I started my Eat, Run, Grow blog over a year ago and spent [too many] hours trying to think up the name and the vision for the blog. I chose the name, but honestly was never in love with it. So when I decided I wanted to do something different with it, I began to think…and think…and think [I'm so not good with this type of thing!]. I kept coming back to my favorite concept of Bacon and Whipped Cream…. [Read More...]
Overall I’ve been cranking away and exercise and eating well, with some exception. ;-) I was inspired to keep on track by our local YMCA’s program “Dashing all the Weigh”. Through the program I weighed in during early Dec and then Jan 3rd I weighed out. The goal was to maintain or lose during the holidays. Certainly a challenge for most!
I started off Dec strong with exercise and eating and of course winter and Christmas caught up with me eventually: sick kids, sick me, parties, family celebrations, FOOD!!
Let me tell you, if there’s ever a way to know you are on the right path with your eating, its to STOP eating so healthy and indulge too much [too much food, too much refined sugar, etc]. By the end of Dec I felt bloated. :) So the day after Christmas I got back on my healthy food and started drinking water like it was going out of style. Ahhhh…much better. :)
I weighed in a bit hesitantly on Thursday [I was certain I was going to be up a few pounds] only to find that the scale showed .4 lbs [yes POINT 4] up. Wheeee! :) I’m proud of this accomplishment. Nov and Dec have always been bad for me in weight management. I’ve often found myself in January up 5 lbs. So dissappointing! I am thrilled to be starting the new year the same as I was before.
Though I must say, 3 weeks without workouts is a BAD idea! I told a friend in class on Wed [my first workout after all that time off] that I will never, ever take 3 weeks off again…EVER. I felt so tired again and I could tell I wasn’t as strong. I know since I was working out so much that I will recover fast, but I plan to not take a break like that again. Of course I’m now sore, too, after 2 days of workouts. Back at it! :)
… scrap that … I still like the word GOALS. But everyone calls them resolutions. I decided to look back at the ones I made last year to see what I did accomplish. Here are last year’s:
So not too bad overall, I really didn’t push hard with my running stuff overall this year. Though here’s what I DID accomplish that wasn’t on my list:
Not too bad of a year! :) But its time to set goals for this year… so here’s my plan:
So there’s my list – what’s on yours? I know some of mine are broad goals and I have broken them down more here on paper but I won’t bore you with all the details right now. :) Now let’s start 2013 STRONG!
I have to say, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the family time that is spent together, having fun, without the whole presents thing of Christmas. I love the 4 day weekend! I love… the food!
My husband and I were watching Mythbusters the other night and on this episode they were testing the whole tryptophan in turkey making you sleepy myth. I won’t reveal the results in case you haven’t seen it ;-) but just watching them make up these T-Day meals made me HUNGRY for dinner tomorrow! Yum!
I wanted to share a couple of my favorite side dishes for those of you who need a last minute addition to your meals! These are 2 of my “go to” dishes for Thanksgiving and … well any time! They are delicious!
First is a green bean casserole. Now I hear opinions across the board regarding this type of casserole. Some love it and the “traditional” crunchy French’s onions on top (my least favorite part actually!), others think its gross. When I came across this recipe a couple years ago I was so excited. I had cut canned condensed soups out of our diet a few years prior so I was really excited to see a recipe that not only used fresh green beans, but no canned soups (and no crunchy onions!). Yes – REAL FOOD green bean casserole.
I offered to make it for the family Thanksgiving… a bit nervously. It was kind of “nontraditional” you know. I received a ton of great feedback on it, though! This year it was requested that I bring it. I’m so glad everyone loves it. And I think you will too! Its so delicious. It comes from Carrie at one of my favorite sites, Deliciously Organic.
The next recipe I want to share has been a long favorite of mine. I’ll just start by saying – I LOVE stuffing! I love that it is versatile and can be made from lots of different breads, herbs, seasonings, etc…meat or no meat, lots of veggies or few. Y-U-M! This recipe, is a pretty basic one, but that’s part of what I love about it. I pretty much always have what I need to make it at any given time. No shallots? No problem…do onions instead. No french bread? No problem – I actually sub my normal wheat bread for it anyway. But its so yummy – and I love that I can control how many herbs [and what kinds] as well as the salt added. If there’s one thing I dislike about store bought stuffing, its how salty it is. This recipe comes from Martha Stewart.
