Get Back on Track with Green Smoothies

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Full disclosure. I try to live a healthy lifestyle. I resist processed food. We raise our own chickens for eggs and meat. But every year when the weather starts to cool and the days shorten so does my my willpower.  As work gets busy and the holidays approach it becomes easier to stop planning and just wing it. As always, that leads to poor choices.  It happened again this year, as it always does.  By Halloween my healthy eating was out the window and my gym days became few and far between. By Thanksgiving I hadn’t been hitting the gym at all and the sniffles were creeping up on everyone in my family. By Christmas we were all full blown sick and just living the days to make it to bedtime.

But New Year’s Day always brings with it a time of renewal. I don’t set resolutions exactly, but it does always seem like a perfect time to pick myself up from the floor and get back at it.

One of the easiest ways to make my health a priority again is by incorporating daily green smoothies. Greens can be tough to get in the diet when you’re eating on the go. Putting them into smoothies allows me to have them as a quick breakfast or snack.

If you’re interesting in getting on track along with me, you should check out Simple Green Smoothies. Their website is packed full of tips and recipes and their thirty day challenge begins January 1st. To get in on this great thirty day experiment, all you have to do is sign up! It’s totally free! You get recipes for thirty days worth of smoothies including easy to use shopping lists! I do their challenges periodically  and I have to say that by half way through the month, I really do feel a difference in my well-being. I hope you’ll join me and let me know how it’s going along the way!

Do you already drink smoothies? Do you put greens in them or are you strictly into fruit smoothies? (If you haven’t tried greens in your smoothies yet, you’ll be amazed at these recipes. You can’t taste the green!)

Monday…

 

Best laid plans…I should be at the gym right now. I have a Monday morning date with myself every week. A 6am sweat session, the only one that I am guaranteed each week. The rest get filled in when spots open, but that 6am Monday slot has become sacred. A quiet drive through the dark streets of my city, a challenge to my body before the battle of the workweek begins. It has become the one thing that makes Monday bearable.  

How can life possibly weigh me down when I start my week reminding myself of my strength? That I have the power to just lift myself back up?

But 5:15 came too early today. When 2am brought a toddler that wanted juice, and to play, and to wrap her fingers in Mama’s hair, 5:15 came way too early. 

Some days are like this. I’m learning that the best laid plans do often fail. Sometimes I need a reminder that I am not in control.  My strength is given to me by a God that knows my heart so well. He knows what I need, right when I need it. He gives me the strength I need when life becomes heavy. He carries me.

So this week, when I feel like I have already let myself down, I will call on Him. When my attitude slips, and my weakness shines through. When I’m trying to squeeze it all in and still make time for myself, and my husband, and for tiny fingers and toes that dig in the dark to find Mama, I will call on Him, for He knows my need.

Currently, my need is coffee….and a shower…and to get to work. Happy Monday, everyone. 

 

Beating the Funk and Petting Pigs

Do you ever get in one of those funks that just feel like the world is crumbling down around you? I very rarely get that way, and kind of pride myself on that fact, but yesterday was one of those days. I was in a look out, get out of my way, someone kicked my puppy and peed in my Cheerios kind of mood. It was bad. Not even a hot bath and a glass of wine did the trick. At 9:00 I informed Jon that I would be taking two squares of chocolate, eating them in bed, and then going to sleep to try for a do-over tomorrow. He totally understood.

Today is a new day! I slept in until a glorious 7:15, had a cup of blueberry coffee, and decided the cloudy sky would not ruin my Saturday with my baby girl. So we packed up and hit the road looking for adventure. First, her and I did a little yard sale hunting. We found a couple, but my quest for a super cheap exersaucer is still ongoing. Next up we hit the farmer’s market. Something about that place just makes me happy. I love seeing all those people selling things they have made and grown with their hands. I love to talk to the farmers and hear how passionate they are about the quality of the food they are selling. I also love to see all the people buying fresh local food. It makes my heart smile. 

I picked up a watermelon and a dozen ears of corn. The guy even slipped a free cucumber in my bag.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I feel about cucumbers the same way I feel about snakes, spiders, liver, and other icky things. Jon will eat it. I almost left the farmer’s market with this:

I’m not kidding. If I had the cash on me I would be petting my pot-bellied pig right this moment. Jon came home with five turkeys one day, why can’t I have a pig? Later, I called and asked him what he thought….let’s just say it is not completely off the table.

