Sunday, July 29, 2018

Food Truths

It all started about 10 years ago when I read Real Food by Nina Planck.  I began to question what I ate and where it came from. It has spurred me on to read more and eventually return to school to study health and wellness.  With all of the knowledge swimming inside my head, I'm still confused about what I should eat.  Minimally processed, organic, grass-fed, and pastured is best, but how do you feed a family well on a budget.  Making your own baked goods is an excellent way to bypass all of the "junk" in a loaf of white bread or bagel, but it's not practical for most families who are busy juggling jobs and kids' activities.  Over the next few weeks, I'll look at ways to feed your family a more nutritious diet that won't break the bank or make you crazy.

To get us started, I'll briefly touch on fruits and veggies.  With our glorious warmer temperatures it is the perfect time to hit the farmers markets.  Produce prices are very reasonable here and you're getting food picked at the peak of ripeness for extra nutrition.  You also get a chance to talk to your local farmers.  The ones I have talked to grow their fruits and veggies organically, but don't have the certification because it is a tedious expensive process.  Stock up on some of your favorites and freeze them for use over the winter.  Corn, for instance, freezes beautifully.  Just shuck the ears, place them in gallon freezer bags, and your ready to go.  Happy eating!!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Week #1 in the Books!!

Woohoo!!  I have survived week one of half marathon training complete with a grueling 9-mile run!  When you're training ground is the Rocky Mountains you never quite know where your long runs will take you.  I just put on my Runkeeper app and run until I hit my mileage goal, complete with "My Conscious" giving me positive encouragement along the way.  

The road I live on is an incredibly long stretch.  You can actually access it from two points, the bottom of the mountain or the top.  To get to my house I hook into it up top.  It ends up being a shorter trip.  Last Friday, I choose to run the long way to get my 9 miles in.  Let me tell you,  that is no easy feat and there was a point I was pretty sure I was going to die.  To make the trip a little more challenging I was trying out my new hydration belt (more on that in another post.)  I hadn't gotten the placement of water bottles, the belt, etc. in the right place so my walking intervals were spent adjusting and readjusting.  I should have tested it on my short run earlier in the week so my grueling 9 miles of hills would have been a bit more fun. Who am I kidding I HATE hills!!  

I have been smart enough on long runs to use the run, walk, run interval method of training as I add miles.  This definitely saved me.  I haven't found a free running app that will allow me to set my own intervals yet (if you know of one PLEASE let me know) so I ended up using the timer on my phone with a simple 3-minute timer.  This amounted to 3 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking.  That helped on the way back up the really long hill.  To help you get a better picture the bottom of the hill is at roughly 8411 feet and the top is 8731 feet, plus I'm running at altitude so the air is a little thinner.  Talk about a challenge!!  I did it and rounded out the week logging 26 miles of running fun.   Ok, there was a little walking involved, but I've gotta ease into the longer runs somehow!

Monday, June 4, 2018

Half Marathon Training: Day #1

If you run, you're a runner. (1)

“What Makes Someone a Runner? A ‘Real Runner’?” A Foodie Stays Fit, 26 July 2016,

Today is day #1 of my half marathon training.  I'm excited and a wee bit nervous.  I was that kid that hated running the mile in gym class.  It's so far!!  I usually walked most of it, and then had to run it again because I didn't get the time I needed for the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.  Who remembers that?  My mild asthma would kick in, my mouth tasted like metal, and I generally thought I would die.  I swore I would never run again!  Then again there are countless things I swore I would never do again as an adult, yet have come to enjoy.  Remember the Rangerette sewing project, mom?  Fast forward to now and I love to run.  Although I always thought of myself as only a 5k runner.  3.1 miles, that's doable.  

Last summer I was gifted the opportunity to run a 10k.  Ok, 6.2 miles I think I can handle that.  I had been running since the beginning of the summer and with the help of a good team and training plan, was up to the challenge.  On Labor Day 2017, I ran the FORTitude 10k with the Channel 2 News Team.  It was an amazing experience and once again, I didn't die.  Now I knew I could run 6 miles, so being a glutton for punishment and slightly jealous of other athletic friends doing the same thing, decided I too could run a half marathon.  

In January I signed up for the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon scheduled for August.  I've been told by those adorable athletic friends that it's a good beginner race since it's mostly downhill.  It's harder on your knees, but I could run downhill for days!!  I've spent countless hours creating a training plan that I can stick to and mold to my busy family schedule.  I've got exactly 10 weeks until the big race.  Mondays will be easy days with long runs scheduled for Fridays or Saturdays.  Last weekend I ran 8 miles, so I'm well on my way to 13.1.  

So, today marks the beginning of a new adventure for this kid who swore she would never run a mile again.  Nope, I'll never run just a mile again, I'll run 13.1 miles and keep on going! 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Let's Just Be Real

One of my biggest struggles is fear.  I know, shocker! I think most of us deal with it. I've dealt with it since I was a child.  I was then and still am a people pleaser.  I'll do whatever it takes to make people like me.  Whether it's overextending myself saying yes to whatever they need or doing things that make me uncomfortable, I'm so afraid people won't like me for who I really am, that I mold myself into the person I think they want me to be.  

Fear also grips my daily activities.  I like the mundane, it's comfortable and safe.  I can make up a hundred excuses and find just as many ways to keep myself busy so I don't have to do the uncomfortable things.  I can plan for the new adventure or goal for months, never taking the first step in actually doing or achieving it.  I can't fail if I don't try, right?!

