Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Raw Food - Day 3

So, I woke up this morning so hungry that I made an executive decision to break the raw-food only rule and have a protein shake in addition to the breakfast they gave me:


I also made up my mind that I was going to call 118 Degrees and cancel the program. I knew I would have to add additional food...but was told the meals would be 1,500 to 1,800 calories. I need to be getting around 2,000 and there is no way what I consumed yesterday was over 1,000. When I called, they were really nice and said they would add some additional food for no extra cost. So, I decided to stick with it. Mainly because doing a grocery shop at this point in the week seems like too much work! For lunch I had 
Stuffed Tomato w/ Marinated Shitake Salad:
And then a snack:


I also stopped and picked up a Cliff Bar - my 2nd non-raw item of the day - because I was going to meet Delia for a run. On the run I felt my energy level was much lower and asked to walk, twice! After our run, I went into Trader Joe's and picked up some fresh pineapple spears and had two on the way home. Dinner was yummy, 
Omega Chia Cake Wrap w/ Spinach:
And, dessert wasn't bad either:
Saturday is going to be a big training day for me so don't worry - I am going to eat a lot more on Friday and Saturday. This program would be great if I weren't training, but there is no sense in trying to tough it out. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Raw Food - Day 2

I biked 15 miles last night, and followed that with a 3 mile run. I'm always hungry the day after a decent workout. I started today with the breakfast pictured here. I forgot what it was called, because I lost the printed sheet w/ all of my meals, but I am naming it sludge. Actually, it did taste good in spite of looking like it came from a baby's diaper. They said each day's total is a minimum of 1,500 calories but I'm starting to doubt that. I threw in lots of extras today: banana, fruit, grapes & 1/2 of an avocado!
Not surprisingly, I was hungry by 10am. So, I added in my own snacks.


I ran 3 miles at lunch, and then ate my lunch at 1pm, pictured below.But by 3:30pm I was hungry again, so I also had some grapes.















My dinner (pictured left) wasn't that great...just a salad. But, dessert, which I just finished was yummy! I have breakfast for tomorrow (it looks like granola) and then I pick up more food tomorrow at noon! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Raw Food, Day 1

I signed up for a 7 day raw food detox program through the restaurant 118 Degrees. 
Why the name 118 Degrees? 118 Degrees is the commonly accepted temperature at which the natural enzyme value and nutritional contents of raw plant foods begin to break down and become useless for the body. One benefit of eating raw food is the energy derived from the enzymes and phyto nutrients available in foods that are still living!

Normally $210, the program was 65% off. So, I only paid $99.
Includes: 7 Breakfast items, 7 Lunch Items, 7 Dinner Items, and 7 Desserts.
This meal program is a specific menu to encourage detoxification and includes many new menu items. This program is available for pick-up Monday, Wednesday and Friday's at noon. Each day you will pick up meals through the following pick-up day's breakfast. It is best to start this program on a Monday and be sure to plan plenty of water to accommodate your detox in between meals.
This meal program is designed to accomplish the following things: Encourage Healthy Digestive Function, Release Water Retention, Support Organ Cleanse, Support Healthy Metabolic Rate, and Encourage Optimum Health. Additionally this program is very low in nut content and promotes eating for longevity as described in Jenny's recent book, "The Art of Raw Living Food."
I went today at lunch to pick up my lunch, dinner and dessert for today, all of my meals for tomorrow and breakfast for Wednesday. Then I return on Wednesday to do the same.
Meals, ready to be picked up!
Berry Bliss Bar
Not pictured
Pesto Rolls 
Delicately rolled coconut wrap with pesto and fresh vegetables topped with marinated mushrooms and basil cheese.
Marinated Kale Salad
Chopped Marinated Kale, Olives, Walnuts and Cider Dressing. 
Pictured above.





Dinner:
Heirloom Squash Samosa
Fresh Tahini Cheese in a Flax Omega Wrap filled with fresh organic vegetables and topped with red garlic sauce.

Pictured right.




Dessert:
 Chocolate Torte w/ Sweet Winter Berries

I know, I know it doesn't look good in the picture, but it was, I promise! What you can't tell is that it wasn't even 1/2 inch thick.

Pictured left.




This amount of food was filling for today, but each day is between 1,500 and 1,800 calories so I have a feeling I may need to supplement with some additional food as the week progresses- raw only though!!! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

F+V

As I threw some blueberries into my granola this morning and while I packed my lunch with raisins, an orange, salad (cabbage, carrots and spinach), asparagus (side dish with my pork and couscous lunch) I hit me: I'm eating way more fruits and vegetables than I did a year ago. Sometimes, we make changes, they become routine and we forget how it used to be. We don't realize how far we've come until we stop, turn around, and realize that the mailbox is way the hell back there. But am I eating enough? Just how many should I eat each day?

More than I thought. For me, it's actually 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables each day. That's about 9 servings! 