I’d love to hear about your favorite real food Thanksgiving recipes. I’m on the lookout especially for a real food version of whole berry cranberry sauce. I’m envisioning something sweetened with maple syrup. I have a feeling it will come down to me making one up on my own eventually, but that’s ok. It will be a fun taste testing experiment! :) Share links or recipes. If you want you can email me a recipe via the contact page and I can pick some to share in a future blog post.
I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time with your family ~ save that Black Friday shopping for FRIDAY. Be in the moment of the day and be thankful for all God has blessed you with. And of course – enjoy the meal! [and be extra thankful to those who helped prepare it!] :)]]>
I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was a good one and, as always, too fast! I vote for 4 day weekends. ;-)
The first part of our weekend was a race! Not only was it my first race of this year, but it was my daughter's first EVER race! It had taken a little convincing to get her to enter ~ mostly because she was unsure that she could do well. But we told her: no matter what, just have fun! That's what its about. Trying new things, having a good time - and getting exercise while you do it! :) This race was particularly nice, because it is very small. And because it was small, there was a very good chance she would place in her age group and get a medal [a big motivator for a 10 yr old ;-) ].
[caption id="attachment_787" align="aligncenter" width="436"] Starting line! [She's #33][/caption]
She did great! I'm so proud of her! Next up, Dave and I ran the 5K portion. This was my first time running this race, and Dave's 3rd. I have been doing my training runs on flat ground and this course has two hills ~ 1 long one and 1 steep one. Killer! Despite it all, though, I finished strong and knocked my old PR out of the water by 1 min 33 sec!
Woo hoo! It was really exciting, because it was some real proof of how strength training and hard work have paid off. I broke under 30 min for a 5K! A big goal of mine! The results - Emily and I both placed 3rd in our age group! :) [gotta love a small race! ;-) ha!]
She was so proud that she wore the medal all weekend and was singing songs about how she won it. <3 She's now excited about trying future races. And maybe, just maybe, I can finally convince her to hit the road with me for a run. ;-) The rest of our Sat was filled with my sweet little niece's 3rd birthday party [Happy Birthday, Rae!], followed by a few errands. One of them being a trip to the Y to finally get scan tags and pics done of Dave and the kids. We also got a full tour so the kids could see everything there. Needless to say, they are quite excited. I think they will be begging me next summer to go workout so that they can go to the kids fun area. :)
Now its Monday and onto a new week! October only has a week and a half left - I can hardly believe it! That also means that the month of October Unprocessed is coming to a close. Overall I've done pretty well, with a few exceptions. But just being mindful of it has really been eye opening so far. Even if you aren't ready to jump on the "all unprocessed bandwagon" for a month, I'd encourage you to look at all of the food you eat each day. Write it down and make 3 lists: Totally Unprocessed, Mostly Unprocessed, and Processed. List the food you eat in that and see how you do! It will give you some idea of where you're at and maybe you can look at some places to start changing. Baby steps! :) Have a great week!]]>
I hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was a good one and, as always, too fast! I vote for 4 day weekends. ;-)
The first part of our weekend was a race! Not only was it my first race of this year, but it was my daughter’s first EVER race! It had taken a little convincing to get her to enter ~ mostly because she was unsure that she could do well. But we told her: no matter what, just have fun! That’s what its about. Trying new things, having a good time – and getting exercise while you do it! :) This race was particularly nice, because it is very small. And because it was small, there was a very good chance she would place in her age group and get a medal [a big motivator for a 10 yr old ;-) ].
She did great! I’m so proud of her! Next up, Dave and I ran the 5K portion. This was my first time running this race, and Dave’s 3rd. I have been doing my training runs on flat ground and this course has two hills ~ 1 long one and 1 steep one. Killer! Despite it all, though, I finished strong and knocked my old PR out of the water by 1 min 33 sec!
