Goodafternoon blog friends :)
My favorite part about this month….JUNE GLOOM. Overcast mornings are unbeatable for 5:00am runs & I welcome the clouds!
As I blogged about last week, my summer workout schedule is off to a cardio-crazy start. Most days I run before and after work, squeezing in as many miles as I can on and off the treadmill. My goals right now for the summer:
- get into the same running condition I was in last summer. Avoiding injuries of course ;) I was able to run 16 miles at a comfortable 7:25min/mile pace, and always felt proud and accomplished with my workouts. This summer I will log miles to build my “base,” increase my long run distance, and train for a few 5k races this fall.
- Undo a few lbs. I added during the last month of school from stress & social eating. Back to the clean routine and it feels good!
A few key things? ‘Injury prevention,’ ‘hydration,’ and ‘nutrition’ are BUZZ words for athletes. We cannot get enough info & lectures on each. Because they are so ridiculously important!
Injury Prevention is a topic for another day.
Hydration is pretty easy.
Nutrition is my favorite thing to read/learn/experiment/talk about.
I am a fan of keeping a food journal. The easiest way for me is to use an Excel spreadsheet to track my meals, calories and workouts. Though my meals and snacks are usually nutritious and healthy, overeating or oversnacking will inevitably lead to incremental weight gain. Even if “extra calories” come in the form of something clean and nutritious such as cashews or avocados. More calories consumed than burned = weight gain.
Many fellow bloggers have been praising the Intuitive Eating style. I recently started noticing a trend which abandons calorie tracking, using “intuition” or “instinct” to dictate when/what/how much we eat. Yes, some people find calorie counting or food journaling stressful or time consuming. I think there are pro’s to both approaches of nutritional decisions. But speaking for myself, if I were to use “intuition” to dictate my diet, the results would be ugly. Hormones and cravings would “instinctively” tell me to load up on sodium, carbs, sugar, fat. Stress and boredom would lead me to intuitively decide I am in need of triple chunk peanut butter mocha brownie ice cream. The mid-day sleepies would yell at me to chug another latte….and better grab that peanut butter cookie there just in case. Protein, ya know.
What I mean is, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between my body’s instinctive request for certain nutrients and pure hormone-driven cravings. Anyone else feel the same? The sweet tooth is way to active to be trusted for “Intuitive Eating.” ;)
Because of my work schedule and commute, I am gone from home from 7:00am to 5:00pm. That is 10 hours, 2 meals, and a couple snacks. In order to bypass vending machines, break-room snacks and impulse buys, I pack a cooler FULL of fresh fruits and veggies, yogurt, oatmeal, nuts, and other snacks.
A typical week-day looks like this:
- 4:40am Coffee with almond milk the instant I wake up
- 6:00am 1/2 Luna bar after a run/HIIT workout
- 8:00am Breakfast: Oats with berries or banana slices
- 10:30am Apple slices
- 12:30pm Lunch: Yogurt with fruit and almond slivers; veggie slices and homemade roasted red pepper hummus
- 2:30pm Snack: Protein bar OR crackers OR mixed nuts; plus another piece of fruit (grapes, pear, peach, pineapple, watermelon)
- 7:30pm Dinner: typically 2 vegetables, a lean protein (with some sauce or seasoning), brown rice or sweet potato
- Post-dinner: right now, nothing. Only until I reverse my end-of-semester splurges ;) when I’m at my goal weight, desserts vary from popcorn, a cup of hot chocolate, Dove dark chocolate squares or a big bowl of strawberries!
The amount of produce my family buys is unreal. This week we have blueberries & strawberries for oatmeal additions. Bananas for yogurts toppers or smoothies. Grapes and apples for midday snacks. Carrots, bell peppers, celery and cucumbers for hummus-dippers and salad-toppers. Tons of other veggies to steam, saute, roast or grill with dinner. Plus watermelon and cantalope for desserts. Our fridge is so colorful!
We are so fortunate to live in a country where this abundance of healthy fresh food is available.
Food journaling helps me stay on track to reach my goals. It provides a clear picture of how my calories/carbs/proteins/fats are distributed through out the day.
Are you team Food Journal or Intuitive Eating?
The goal this morning when we awoke in our rented Manhattan apartment: squeeze as many sights in to the day as possible. NYC is saturated with such diverse neighborhoods, each hiding their own famed restaurants and attractions. Plus there were some highlights from our 2012 trip I wanted to revisit like the Highland Park, Chelsea Piers, and Bryant Park.
