. Sorry. I am really noticing that as my life gets busier I need to be more organized and plan ahead. No longer are the days where I was working three days a week and could nap the rest of the days away and fit in fitness and other things at my leisure.

Oh my ChaLEAN Extreme came yesterday!!! I was so sad when I got an email saying that it wouldn’t be here till the 28th (sad day). Then Kim looked it up, and said it might be the 24th, then I got home and there it was! I was quite excited. The Hot by Halloween Challenge starts on MONDAY, so I am so glad it is here! I need to send in my measurements this weekend, can you tell I am putting it off? But I am excited for the before and after info J

Last week I set out three goals for the weekend, and I think I did a pretty good job of meeting them. Let’s review, shall we?

  1. Workout at least once. Done and done. I went for a run on Sunday morning first thing, and it was great!
  2. Try a new recipe/prep some meals for the week. I made two new recipes last week. One was for a guest post coming up in a few, the other was the soup recipe I posted earlier this week. I really wish that I could convey my obsession with this soup over the internet. It. Was. So. Good.
  3. Print out my training schedule. So I made my schedule, but I didn’t print it yet. One, because we were having issues getting power to our “office” and two because I wanted to include the ChaLEAN workouts on there. My running workouts are already planned out until the half marathon though.

So, what should my goals be for this weekend….?

  1. Hit the pavement twice. I skipped a run for a very good reason this week (more on that below), so I want to go out later this afternoon and Sunday morning again (I love how quite Sunday mornings are, it’s a great time to get out).
  2. Do some blog organizing and planning. In addition to my regular scheduled rambling, I have three guest posts coming up, and I really need to update my pages to have the most up-to-date links on them. Oh and I have a great idea for a new banner, but I need to see if it will actually look cool, or totally lame.
  3. Make a list of must-read books. I have a few random lists on my phone or computer or nook, but I still feel like I am always wondering what I should read next. I would love suggestions! I requested the books that The Game of Thrones is based on at the library for my nook, I watched season 1 on demand, and it was good!

I INTERUPT THIS POST TO BRING YOU AN EMBARASSING STORY. OK, I had to share this. I am at my desk right now with a cup of water with a lid and straw and a to-go cup of coffee. Welllll, I just put my head down with my tongue out trying to find my straw. Too bad it was my coffee. I am really glad I am alone right now.

One other thing I would like to do is a little shopping especially for new workout pants. Let me explain why I skipped my run yesterday. On Tuesday I was running and it was going great. Just as I started my last running segment of my workout, I felt a weird pain on my inner thigh. I didn’t really think much of it, but when I hopped in the shower to destink myself, it HURT. Yeah, I had a pretty intense chafing incident. And it’s not healing well because it’s not like I can’t wear pants at work (how is that for casual Fridays? Hahahaha) and I didn’t have a large enough bandaid for it until I went to the store yesterday. Fine call me a wimp if you will, but if you don’t believe me that this is horrible, then scrape off some skin on your inner/upper thigh where a seam of your pants will always hit it no matter what you wear, and then we can talk about the pain you experience every. Single. Step. It’s feeling a lot better today, and I saw that the culprit was some fraying on the seam of my favorite running capris (I got them on sale from Nike a few years ago for $20) so I am thinking it might be time to replace them.

What are YOU doing this weekend? How are your Fall Into Fitness goals coming along?

Versatile Blogger Award

Hello there! Sorry to leave you hanging the past few days. I’ve been somewhat unplugged. This is the first time I’ve been on my computer for days, and it’s been kind of great. I am pretty exhausted for some reason, I am hoping that I snap back to my old self soon, otherwise I don’t see this week going well… I’m feeling pretty ridiculous. I can’t focus, I am tired, and just blah.

So again, sorry, sometimes you just need a break.

The lovely Sarah over at Simply Dove gave me The Versatile Blogger Award. So sweet! Sarah is great and so is her blog. We “met” through the FitBlog chat that happens on Tuesdays. It’s a great way to connect with people in the blogging world, both bloggers and readers alike.

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Pass this award along to 10 recently discovered blogs.

So, my seven things (each are going to be related to reads, recipes, or runs, since that’s how I roll):

  • I got a nook for my birthday and I can’t put it down!
  • I got new running shoes today. Salt Lake Running Co. was amazing, I was super happy with the service, and I can’t wait to get running on them.
  • I love buying new cookbooks, but I rarely cook directly from a recipe. I am more of a improviser.
  • As a kid, my friend and I would hang out and read our books together. I have a picture somewhere… it’s awesome.
  • I finally told my mom about the half marathon, and I kind of think that she doesn’t think I am going to do it.
  • I am having a hard time keeping my eyes open right now, and it’s not even 7 p.m.
  • Totally random, but I can’t find any of our can openers since the move. Not great since like half of my planned meals involve the cans of beans in the cabinet.
Now I get to tag some newly discovered blogs (to me at least, in no order):

It All Changes…
The Italian Housewife
Beth’s Journey
Sorey Fitness  (this is a mother-daughter blogging team, so they each get an award)
reRun Running (this is a sister team, so they also each get an award)
Twelve in Twelve
The Big Personality of a Little Vegan
Back Road Journal 

I hope you are all enjoying the last bit of your long weekend! 

