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So Long, Farewell Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu

11 May

Auf Widersehen?  What the heck is that?

As I have shared before, I am leaving for Australia today!  I will be volunteering for 2 weeks with Conservation Volunteers Australia out of Melbourne.  While I am so excited about this adventure, I will be incommunicato for the entire time, which means No New Blog Posts 😦  Just as I am starting to get in my blogging stride I have to take a hiatus for a couple weeks!  I hope my blog can survive over the next couple weeks and I can get right back into my blogging when I return.  Readers, please stay with me!! 🙂

Before I leave, I want to share a little bit more about my running routines.  Since I run first thing in the morning, I have to grab something small and quick before heading out on my run.  I have tried a few different things from toast to wasa crackers, nuts, milk, cereal, fruit...you get the point!  The thing with running is that for most people, me included, your stomach can make or break runs.  Since you’re moving a lot, eating the wrong thing can lead to nausea or the “rock in the stomach” feeling, neither of which anyone wants for a good hour+ run!  My perfect go-to food before a run = Bananas!

I have tried putting peanut butter on my banana before also, but again, not so good for my stomach.  A plain banana digests well, is still a good high carb fruit, and I’m convinced the Potassium helps wake me up! This is just works for me though!  Everyone is different, and it’s important to figure out what is best for your body and your stomach if you plan on running a good distance.  If I don’t have a banana readily available, I usually do a Kid’s Cliff Bar – Choco Chip is my fav!  Tastes just like Chips Ahoy chewy choc chip cookie in my opinion!

And not that I’m trying to convert anyone to my Banana eating ways, but the website Skinny in the City did a great information banana write up today!  Read about all the great benefits of bananas as part of a meal or as a snack!

Here are some more helpful links for how to fuel pre and post run!  Don’t underestimate how important the right kind of foods can help fuel your training and make you a better runner 🙂

Pre-Race Meals

What to eat after the gym

Snack your way to a good workout

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An IT Thursday

6 May

Happy almost weekend!  Just one more day to get through until everyone’s favorite day of the work week!  Even though it is not quite the weekend, there is NO complaining about today and the beautiful weather NY had today.  Mid 70’s, light breeze, no humidity= 🙂

Now the day did not start off like this.  I was out running by 9 am this morning with a very dreary, gray sky filled with clouds BOO.  Throughout the hour I was out, it sprinkled a little here and there with maybe a solid 30 seconds of rain at any given point.  I was debating whether or not to wait for the rain to pass, but I am very happy with my decision to man through it since it didn’t even rain!  This morning’s run felt really great up until about the last 10 minutes.  I could tell my IT band was bothering me, but so many times the minor pain I have just goes away as I run, but today that feeling did not leave.  I did a little bit of a quicker run because my body felt up for it so I am not sure if this is what could have aggravated it or not, but with about 10 or less minutes left in my planned hour run, I had to literally STOP running because it was bothering me so much.  I knew I could push it and also hurt myself more, but instead I decided to walk the rest of the way.  I came home and did some resistance band stretching specifically focused on my right leg (where the pain was).  I also remembered seeing a yoga video on Runner’s World so I decided to try that also – I figured anything is worth a try!  I used the video below to incorporate some new stretches for my IT band and it honestly feels a lot better already.  The first pose that the instructor does is the one I felt targeted it the most.  Let me know if it works for you!  I ended up doing about 6.6 miles total today.

For lunch today, I ate outside and enjoyed another creation using my home grown sprouts!  My sandwich consisted of tofu, tahini, sprouts, arugula, & slices of a homegrown tomato –->holy yum on homegrown tomatoes!  I enjoyed all of this on 2 pieces of multi-grain sprouted bread = absolutely delic 🙂  I paired it with an Oikos plain greek yogurt also for added protein.  I think this meal will hold me over well.

And I cannot forget my wonderful lunch buddy today Sadie!

Time to go run more necessary errands for a big trip I have coming up!  More about this tomorrow 🙂  Get excited because its HUGE!

Do It Yourself

4 May

I am a big fan of local, home-grown, organic (you know all the adjectives) food.  And since the majority of this type of food is fruit and veggie oriented, I have been thinking for months now how I could grow some of these things myself!  Surprise, surprise though, months have passed and I am JUST getting around to it.  (We will not include the Basil plant I bought at Whole Foods that died because somehow watering it every other day was just too much work.)  Better late than never I suppose!

Anyway, back in February I found a wonderful How To on No Meat Athlete’s Blog and bookmarked it.  So I was happy with my past self this week when I finally got around to my first attempt at home growing!  I decided to use Mung Beans this time around.  Here is what I started with..