I think the goal is to be surrounded by them, like this woman.
How about you? Find out how many you should have HERE.

I've fell victim to not eating enough good stuff in the past. A few years ago I never ate broccoli raw and now (since I started pairing it with hummus) I buy a bag every single time I shop. I still have the occasional day when I'm overdue for a grocery shop and the only spinach I have left is wilted or my bananas are brown, or I'm on vacation and eat out. But in general, I'm eating more than I ever have, and will now be striving for my goal of 4 1/2 cups. But why?

My pre-lunch salad 
Why is it important to get enough? Just because the government says we should? No! Because the benefits of doing so are almost too numerous to list! The most obvious one is weight management: the fiber in fruits and vegetables helps us feel fuller with less calories - more bang for your buck. Bringing a salad with me to work every day is one of the main changes that has helped me drop pounds. Realistically, I'm not going to go home and make a salad. But when I bring it with me to work, I don't really have a choice.

Getting our required serving of fruits and vegetables helps maintian balanced blood sugar levels, reduces our risk of cancer, chronic diseases and stroke. It helps with lower blood pressure and reduces our risk of heart disease, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. There's even a link between depression and too many processed foods, according to this article in BBC news.

So, exactly how do fruits and vegetables reduce cancer and all of that other good stuff? Because they are nutrient dense! And, they have phytochemicals!!! These little guys (also found in whole grains) are responsible for improving health on the cellular level and strengthening our immune system. Antioxidants are a type of phytochemical that fight free radicals that we are all exposed to every day. Check out more on the little guys here and here. 

Our bodies are just not designed to proccess all the refined sugar and chemicals in pre-packaged/processed/refined food. And if we eat a diet consisting mostly of that, we will pay the price. Does this mean my diet is perfect? No! I eat dessert more than I should, still use too much salt, and still drink more caffine than I should. But I'm getting my fruit and veg. dammit.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Always More!

I mentioned in yesterday's blog that no matter what, there is always someone doing more and always a new source of inspiration. Below is the perfect example of that. While I was out there hitting the trails, she went one mile farther, and she's pregnant! 


Saturday, March 12, 2011

The more you do, the more you CAN do!

Workout:
10 mile trail run in 1:52:48
Swam 1200 yards 




Ten years ago, before I started running marathons, I signed up for a 5K. The day of the race happened to fall on the same day I was moving...moving from one small apartment into another, with help. I remember thinking: 'Wow! I did so much today!!!' I was quite impressed with myself and spent the rest of the afternoon (moving didn't take long because I didn't have much) and evening lying around like a slug.


Flash forward a year to 2002, when I was training for my first marathon. I was getting ready to do 10 miles with the Lopers and was nervous because I had never been that far. Leaving for the run, I overheard two women talking and one of them said very casually to the other, "Oh, we're only doing 10 miles today." Only? Ten miles? I decided that they either must be bragging or trying to intimidate me. How could you use the words 'only' and '10 miles' in the same sentence and mean it? I finished the run, but remember being wiped out afterwards, both mentally and physically.


This morning I set my alarm for 6:30 to run 10 miles with a group through El Moro Canyon. I haven't ran farther than 5 miles since the Chicago Marathon on 10-10-10 and figured it was time to up the mileage. In part because I received a text from Jonathan last week informing me that he had just finished 10 miles and I was a bit envious. Since October, all of my runs have only been 3-5 miles. I've been running, biking and swimming, and very consistent with my new training plan but still, I started today with a lingering doubt because my mileage hasn't been high. I gave myself an out of 'maybe I'll just do 8.'  
At the trail head, about to start.
 Beautiful, rolling hills with a view of the trail that lies ahead.
Ocean views almost the entire way!
Surprisingly, I felt fantastic, and the 10 miles seemed almost effortless! Some of the uphills were steep, and I walked those, but I felt like I could have gone twice as far. It truly felt like it was 'only 10 miles.' And, unlike 10 years ago when I was a whole lot less active, I wasn't wiped out afterwards! After my run I had a productive day: I did laundry, cleaned, got ready & went shopping, cooked, swam 1,200 yards, watched TV and read. Oh, and blogged! :) And throughout all of this, my usually positive mood was noticeably elevated. A far cry from being wiped out after a 3.1 mile run followed by moving some boxes and a couch.
Today was another reminder to myself that the more I do, the more I can do! Mileage and what is 'far' is all relative. When you remove barriers and limitations that have been put in place by no one other than yourself, you realize what you are truly capable of. And just when I think those barriers are gone I'm reminded that I still have them...evidenced today by my doubt that I would be able to finish what turned out to be an easy run. 

When you surround yourself with people who do more than you, you're more likely to push yourself and find new challenges! And no matter what, there's always someone doing more and something else to strive for, whether it's a new PR, a different race or learning something new like swimming!