Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Food, glorious food

I have done a lot of cooking this month (which is normal). To keep things interesting, I've been trying new recipes I find on Pinterest (same as my twitter handle- bomblet- in case you want to creep my boards, err, follow!).

Such as this basil multi-grain bread
And this roasted head of cauliflower.
I've even taken a few family recipes and made them a little less guilty, such as taking the family chocolate chip cookie recipe, adding a little flax and using half whole grain flour.

Plus countless other foods I didn't photograph because I ate them- sweet potato and parsnip chips, roasted carrot sticks, broccoli patties, egg breakfast bites...


A few years ago, I never would have tried the basil bread because of the number of grains and seeds (chia, sesame, oatmeal, millet). And I damn sure NEVER would have tried to make the sacred chocolate chip cookies any healthier!

So who am I? I am a runner. Somehow, having become a runner caused me to slowly eat better, without ever realizing it. Gradually, I've incorporated healthier foods (and I didn't eat poorly before!). More whole grains, more vegetables. It didn't happen over night, and things don't always leave me craving more, but most of the recipes I've tried have been satisfying, if not down-right delicious.

And the protein at breakfast "challenge" is still going strong.

The moral of this story? Small changes add up. Results take time.

I can tell you I look leaner, despite gaining 1 lb over the course of the last month, and I bet that's from meeting my protein needs better.

I feel better these last few years since I've slowly improved my diet. Some of that is from figuring out food allergies four years ago, but the rest is from eliminating the majority of the crap. I still eat dessert, I still have treats like doughnuts and cake, but they're rare, and always homemade for my safety.

(Knock on wood) I haven't been sick yet this year, despite having been exposed to my mom during both of her bad illnesses this season (one of which took her four weeks to kick!).

And don't get me wrong, I've also had my share of indulgences- mainly learning how to make and devour sausage gravy with bisuits. Yummmmmmmmm....... All things in moderation.

Food is fuel. Food is medicine. Food is life.

Have you tried any new recipes this year?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Marathon training for slackers!

That's how I feel, anyway. This weather has killed my motivation. The longest run since the Huff was a 6.5 miler two weeks ago, and then a 6.25 miler last Thursday. 

And the "slacker" in my knows that as long as I nail a few good long runs in February, I will be fine for circular logic. After all, I PR'd in September after missing six weeks due to surgery. 

And since I'm running CL for fun, I refuse to pressure myself. I run for fun. If running is no longer fun, what am I running for?

But, I don't just run low mileage and expect to finish a full. I put myself through some pretty decent strength training at least three times a week. Like today:

Dead lifts (30 lb body bar) x 20
Row with body bar x 10
Squats x 10
Squat with 10 lb weight x 10
PliƩ squat with weight x 10
Wall squat with single leg raise x10 each side
Push-ups x10
T push-ups with 10lb weights x 10
Russian twist x42
Side plank with 10 leg raises each side
Plank for 1 minute

Walk to water fountain, repeat.

I did 2.5 rounds- ran short on time before I was to teach yoga, so the third round was sets of 5. While I waited for my only two students that I knew were coming, I did 10 handstand push-ups with my feet on the wall, and practiced my crow pose.

One of these days, I'll get a picture of it. I love crow. It feels so controlled, makes me feel strong, makes me feel like I can balance on the precipice of danger (or falling on my face) and be in control.

I hope that by doing more upper body work more often, I will be able to master a handstand, and maybe finally walk on my hands! 

Yes, that's a goal of mine. :D

I leave you with this- Prudence summing up how I feel about all these polar vortices:

How is the weather where you are?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mmm, meatloaf

Not much motivates me as much as food. It's true. The things I'll do for the promise of a treat....

So, today, I bribed myself to get my treadmill run done.

I made turkey meatloaf, stuck it in the oven, and then had 45 minutes to change and run. I ended up with 3.6 miles in 33 minutes, including a brief stop to dart outside and check the mail in hope of a package arriving (it didn't) before the oven timer went off. Which, for you math officianodos means it took me 12 minutes to decide on clothes, get changed, and get situated. :D

What I've discovered this year is that I no longer hate the treadmill more than the cold. Today, it's only 7 degrees outside with a feels like below zero. When you add my iPad mini into the picture, I'm actually starting to like the treadmill a teensy bit. 

But I still would rather run outside... As long as it's not freezing!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Protein: day 14

I made French toast today, day 14 of my morning protein challenge. I'm halfway to making it a habit! Would anyone want to do an official month-long morning protein challenge? I'm thinking it would include Monday check ins, shared recipes, etc. Just curious.

What's that? Peppermint green tea. That's one of my other small changes. I drink it aaaaaallllllll the time in summer over ice, but I've added it back into the daily routine (hot, since it's so darn cold outside!) since we all know the wonders of green tea. What, you haven't heard how wonderful it is for its antioxidants, inflammation fighting, and metabolism boosting? Go google it. I'll wait.


Oh, hey, you're back! Good. 

I had a crappy run today. This is how I felt after wind, cold, rain, and snow:
I can handle crappy weather, but all four types of crappy weather combined just got to me. I cut my run short since I was getting a headache, was soaked, was freezing, and was just downright pissed at the weather.
I'll make up for tomorrow. I'll hit the treadmill at home before I pick a pinned workout. Wednesdays are my gym-free workout day. Basically, I pick a few quiet exercises I can do while my husband sleeps and I do them while watching the Price is Right. I have a few favs on Pinterest, so I'm challenging you to pick a workout you've dog-eared in a magazine, saw online, whatever. Pick a workout out or even a single exercise and do it tomorrow at home. These are the things we can keep in our repertoire for variety, and the things that travel well. Every time I go to my mom's I have a simple circuit that ensures I'm not a complete slug while I'm there!