Woo hoo! It was really exciting, because it was some real proof of how strength training and hard work have paid off. I broke under 30 min for a 5K! A big goal of mine! The results: Emily and I both placed 3rd in our age group! :) [gotta love a small race! ;-) ha!]
She was so proud that she wore the medal all weekend and was singing songs about how she won it. <3 She’s now excited about trying future races. And maybe, just maybe, I can finally convince her to hit the road with me for a run. ;-) The rest of our Sat was filled with my sweet little niece’s 3rd birthday party [Happy Birthday, Rae!], followed by a few errands. One of them being a trip to the Y to finally get scan tags and pics done of Dave and the kids. We also got a full tour so the kids could see everything there. Needless to say, they are quite excited. I think they will be begging me to go workout next summer so that they can go to the kids fun area. :)
Sunday was filled with bread baking! Two loaves for the upcoming week and a batch of mini wheat pizza crusts for the kids’ lunches [to make "faux lunchables"!]. I’m almost done tweaking this recipe ~ its based on a different recipe I found. I’ll be posting the finalized recipe soon! They love these!
Now its Monday and onto a new week! October only has a week and a half left – I can hardly believe it! That also means that the month of October Unprocessed is coming to a close. Overall I’ve done pretty well, with a few exceptions. But just being mindful of it has really been eye opening so far. Even if you aren’t ready to jump on the “all unprocessed bandwagon” for a month, I’d encourage you to look at all of the food you eat each day. Write it down and make 3 lists: Totally Unprocessed, Mostly Unprocessed, and Processed. List the food you eat in that and see how you do! It will give you some idea of where you’re at and maybe you can look at some places to start changing. Baby steps! :)
Have a great week!]]>
So I feel like I’ve had a great start to my Unprocessed October. I haven’t taken the time to weed anything out of the cupboards but I’ve been reevaluating the foods I eat during the day. So far I’ve been happy to see that the things I chose were good ones anyway!
Last night I made this amazing beef stroganoff that I purchased as part of a meal plan from Deliciously Organic. I just adore Carrie’s site. She has loads of fantastic recipes [for free] plus lots of meal plan options. She also has an amazing cookbook [which I also own!]. Last weekend we made some delicious cupcakes out of the cook book and we were all in love. :)
So today I have more wheat bread baking and I have been gazing at the beautiful colors appearing outside…
…and I’ve been contemplating a new “season”. Both in fall and in fitness. My original plan after doing Body Revolution this summer was to join back in with the personal trainer students at the university and have them keep whipping me into shape. But as I mentioned last time, we ended up signing up at the Y. So I’m doing that instead….which means no personal trainers…and no schedule.
If there’s something I know about myself, its that I need structure and a plan when it comes to exercise. That’s not to say that I can’t be flexible and switch things around, or blow off a day [oh believe me, I'm the pro ;-) ]. But when I have no basic plan I tend to really slack off. And its not until I look back at how little I ran, or really count how many strength training sessions I got in that I realize how bad I did.
So I sat down and made up a new running/fitness “plan” of sorts. I adore running training schedules. I don’t know why…most of the time I never finish them. ;-) But this time I went with a Beginner’s Half Marathon Training Program from competitor.com [pdf's of the plan are downloadable on that site]. And let me clarify ~ at this time I have NO intentions of running a half marathon! But I liked the program so I figured I’d kind of go with it and see how far I could end up running. I liked the layout and how they managed the runs.
I was also searching my files for some different strength workouts. I have quite the collection of magazine workouts from Shape and Runner’s World that I have kept for the “future”. Some may never see the light of day, but I did pull out one I clipped recently that I found intriguing. Partly because it can be done outside [on the trail] if you wish, or like I did, inside with weights. This workout was in Runner’s World and called The Total Body Trail Workout. I did that one yesterday and I liked it. Very challenging! And because it was a cross training day, I did my elliptical instead of running.
So I’m planning to throw things like that in on days I don’t get to a Y class [for a total of 3 cross train days], plus running 3x/week. We’ll see how it goes. For now I have 3 weeks spelled out with semi-vague cross training days and more specific running days based on that plan. Hopefully this will all keep me motivated!
