Don’t Look Back, You’re Not Going That Way

Don't Look BackI love this quote. So much. And I totally just happened upon it, but it’s so applicable.

Well I’m happy to report that I am finally feeling back to normal, better than normal actually (despite the fact that I STILL have not received my biopsy results back yet). I have found a regimen that has helped my digestive issues subside for the most part and keep me cleaned out so I think that has really made a huge difference in how I feel, which has in turn given me more motivation for the Whole30. Minus a few aches and pains when I run I’ve been feeling great.

Some of the things I’ve been doing (or not doing) that I think have really made a difference are:
1) Drinking a warm glass of lemon water right when I wake up-They say this is really good for hydration and cleansing. I spice mine up with some freshly grated ginger and cayenne pepper for an added boost and I really feel like it helps give me a fresh start in the morning.
2) No dairy/sugar- I add sugar because I’m sure it is making my body happy to be without it, but really I think the dairy has made a huge difference. Sadly, I miss my goat cheese and yogurt, and ice cream of course…but not the big belly ache.
3) Drinking a cleansing tea at night-really do I have to get into it? Cleaning out helps you feel fresh, and when you feel fresh you want to put fresh into your body. Kapiche?

Here’s the rundown of how my meals have been looking:
Friday
Breakfast- “Monkey Salad”–bananas, blueberries, almond butter, coconut chips
Dinner- 90/10 Grass Fed Beef Burger with tomato “bun” and guacamole
Snack- Small almond milk latte
WOD- Light 4 mile jog with the dog (no rhyme intended)
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Saturday
Breakfast- “Monkey Salad” & Egg white scramble with spinach, mushrooms, and organic sun-dried tomatoes
Lunch- Leftover Grass Fed Beef Patty
Dinner- Scallops sautéed in ghee over spaghetti squash
Pre-Run Snack- Santa Cruz Organic Unsweetened Cinnamon Applesauce cup, 10 raw cashews ^^SO HAPPY to have found a pre-run snack that doesn’t cause severe gastrointestinal distress halfway through my run
WOD- 8 mile run
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Sunday
Breakfast- Egg white scramble with spinach, swiss chard, mushrooms, and organic sun-dried tomatoes
Lunch (Post-Workout Snack)- Smoothie with spinach, coconut milk, chia seeds, and Nature’s Bounty Complete Vitamin Shake Mix Chocolate
Dinner- (Out) Pistachio crusted mahi mahi with mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus
Snack- Few slices of Boars Head Honey Maple Turkey and some strawberries
WOD- Kickboxing with burpee challenge & Yoga sculpt:abs

Monday (Today)
Breakfast- Egg white scramble with mushrooms, spinach and organic sun-dried tomatoes
Lunch- Whole Foods Summer Kale Salad, 4 slices of Boar’s Head Honey Maple Turkey, sweet potato with ghee and cinnamon
Dinner- Salmon filet and NomNom Paleo’s Swiss Chard
Post-Workout Snack- Super Greens smoothie with Sambazon’s Super Greens w/ Ginger, Organic Hemp Protein Powder & a spoonful of Brad’s organic almond butter (almonds are the only ingredient!!)
WOD- 6 mile run
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So this weekend I went to Costco and stocked up on some awesome stuff. I have been going to Costco for some staples for forever, but when I really looked around this time I found some AHmazing stuff!
(Sorry I don’t have prices but I PROMISE it’s a better deal than what you’re paying, as long as you use it all)
Organic Spinach (giant bag)
Organic Power Greens Mix (Chard, Spinach, Kale) (Giant bag)
Organic Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Baby Bella/Cremini Mushrooms
Organic Baby Carrots (giant bag)
Medjool Dates
Individual Guacamole Packs!! (Got way too excited about this because I can bring them to work)
Organic Apples
Coleman Farms Organic Chicken Breasts
Roasted Red Peppers
Sambazon’s Super Greens
Ghee
Wild Salmon
Organic Grass-Fed Beef
Large jar of Organic Almond butter (that ish is expensive at the grocery store)
Eggs, Egg Whites
Chia, Hemp
All Nuts/dried fruit
And if you’re not on a super restrictive diet like me right now:
3lb tub of plain Fage Greek Yogurt
Goat Cheese
Specialty nuts (coconut vanilla cashews, dark chocolate coconut covered almonds, dark chocolate coconut covered bananas, etc.)
All Grains–Quinoa, Farro, Freekeh, yup they have all the weird ones
Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola (ugh I miss this in my yogurt)
Specialty Trail Mixes, Granola Bars

Really I’ve never not been able to find something I wanted in bulk at Costco, but I’m just so proud that they carry so much awesome healthy stuff!

