I’m Back!

Well hi there!! I bet you thought I had dropped off the face of the planet. I think I get the most sporadic blogger award 😉 work has been nuts and it’s really hard to sit down and write a post when you have a puppy whose favorite perch is your chest. Seriously. She feels the need to be SO close to me that she will sometimes lay across my chest while we’re on the couch. And I let her because it makes me feel loved and her tummy is so warm! She also likes to perch on my shoulder and sit in the sunlight by the window, kind of like a cat.

 

Anywhoooo, since my half marathon I’ve done 2 races and 2 runs for a grand total of 12 miles. In 4 months. At first I was disappointed in myself and then scared that I might not like running anymore. It seriously took a ridiculous amount of effort to get myself out the door for those runs and all but ONE was done because I had committed to doing them with friends.

I was pretty sure that I was over running. Like an it’s not you it’s me type thing. The guilt set in, and then I was scared that if I did run, I would not be able to do it.

I finally got myself psyched to run the day before yesterday after work. I walked a bit with my husband and the pup to warm up, then I ran a loop that’s just shy of three miles. And includes a hill of death. I walked up that part but SERIOUSLY I wanted to die, I need to check on my garmin how much of an elevation change it is. My goal is to continue to do this loop a few times a week and eventually RUN up the hill of death without actually facing death.

Once I actually got out there, sans music, just me and my breathing, I was reminded how much I enjoy running! I had had a long busy day at work, but it all melted away. Also, because I am not training for anything, I simply ran until I felt like I needed a break, walked for a bit and then continued. But don’t confuse this with an easy workout, any time I wanted a break I would pick a spot in the distance and run HARD till I got there, then walked for less than a minute.

By the time I got home I was drenched in sweat and feeling really good about getting out there!

Bottom line, I like running, and I think I just needed a break after my half to remember that. So much of my training was completed because I felt that I HAD to not that I WANTED to. There’s no point in forcing yourself to do something you dread, so I am glad I took some time to step back.

Also, fun fact, yesterday was my two year anniversary!

Being the worst wife ever, I forgot that I had to go to the dance studio to help out, and like an idiot I forgot that the 1st was a Tuesday. Also, I steal the M&Ms out of his trail mix.

Five Fun Finds

Morning friends! I hope you had a great weekend! Mine was lovely, I got to enjoy the BEAUTIFUL weather we had here (and are still having). I had a fantastic Saturday morning ballet class (the teacher seriously felt the need to punish my calves, they are killing me still), took an AMAZING nap, and spent the rest of the day outside! Yesterday we spent most of the morning at the park, enjoyed a yummy sushi lunch at Happy Sumo (if you live near one check out their VIP program, WORTH IT) on the patio, hit up a new-to-me bar, and just relaxed.

I’ve come across some fun things in the last few weeks, so I thought I would share!

1. The Garage.

 

This is a bar in Salt Lake (maybe technically it’s out of the city limits, it’s on the way to Bountiful…) I’ve driven past it a bunch of times on the way to my friend’s place, but kind of thought it was a dive/biker bar. Well it’s not, really! Someone mentioned that they had corn hole and fried funeral potato (a total Utah thing, but my mom has made them for years under the name “cheesy potatoes”) bites, so I was IN. It was a nice way to spend our Sunday afternoon.

2. KLUTCH Club.

I read about this on another blog. HOW FRIGGIN COOL. I want a subscription, but it would also be such a great gift for someone who you know who is either passionate about health and fitness or wants to be and is interested in trying new things but isn’t quite sure how. It’s also a great way to try products you usually might not pick out for yourself. (Husband, if you are reading this, consider this a giant wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

 3. My new Lululemon top  

I just saw that this is on sale now. WTF GUYS. I seriously HATE it when that happens. I bought this for dance initially, but I’ve been wearing it a lot more than I was expecting to. I especially LOVE how forgiving it is in the tummy area. Now to get something that is as flattering on my arms… (seriously I could write 10 posts on how much I hate them).

