Three Things I Am Adding To My Life

After having been on this planet for four-and-a-half decades, it now seems that my body is teaching me lessons I was loathed to learn in my 20’s or even 30’s. Being a hard-charger who rarely says “No” to a task and saw resting as weakness, it has been difficult to realize that my body is no longer willing to stay quiet when I abuse its many delicate systems. I’ve decided to make some changes, and keep other recent changes going, so that I can make sure my body doesn’t call it quits before I am ready to go.

Maybe you can benefit from adding some things too?

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Are Macros Just Food Math?

After a year of working out and only half paying attention to what I have been eating, I know I have reached the limit of my 40-something body to continue to be more fit than fat. I have lost weight and I have been maintaining. But, I’m kind of to the point that I would like to go ahead and not see a loss of firmness around my middle if I have to miss a few gym appointments. Annoying.

I have heard about macros and counting them and all that, but I have never completed more than a cursory Google search to understand what all the letters stand for in the acronyms. Once I knew most of my personal numbers that needed slotted into a macro calculator, I, of course, plugged them into one. So now, I have ordered my personal macro blueprint and I am still not sure what I will do with that information once I have it. I see where I should consider downloading a tracking app [I should have bought the iPhone with more storage…total lapse in judgment] as well as purchasing a food scale.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 11.27.52 PMIt seems like at some point in the next day or so, my mind will start racing about whether or not I will be able to master this mathematical-sounding approach to being flexible in my fitness.

It isn’t lost on me that I was reading about this during my lunch hour while I ate Jif on white bread–so help me GOD if you just silently judged me, I can’t EVEN with you right now!–but this wouldn’t be the first time I know better, but didn’t do better.

What is the hubbub with macros? Do you count them? Do you use a tracker app? Are there good sources online or otherwise that really helped you start your macro mastering?

Do you have a food scale? Is one like this adequate? It doesn’t even cost $12, but it has a bunch of positive reviews…

Reasonable Price and Good Reviews, so should I order it?

I’m willing to learn and I think this could be my next level fitness coming to call. So, help a sister out & give me the full report.

Five Miles?! Am I crazy?

The answer to that second question must be decidedly — “YES!” I joined a group wellness class at work in late August. It loosely followed the Couch to 5k paradigm with which I was familiar, but in a group setting. 

I am always last–no big whoop. I don’t run for other people. Most of the time I can’t figure out who I am runnin for given that I spend a good deal of the first mile or two wishing for the sweet release of unconsciousness.  

At the end of the class in late October, I ran two 5k races in one week and shaved minutes off my personal past paces in those events. I hesitate to call anything I do a PR because, let’s be honest, runners don’t set records for being less slow. 

Our instructor offered to keep training with us and in some post-run endorphin induced state, I not only agreed to the additional training time, but also to the local, extremely popular Turkey Trot race held on Thanksgiving morning. Did I sign up for the one-mile fun run? Of course not. I joined the other crazy class members in registering for the five-mile run. 

I had never run more than a 5k in my life. I had the day off the 13th because I was supposed to be watching my oldest perform with her dance team. She was stuck at home thanks to mono and I had missed training the night before thanks to rain. 

I set out Friday and managed to put four miles in the books. I felt like a rockstar, but let’s not kid ourselves, it isn’t five miles. 

Last night, we did a “short run” of three miles. The first two miles were horrendous for me but I finally felt unstoppable around 2.75 miles and kept running past the three-mile end point. Then, I spent the evening bowling with my workout friends. For as much pain as bowling leaves me in, I should have knocked down way more than a total of 175 pins in two games. 

I’m trying not to freak about the over 9,000 registered participants crowding into historic downtown Miamisburg for tomorrow’s morning event. It’s not working. 

Running is mind over matter for me. My mind is to busy being a jerk to be helpful. Why won’t my mind just lie to me already so I can stop stressing?

I will post a race recap tomorrow…unless they don’t allow cell phones in the hospital. 

Know Better, Do Better?

How is it that I know a ton about what makes me tick, what is best for me, and yet, I still don’t do it? Why have I done this stupid dance of eating well, exercising, feeling fantastic and then slacking off and ending up feeling gross again? I’m happy for others who have “gotten it” and who keep moving forward even after I’ve fallen off the wagon, but I need to turn some of that inspiration and enthusiasm inward so I can keep going for the long haul.

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Whole 30 Day 02

Today, I failed to plan well, but I didn’t let that deter me from my overall mission of making it through this Whole 30 with everyone else who started August 1st.

This morning, I hit the snooze button too many times for an omelet to be a food choice. Honestly, I wasn’t that hungry thanks to my missing all forms of caffeine yesterday and the headache that started behind my eyes and threatened to derail my entire day. Luckily, my husband was awake for work at 5:30 a.m. and I had the chance to drink some water and take a pain reliever. I still didn’t feel 100%, but I solved that as best I could with a big cup of Dunkin’ Donuts black coffee. I’m addicted. I admit that.

Although I know I need to limit my intake of fruit [especially in the morning because I see it as more of a “breakfast” food than vegetables], I ate a perfectly ripened peach on the way to work and it hit the spot.

I had grabbed a bag that had two long carrots and one red pepper in it. I enjoyed those during the day at work and I was not truly hungry until I arrived at home.

My plans had included balsamic chicken drumsticks in the crockpot. However, because those little duded didn’t make it into the slow cooker prior to my jetting to work, I knew I’d have to be a little creative when I came home.

I liked the idea of the balsamic vinegar on chicken, so I thought a balsamic reduction would work. I put some olive oil and sprinkle of salt on the chicken drumsticks for my oldest and me. The youngest like corn flakes on hers, so we did dinnersaladthat for her. While I baked the chicken drumsticks in the oven [450 degrees for 35 minutes in my oven], I kept a saucepan with balsamic vinegar simmering on the stove. I kept an eye so it wouldn’t boil or completely reduce into oblivion.