So when you exercise, do you just wing it? Or lay out a schedule of sorts?
I can hardly believe that October is starting in a WEEK. Seriously, what happened to September!
So…what is new? Well after much thinking and debating, I signed up our family for a Y membership. Its something I’ve wanted to do for awhile and I wasn’t sure if we’d get the use out of it or not. So I guess this is the test! :) I’ve enjoyed a few muscle conditioning classes with friends and we’re going to try some more very soon. I’m also excited to use their indoor track for the winter! I have exercise-ADD and treadmills just bore me to tears. Not that running inside on a small track is super exciting, but at least I feel like I’m going SOMEWHERE.
But back to October!
I read a great and informative blog called Eating Rules. So much to learn there! I highly recommend checking it out. Well for the month of October, this blog is running a October Unprocessed challenge.
So what is the challenge? On a very basic level, it is to eat no processed food for the month of October. There is some give in the rules, though:
Unprocessed food is any food that could be made by a person with reasonable skill in a home kitchen with whole-food ingredients.
I call it “The Kitchen Test.” If you pick up something with a label (if it doesn’t have a label, it’s probably unprocessed), and find an ingredient you’d never use in your kitchen and couldn’t possibly make yourself from the whole form, it’s processed.
~ source: Eating Rules
So basically, stick to whole, real foods, and either make things yourself, or only eat things that have all ingredients that you could use to make it yourself. Sorry…there is no high fructose corn syrup in your kitchen ;-) Or mono & diglycerides!
I’m excited about this challenge because even though I feel we do a pretty good job of eating non-processed, I think there are likely a few things in our cupboard that would fall under the processed category [even if they don't have terrible ingredients overall]. I’m hoping that doing this for a month will get me looking even deeper at my labels, reassessing what we eat, and trying new recipes!
So are you up for a challenge? :) Consider joining in this – just try for a month! The Eating Rules site is filled with info to get you started and I’m always available to answer questions as well.]]>
But I still miss summer! So there…
Onto that running stride… Last month when I was visiting my chiropractor for my whacked out back, I was chatting with him about some running pain I’d been having. Due to my low arches I over pronate [ankles roll in as I run] and even with great, supportive shoes, I’m more injury prone and have more aches and pains than some do. But lately on almost every run I’d been getting a tight, aching, sore, hurting feeling on the sides of my ankles in the tendons. It was the kind of pain that I could only tolerate for awhile and also the kind of pain that would end up lasting for days after running if I kept going.
So each time I would stop. Sometimes I was only making it a half mile. :( Those are sad times… So I asked him his thoughts and after we discussed proper shoe support, etc he said the words that runners hate to hear “Well you know not all people are meant to be runners.”
Of course I didn’t like that, and I’m sure he knew it [he's a runner himself]. But I know it is true, however I wasn’t ready to give up yet – and he didn’t expect me to either. He did say that if I kept having issues that we could look into more custom orthotics for my shoes if I wanted.
After a couple more weeks of sucky running, I finally decided to play around with my form some. I tried focusing on how my feet were landing and I determined that I was having better luck when I ran even more on my forefoot [vs. midfoot where I had been landing].
But the real progress came when I tried something else – running faster!
For some reason over the past year I’ve become pokey…not that I was EVER fast, but I went from a normal 10-10:30 mile to 11 or 11:30. S..L..O..W… well for me. I don’t know why…maybe I just wasn’t focusing on it or trying. But it was what it was.
So I picked up my pace ~ it was the main way I could land well on my forefoot and work towards a stride rate goal of 180 strides/min. [To read more on this # and stride rate, check out this article at RunnersWorld.com]
The results were really good! I didn’t even look at my Garmin watch so that I didn’t know what was happening. I just took off and I kept my eyes focused ahead, and made strong effort to keep my form good. I knew I was going faster, but it wasn’t until I heard the watch beep to mark 1 mile past that I slowed to a walk…extremely winded…and looked at my watch and saw my pace: 9:20 min/mile !! and even better? No … Pain ! Today’s run, also equaled a good result [both in pain and time]:
So this is great overall…its been nice to not have that pain. I hope its not just a fluke! But the main problem is…I can’t keep up this pace for very long! :) I can do a mile of it and then I need a break! So for now I’m just keeping at it and I’m going to keep adding distance to it every couple days until I can make it 3 miles well doing this [or close to it].