4. My new flats!

So I finally invested in some more expensive flats. I really needed to and since Aurora decided to rip out the lining of a few, I thought one good pair that I keep in the closet when they aren’t on my feet is a good idea. I had seen the TOMs flats, loved them, but wasn’t a huge fan of the price. I tried them on though and fell in love! The grey linen is a good spring neutral and they are so comfy!

5. Dermalogica products

I got a facial before I got my hair done last weekend, and they used Dermalogica products. This was my first time using the brand, and I am loving it. But seriously, WHY do I have to have such expensive tastes? One thing that she told me that I knew but was avoiding was that I have premature aging skin. (WEAR SUNSCREEN PEOPLE) I knew this, and I am loving the results of the facial. I want to get the month-long trial for their AGEsmart system and see how it goes from there. That way I can try the products out and see which I like.

Share something new to you with me!

Listening to Your Body

Morning! Happy Monday, or something along those lines, I cut my pretty good while trying to open a box, and I am fairly sleepy today. What can you do? I had a great weekend. Got a lot of things done, although not as much as I’d like (it always seems to be the case for me…) and still got to fit in some relaxing.

As you know I’ve been diving a little deeper into this whole “clean eating” business and I’ve been reading quite a few interesting articles and books. But I can’t stop thinking about no matter how many times you call something a “lifestyle” it’s still pretty much a DIET. I’ll get more into my full thoughts later.

Tara Stiles is a yoga instructor, author, and yoga video goddess and I LOVE her books and videos. Especially her little tidbits of wisdom she shares on Facebook and Twitter.

Not too long ago (OK really in February, where is time going?) Tara posted on her Facebook page “It’s easier to go on a diet than pay attention to what your body needs. It’s easier to do what someone says than to decide for yourself. It’s easier to give your power away than to rise and take a stand. Fortunately you have the ability to choose.”

Isn’t she so smart? I think that the first sentence is THE reason why diets fail. You aren’t listening to your body, you’re just doing what someone says is best. Think about that for a little bit. Would you do that with other aspects of your life? Would you just wear whatever someone put out for you that day, no questions asked? Would you just live in a house and work in a job just because you were told to do it? Would you just take medications someone handed you because they said it would be best for you? Where do you live Panem? (hehehe) (And if you’ve done the last one, then there’s a strong chance you’ve done illegal drugs, just sayin…)

So why on earth do we follow diets that tell us when, how, how much and how often to eat? Eating is one thing that you have complete control over. Also if we let them, our bodies are really good about telling us what it wants. We just have to listen! This goes back to Bethenny Frankle’s book where she talks about your food voice vs. food noise. It’s just really hard to figure out which is which!

I do think that some diets can be a good jumping off point, like the 5-Factor Diet, or the Clean Eating Diet, or even the 17 Day diet (I wouldn’t do Phase 1, that’s just me though) to get on track with a healthier lifestyle, but if you let it, these diets will drown out your food voice completely and when you go off-diet, you will go crazy!

It all kind of dawned on me when last week on my way to the dance studio I went to grab an iced coffee and got a brownie. In my mind I was so upset with myself, I had eaten so great all day, why was a ruining it with this? I couldn’t deny that I was indeed hungry and a little tired. So I started drafting a tweet about why do I get so hungry between 2 and 4 p.m. and which always derails my day and ruins everything. Then it dawned on me. Maybe there’s a reason I am hungrier then. Maybe my body just wants a larger meal later in the day. But then I thought, but all the weight loss books say no carbs after lunch if possible and yada yada. Well self, did YOU write this book? Then how does the author know when YOU are most hungry? Say all you want about when science says my metabolism is fastest, if I am consistently hungry at that time, there is a reason.

I feel like I’m rambling, but the bottom line is that whether we are obese and eating McDonald’s 4 times a day or following the strictest of healthy diets, we are ignoring what our bodies suggest, and at the end of the day, they really know what’s best!

My challenge for you this week is to think about when you do or don’t listen to your body, and try to think about why.

