Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Early to Rise...

This morning I woke up and met my friends for an early morning track workout. I never ran track in highschool.... oh wait, I went to a small school that DID NOT HAVE A TRACK.... so the concept of "800's" is foreign to me. However, four smart ladies and four smart Garmins later, we had our attack planned.

If you ever read a running magazine and you feel intimidated by the verbiage surrounding the track, do not even try to figure it out by just reading. My experience is, you have to get out there and RUN it in order to actually understand it. If you cannot make it to a track, try finding a treadmill at the gym that has a track loop on it (you know, the little lights that take forever to move if you are running and staring at them....).

We did a warm up 2 miles (which equals 8 laps) at a 8:30-9:00 minute/mile pace. Here is what the rest looked like:

- 4 X 800 FAST followed by a walk/jog 400

ENGLISH: 1/2 mile fast, 1/4 mile slow ---- do that four times.

Finally, we did a cool down mile. I had to leave to head to class, but the rest of them stayed and actually ran more cool down miles. No, this picture is not this morning, but check out that cheesy grin and all that food. THAT my friends, is the best way to finish running!

I used to be a morning person until these last two semesters in grad school. I think work is more involved now AND my classes are more intense so my body just needs more sleep. I used to only get 4-6 hours of sleep a night. Now, if I only get 6, I am horrible to be around and I cannot function. Contrary to what some people might think, sleep is not passive. Your body is not JUST resting. Your body is repairing and rebuilding. YOU NEED SLEEP. Apparently, someone made it a rule that in order to be fit and be super human, you should just decrease sleep. Proponents of ORGANIC or CLEAN diets will drink excessive caffeine and then push themselves for weeks with only 4 hours of sleep a night.

 Now, understand that I know we all operate on a 24 hour day. You may be wondering how you would actually get a workout in if you had to get 8 hours of sleep, go to work, cook dinner, etc..... Here is the thing, I am talking about optimal health. What you do MOST of the time is more important than the little fluctuations that may occur in your schedule. For instance, if you read this blog, that was 5-10 minutes that you could have been walking or working out. Get off the computer! =) But seriously, I do not think that the occasional 4 hours of sleep will injure someone; it is the lack of sleep AND the addition of stress to the body for long periods of time DESPITE having signs and symptoms of fatigue. Listen to your body. Do not just drink more caffeine. Learn to rest.

Some people may say that they do not need as much sleep. Well, good for you super human! But just because you cannot stay asleep for 6 hours does not mean that you do not need it. We are seeing an increase in a "new" diagnosis called ADRENAL FATIGUE that encompasses fatigue, muscle aches, sleep and digestion disturbances and a few other things. Unfortunately, this is another one of those diagnoses that will get abused and people who want to have an ailment will be diagnosed and treated for this disorder. However, it is still something to be aware of and prevent getting to that extreme. On a personal note, my doctor diagnosed me with adrenal fatigue 7 months ago. I feel so much better now that I have made certain changes and tried to improve my sleep consistency and my sleep routine (apparently, coffee at 5pm keeps you up???? WHAT?) The theory behind adrenal fatigue is that individuals are continually in "fight or flight" mode and their bodies experience continual stress. A few of my fitness/runner friends have recently been diagnosed and I believe this is because of continual, consistent exercise, busy work schedules, and lack of sleep. Running, even though I love it, is a stress on my body. If I do not set aside time to rest, stretch, ice, and recover, I WILL HURT MYSELF. We can only do so much. I am certainly not saying to quit your workout routine or your job. I am just saying that if you start to feel more overwhelmed than usual or if you start feeling "off" set aside time, cancel plans, and make sure you catch some ZZZZZZs.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Summer Time

Good Morning!
Over the weekend I decided that I was going to start blogging again because I like to get my thoughts out and share what I am learning with others. This semester I have class on Tuesdays, so my goal is to just blog on Tuesdays.

Is anyone out for summer? I am always jealous of everyone getting out of school this time of year. Those were the good 'ole days. Now, my semesters are shorter, my weekends are busier, and guess what, I still have a job that I am responsible for, dishes and clothes to be washed, and a house that seems to get dirtier as it gets hotter.