 

 

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Day 42: Because who likes to wear pants?

pants

So I guess you could say I had as good of a Monday as anyone could have, minus the rain (except I’m sure my sinuses are probably rejoicing). I prepped everything the night before so that I could relax and sip my coffee juice in the morning. Yesterday I accomplished my 8 mile run like I said I would, but I was 11 seconds off my usual 6-8 mile pace and I know exactly why. My mom made pancakes, and since I was overly tired and we were out of eggs, I gave in and ate them…big mistake. Okay, so I know I could have turned them down, but I am one of those weirdos that HAS to have breakfast food before I can have any other kind of food, and since we were out of eggs and egg whites, and we don’t keep cereal around the house, I basically had no other options. Trust me, I won’t be making that mistake again anytime soon. At about the 5 mile mark I was doubled over in pain, my stomach was distended to the point of looking very pregnant, and I was sobbing every time my feet hit the ground. The only reason I continued to run instead of stopping was because I had to get back to my car somehow and I wanted to get there asap. I literally had no idea I would have such a terrible adverse reaction, all from what I used to consider my favorite breakfast. All the more reason to keep with paleo. Be on the lookout later this week for a post all about Grain Pain.

So due to my lesson learned through severe pain, it was very easy for me to stay on track today. Plus I really cannot stress the importance of preparing ahead of time if you’re busy like me. It makes it so you have no room for excuses, and you won’t be as likely to fail because you gave into a craving due to hanger (anger caused by excessive hunger). I prepped all my veggies and put them in a bag so that I could make a quick juice in the morning–kale, celery, cucumber, apple, parsley. I think next time I’ll add another apple or something to give it a little more flavor because this was not my best juice (my favorite is this one). The juice tided me over for a while, but like I said, I am such a breakfast person. I packed a greek yogurt and some homemade Apple Pie Paleo Granola I made yesterday and grabbed it out when I got hungry. This granola turned out sooo good, and I haven’t liked any of the paleo “granola”s I’ve tried in the past. Here’s the recipe, I added some hemp hearts (I bought them to be used by themselves as paleo granola and was sorely disappointed) and chia seeds. It’s so good I was eating handfuls of it by itself.

Apple Pie Paleo Granola
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
7 medjool dates, chopped
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the nuts/dates/shredded coconut to a food processor and pulse to slightly chop nuts, add spices and pulse again. In a bowl whisk together the wet ingredients, then place in food processor with nut mixture and pulse to combine. Evenly distribute the granola on the baking sheet, bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden. (Keep an eye on it, the edges will burn)

Lunch was a grilled chicken breast and a sweet potato. I snacked on an apple and some almond butter mid-afternoon, and then took an indoor training/weights day due to the rain. Solid two hours of arms, back, and ab work. Dinner was shrimp skewers and broccoli kale slaw 🙂

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Day 25: Don’t Get Glad, Get Mad

You heard me right. No, I’m not talking about the trash bag, unless we are talking about how I trashed my 10K personal best today! 😋 While today was hellish to say the least, one good thing came of it. Running angry makes my times oh so much faster. I was 4 minutes faster than my previous 10K personal best, 6 seconds faster than my fastest average pace per mile since I’ve been training, and I felt great the entire time. I didn’t feel like I was dragging along like I do some days, but that could have been because of the perfect weather and wearing my new workout top. New clothes always make you feel your best.

Today was my first day of full fledged Paleo, and while I can’t attribute all of my run records to the day’s diet successes, I did feel pretty great. No bloating, discomfort, and headaches like yesterday. Breakfast was a coconut milk yogurt with blueberries as I was on the go. For lunch I had made ahead a big batch of Maple Shallot Vinaigrette, so I threw a grilled chicken breast over some awesome local lettuce I found at Kroger, and it gave me no issues during my run later. That’s something I can’t say about a lot of foods.

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Dinner was spaghetti squash topped with shrimp in an amazing lemon/garlic butter sauce with a big pile of broccoli. Yum! Hope everyone had a chance to turn a very crappy day into some little wins.

20140327-232335.jpgHomework: think of something that makes you mad. Not just pissed off mad, like, really gets you angry and worked up mad. Now stew over it for a little bit, and take off running! I promise your times will thank you, and so will your wallet.running cheaper than therapy

 

Day 23: Feelin’ Peachy

Today was the day. The day they let us know if we were selected in the Peachtree Road Race Lottery, and I made it!