100 Foods

Morning! Well almost afternoon! How did that happen? I am still so sleepy! This morning I woke up feeling like I didn’t sleep at all. Does that ever happen to you? It’s like some kind of sick joke. I was talking to a friend of mine at work about this once, and I was like “Sometimes I am so tired I think I am going to throw up.” And she looked at me like I was nuts. OK maybe I am, but now I am curious, does anyone else ever get so tired that they want to throw up? Is that even a thing?

Also my hip is MAD at me today. I have had issues with bursitis in the past, and I am really REALLY hoping that this isn’t that again, but it’s usually one of my first signs I am pushing it too much. SO, we will see. Maybe I just need a good foam rolling session.

So have you seen this 100 foods list floating around? I am not sure where it originated, so I don’t know who to source, but a bunch of my friends have been posting in on Facebook. I thought it would make a fun post!

  1. Abalone: Nope, I’ve seen the shells though
  2. Absinthe: No again, but I think I’d give it a go. Just so that I can float like Robin and Lilly on HIMYM.
  3. Alligator: No and no intention to.
  4. Baba Ghanoush: Yes! There was a place in Long Beach that had this on an appetizer platter that I loved J
  5. Bagel and Lox: This was one of my favorite breakfast treats until once I got some stuck in my throat and threw up, then not so much.
  6. Baklava: Yep yep!
  7. Barbecue Ribs: Um seriously? Of course! I am pretty sure my dad would BBQ every day if he could. He makes some with this blackberry sauce, AMAZING.
  8. Bellini: I am just going to throw it out there, if it involves sparkling wine, I’ve most likely tried it. So that’s a yes.
  9. Bird’s Nest Soup: No. And no plans to.
  10. Biscuits and Gravy: Yep, not in years though. They have it at the cafeteria at work, but it holds no appeal now.
  11. Black Pudding: No.
  12. Black Truffle: I’ve had a dish with black truffle oil, does that count?
  13. Borscht: Nope.
  14. Calamari: YEP! Funny story, we stayed in a fancy hotel on our wedding night and we were SO HUNGRY and we ordered calamari from the Greek-style restaurant in the hotel as room service. Totally random but totally delish.
  15. Carp: I don’t think so…
  16. Caviar: See above.
  17. Cheese Fondue: YES. I could eat it every day if I could!
  18. Chicken and Waffles: Yep! Again, a place in Long Beach (did I mention that I went to college there?) was really well known for them.
  19. Chicken Tikka Masala: Never from a restaurant but I’ve had the Trader Joes frozen kind.
  20. Chile Relleno: Si!
  21. Chitlins: No, and NO plans to.
  22. Churros: So good.
  23. Clam Chowder: When we went to New England for the first time I made it my personal mission to try clam chowder at every restaurant we went to. So healthy of me.
  24. Cognac: I’ve tried it, not a fan.
  25. Crab Cakes: One of my favorite meals!
  26. Crickets: Ew, no. I am not adventurous when it comes to this kind of stuff. Not going to happen.
  27. Currywurst: No, but I would.  
  28. Dandelion Wine: No, but I like me some wine!
  29. Dulce De Leche: Yep.
  30. Durian: Nope
  31. Eel: Love it on sushi!
  32. Eggs Benedict: One of my all-time favorite breakfasts.
  33. Fish Tacos: Yes!
  34. Foie Gras: No.
  35. Fresh Spring Rolls: Love ‘em!
  36. Fried Catfish: No…
  37. Fried Green Tomatoes: I’ve seen the movie, does that count?
  38. Fried Plantain: I think I’ve had this in some kind of sweet dish, I can’t be sure though