It is important that if you have goals (school, health, relationships...etc) that you make sure you plan around those goals this time of year. We tend to says YES to every opportunity to socialize and spend time with friends or family but unlike our childhood years, responsibilities do not stop once June comes around.

Here are some tips that someone shared with me and I will be implementing in my life as I balance two classes and a full time job this summer:
- Get a planner (weather on your phone, computer, or in a notebook, GET ONE)
- Write out the tasks you need to do to accomplish your goals (study? precook food? walk? go to the gym?)
- Write out the essentials (kids? laundry? dishes?)
- PENCIL is key. Now pencil in some things that you might want to do but you know it just might not happen.

Now, somewhere in your planner (I write mine in the side bar) write out your priorities in order of importance. There may be seasons that your schooling or health come before your friends.... THAT IS OK. People who mind do not matter and people who matter do not mind..... SERIOUSLY. Every decision should be made based on that priority list. 

- Does that party get your closer to your goals of graduating?
- Does that pot luck get you closer to decreasing your blood pressure and organizing your house?
- Should you take your kids to the park or should you volunteer at that community event?
- Do you need to spend time praying before your day starts instead of going to the gym?

Ask yourself these questions. Be black and white about it. This system was shared with me a few weeks ago and it has really helped me with my schedule and responsibilities. 

Have a great Tuesday!!!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I could not stand to not have a post in the month of July, so here I am... July 31st. Can you believe tomorrow is August 1st? Where has this year gone? I have had quite a few people tell me that they have missed my blogs, and to be honest, I missed blogging. However, I had to cut a lot of things out of my life because school was kicking my butt. Here are some things that I did this last month:

My beautiful cousin Ashley's WEDDING weekend in COLORADO!

My finals were on July 20th, so I ran, worked, studied, slept..... for three weeks straight. I cut out reading, friends, family activities, and computer.... Clay even changed my Facebook password so I would not be tempted to get on (sad, right?).

At work, we have multiple six week challenges throughout the year for our employees to join. In the beginning of the year, we focused on weight loss and knowing what your "numbers" were (cholesterol, glucose, BMI, body fat %...etc.). The next challenge focused on nutrition; we set goals for our employees to add more color to their diet (red/apples, orange/peppers, yellow/squash.....you get the idea). The challenge that we just started is called the YOU CAN challenge. What I LOVE about this challenge is that the EMPLOYEE gets to pick their goal; we do not make it for them. The first two weeks of the challenge the employees gets out their calendar and PLANS tasks/activities that will help them to accomplish their goals. For instance, do you want to lose weight? Do you want to reduce a pants size? MAKE IT HAPPEN. Get out your calendar and set a date to go to the grocery store and buy your food, plan your workouts, and schedule time to meet up with friends to workout together. If your goal is to have more time with your family, SCHEDULE IT. My husband always tells me that, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting change, but always getting the same result." Is that what you are doing with some area of your life? It has definitely been thought provoking for me.

Speaking of my hubby, he sold his first house in the last few weeks as well. I am so proud of him. He is LOVING his new job!

Last week, I went to a diabetes seminar and learned ALOT about helping people control their diabetes while they are at work. If you know me at all, THIS IS MY PASSION. Diabetes (type 2) is preventable and our society is in an epidemic. There was a lady at this event (she was a benefits/HR manager at her company) who was complaining about how expensive healthy food was; she was the largest woman there. I always have to hold my tongue when people say that because it is simply not true. There are EXPENSIVE healthy foods, yes. However, you do not have to eat ORGANIC everything (or anything). I rarely buy organic items because of the price. Items like brown rice, beans, seasonings, chicken (buy it when it is on sale and freeze it), oat meal, peanut butter, eggs.... these are all staples. I buy fresh produce in the beginning of the week, but I have frozen veggies for the end of the week because buying produce for a whole week can be pricey. This same woman, ate three cookies at lunch... and they were free... it is not just a price thing for her. I am not saying NEVER indulge, but seriously, we were at a diabetes seminar. Control your portions at least.

