Turkey Day Aftermath

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After everything I ate from Wednesday to Friday,  the only thing I had the heart to eat for lunch on Saturday was this:  Arugula,  tomato and cucumber salad with a little piece of sour dough baguette. 

9 miles done on black Friday morning and a half marathon coming up this Sunday.  I can only hope to burn off 1/4 of the insanely delicious carbs and fats that I ate… I’d do it again,  darn it!
 

Crunchy Purple Veggie Cravings!

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I’ve already shared with you my strange affinity for hearts of palm (Secret Single Behavior), my love of canned sardines (Omegas!) and my near obsession with blended zucchini soup (Green Machine). So, what’s my newest “hippy-dippy-health-nut” addiction?… red cabbage dipped in spicy hummus.

I crave salty crunchy foods like its nobody’s business but I work too hard to give in to my temptations and completely ruin all the good things I’ve been doing for my body.  Why indulge in empty, fatty, non-nutritive garbage when I can still get the delicious crunch I crave from something really good for me?

Purple fruit and vegetables are packed with nutrients our bodies need.  Remember, when choosing your food, a good rule to follow is that the more vibrant in color, the more nutrient-rich it is.  Look at greens, for example:  A hand full of dark green kale has TONS more nutritional value than a hand full of iceberg lettuce.

Here are some articles that give a little more info on the benefits of purple foods:

5 Health Benefits of Purple Food

Doctor Oz Purple Food article

So, how do I eat it?  Cut the cabbage into finger-width slices.  (I love those beautiful swirls that are revealed once cut!) and just dip into some hummus which has been sprinkled with cayenne pepper.  I put that s*%$ on everything!  ;-)  Happy snacking!

Being Epic!

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I have recently been inspired to reassess my bucket list and goals.  As I reviewed some of my previous posts, I realized that, WOW, I actually achieved some of those things!!
And although it would be silly to say that I didn’t “intentionally” achieve them, I will admit that many of them were achieved in a more “organic” and less conscious manner than I had anticipated.  Why is that?… the psychotherapist in me understands “why” but still gets excited by how the mind works to create what the heart desires.

The simple act of writing out your goals makes them more tangible.  You’ve declared it. You’ve engaged in the physical act of writing it down and now you have a visual reminder of what it is that you want to achieve.  Its no longer just in the corner of your mind.  Its right there in front of you! Now, what you do with what is right in front of you is up to you.  You could dismiss it as a silly fantasy or you could actually commit to the belief that these things are a possibility for you.  I chose to believe that they are a possibility… in fact, I chose to believe that nothing that I truly want is IMPOSSIBLE.

On that sentiment, here is a list of things I am sending out into the universe, with full belief in their possibility.  Some I’ve already achieved, some I still need to check off the list.  I hope to build this list up to 100 soon ;-)  Those which have been crossed out have already been checked off my list.  (Disclaimer, I have not written these in any type of order of importance.  They are simply in the order in which they occurred to me as I sat at my desk a few days ago… distracting myself from doing what I should have been doing which was grading essays, lol.)

  1. Visit Japan while cherry trees are in full bloom
  2. Run the Paris Marathon
  3. Write and publish a novel
  4. Go on an air balloon ride
  5. Have children
  6. Live in a home with a view of the ocean (awesome retirement!)
  7. Do the Ragnar Relay from Miami to Key West
  8. Complete a 1/2 Iron Man
  9. Run a full marathon
  10. Get my Scuba License
  11. Go on a photo safari in Africa
  12. Visit the Pyramids of Egypt
  13. Napa Valley 1/2 marathon
  14. Sell my travel photos
  15. Find a loving partner who reciprocates my devotion
  16. Raise over 1.5K for paralysis research (Help by donating here!)
  17. Show up at the airport and just take the next flight to WHEREVER!
  18. Spend an entire summer vacation in a home in either Spain or Italy
  19. Crochet a garment, not just an afghan or accessory (thats hard!)
  20. Learn to speak French FLUENTLY (not so choppy)
  21. Teach English abroad
  22. Go whale watching in Alaska
  23. See a baby sea turtle hatch/ go into the ocean
  24. Go to a Michelin star restaurant and eat the chef’s 10+ course “tasting menu”
  25. Swim in the bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico
  26. Be able to do a yoga headstand (without breaking my neck immediately thereafter)
  27. Attend a mass at the vatican
  28. Stay home with my kids until they start pre-k
  29. Do a “century” on my bike
  30. See Paul McCartney in concert
  31. Visit the Great Wall of China
  32. Visit Chichen Itza in Mexico
  33. Visit Machu Picchu in Peru
  34. See the Colosseum
  35. Visit Taj Mahal in India
  36. Visit Christ the Redeemer in Brazil
  37. Get my graduate degree
  38. Hike the entire length of the Inca Trail
  39. Go hiking and camping somewhere in the western US
  40. Go to a U2 concert
  41. See Pavarotti in concert
  42. See Toni Bennet in concert
  43. Break a two hour half marathon
  44. hmmmmm…….

:-)

 

 

P.R.ing (Yes, its a verb)

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I can proudly boast that I have been able to consistently PR (beat my personal record) at every race I’ve participated in for an entire year! Well, the only exception to this was the Miami Marathon… but I blame the fact I was in coral “J” and had to run sideways around people more frequently than I ran forward towards the finish, lol (I believe there were 28K participants!)

Here’s what I feel has helped me achieve my goals little by little:

1. Train hard during your off season:  Florida’s off season is the summer.  Scorching heat and oppressive humidity make smarter people stay indoors or run on treadmills. Us crazy people, however, just wake up earlier and run outside anyway.  And you know what?  I think it gives us crazies an edge.  If you can run 9 miles in 85 degree heat, then doing 13.1 in 50 degrees and a cool breeze will feel like a vacation, not a half marathon.  Trust me.  That’s exactly what was going through my head a few weeks ago.