  39. Frito Pie: I had NO idea what this was until a few weeks ago when I was at a business communications work luncheon and didn’t want the Fritos with my lunch (hate them) and someone started talking to me about it. No intention of every trying it either. For those of you who don’t know, it’s when you take a bag of fritos, cut it open along the side, add chili and top with nacho cheese. I am pretty sure this represents everything wrong with America.
  40. Frogs’ Legs: No, and this is one dish I seriously don’t understand.
  41. Fugu: Nope! I try to avoid foods that could kill me (see #39 haha)
  42. Funnel Cake: Is it possible to go to Magic Mountain and NOT get one?
  43. Gazpacho: No, cold soups weird me out…
  44. Goat: Not the meat, but a lot of the milk!
  45. Goat’s Milk: Oh, right, see above haha
  46. Goulash: No, but it sounds good!
  47. Gumbo: yep!
  48. Haggis: No thank you.
  49. Head Cheese: Again, no thank you.
  50. Heirloom Tomatoes: One of my farmer’s market favorites!!
  51. Honeycomb: Yes
  52. Hostess Fruit Pie: Gosh I hope not.
  53. Huevos Rancheros: LOVE them. I had them from this place in Nevada City once and none will ever measure up to that perfection.
  54. Jerk Chicken: yes
  55. Kangaroo: no.
  56. Key Lime Pie: Yes
  57. Kobe Beef: I just had this for the first time ever, my husband got some ground on sale and grilled it up into burgers. I couldn’t really tell the difference…
  58. Lassi: No
  59. Lobster: Yes
  60. Mimosa: Again, sparkling wine is always a win in my book.
  61. MoonPie: Yes.
  62. Morel Mushrooms: No, but one was growing in my yard once. I didn’t feel the need to risk it though.
  63. Nettle Tea: No and after a nasty run in with some stinging nettle in my parent’s back yard, I have no interest.
  64. Octopus: Yes. Too chewy.
  65. Oxtail Soup: no
  66. Paella: LOVE it! I watched the Barefoot Contessa make it once and she pronounced it “pie-EL-LA” made me crazy every time.
  67. Paneer: No
  68. Pastrami on Rye: Yes, not a huge pastrami fan though. Sorry Crown Burger.
  69. Pavlova: Love the dish, love the dancer.
  70. Phaal: No
  71. Philly Cheese Steak: yes but never from Philly itself.
  72. Pho: One of my favorite foods ever. Just meat though, none of the gross stuff.
  73. Pineapple and Cottage Cheese: Yes, but I am not a cottage cheese fan. Sorry if you can’t ever talk to me again Janae.
  74. Pistachio Ice Cream: One of my favorites!
  75. Po’ Boy: No but I always think of 30 Rock “I’d like the carp po boy with extra chuckle”
  76. Pocky: No
  77. Polenta: My husband really likes it, it’s fun to try different ways!
  78. Prickly Pear: no
  79. Rabbit Stew: no but I IMMEDIATELY thought of Katniss in the arena.
  80. Raw Oysters: yep!
  81. Root Beer Float: Yep! I am actually not a huge root beer fan, but throw ice cream in there, and I am SOLD!
  82. S’mores: Is it possible to sit around a fire without them?
  83. Sauerkraut: yep! My dad has even made it at home before.
  84. Sea Urchin: no
  85. Shark: no
  86. Snail: Sadly yes, I had some at some French fair in Santa Barbara. My friend’s mom was trying to get me to try new things, and said she would buy me a crepe if I tried escargot. I think I am still chewing on it… shudder…
  87. Snake: No thank you!
  88. Soft Shell Crab: yes
  89. Som Tam: no, sounds good though!
  90. Spaetzle: One of my all-time favorite foods that I hardly ever eat.
  91. Spam: unfortunately, yes.
  92. Squirrel: no
  93. Steak Tartare: no, it scares me
  94. Sweet Potato Fries: Heck yes!
  95. Sweetbreads: yum!
  96. Tom Yum: yep!
  97. Umeboshi: no idea what that is
  98. Venison: yes, I’ve had elk and bison too
  99. Wasabi Peas: I have a huge thing in my office of them! I only had them for the first time about a month ago though.
  100. Zucchini Flowers: Yep!