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I’m so excited. I’ve been wanting to run this race for years, but I’ve never been able to and I’m so excited that this year I finally can! Not only do people collect the prized tshirts from this race, but if you’re from Georgia it is a race that should be on everyone’s bucket list. This race will be after my half marathon, so I’ll be well trained, but it’s long enough after that I’ll be adequately rested. In the past month I have jumped into more races than I’ve done in my entire life! My very first race was the Abba House Run for Recovery 10K, and I placed 2nd in my age group, which for my first race I was super proud of. While I’ve kept up with running at least 3 miles 4-5 times per week, I never trained to go any longer distances or get a faster pace. When I saw the Asheville Half Marathon I knew it was exactly the push I needed to get out there and train and accomplish a race that would challenge me. Asheville is so beautiful, and since I have family there I can stay for free. It was a no brainer. To help me in my training, I will be running the newly added Abba House Run for Recovery 10 Miler, which is conveniently at the time in my training when I need to be hitting that kind of mileage. What better motivation is there than a race for a good cause? I’m looking for a few more supplemental races before my half, but right now being signed up for these 3 is keeping me motivated to push harder than ever before. The Peachtree will keep me running after my half because I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t running it I would take a few months off. Now if I could only get this hip pain in check…

Despite spring supposedly “officially” kicking off, it was freaking freezing today. I wore my pullover during my entire run, and my nose was running so much it was distracting. On the bright side, I took it as an advantage in the kitchen to say one final goodbye to some of my cold weather favorites before this warm weather (hopefully) kicks in. Breakfast was Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. Simple and delicious. I used 1/4 cup organic oats, cooked in unsweetened vanilla almond milk and water, then added 1/2 cup pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, a splash of vanilla extract and maple syrup and topped with pecans. NOM. It did it’s duty too, fueling a 5 mile run at one of my fastest paces per mile ever! I’ve been trying to pack more veggies in, so lunch was a vitamin packed paleo creation that’s easy, filling, and (hopefully, for tomorrow) easily portable. I put some organic roasted red pepper hummus on some sliced turkey, added sliced bell pepper, and rolled into tasty wraps. With a large side of carrots, my MyFitnessPal calorie counter app said I was at 707% of my recommended Vitamin A for the day and 239% of Vitamin C. I don’t know if this is totally accurate, but I’d like to think I was doing pretty good for myself.

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While I was at it I went ahead and fixed dinner and threw it in the crockpot for later. The menu? Beef Stew with Paleo “Cornbread” Muffins. The name is quite deceiving. The beef stew had more vegetables than beef, and the muffins didn’t contain a trace of corn. For the beef stew I used green beans, carrots, purple potatoes (read more about the health benefits of purple vs white here), and tomatoes. Season with paprika, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, cumin, and a few sprigs of fresh thyme, and you’ve got a veggie packed cold weather jackpot, err crockpot. Old habits die hard though, and I can’t have beef stew without cornbread. So instead of breaking out the Jiffy, I found an awesome recipe from Cassidy’s Craveable Creations.
YOU WILL NOT MISS THE REAL THING. These turned out great.

Day 17: Divergent in Cats, and a Bad-Ass Banana Muffin Recipe

“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”  

We all struggle with some kind of fear, whether it be rational or irrational. Making decisions is one of my biggest fears. I am the most indecisive person you will ever meet. Unfortunately, I have come to a crossroads in my life where I’m going to have to make a few huge, life changing decisions, and that scares the s*** out of me. I thought it was funny to see this quote as I was reading the book Divergent and have it be so oddly applicable–that keeps happening lately.

Today was a very weird day. Busy, but weird. I couldn’t quite tell you why. I’ve been a little stressed lately so today I took some “me” time and got spring mani’d up. Something about freshly done nails just makes you feel like a million bucks (or in my case at least a couple hundred).

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Wednesdays have unfortunately become my rest days because they are so full of running around, which really sucks because I would rather rest on a lazy sunday when I could enjoy my day. That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy Wednesdays at all though because I do love my time at Campus Kitchen (although sometimes stressful). We literally had so.much.food. to cook today. Luckily, we had lots of awesome volunteers to get the job done! We even whipped up a green bean casserole, which was new to the recipe repertoire (sorry I forgot to take a picture).