I have also been enjoying a new book, The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Very good so far; I have a hard time reading for pleasure, thanks to college, so I am determined to get back in the "reading" loop.

New training goals: I am running the Ragnar Relay in the Florida Keys in January. I am so excited, not only for the course, but also for the group I am running with. We are going to have so much fun. There are a few half marathons that I will be running in the fall as well, so stay tuned!

Have a good week everyone!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Say hello to the sunshine state. Unfortunately the last few days of our beach trip looked like this. We had a great time with family though. Now, Clabo is heading home and I'm off to Denver for my cousin's wedding. I had a few good runs at the beach and I have already mapped out a few in Colorado... in between wedding festivities, homework, and family time. Have a good afternoon!!
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Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Chicken Recipe

Last year, I made this slow cooker recipe from Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet: Cookbook. It was very good and I thought I would share it for those of you that are tired of "grilled" chicken.... like me. It is a crock pot recipe so set it and forget it!!!! Have a good weekend!!!!!


2 Tbsp EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)

1 medium onion - peeled and finely chopped

3 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks

4 stalks celery trimmed and chopped

4 cloves garlic passed through a garlic press

1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (not the ones found packed in oil)

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 2/3 Cup chicken stock-low sodium

1 can 1 (15 oz each) navy beans, pinto beans or black eye peas, rinsed and well drained

1/4 cup of fresh basil, chopped fine

1 tsp thyme

2 Tbsp minced parsley

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 small skinless boneless turkey breast cut into 4 large pieces

1. Peel and slice the onion.

2. Peel and cut the carrots

3. press the garlic

4. trim and cut the celery

5. Rinse and drain the beans of your choice

1. Spread half of beans in the bottom of your slow cooker

2. Season poultry with pepper and sea salt.. Heat EVO over medium heat in a skillet. Brown the poultry on both sides in the skillet for about 5 minutes each side.

3. Place the browned poultry on top of the beans in the slow cooker. Top with the remaining beans and the chicken stock. (you can sub with water)

4. In the same skillet, saute onions, carrots, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, celery and herbs. Stirring occasionally.

5. Spread the mixture over the ingredients in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook Low 6 hr (or High 3 hr) until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.
Makes 6 servings.

261 calories, protein 24g, carbs 24g, Dietary fiber 6g, fat 6g, and sodium 553mg

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recipes and a little bit o' fun.

I have been asked by a few individuals lately to post a few more recipes. I have an exam on Wednesday, so that is not going to happen in the next few days because my dinner tonight will consist of egg whites and broccoli, and my lunch was a boca burger and broccoli, so no body wants to read about that. I do not even want to think about it because it was so boring.

Here is my resource for my protein bars: Get Lean, Eat Clean with Jamie Eason. My favorite is the carrot cake protein bars, adapted by yours truly with pumpkin instead of carrots. My mother in law puts shredded pineapple in her carrot cake bars sometimes and IT IS AHHHHMAAAZING. It is just so helpful to have a nice treat ready for you to enjoy.... without having to splurge =) The chocolate ones are BETTER THE NEXT DAY.... not so yummy right out of the refrigerator.

Another resource I really like is MyFitnessPal.com. You can put in your information and track what you eat. I am not a tracker, BUUUUTTTTT, I recommend for everyone to at least track themselves for a day or two JUST SO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH YOU ARE EATING. Americans are so accustomed to SUPER SIZING life, so do it, do it now..... seriously. GO. If you do not like MyFitnessPal, try sparkpeople.com or livestrong.com. They are all FREE, so check them out.

Also, I am the QUEEN of the at home workout. You do not have to go to the gym for 2 hours a day. TRUST ME. I am super busy so I have to adapt a lot of my workouts to be functional in my living room. Check out this plyometric video.... LOVE IT.

If you need any more encouragement, let me know. I am always here with a cheeeeezy thumbs up for ya!
Sorry if this picture gives you nightmares later......

Thursday, June 16, 2011

day off #1

This is what I'm doing the rest of the day... what are you up to? I'm hoping to go for a run but it is 900 degrees out so I may have missed my opportunity since I slept in until 9!!! Happy Thursday! The week is almost over :)
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