So there you have it – watch your form! If you’re experiencing pain, look for things that you might have gotten lax on and reevaluate. And I recommend doing a stride test by timing your running for a minute and counting every time your right foot falls, then multiply by 2. See how close you come to 180. Remember, picking up stride does not have to equal running faster. It means shortening your steps [stride] so that you take more steps per minute. This improves your form which is easier on your body. And if you are still heel striking when you run [landing on your heel vs. landing on your mid/fore foot], I highly recommend that you visit Newton’s web page and reading the article list there. I came across this a few years ago and it really changed my life in regards to running. Changing my running style to fore foot took away so much pain I had been experiencing. It was amazing!
So what did we do? On the last week of vacation we visited the local pool 4 different days! At the start of the week we took a trip to a local little amusement park where the girls rode lots of fun rides and we enjoyed a nice day of sunshine. That afternoon we also hit a local wildlife sanctuary next door to the park. It was a fun filled day [and we were all exhausted!]. The only thing that would have made it better was if Dave could have joined us. But alas, the week before school starts for a guy who administers the whole university’s ID card system is a busy time! :)
And last week I …
A refresher on this last one… In May I went into the dr. for a cough that wouldn’t die and my Dr. was a new-to-me Dr., so he and I chatted a bunch about my medical history, health, etc. Because I have a history of high cholesterol [hereditary] and it had been awhile, he ordered a lab test just to see where I was at. So I went and it came back at 230. I received a call from his nurse a week later saying that the Dr had reviewed my test and due to my age wanted me to … start on meds. :( I think she could tell that this option did NOT thrill me! She said that if I wanted, I could take 3 months to work on my diet, etc and see if I could make some changes and retest in 3 months.
Since I was already planning to start the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution the next week, I told her that I would do that. The Body Revolution was 3 months which meant that a cholesterol retest would fall right after I finished with it! As you may have seen from my last post, I worked hard all summer and lost 13 lbs and lots of inches.
So Fri I went in and here are the results!
|May Test||Sept Test (3 mon)|
|Total Cholesterol (<200)
|HDL (>39, <60)||58||56|
(#’s in () are recommended levels. Oh and my
triglycerides are just fine, that has never been an issue.)
I was quite pleased to see the difference! While my total is still over the “bad” limit, I was so excited to see the difference. I was pretty sure that based on the inches I lost around my abdomen [where high cholesterol people tend to carry it] that I would see a positive difference. And because I still have more “padding” ;-) that I could lose to slim down and lower my body fat %, I’m hoping that after some more healthy eating and working out that I will see even more improvement.
Though I have not heard back from my Dr. yet! I just had the test done on Fri and I can see my results online, but it will likely be at least a week before I hear anything from their office. I’m hoping that he is pleased with this progress in 3 short months and will allow me to keep working on this and possibly test again in a year to see how its going.
But I tell you – if that isn’t motivation to keep exercising and eat healthy, what is? Avoiding meds is a huge plus for me. I would much rather exercise than rely on a drug for my health. I realize that at some point in my life as I get older that even being really fit and a good weight may not be enough to out-fight my genetics, but until that point comes I’ll keep fighting and doing my best to be the best, healthiest person I can be!
On to September! :)]]>
This weekend we did try to enjoy the last bits of summer. We spent some time at a state park and did about 3 miles worth of hiking and some time at the beach of Lake Michigan. I love this park. Its beautiful and has lots to keep you busy. It also has a campground so we spent some time walking around making note of which sites we liked. We’re hoping to get a weekend booked there for next summer.