This morning I whipped up my own version of J Christopher’s “Billy Goat” omelette, but it turned into a scramble. It had egg whites with spinach, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, and goat cheese–so delish. It kept me full until around lunchtime when I swung by Starbucks (I know, naughty) and wanted a sweet treat to go with my coffee. Luckily in preparation for a day of running around (and also because I had rotting bananas), I baked some Paleo Banana Bread muffins. I didn’t really know what to expect because I’m not much of a muffin person (mainly because most of them are wayy bad for you), and because I’ve never made any paleo-fied baked good besides those first cookies I tried out. They turned out amazing!! I used Foodie Rachel’s Recipe and added some Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (don’t judge, they were needed). She was right, the texture was just like a normal muffin so I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything from the Starbucks bakery counter, and I didn’t have to feel guilty either!

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I just kinda snacked for the rest of the day. Strawberries here, bell pepper slices there. I got a Great Goodness juice from Earth Fare (carrots, apples, beets, parsley, spiraling, greens +), and then had some of the leftover butternut squash from last night’s dinner. I don’t know why I wasn’t particularly hungry. I thought maybe it was because I didn’t workout, but let’s face it–I’m always hungry no matter if I work out or not. I think the stress and caffeine just make a lethal combination. While I was at Earth Fare I found the Maca Root Powder I had been looking for! I opted for the tiny bottle because the large was $17 and I just couldn’t commit to that. I’ve been dying to try this apple cinnamon oatmeal recipe with it because it’s supposed butterscotch taste makes it tastes like a mix between an oatmeal cookie and a candy apple (oh and of course the health benefits too…).

In honor of Divergent coming out tomorrow and just finishing the book yesterday, I thought I’d post a few funny images I found. (Spoiler alert)

Also big FAT SPOILER ALERT don’t pinterest search Divergent looking for funny gifs BECAUSE IT WILL GIVE AWAY THE END OF THE WHOLE SERIES. Oops. I am still going to read the other two books thought because this one was so good.

abnegation

not erudite

divergent cake

divergent cats

Day 11: Must. Check. Out.

http://www.foodpolitics.com Okay so this may not be as exciting to people who aren’t into food issues as much as I am, but it is a great resource about the politics behind what governs our food.  This is my new favorite blog! It has information on food/agriculture legislature, rulings from all of the regulatory agencies, and all the politics behind them.  One post that stuck out to me was this one, about the amount of added sugar allowed in yogurt. 40 GRAMS IS RIDICULOUS. As much of a sweet tooth as I have, I know when enough is enough. Plus since I really don’t eat that much fat, one of my main health focuses is always reducing sugar (especially since in excess it is shown to gather around the stomach area…yikes).

“It makes us feel how powerful we really are, to strip down to only what we really need.” (from tonight’s Grey’s) Cliche, maybe. Applicable, absolutely.

How did I find this awesome blog you ask? (Okay I know no one’s really asking) I found this great list of must-read health, fitness, and happiness blogs on Greatist. I think it’s good to give a shout out so some of my inspirations! http://greatist.com/health/must-read-health-fitness-blogs

Today was actually really productive, which made me feel great. I started the day with a slice of Ezekiel toast topped with almond butter and a banana. Even though it was sunny, it was actually really cold outside when I went for my run. I think that little nip gave me an edge though, because I ran 5 miles like it was nothing, and for the first time ever my last mile was faster than my first! After I was done I had some Earth Fare Chicken Salad on another piece of Ezekiel bread with some kale slaw. I love me some chicken salad 🙂 Mid-afternoon snack was another new yogurt in my journey to find a healthier one, as I mention in my previous post. Today’s was Brown Cow’s Greek Cream Top Honey flavor.

20140313-221922.jpgThis yogurt tastes like dessert! Normally I load my yogurt with granola, fresh fruit, etc, but this needed no additions. Unfortunately, it has quite a few calories and sugars for such little protein (only 6 grams). Great for an occasional treat though, which is what I’m aiming for my yogurt habit to eventually become. Recently I’ve made my paleos proud by totally cutting out any other forms of dairy (aka cheese-RIP, you will be missed), but sometimes I just need good-for-your-gut benefits of yogurt. I went for some gut punches at kickboxing, my second workout of the day hehe 🙂 Thursday is the only day they offer it and I’ve recently been neglecting my other training with all the running I’ve been doing so I figured, why not? Plus I loveeee kickboxing, and anyone with anger issues should seriously consider taking it up. Dinner was turkey chili made with lean (93/7) turkey, bell peppers, onions, and some special spices. Here I go missing my cheese and sour cream…but I know it will be a good change. The only downside to two hard workouts in one day is the extra hunger! I gave in and made some paleo chocolate chip cookies (recipe here). The cookies were almost as comforting as the amazing deal I scored on these adorable sandals today at Dress Up!

