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.

Video

Day 6: “I did it for me.”

For all the die hard Breaking Bad fans out there, you know what this infamous line means. For those of you who don’t know, I recommend you go binge watch every season of Breaking Bad immediately because all of the seasons are FINALLY on Netflix. There are so many different theories on the finale that I won’t even bother offering mine. I was very satisfied with the ending and I feel like all the loose ends were tied up. When I first started the series I thought it was a little weird and I wasn’t sure if I’d really get into it. After binge watching the first season in a day weird turned into addictive. So if you haven’t seen it go watch it now! And then watch these HILARIOUS interviews with Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston on Conan that had me peeing my pants laughing:

On another note, the title quote of todays post has a dual meaning. I am in the middle of a health journey, sharing my successes and failures in hopes of helping others achieve their goals with me. But at the end of the day, I did it for me. I started this journey for me, I am making healthy choices for me, and I am refocusing my life for me. Who’s to say that’s a bad thing? It’s not like I’m cooking meth for me 😉

I started the day off with Bob’s Red Mill Muesli topped with fresh blueberries and honey. My mom, my dog Molly, and I all took a trip to the greenway because the weather was too good to miss! I had a great 6 mile run and surprisingly enjoyed (almost) every minute of it because the weather was so perfect. My splits improved so much! I know that you are supposed to run negative splits for races, but usually mine just go down..down..down. (If you’re not sure what I mean by “splits” check out this article from Fitsugar) Today my last two miles were as fast as my first two! I couldn’t be happier. I refueled with a Power Chicken Hummus Bowl from Panera, NOM. Dad wanted to go out for sushi tonight so I definitely did not protest that. I tried to order brown rice but they were out; call that the “eye roll.” However, a side salad and a spicy tuna roll topped with avocado, mango and more tuna wasn’t too much of a splurge. Unfortunately, sushi doesn’t keep you full for long, and it’s the weekend so I decided it was okay to indulge my sweet tooth a little. Needless to say I will have to stop myself from making this recipe every night.

Paleo Apple Crisp from Real Food Liz

20140309-000709.jpgShe’s not kidding when she says it onlytakes 10 minutes! With just 5 ingredients it’s amazing how decadent this dessert tastes.

Doctor’s Orders: Watch Breaking Bad, make this Apple Crisp (maybe eat the Apple Crisp while watching Breaking Bad)

Day 3: Beets, Blake Lively, & Botanical Gardens

So maybe I won’t make every post title an alliteration, but for now I like it. Wednesdays are always super busy for me running from meeting to meeting so as I write this I’m unwinding with a glass of peppermint tea. A lot of people don’t know that peppermint tea helps with bloating (good tip for bikini season).

The initial plan for today was to have a juicing day because I was supposed to be meeting a friend for “lunch” at Juice Up, but as I’ll elaborate later in this post things don’t always go according to plan. I started the day off with a beet, carrot, orange, and ginger juice. All my fellow runners need to check out this article on why beet juice is good for running! http://www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/in-beet-juice-we-believe I’m not sure if it was the beets or my lack of time that got me to run my 3 miles today at race pace of 8:34 per mile but I think I’ll keep drinking it! After my run I made a batch of Blake Lively’s favorite juice:

  • 1 cup kale
  • 2 swiss chard leaves
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/2 small beet
  • 1/2 cup pineapple
  • 2 green apples (I used fuji because that’s what I keep on hand)
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled

Blake Lively is most definitely my girl crush/goal body/fitspo/whatever other kind of motivation you can think of so when I came across this recipe I ran to the grocery store and got all of the ingredients I didn’t have. She didn’t disappoint me, I think this is the best green juice recipe I’ve ever tasted! The pineapple and mint make it so refreshing, but it definitely packs in plenty of greens.

When lunch juice plans went awry I ended up at one of my favorite Athens joints, Marti’s at Midday, and enjoyed some of their amazeballs chicken salad.  Unfortunately, they close pretty early after lunch so I moved my studying operation to the botanical gardens because I heard it was the best undiscovered study spot. With an amazing view and free wifi (and coffee if you get there before 1:30)  it is the best place I have found to study so far.

My favorite part about Wednesday though is going to Campus Kitchen! If you don’t know what it is check out my first post. I am the shift leader for the Wednesday cooking shift where we prepare meals for our seniors to deliver the next day. Today we received a ton of salmon and fresh veggies from Trader Joe’s because the UGArden is having some difficulty after all the bad weather. Even though we were short a few volunteers due to midterms week our food looked better than ever!

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Roasted veggies

Which brings me back to things not always going as planned…

While today didn’t exactly go as planned, it was full of little blessings, and those are something I’ve come to appreciate a lot more lately. Recently life not going as planned for me would be an understatement. A more appropriate description would be jumping into a blender and then trying to put together the pieces while the motor was still running. I’ve never been one to ask the doctor for stitches, but this time I knew I couldn’t perform amputee surgery by myself. (End elaborate metaphor) I’ve prayed a lot. This last month has been tough. It didn’t go according to plan, but slowly I’m coming to terms with the fact that that’s ok20140305-233822.jpg