I only used 1 tbsp of the Beans because I wasn’t sure how large they would get.  About one week later, this is what I have:

They are officially ready to eat!  I plan on enjoying them tomorrow with a good hummus, veggie-maybe falafel?-pita.  Can’t wait 🙂  I’ll be sure to take some pics and report back tomorrow!

For a quick running update, I have set a couple PR’s this past week also!  Last week, I ran for a total of 40 miles!  Holy jeez…I’m pretty impressed at how well I have been able to transition to more of a running workout routine rather than switching off to the elliptical or bike.  I also set a new distance PR on Monday – 9.2 miles!  Go me! I never thought I would be one of those people who could run that far, but now that I started successfully tackling the mental hardship of long runs, I am able to push my body harder than I would have ever thought!

Today I did a relaxed 6 miles outside.  My IT band was a little sore, but I came home and did some stretching with a resistance band and it feels better tonight.  Lets hope it stays that way!

It’s now off to enjoy some late-delivered girl scout tagalongs.  What luck?!  Again, better late than never…

What are some of your favorite and easy DIY’s?  Sprouting is just the beginning for me!

A Stress Free Monday

3 May

Happy Monday Everyone!

As we all know Mondays are supposedly the most stressful day of the week.  More health related incidents occur on Mondays than any other day of the week, and most of these health issues are stress related, if not stress induced!  So I want to start off today with a quick clip from this morning’s Dr. Oz show.  If you are a health nut like I am, then you may already be familiar with many of these helpful hints, but I don’t want to presume anything and have you all miss out, so enjoy!  Don’t underestimate the power of stress reduction 🙂

Dr. Oz’s Stress Proof Your Body in 5 Steps

Yesterday’s run was my very first track workout.  I did it outside because the temp’s were finally starting to cool down by late afternoon, but about mid way through the sun was out gleaming down on me and my sweat factor was exponentially increased haha.  I did a quick jog to the track (about 1/2 mile) then alternated every lap (1/4 mile) between a fast pace and recovery lap.  Now back in the day I ran on this track and I can remember pushing myself to complete a single mile!  Since I was doing a semi-speed workout, I set out with a shorter than normal distance in mind and completed a 3 mile run on the track.  It wasn’t easy since I was definitely pushing myself during the speed laps, and add in the heat!, but the relative ease of completing 3 miles felt AMAZING when I compared it with past times on this track.  It was a true testament and PROOF of where my hard work has gotten me! I completed my 3 track miles in about 24 minutes, bringing yesterday’s total mileage to 4 fun & sweaty miles 🙂

On a completely separate note, I also have to share/vent about something I overheard this weekend that really got me angry!  I overheard a woman I know having a conversation about food when I was out this weekend playing on my computer.  She is a smart and professional woman in her 30’s.  Looking at her you would think she is an average sized, healthy woman, not overweight by any means but also not “skinny.”  Unfortunately she, like many people, was giving very unsound health info to her friends, yet was very confident in this bad advice that she did come off to an unknowing person as a knowledgeable diet and exercise guru.  On top of this, she also brought attention to herself by bringing up “how little she eats.”  During the span of her conversation, I heard her reference  how doing anything less than 30 minutes of cardio a day does nothing for the body so she doesn’t bother, how anyone eating over 1500 calories a day is just asking for weight gain, how all she had to eat today was an apple (mind you it was 4 pm), and don’t worry because her Sketcher Shape Ups are going to help her get the perfect body instantly!  And the sad part was that anyone could tell by the expressions and comments from those with her that all the other beautiful women she was with were eating up this info and incorporating this unqualified misinformation into their health and exercise do’s and don’ts 😦

Clearly I am not by any means an expert on any health, exercise, or nutrition subject, but I do know the basics and I can recognize the WRONG in many people’s health mentality.  As many of you readers know, doing any cardio can be great for our mind and bodies!  Especially when you consider some very speedy people out there who have no problem completing 4+ miles in 30 minutes.  Everyone’s calories needs vary depending on activity level, age, sex, and our natural chemistry!  Some days I may not take in over 1500 calories (though I couldn’t recall when that would be!) but most of the time I am well over this limit and am a very healthy body type.  I know I am a very active young female, but there are so many young girls who would hear this info and cut their calories in an unsafe & unnecessary manner because of stigmas associated with calorie intake, like the one I mentioned above.   And lastly, if you’re trying to “brag” about how little you eat, it is not cool, impressive, smart, or safe to eat nothing but an apple all day.  In fact you’re slowing your metabolism down so good luck with the extra fat storage once you do eat.  Any eating plan, whether you are trying to lose weight or not, should involve plenty of healthful eating throughout the day.  I just hope this type of negative food and exercise hearsay doesn’t affect too many more smart and beautiful, yet impressionable people.

Ever come across a conversation, article, etc that gave really unsound health/diet/exercise advice?  What was your reaction?