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Day 8 & 9: Sustainability, Steer, and SCARED

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”
–Albert Einstein

The more research I do, the more freaked out I get. I should really stop, but it’s like a train wreck—I can’t look away from all of the repulsive practices of the food industry. I also become disappointed by the ignorance of people. I’d think higher of my own mother if she didn’t diagnose me with an eating disorder for caring about where my meat comes from and being afraid of the packaged disasters we call “food.” Anyways, I don’t want to freak people out, I just want to make people aware, and I don’t find it a problem to try and get as much information as I can get my hands on about what goes into my body. If everyone were to be educated, and demand higher standards for their food, that’s what the producers would produce. Unfortunately, most people aren’t educated or they don’t care. They should. I’m not recommending it because it will make you seriously freaked out (and it’s also quite dry), but the film Frankensteer is some seriously messed up shit (literally…SHIT). Just because you shoot some gamma rays on the feces that are on my burger doesn’t mean anyone should be eating that. I’ve never been much of a beef/hamburger person anyway, but certainly not now. It really just baffles me why places like Yeah! Burger are out of the ordinary. Places like these should be the ordinary. Just look at their food philosophy: http://www.yeahburger.com/real-food. I’m sorry, but shouldn’t this be the case of everywhere we get our food? It’s infuriating to think that so many companies just think that they can destroy animals, health, and the environment to save a penny. People need to demand reform, because otherwise all we’re getting is toxic waste.

On a lighter note, yesterday was an off running day in my training schedule so I went to my fave–hot yoga. Unfortunately we worked the lower body a little more than I expected, and I was still sore for my run today, which kept my pace lower than I would’ve liked. It was a wonderful day though and I got 4 miles in. Yesterday’s breakfast was Blake Lively’s Green Juice that you can find the recipe for here. Lunch was my favorite kale salad, which is also in a previous post. One of my go-to snacks is yogurt, and I’ve recently been experimenting with new ones trying to find a new favorite with less sugar and ingredients than the one I had previously been eating. I raided the organic yogurt section of Kroger and picked up every manager’s special I could find. This may seem weird, but I totally scored getting $3 yogurt for just 50 cents! First one up: Redwood Hill Farms Goat Milk Yogurt. I have to commend them for their Certified Humane Raised and Handled badge of approval. While this yogurt was a tad tangy and different than what I’m used to, it was only 100 calories, 7g sugar, 7g protein, and 3 ingredients, so it’s pretty much an A+ for nutrition as far as yogurts go. I had to dress it up a little bit with some honey, blueberries and my favorite granola, Bear Naked Peak Protein, but I don’t mind adding a few extra calories coming from stuff that makes my yogurt more delicious and filling versus packing in 20g grams of sugar just in the yogurt and not getting all my extra treats.

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For dinner, I experimented with a twist off of one of my favorite Asian dishes from Pf Changs: Chicken Lettuce Wraps. I chopped up some chicken, bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, water chestnuts, and shallots, and tossed it all with some rice vinegar, coconut aminos, and just a spoonful of peanut butter. It was delish! Surprisingly filling despite the lack of calories, so I’d say that’s a win.

Today’s breakfast was a slice of Ezekiel Bread with Justin’s Maple Almond Butter and a banana to fuel my run. Post workout I cut up a turkey burger to put atop some spinach, and finishedwith some delicious ripe strawberries. 

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I tried experimenting again with dinner, and I’m happy to say that I really have never had a kitchen experiment go wrong. I wanted breakfast for dinner, but with a twist. Thus, my sweet potato and kale skillet was born. This dish was kind of the brainchild of J Christopher’s (the best breakfast/brunch place EVER) breakfast skillets, but with way fewer calories I’m sure. I started by sautéing 1 chopped sweet potato in a skillet until the pieces were pretty brown. I set them aside and sautéed the kale. Then I added the veggies for the eggs—this could be anything you like, I personally love bell peppers and mushrooms in my eggs. Then I poured the eggs over top and sautéed til scrambled with some feta cheese. Then I just added back in the sweet potatoes and kale to toss it all together and voila! Super simple brinner (breakfast dinner) with tons of superfoods!

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