August + Rest Days

I am ready for a great week! I hope that you are too. As I was cleaning up the kitchen, I realized something. I knew that I would have no interest making myself breakfast in the morning, so I had the forethought to throw together some overnight oats. I usually am not a huge fan of oats for breakfast, I prefer my breakfasts have more protein than carbs, but I threw in a scoop of protein powder and almond butter. Not too shabs!

I am so excited for this month! Honestly, the last part of July was a little rough for me. I was a little too stressed, and I lost my perspective a little, but on the other hand it was amazing—I started this amazing little blog. I have been blown away by the support and connections I have already made.

Unfortunately my weight loss goals aren’t really going the way I had hoped. But that’s OK, because August is what it’s about! We are going to get our adorable little house, get out of the apartment that is infested with bugs (I saw SIX on the ceiling at one time. Gross), my husband is starting his new job, I might get to see my family in California, the much anticipated new release from Kathy Reichs is coming out (!!!), and last but not least my birthday!

With the focus back on hitting the gym regularly, I am sure to remember rest days are an important aspect of any workout routine, but I’ve been noticing that for me, my Wednesday rest days are turning into Wednesday-Friday rest days. Not OK. So, I’ve decided to work on a new plan.

Instead of taking my Wednesday rest day, I am going to do what would usually be my Thursday workout, and then on Thursdays, do a yoga class at my gym. I will try it this week and let you know. I hope that the yoga class is good, I am picky when it comes to classes. I might just end up in the back doing 19 extra down dogs 🙂

Speaking of rest days, I’ve also seen that I usually take one day to pretty much do NOTHING. And frankly, I am starting to become restless because of it. I never make a schedule for my weekends, but I am hoping that now that we are going to have a house, we will have enough weekend projects to keep me busy. Why am I talking about this on my blog called reads recipes runs? Well quite a few studies have shown that housework can contribute to your over all fitness level. Weekend projects here I come!

The plan for my week is quite uneventful. Work. Getting things ready for the move, working out, and blogging it up! I also need to focus on bringing food to eat at work. I’ve become fairly reliant on the cafeteria at the hospital, and I need to branch out more.

Do you have any goals for August? Anything fun planned?

Incase you missed it: 
I am SO proud of this post I wrote this weekend.
Do you have a juicer? I used one for the first time yesterday. 

The Quest for Balance

Hello there! I hope that you are having a good week… it’s Friday!!!!!! I am SO glad, I am wiped. I haven’t been sleeping great this week, and it’s really starting to take it’s toll on me… I spilled hot chili on my hand after making dinner yesterday and instead of doing anything about it, I just cried. Hahaha. I think that pretty much sums it up!

I done with part one of Naturally Thin, and the rules have gotten me thinking a lot about hunger. I think that sometimes people’s struggles with weight stem from hunger, and hunger misconceptions.

Sometimes people who want to loose weight don’t realize that in order to do so, you might have to be hungry from time to time, but not by ANY means starving. A lot of time “hunger” is triggered by external cues, and we completely lose touch of weather or not we are really, truly in need of nutrition.

I read in Runner’s World once in a story about runners gaining weight and there was a quote something along the lines of “sometimes to lose weight you need to be hungry for a bit.” Now please, please, PLEASE understand that I am not talking about disordered eating, and I 100% subscribe to the philosophy that you need to nourish your body properly in order to reach any sort of goal, and you should always talk to a medical professional before making any changes to your diet.

My point is, our society is all about instant gratification and oversized portions; we are constantly bombarded external cues that we suddenly can’t tell the difference between what our body wants and what it needs. The honest truth is that maybe if you need to lose weight, it’s time to take a look at your habits and be honest to yourself. I know that’s what I needed, and what I continue to do every day. 

I personally have lost touch with my body’s hunger cues. Years of binging, crash dieting, and other abuses; my body is just down right confused. I don’t usually get just hungry by normal standards, I go from fine to I-am-about-to-hurt-someone-if-I-don’t get-food-now. But now that I am tuning into what my body needs vs. what I want, and I am beginning to tell the difference.

I had been writing this post for a while, and finally got the courage to finish and post it because of Julie’s recent post “Sometimes Healthy Living Means Saying No” on her blog Peanut Butter Fingers (I read it every day, love her blog, and she has been a huge inspiration for me finally starting my own). Her post talked about how, while every healthy lifestyle has room for indulgences, it’s also about saying no sometimes. I loved this post and it’s honesty.

I know that I am not exactly a poster child, I am still going down this health and weight loss goal, but one of the most important things I am realizing is that life is constantly about balance. Realizing this and also realizing that it’s OK to be hungry sometimes has seriously revolutionized my life. It didn’t happen overnight. But suddenly I am seeing these changes in my everyday behaviors that I know are going to pay off big in the long run.

For example, the other day at work, at 12 everyone in my office suite went to lunch, and I realized, I wasn’t hungry. I waited and worked until my stomach told me, helllooooooo nourish me please! I had a bunch of cut veggies and a veggie burger and ate until I was satisfied—not stuffed and that was that. The best part was that it just kind of happened. I didn’t force myself to do anything, I think that for once my body is starting to understand balance.

How do you deal with balance when it comes to your diet or healthy living lifestyle?