She’s Going for Speed

Morning! I hope you are all doing well. My husband got up to go swimming this morning, so I had to get up to take care of the pup (if one person gets up, she is up) at about 5:30 a.m. Gross. It’s no fun doing this when you don’t have something to show for it (like going to the gym or traveling somewhere). But this little love makes it worth it 🙂

So can I rant really quickly? I have quite a few pet peeves, but one of the biggest is when I am at work and people call me for something and act like it should be the MOST important thing ever. My voicemail CLEARLY states “if this is an urgent matter that need immediate attention…” and I leave instructions about how to transfer to my boss or to the operator. Fact: scheduling a tour is NOT one of those times. Especially when you’ve had more than a week to do so, and didn’t bother to contact me. So basically something that really should have been super simple is now complicated and people are leaving messages for my out-of-town boss, making it seem like I am not around to do my job. NOT THE CASE. Sorry, it really grinds my gears!

Deep breath.

Moving on. So as many of you know, I’ve been somewhat lost when it comes to running motivation since completing my half marathon. The thought of running long distances sounds awful. I’ve done some 5Ks, even set a new PR. When I was getting towards the end of that race, I realized I had a lot left in my tank! I had been training at such a slow and steady rate in order to complete long distances that I wasn’t pushing my pace at all.

And I really want to be faster! I feel like I am more of a short distance person, and while I am so proud of myself for completing my half marathon, I am not sure I am going to want to do another one (anytime soon at least). But I do want to be fast! At the 5K when I really started to book it, my Garmin said I was doing about an 8:30 minute mile. That’s pretty much lightning speed for me! And guess what. I didn’t die.

Here are some running faster tips I’ve found:

  • The single component that most improves pace in races, is a weekly speed session. At the track, start with 4 to 6 x 400. Increase the number of 400s every week by two more until, 10 days before the race, the final workout is: 14 x 400. Each 400 (one lap around a track) should be run eight seconds faster than you want to average per quarter mile. For example, if you wanted to run eight minutes per mile, your quarter-mile race pace would need to be two minutes. The workout pace per lap should in this case be 1 minute, 52 seconds. Walk for half a lap between the 400s. (source)
  • Breaking through to a personal best requires discomfort. Once a week, redefine your comfort zone by getting uncomfortable. Hill work, fartlek runs, speed work, running with a group or taking your run a little farther are all ways to create challenge and change in your running. With proper challenge, you’ll find improved fitness and strength that help you achieve your running goal. (source)  

So here is my plan, I want to get back into running more (I haven’t actually run by myself since before the race haha sad) preferably three times a week. One speed workout, one easy run (I have a course that involves me walking up a KILLER hill), and either a tempo or long run. I really want to use my Garmin for speed workouts, I know it’s capable of doing so, but I haven’t gotten that far into the user’s manual.

What do you prefer to focus on, speed or distance?

Clean Eating Research

Morning lovelies!! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, whether you had a holiday to celebrate or just the fact that it was the weekend 🙂 Ever since we moved to Utah, our holidays have been fairly low key because we don’t have any family nearby, which has actually been kind of nice.

If you spend any time poking around the health and fitness type blogs, you are sure to come across the term “clean eating.” There are books, blogs, magazines, and diets named after it, but for the longest time I just kind of thought it was a phrase that had lost its meaning and kind of became a catch-all phrase for just healthy food. I mean, I picked up an issue of Clean Eating Magazine and I was like, how is this different from Cooking Light? Or any other health-centered publication?

I had also received a few comments on my blog stating I was such a clean eater and how I did it. I was a little confused. I thought that was a diet or something.

So I did VERY minimal research and I’ve discovered that basically clean eating = eating food as close to its original state as possible. No processed foods, no preservatives. So yes, I do eat fairly clean. But I want to dig a little deeper. I am pretty sure I know what the benefits are, but I think I could use a refresher. Honestly I haven’t been eating that great lately, and I think that doing a little research into the benefits might help me get back on track.

So here is my plan, I am going to head to the library and check out some books about clean eating, read up, and then read some more. Websites, blogs, etc.

Do any of you have any suggestions? Do YOU try to eat “clean”?