The week is halfway over! How is yours progressing?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A better (?) way to track activity

Yesterday, I talked about my Fuelband, and how it's less than perfect. It's a great anti-lazy meter, but it doesn't give me a complete picture of my daily activity. So I'm going old school.

Yep, pen and paper.

It's just a simple notebook.

With my simple chicken scratch. Just a few notes about what I did.

I know many people find success logging food, but I know from experience it creates a very unhealthy fixation for me. It feels like I'm tracking the bad. I spent a couple years obsessing over food, limiting it, etc, and I try to avoid anything that leads me in that direction. So, by tracking activity, I'm logging the good things I do for my body every day instead, which is much better for me.

How are you keeping yourself accountable? I've seen others post some cute fitness journals and such, but having missed 2 classes due to the snowstorm, and having missed 4 classes because the gym had holiday hours, I'm trying to be frugal, so an el cheapo notebook it is.

Speaking of snowstorm, did you get hit? We had twelve inches total officially. And I kept our driveway clear. Just call me a snow beast.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The flaw with the Nike Fuelband...

I have had a Nike Fuelband for about 20 months now. After the first one crapped out, nike replaced it, so technically this is number two. But one issue has plagued me for the whole of my ownership:

There is no true correlation to physical activity!

I can earn just as much fuel (that's how Nike measures your activity) by sitting on the couch, sucked into Pinterest and flapping my Fuelband-wearing arm above head as I can running a 10k. But if I run a FULL MARATHON, I earn enough fuel that Nike thinks I've run a 10k. 


To out it in numbers:

Last Sunday, I shoveled the driveway- during which I know I cover at least 1.25 miles- and it is 60 minutes of constant movement. I earned a whopping 97 fuel points. The other four shoveling trips earned anywhere from 84 to 99 fuel points.

Monday morning, I cooked biscuits with sausage gravy, and earned 427 fuel points. 

So, according to my Fuelband, shoveling snow for 5 hours is damn near equivalent to 30 minutes making bisuits with sausage gravy.

Do you see the problem?

I generally earn about 1000 fuel points on a 5k run. But walking a 5k earned me closer to 3000.
Weight training for an hour earns me around 250, but Zumba earns 1500. One hour of yoga earns me 50 if I'm lucky, but I also earn 50 washing my face.

100 squats earned 5 fuel points this morning. 25 push-ups earned zero. Brushing my teeth, however, earned 57.

My whole point here: wearable fitness devices seem to be the big trend lately. While they are great anti-lazy meters, they are not true measuremtns of activity. 

I still like my Fuelband, and still wear it. It's a great way to make sure I don't waste the day on the couch. But beyond that, fuel points are as arbitrary as a five cent mail-in rebate.

I'd love to hear your thoughts: do you own a fitbit, fuelband, or anything like that?

Small changes

This year is about small changes. 

I'm trying to incorporate one small change each month-and only one- because if you can practice a new behavior or modify a bad one consistently for 30 days, you significantly increase the likelihood of it becoming habit.

January is all about breakfast. I'm usually a cereal girl, but I always find myself hungry again an hour later. I also know I don't get enough protein spread out throughout the day. So, this month I've been adding in some sort of protein for breakfast. I started the year off with biscuits and sausage gravy- and that was the first time I had ever had that dish! Now I know why my husband loves it so. Most other days this change has meant eggs. Scrambled eggs, eggs with green pepper, onion, and cheese, egg sammich, or my favorite: one eggs over easy with two slices of toast- one to dip in the yolk, and now to eat the white as a sammich.
Mmmmmmm, dippin' egg....

8 days in, and I've done a good job keeping this up.

How are your resolutions/changes coming?

Any favorite eggs recipes? I'd love some suggestions for new ideas for breakfast!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Today, I am thankful for our treadmill. We are snowed in, and temperatures are -14F with windchills at -45F. 
It's a comfortable 63F in our house, so I got my 4.1 miles done, along with some push-ups and core work. 

How are you getting your exercise today?
Do you count snow shoveling as cross-training? I do. Especially when you shovel 5 times in a single day, covering over 6 miles of walking, and moving 12" of snow. :D 

Stay warm, wherever you are!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

I feel like there should be Jaws music with the snowstorm predictions.

It doesn't look like it, but there's a snowstorm on the way! 10-14 inches. Yikes.
I made sure to get in a 5k before it hits. Just my second run since the HUFF 50K, and I was stoked to run 9:29, 9:19, 9:01-- and that's with stopping to do push-ups every half mile starting at one mile in! 
This was an easy run, so the fact that my pace stayed that low amazed me when I got home and checked. Was the HUFF really just last Saturday??

These two are as ready as they're going to get for the snow. The way things are shaking up, there's a 50/50 chance the gym will be closed on Monday. We will have to wait and see, but I sure hope it's open (even though that will mean going out in -17F). I miss my yoga students, and am excited for the newbies!

Here's hoping they get the snow plowed efficiently tomorrow. One thing is for sure- at an inch an hour, I will be shoveling off and on all day, so I definitely won't miss a work out!