While walking along the hiking trail, we came upon a leaning tree. It didn’t hit me until shortly after we passed that Dave and I had our picture taken on that very tree almost 13 years ago! It was our first camping trip after moving back to WI from San Diego. Such good memories! Here is a now & then comparison. Note that part of the tree has since fallen over on itself.
So last night as I was thinking about today and thinking about what I wanted to do now that I finished Body Revolution. I had been too busy last week to make a new workout plan. So I decided to pull out my 30 Day Shred dvd today. I haven’t used that dvd in a couple years probably. But I knew it was a good workout. I think I’ve only really done it a few times and those were on level 1 back when I wasn’t in super shape. So I decided to do level 1 today for kicks. It was a bit easy so I’ll be doing level 2 next time just to see what’s in it. I have a feeling level 3 is more where I’m at after finishing BR.
I’m amazed at the progress I’ve made in the last 3 months! I feel stronger than ever. Pushups are getting easier [I still do them on my knees to take it easy on my shoulder, but I'm hoping someday my shoulder will be strong enough to do the real deal!]. I feel like things are starting to get sculpted. And while I still have work to do, I’m so happy with where I’m at!
So where am I at? Here are my final stats for 3 months of Body Revolution:
My biggest inch losses were in my abdomen (3.25″ !!!), my hips (3″ !!) and my thighs (2.25″ !). I’m so glad I took the time to do measurements beforehand. I really encourage people to do this. Sometimes the scale doesn’t move a ton, but the inches are still flying off. So if you are looking to start a workout/weight loss program, take some time and do some pre-measuring! Also, take a before pic. I knew I was getting smaller and I could see it, but it wasn’t until I took my “after” pic today and compared them side by side that I really saw the changes.
I will be honest, I debated and debated about putting my before/after pics on here. Why? Because I’m a normal person who is of course self conscious about my body! LOL But after thinking about it, I decided to share them…because if by sharing them, I can encourage even one person to take action to make their bodies healthier, then its worth it. I won’t lie – the past 3 months I have worked at this, exercising 5-6 days/week [only 30 min though/day! :) ], I had to count calories [but I was never hungry!]. But you can see the results!
Thanks for following me on my journey – I hope you keep visiting as I continue on with my health goals. Today I will be calling to make my appointment for my new cholesterol test. Wish me luck! :)
So last Wed we set out on a mini trip to visit some relatives a day’s drive away. It was a great trip! We don’t get down that way nearly enough, so it was fun to see everyone and spend time with them. My girls were thrilled to drive through downtown Chicago.
On our trip, of course, we had lots of family time…which means lots of food time! Dave and I worked to make good choices overall, but I was presented with my nemesis… the fresh cheese curd. ;-) And they were particularly inviting since I have been doing no dairy for over a month now to clear up an acne issue. Its working but its H-A-R-D. I decided to indulge since cheese is the main dairy thing I miss BIG time. I swear I’ve been thinking about cheese daily since giving it up. Besides cheese there was also that trip to the ice cream place [yeah..MORE dairy!], and the fantastic biscuits with sausage gravy that my aunt fixed. Mmmmm… And in the effort to bring full disclosure, we finished off our trip with a trip to a balloon fest where I enjoyed a funnel cake. ;-)
Yeah…I really did that… I don’t know if Jillian would approve, but I sure did! Those things are rare treats for me! And it was fantastic! So was the balloon fest. We were surrounded by lots of hot air balloons filling up and taking off. It was awesome. The kids loved it!
And that night there was a balloon glow when the balloons came back and lit up after dark [followed by fireworks!]. Such a fun time.
But now we’re back home, and back to “real life”…. which means back to workouts and food as usual! My body is happy. :) If you haven’t already guessed by my eating, this week’s weigh in was not as great as the rest. :D It was just a perfect storm of bad between eating too much, not drinking enough water = more calories in + retaining water. So for the first time since starting this program in late May, I actually gained [ 2 lbs ].
Though this doesn’t concern me since I’m below what I ever though I would attain…and I know I’ll probably lose again once I do workouts again and get back to my normal, lighter way of eating. :)
I started my official “Week 12″ today and it felt great to workout again after not getting a good one in since last Tue! So here’s to my last week!