A Huge “Duh” Moment

You know when people give you the same advice over and over and over again, and you just think to yourself, “I KNOW ALREADY! GEEZ!”? That has always been me, so you’re not alone. (And if you honestly listen and implement every bit of advice you’re given, you are inhuman and should donate your brain to medical science.) But, one fateful day when I decided to give one piece of running advice a chance, I unfortunately showed myself that all of those people had been right all along. Continue reading

I’m a Bad Mudder (Shut Yo’ Mouth!)

I’m taking a quick break from food and paleo-related posts to make an announcement of seemingly un-epic proportion, but one that I feel is epic for me:

You may have noticed a new item in my blog’s sidebar (and, if not, check it out)… I’m officially registered to do the Boston-area Tough Mudder! A former college classmate of mine shared a link on Facebook for it, saying she’s formed a team and is looking for anyone interested in joining them. I haven’t seen this girl in ages, and I wouldn’t blame her for forgetting who I am, but I’d wanted to do this race ever since I completed the Cincinnati Muidathlon last summer.

The Mudathlon was a ton of fun (even though I got a foot-long cut on my back from barbed wire!), but I did it alone. Also, I didn’t really work on any strength-training, so when it came to the monkey bars, climbing over 7-foot tall walls, and anything else involving upper body strength, I was pretty much screwed.

With nine months ahead of me, I have more than enough time to prepare for this… I hope! Even so, I’m pretty terrified! The difference between the Mudathlon and the Tough Mudder are few, but great: Mudathlon was about 3 miles while the Tough Mudder can be anywhere from 10-13 miles; the Mudathlon obstacles are a challenge but not that hard, while the Tough Mudder obstacles are plentiful, designed by folks in the British Armed Forces (so I’ve been told), and are bit more intense (see here, here and here).

So, I have some strength-training I need to do. My teammates are mostly Crossfit-ers, which is intimidating, but they swear they won’t leave me behind on race day! I still want to prove it to myself that I can at least do one or two monkey bars! Time to get back to BodyRock.TV!

This race isn’t just about being a glorious badass; proceeds go to a good cause. If you’d like, please help out my team by donating to the Wounded Warrior program! Here’s their pledge, to show that they are seriously legit:

To support the needs of injured service men and women, Tough Mudder offers special discounts to participants who raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Project hopes to achieve the following: 1) To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. 2) To help injured service members aid and assist each other. 3) To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

Expect updates on my training during the next 9 months!

Too Much, Too Soon

This may be The Queen of Excuses talking, but I think I’ve done too much too soon with my running. In the back of my mind when I signed up for the Intermediate 10K Training Program, I thought it was a bit ambitious. Given that until I started “training” under that regimen, my longest run in the past 6 months was 2 miles; next thing I know, I have to run 4 miles, then 5 miles, then 4 miles again…!

Well, given that my Wednesday 5-miler was a fail (due to a number of reasons), having only run shy of 4 miles, I figured on Thursday I could just extend the scheduled 4-miler by one mile. Easy peasy!

Er… not…

Within the first half mile, my right hamstring was feeling strained. Then my right hip. Next thing I know, at 2.13 miles, I started to walk. I pretty much walked 70% of the way back home, finishing up at a mere 3.7-ish miles. Even after stretching and getting a good night’s rest, my hammy is still quite sensitive. Boo!

So, I’m switching to the Beginner 10K Training Program starting on 6 August. 1.5 miles, 1.5 miles, 2 miles in week one. Much more manageable! The longest run in the program is 10K (6.2 miles) which is on the last week (week 8).

Fail? I think not!

Gummy Vitamins for the Kid in You

I love fruits and veggies, which is more that what many people in the world today could say. Because of this, I would safely (and naively) assume that I was getting everything my body needs, on both a macro- and micro-nutrient level. Well, I was wrong.

After many years on Spark People, I learned a thing or two about nutrients and their importance, as well as how tricky it is to hit the levels of each that are needed by our bodies.

My first point is that eating “whole” produce is of highest importance to me. This means no deep-frying, cheese-covering, or over-salting! Sweet potatoes are healthy, but if you deep fry them and drizzle globs of ranch dressing on top, the point is pretty much gone and forgotten. Having an apple isn’t the same when you coat it in caramel, sprinkles, and chocolate chips. Just ask your dentist.

Secondly, fruits and vegetables are different. Fruits taste awesome and are loved by the masses more than veggies because of one simple truth: sugar. 95% of fruits (my guesstimation, not a real fact) have sugar in it. Vegetables, not so much. The vegetables that people do enjoy tend to be those with more sugar, such as carrots and tomatoes (rather than mushrooms and spinach). Many (not all) vegetables are more nutrient-dense than their fruit counterparts. One cup of grapes, for instance, is about 105 Calories and will give you 22mcg of vitmain K while one cup of spinach is less than 10 Calories and will give you about 145mcg of vitamin K!

Finally, don’t expect to be perfect. I know I’m low in calcium. I love spinach (which has a lot of calcium in it) and I drink non-dairy milk, but I’ve always struggled to get the recommended 1000mg, even with Spark People’s help. Since significantly reducing dairy intake, it’s gotten even more difficult. On occasion, I’ll have a couple of Tums tablets to give myself a little nutrient boost.

Speaking of nutrient-boosting, I do take a multivitamin every day. As mentioned in my first point, getting your nutrients from whole foods is best; however, as mentioned in my final point, perfection is rarely achieved!

Currently, Slice of Life Adult Gummy Multivitamin+ are the vitamins I take every morning. They’re allergen-free and have no added sugar… and they taste great!

In my apartment, I always keep a couple of bottles of my personal favorite: Trader Joe’s Adult Gummy Vitamins. They have added sugar (which is probably why I say they’re my favorite, haha) but still pack in tons of nutritional value!

Gummy vitamins have won over my boyfriend and I, especially after issues I’d had in the past with vitamin pills. I used to take One-A-Day Women’s Multivitamin and no matter what time of day I’d take it, no matter what or how much I ate before/during/after taking it… I’d get sick within 20 minutes! Awful!

When trying to determine good whole-food sources of nutrients (so you don’t have to pop pills), here are some good websites to reference:

  • Vitamins Nutrition Chart – A great breakdown of each vitamin and the sources from which you can get it. Also, further information on high-nutrient foods.
  • The World’s Healthiest Foods – An extremely comprehensive list of the “World’s Healtheist Foods”, including recipes and in-depth nutritional analysis, down to the micro-nutrient level.

I haven’t done much more than research micro nutrients; I can barely master macro! I’ll definitely blog again about nutrients in the future, hopefully to touch upon the micro side of things, too!

Learning to Run: Part Three

Here’s a quick re-cap before we begin part three: In Part One I was a blob who started (but never finished) the Couch to 5K running program to get my butt off the couch and, in the end, lost about 12 pounds in a matter of 2 months. I then moved to the Cincinnati area, which is where Part Two begins. After 3 months of laziness, beer-drinking, and socializing, I finally moved to California where the sunshine, lack of snow, and healthier feel of the state motivated me to get back on track (even if it did take 6 months to do so)! Unfortunately it’s time for me to move back to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area and bid farewell to the lovely, lovely state of California. Continue reading

Learning to Run: Part One

This is the start of a multi-part series, the length of which has yet to be determined, where I’ll be talking about the ups and downs (and more downs…) that led to my “learning” to run. Believe it or not, it’s more than just “left foot, right foot, repeat”! Let me make it clear that there are two kinds of runners: those who are born runners, and those who become runners. I’m definitely the latter, as I started my running regimen when I was very, very overweight and could barely run one minute without begging for death to take me!

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s begin! Continue reading