I bid farewell to Miss Piggy and Reagan and I hit the Riverwalk Trail for a run. I was so excited about today’s run. She got to ditch the car seat and ride in the stroller like a big girl (facing forward)! She’s finally big enough and strong enough to do it. I wedged her in with some blankets to be safe, but it was awesome! She was so much cooler in there and so happy to look around as we moved.

One thing I love about my town is all the opportunities there are to be active if you want to be. Sure, there’s also about 75 fast food, fried food, country cookin’ places too, but if you want to live a healthy lifestyle it’s pretty easy to do. The Riverwalk Trail is such a wonderful place to run. It’s so calming to race along next to the water.

We went a few miles and then stopped at the Fit Stop so I could get in a few squats, pullups, toes to bars, and pushups done while she slept. This little “park” is such a nice addition to the trail.

A few miles back and Reagan was ready for lunch, as was I. We hightailed it home and hung out together while I fixed up a little something. 

Some people have been trying to convince me to try to go Paleo. I eat pretty healthy, but I just don’t think I could go that far. I really love cheese….and beans and flour and milk and yogurt and all the other wonderful things that I couldn’t have anymore. I just don’t think I want to do it. I know I could, I just don’t want to.  I mean, doesn’t that look delish? Trust me, it was.

I guess my awful funk from yesterday stemmed from the fact that I finally had to go back to work. I’ve been off with Reagan for almost four months. I know that’s such a blessing and most people don’t get that much time off, but it’s just so hard! I kept thinking about all the “firsts” I’m probably going to miss. The thing is, I won’t be her “person” anymore. I mean, I’ll always be Mom but she will now spend the most time with Grammy. Again, I know, we are very fortunate that she stays with Grammy when so many people have to use daycare. Cut me a little slack and let me wallow in self-pity for just a minute. First-time mom here. 

 So today I decided that the only way to deal with it is to make the most of the time we DO have together. It doesn’t help to be sad about things I can’t change. Being a working mom is a decision that I made a long time ago. She’s too little now, but someday she’ll be able to remember mornings like this one and when she looks back on her childhood I hope she’ll smile at the mom that took her running and wanted to buy her a pig. Okay, the pig was for me, but still.

Tips for Running The Rugged Maniac

I find myself more and more interested in running races that are not simply road races. I haven’t really ran any 5K races in my area this year and I’m not really sure I’m going to do any. Ever since I have been doing Crossfit workouts, I have been seeking out things that are much more physically challenging. The Rugged Maniac was the perfect arena for my new-found love for mud, sweat, and physical exertion.

My husband, and a few friends, and I ran the Rugged Maniac in Asheboro, NC a few weeks ago.  This is a 5K race with about 20 obstacles built in along the way. There is everything from a giant mudslide to a wall of fire. It isn’t for the faint of heart, the sluggish, or those who wish to remain clean. It is, however, an absolute blast! 

BEFORE

AFTER

Here’s a few tips I thought I’d share now that I have experienced the Rugged Maniac.

1. You will get muddy and cold. You will feel disgusting. The lines at the water hoses are pretty long, but not unbearable. Bring a couple gallon jugs of water to get yourself started and then when you feel a little less disgusting you can stand in line for the “shower”. There’s also a changing room so be sure to bring something warm to change into. We had a beautiful day, but after being soaking wet for an hour or so, sweatpants are a blessing.

2. In Asheboro, you can’t park at the event. You will park a few miles away and be shuttled to the race. The wait isn’t too long, but you don’t want to plan on going back to your car to change or pick up anything you’ll need while you are at the race. The line for bag check is very long and I just can’t see waiting while dripping with sludge to pick up your bag. We packed inexpensive items that we didn’t care about in inexpensive bags and stashed them in an inconspicuous spot. They were still there, untouched, after the race. There are still good people in the world.

3. You can donate your shoes if you’d like to after the race. That is if you don’t lose them on the course. To prevent this, I recommend duct tape. 