As it reduced, I found myself wondering what I would do to coat the chicken with it. I decided rather than brushing it on the chicken, I would remove the chicken from the bone, put it on a big bed of romaine lettuce and use the balsamic reduction as a dressing. Then, I realized I had a ripe avocado and some cherry tomatoes from our little volunteer plants in our yard.

I built a pretty delicious salad and my daughter made one for herself, adding goat cheese crumbles to hers. It was incredibly tasty. The balsamic vinegar becomes so much milder when it’s reduced and a little drizzle goes a long way.

We agreed this was definitely a recipe that will be repeated during my remaining days of the Whole 30. I’m thinking the turkey breast I plan to make in the slow cooker would also be delicious on this salad. Strips of steak, grilled salmon and any number of veggie combos would be so good! And, this is completely portable, so lunch at work is also a possibility for this meal.

fizzywaterWe went school shopping tonight at Staples. We swapped out our empty SodaStream cartridge for a new one. I immediately made sparkling water when we came home.

I buzzed it three times which gives you the highest concentration of fizz. With some fresh fruit slices in my glass, I know I will more than acquire my required amount of water for the days ahead. I may even get jiggy with it and try cucumber slices, mint leaves or other things I’ve seen on Pinterest.

For now, I’m just marveling at the sheer masses of bubbles in this water. You can practically hear them fizzing by looking at them in the picture, can’t you?

Day 2 down and tomorrow will be a challenge. Going to visit a friend who makes THE yummiest snacks and treats…all of which I will need to avoid. She usually has a veggie or fruit tray too, though, so that should work. I will also take some of my own fun things so I can crunch while others are munching.

I can do anything for 30 days, right?


Whole 30 Day 01

Day 01 of my Whole 30 is in the books. My goal is to be asleep by 10:30 tonight. We shall see.

Today wasn’t easy. My daughter had soccer from 9-11 am and I then had to rush to work. I have so much happening at work right now, it’s unreal.

I somehow managed to miss drinking coffee today. That never happens, so we know how insane the schedule was.

After working, I drove home and picked up the same kid, drove to another park, attended a meeting and then watched her scrimmage. Exhausted.

We didn’t get home until after 8.

I had not eaten but a carrot stick since lunch. I made some tremendously tasty sweet potato rounds (thanks, Pinterest and Edible Perspective!) and paired them with the rock star who had been hanging out in my crockpot all day. SoDDCup good even my picky soccer player scarfed down a huge helping.

I plan to start my day tomorrow with a veggie filled omelet and some leftover pork. And coffee. I’m already dreaming about the coffee.

Whole 30 Day 0

Because beginning a Whole 30 challenge in my house isn’t as easy as just going to the pantry, I have to have a Day 0 to prepare. My oldest and I raided the produce section at the local market tonight and I’ve been in the kitchen since cleaning and prepping vegetable, making my favorite Whole 30 approved snack, and packing a lunch for Day 1. For me, it’s all about being prepared. That’s 99.9% of my problem with eating properly–I’m rarely prepared.

So prepared am I for Day 1 that I’ll even be putting dinner in the slow cooker at 2 a.m. Crazy? Perhaps, but once you take a gander at the gloriousness that is Kalua Pig, I think you’ll agree that it will be a welcome interruption of the REM cycle. 

photo (7)My kale chips are legendary [in my own mind] and I’m surprised there are any left once I’m done cycling through all the batches.

This first batch was especially photogenic. 

I read on a Pinterest post that if you preheat the oven to 425 degrees, put the baking sheet in and immediately turn your oven off, you won’t burn your kale chips if you leave them in for 10-15 minutes.

I left mine in for 12 minutes and they came out perfectly.

Still lovely in color, no singed edges, and amazingly crisp. 

Again, I’m surprised this container is full of these chips at this moment. Between my oldest daughter and my own inability to stop with just one, I usually don’t have enough kale chips for snacking when I need them.

These will come in handy during the “Oh my Lord! Where is the salty crunchy in my life?!” during the early days. Not sure how it will be for the sweet cravings this time. It’s funny because I rarely have those–I mostly just develop and undying desire for a humungous plate of spaghetti around Day 16 and I cave.

One other little gizmo I’ve added to my arsenal this time is a bento box type system. I’ve been intrigued by that idea for awhile. I don’t think I’ll be churning out teeny pieces of food art to fill the thing anytime soon, but I do think it will help me prepare decent lunches for myself. 

For tomorrow, one of my boxes contains a deconstructed salad of sorts–romaine, celery, radishes, tomatoes, carrots. photo (8)

The second box is stuffed full with a sliced red pepper. Big slices of pepper, that is, because they will be used as a delivery vehicle for my tuna. Will be yummy. I can’t eat enough red pepper.

I haven’t had radishes since I was a teenager–we used to have them fresh from the garden. The ones at the market looked so pretty tonight, I put them in the cart.

I know where the farmer’s markets are and I will be staking them out this coming week. Someday, I will have a respectable garden [those tomatoes are actually from a raised bed in my backyard]. For now, I will help others with respectable gardens make good use of their bounties.

Tomorrow will be a challenge. My youngest has two-a-day soccer practice and I still have to work. I will need to hit the hay earlier than I have been lately if I am going to survive this month of back-to-school nonsense. 

Well, here’s to Day 0. So far, so good. 

I can’t believe I’m actually posting this because this creates a whole new layer of must finish all 30 days…even if only one other person besides me is reading this! 

Oh, well. I have about 60 pounds to drop and this will be a nice little kickstart. If I feel better, I’m a ton more likely to exercise, etc. I guess this is it! Let’s go!