2. Rest:  So, you think that the more mileage you get in during the week, the better off you’ll be?  WRONG.  Give your body the chance to rest between runs.  Running is harsh on your joints and can become a chore really quickly if you don’t start allowing yourself to “forget” how much it kinda sucks sometimes by giving yourself a day’s break in between.

3.  Cross Train:  Now, just ’cause you’re “resting” from running, doesn’t mean you are resting from cardio completely.  Take up another sport like cycling or swimming to keep you busy in between runs.  Weight training and fun classes at the gym also count!

4.  Injury Prevention:  My greatest fear is not being able to run.  But even I skip these and later really REALLY regret it.  Injury prevention/ strengthening exercises are imperative if you want to keep running long-term.  There are some common ones you can find on the web but, honestly, each person’s injury prevention routine should be tailored to his or her frequent aches and pains.  I usually have pulling in my piriformis and inner knees so I’ve learned to do things to strengthen the surrounding areas to prevent things from getting worse.  DO THEM!!!

5.  Eat Well:  Believing that eating lots of carbs will give you more energy or that eating a very low-fat diet will make you a leaner, better runner is just a naive and misinformed way to go about feeding yourself.  I’ve found that I need to be very attentive to my protein, carb and fiber balance for a good two weeks before a race… and good fats are your friend not your foe. You DO NOT want to have a “fiber attack” while running and you DEFINITELY do not want to suffer a day’s worth of serious G.I. issues after your race because your body has basically consumed itself due to being poorly nourished.  Balance is key.  Eat what you like, eat what you NEED and eat CLEAN and BALANCED.

Dr. Oz Detox Cleanse

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Day 2 of my 3 day Dr. Oz Detox Cleanse and I’m having olfactory hallucinations of buttered toast and coffee….

Don’t get me wrong, Its not that bad.  I just REALLY want to eat something warm that also requires chewing.  Is that so much to ask?!  On a positive note, I’m not unbearably hungry and I’m glad that I took my friend’s advice to do the cleanse during the work week rather than the weekend so that I have something to distract me from thinking about all the foods I’d like to be eating.  Another bonus, I already feel less bloated and cleaner and the dinner smoothy is actually pretty delicious!  I’d drink it even on a day when I wasn’t trying to purge my system, lol.

The biggest pain in the butt is the prep.  There’s a lot of chopping and measuring the night before in preparation for my breakfast and lunch the following day. I just don’t have the time in the morning to be doing all of that work.

To my chagrin, celery plays a key role in the lunch smoothy.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love to eat celery but find its juice completely repugnant.  The fact that the lunch smoothy also includes a whole cucumber and cup of kale, made it pretty fibrous and unbearable the first day.  It was so unbearable, in fact that it took me a good 2 1/2 hours to sip and get through it.  My students actually laughed at me as I drank it at my desk because they could see me wincing as I swallowed.  One very loud girl asked “why are you making yourself suffer?!”  I just laughed but, she was kinda right….

I made a few alterations as I prepped the lunch smoothy last night and it was MUUUUUCH better today.  Here’s what I did:  1. Use only those stalks from the heart of the celery. They are much more tender and less fibrous 2. Take about 50% of the peel off of the cucumber before chopping it up for your blender.  3.  Blend it a really, really, really long time.  Believe me, its worth it.

Here is the actual cleanse worksheet as provided on the Dr. Oz web site.

wpid-4_055_3daydetox-1.jpg.jpegI’d love your feedback if you decide to try it!  Place a comment under this post!

 

1:56:41

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I still can’t believe I did it!  Not only did I meet my goal of doing a 1/2 marathon in under two hours, I improved my personal best by over 6 minutes!!  My official time was 1:56:41 and I placed 8th in my age group.  Not bad for a girl who used to run a half marathon in 2:30:00!

When I first started the race, my Gamin decided it was going to choose that specific moment to not work appropriately.  Rather than panic, I kept running at what I thought was a decent pace and turned it off then back on about 3 times.  Finally, just as I approached the first mile marker, it started giving me a reading that looked like it could be accurate, 9:30 pace, so I left it alone and hoped for the best.

The weather could not have been better.  It was in the 50’s in South Florida which was a rare treat.  I attribute a lot of my success to how cool it was and how little fatigue I felt as I ran.  Another bonus was that the majority of the race went through areas that I frequent when I’m training.  Being familiar with the route gave me the edge to really push when I knew I was close to the finish.

All in all it was a great morning and I couldn’t be prouder.  What’s next?!  What should my new goal be?!  I’m shooting to break 1:50:00 by the end of this season.  Lets see if I can do it!

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Don’t Go Bacon My Heart… I Couldn’t if I Fried

wpid-img_8536.jpgOn Saturday, I ran my first official race of the season… the Great American Bacon 5K!

While I didn’t plan on taking the race too seriously, I do take my bacon eating pretty seriously so I had to BRING IT with our team name and jerseys!  And despite the gimmicky theme, the course was not easy.  The park in which it was held is a converted trash mound and had some serious elevation changes.  (For all you non-Floridians, trash mounds are the highest points of elevation when you live at sea level, lol.) What’s more, the race didn’t start until 8:20 which made for an uncomfortably hot run.

Team “Don’t Go Bacon My Heart” was comprised of some pretty kick ass runners of all different levels!  The newbies got Personal Records, the sprinters had a blast and a new mommy got her first post-baby 5K under her belt!  And the best part?… Good conversation and some nice cold beers to celebrate at our impromptu tailgating after-party at my car.  Let the race season begin!