Last Monday, I joined 50,000 people who like to get up early and run 6.1 miles for fun for the 40th Annual Bolder Boulder.  Running has become an achievable goal for me, that I do for me.  Not trying to sound selfish or self-centered, but self-care is oh so important.  The weather was perfect for most of the race, cloudy (no chance of meatballs), and cool.  Then as I hit mile 5 the sun came out, granted it may have only been about 60 degrees outside it felt like 102.  At this point, the calf strain I had suffered in my left calf a week earlier was reminding me that we hadn't rehabbed it enough.  I was getting tired!  Luckily, I had strategically set up my playlist for such a moment.  As DJ Khalid gave me the motivation to "Don't Quit" I surged ahead, that is until the home stretch.  The "scorching" heat from the sun and the now cloudless sky began to take its toll during mile six.  Then came the final hill in the final push into Folsom Field on the CU Boulder campus.  I have a love-hate relationship with hills, I love to hate them.  They surround my home and make any kind of pace training nearly impossible.  (On a side note this is where the name of the blog came from.)  There is a gradual, on a normal day, not so bad hill in the last tenth of a mile heading into Folsom Field.  I hit this hill overheated, a little woozy, and darn tired!  Why in the world did anyone think adding a hill at this point was crazy!  They could have easily designed a flat path into the stadium.  My foot faltered and in a moment, I was on the verge of walking in the last tenth mile with six ran miles behind me.  In that brief moment of exhaustion and weakness, a thought popped into my head, "You CAN do this!"  I mustered what little bit of energy I had left and pushed through, crossing the finish line in an hour and ten minutes.  Beauty is that was the exact same time I got when I ran my first 10k last fall!

Of course in a constant effort of second-guessing and belittling myself I began to remind myself that if I hadn't had that moment of weakness at the end of the race, I would have done better.  I knew I could do better.  So, I made up my mind to do better, train better, and PR at the Bolder Boulder's sister race, FORTitude Labor Day weekend.  I can do this!!

My coffee table is now littered with books on running.  I have a tendency to check out half the library on a specific topic when I want to learn more.  Normally I look at one or two of the hundreds of books I check out while the rest sit.  Not this time!  Each book I checked out has nuggets of important information that will help me on my journey this summer.  I'm working on a training plan for FORTitude in Septemeber and my first half marathon in August.  I prefer to create my own training plans based on existing plans.  It's a bit of overkill, but I can tailor a plan to fit my schedule so I'll stick to it.  That is a key to my success.  Having a plan that I know will work with my busy schedule make training easier and dare I say it, fun.  I will not let fear of failure cloud my judgment and keep me from this goal!  

Friday, May 11, 2018

A Few of My Favorite Things!

I LOVE my Complete Protein Powder!!  It's low glycemic and packed with phytonutrients, prebiotics, and all of my essential amino acids.  But I do get tired of mixing it with various nut milks or making smoothies.  I have found a new breakfast idea I absolutely love to use it in!!  I've created a simple breakfast pudding that's a little decadent and very delicious.

I have found a delicious yogurt alternative called Cashewgurt,  I'm sure you can guess by the name that it's made out of cashews.  I try to steer clear of dairy due to its inflammatory effects on the body.  I mix a half a cup of Cashewgurt, one scoop of chocolate Complete, and two tablespoons of Chia seeds.  It's best to mix it a little in advance to give the Chia seeds a little time to gel.  Once the mixture has thickened top with your favorite fruit and enjoy!  

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Comparison Monster

I'm reading the most amazing book right now, Why Her by Nicki Koziarz!  The book officially comes out on March 6.  So you all need to pick up then unless you want to take part in the amazing pre-order contest and freebies, check it out here!  Why Her deals with comparison, which is definitely on my top 5 list of vices.  I compare my home, my career (or lack thereof), my husband, my kids, my parenting ability, my post-baby body...I could go on forever.  It's a major issue in my life!  I even listed it on the card I turned in at church on the first Sunday of the "Live Free" series.  As I read I got to thinking, comparison as a mother is a major issue in my life.  If I can be gut-wrenchingly honest, I have a hard time being happy for the accomplishments of other mamas and their kids.  It doesn't seem like I'm measuring up or my kids are measuring up.  I know, it's a crappy way to think!  Then as I sat in Bible Study one morning, this thought hit me...

Let's get one thing straight!  You are uniquely YOU!  God fearfully and wonderfully knit you together on purpose.  We all have a specific job in God's kingdom assigned just to us.  No one before or no one after will have this job.  God gave you your kids because you are the best AND only mom for the job.  Crazy right!!  I know God is All-powerful and All-knowing but there are days I've questioned His judgment on that one.  Can I get an Amen!!  Motherhood is one job I love more than anything and hate all at the same time.  I am blessed to the mom God chose for my kids, you are too.  I am doing the best job I can and instead of focusing on the comparison monster, I am going to focus on being the best mom I can be.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Holiday Hangover

Ask my family, I LOVE Christmas.  I am one of those people that pull out their Christmas decorations and blast Christmas music on November 1.  I love the lights, the warmth, the family time, the music, the movies, the giving, and the gifts.  Unfortunately, this special, joyous time of year comes and goes too quickly.  Here I sit, New Years has come and gone and I'm faced with the bleak winter days ahead.  2018 will bring joy and love, but I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around the end of the Holidays.  It's hard going back to reality after weeks of fun.  I'm going to quiet myself for a bit and enjoy time with my family to keep the spirit of Christmas a bit longer.