4. Be sure to bring a trash bag to put your muddy things in after the race. You will also need your id and cash. Wrap these in a plastic baggie and put them in a pocket- they will still get wet and disgusting. It’s unavoidable.

5. Embrace the yuck. You will go under muddy water- the whole way under. There is no possible way to keep your head above water. Hold your nose. Don’t swallow. Trust me.

6. Apparently, it doesn’t take a flying leap to cross the wall of fire. 

But I didn’t get that memo.

Instead of finisher’s medals, the race directors decided to hire professional photographer to place themselves along the course and take these great pictures of everyone. Watch for the photographers and try to look excited. You’ll have so much fun looking for yourself when they send you the link. You are free to download or print the pictures as much as you’d like. It’s really a nice touch.

7. Cover as much of you skin as possible. The rocks that are hidden under the mud might be the worst part. I am still scratched and bruised- a minor inconvenience. Wear knee pads if you’ve got them. People might think you’re weird until after the race. Then they will think you’re a genius.

8. Be prepared to immediately want to sign up for another one. These things are addictive. I haven’t had so much fun in the mud since I was a kid. 

Get Rugged!!

Wanted Body Glide and Samual L. Jackson

Today I melted like a cheesy fondue. I’m not kidding. I was almost liquefied in the middle of a parking lot. I am right smack in the middle of training for this crazy half marathon and it is blazing hot outside. I’ve been getting up early to run, but today was Saturday and I got lost in the CMT awards I DVR’ed from last week.   I finally peeled myself off the couch and headed out to the trail for a seven miler at about 9:30 and that was way too late.  This is me after 7.6 miles today.

I told you so! I put this completely unflattering picture of myself up to make a point. If you are going to run in hot weather, there are a few things you’re going to need that I did not have today.

1. Body Glide- snazzy little deodorant looking tube that keeps your flabby bits from rubbing together. Rub it on and there’s no bra or thigh chaffing (or arm band, that’s what kills me). I am completely without any of this right now and I’ve got the burns to prove it.

2. Water- seems like a no brainer, but sometimes I have no brain. You need a lot of water if you are going to do a long run in over 90 degree weather. I suggest bottles on a belt or at least a handheld water bottle. Nathan is a good brand. I run with the Sprint sometimes.

But really in this kind of heat for that kind of distance I need to step it up.

I just can’t really see myself wearing that thing. It looks like something a Storm Trooper would wear. There really is no fashion in running. I used to think runners dressed like dorks, but now I know they just didn’t have any options.

3. Energy gels- I like to use Clif Shots every 45 minutes or so on a really long run. Today I went with the Clif blocks which are like gummy bears without the cute bear shape. They stuck to my teeth and made my mouth taste like I was drooling sugar. Which would probably be ok if I had some water…

The shots are made of organic brown rice syrup. They don’t taste bad. They have about 100 calories, plenty to get you through the next leg of your run. These flavors look amazing. My local stores only carry vanilla and strawberry. This makes me sad.

I also recommend some moisture wicking clothing. It really does make a difference. On days like today, I even run in those ridiculously short (and ugly) running shorts. Again, tossing fashion out the window for coolness and comfort. 

All in all I wouldn’t count today as a fail. I actually overshot my seven miles by about half a mile. The man that zoomed past me pushing a kid in a stroller depressed me a little until I saw him turn around long before I did. I did not die of heat stroke. And I think the mileage may cancel out the steak and baked potato I’m getting ready to devour.

I promise a non-running related blog soon. I really just wanted a reason to show you all this pic I took today just as I was headed back to the enormous man-truck I am still driving.

Holy heart attack! I almost stepped directly on that thing! It was stretched across the trail. I’m not going to lie to you, I took three giant steps back and stood there dumbfounded because I didn’t know how to get around it. I had visions of me stepping around it and then it goes all crazy on me. I’m picturing the movie Anaconda. I’m picturing giant fangs and having to find some innocent bystander to suck the venom out of me. I’m thinking Snakes on a Plane. I’m crying out for Samuel L. Jackson. 

 In retrospect, I think it was some type of garter snake, completely harmless. When I pulled myself together, I simply walked around it. But it COULD have been dangerous. I mean, possibly. Ok, I was just being a big wimp. I know.