So where to start? We walked to Columbus Circle, hopped on a Subway & rode to Brooklyn. (My dad tried to convince me that the subway operated like a submarine when we travelled under the Hudson River, where you see water and fish out the windows. NICE TRY. )
We weren’t in Brooklyn long because we walked straight across the Brooklyn Bridge, over the cars and the water for about a mile. Which is only the start of the distance we covered by foot today. We used the Map My Walk app today to measure our trek and after 8 hours we have travelled an amazing 16 miles.
We stopped for coffee, fruit & a bagel to share at the Long Island Bagel Shop. We found the bronze Charging Bull sculpture and walked down Wall Street. Circled Battery Park and dodged children and bicycles. However the most amazing site was easily the 9/11 memorial. If you have the opportunity, please go see. It’s free and it’s beautiful. On the exact plots where the twin towers stood are now vast deep fountains, encased in marble that carries the names of each victim.
We stopped for a 2 o’ clock brunch at a hipster vegan restaurant ‘The Butcher’s Daughter.’ On the way in, my dad asked “this isn’t one of those vegetarian restaurants, right?”
He enjoyed his “tempeh” and dairy-less cheese ;)
Next we strolled through Little Italy. Smells So GOOD. A mile later we were in Chelsea, on the piers looking across at New Jersey. It was a gorgeous day!
One of my favorite places in Manhattan is the Highline Park, an old elevated railroad that has been transformed into a garden and walkway a couple stories above the city. It reminds of a fairy tale :) When we were ready to head home, we still had a good 40 blocks uptown to go. The best way to see the city is by foot! You get to see so much, and smell way too much.
We were walking up 9th Ave when we happened upon the biggest street fair. For 10 blocks we passed food vendors, street performers, and what seemed like millions of people. It smelled like grease and cigarette smoke.
16 miles later we were back at our apartment to relax & have our own little happy hour. Tomorrow brings another day of adventure! This is an incredible place to be.
Today’s healthy breakfast “recipe” brought to you by our very good friends :) My family spent the weekend in the San Diego area (Missy too!) to visit our friends. Since we are all active and healthy, the weekend was full of good food and outdoor exploring.
I can’t wait to recreate the breakfast they made us this morning. It was a fun diversion from my usual oatmeal. Look at this spread:
These were toppings for mini 7-grain pancakes (made with almond milk & apple sauce, cooked with coconut oil). You might want to rethink your butter & syrup combo after this….
So many healthy benefits to this breakfast: Omega-3’s, protein, essential amino acids, protein, antioxidants, magnesium, iron, fiber.
Put them all in a bowl and what do you get? A protein-packed pancake parfait (and yes, I was proud of myself for that alliteration.) Ta da!
I did a little research on the nutritional content of the ingredients above. Aside from being vegan, raw, and “clean”, here are some fun nutritional facts:
- Hemp seed comes from the cannabis plant (yes, marijuana) but has miniscule to no THC, and does not contain any drug properties. It does however act as an extraordinary source of all essential amino acids. (Those are good!)
- Cinnamon is a mega-antioxidant that controls blood sugar levels and has been shown to increase metabolism. It also has “warming” properties (freaky!) and in my opinion is one of the best scents ;)
- Flax seeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids which do wonders for your heart’s health <3
- Greek yogurt. I would say that Greek yogurt qualifies as a “fad” right now but I’m right on that wagon. It’s delicious, filling, low-carb/low-fat/low-sugar/high-protein. Those are good ratios!
- Strawberries are the most popular berry in the United States (potentially arguable statement.)
- Studies have concluded that blueberries can improve memory. They are also highly addictive.
(If you have any other toppings ideas, let me know!)
Time for a hike! Our families climbed to the peak of one of the local San Diego-area mountains. My calves were burning over the steep grade and the views were beautiful, all the way out to the ocean. Love hiking with my family!
Who has heard of geocaching? It’s a GPS scavenger hunt that takes you to hidden containers where players can leave behind objects and messages for future players to uncover. The top of the hill we climbed was a geocache location and Miss Johnna found the metal box hidden in a bush under rocks. Treasures!
I love the idea behind the geocaching game. It reminds me of the TV show The Amazing Race, which is also the only reality show that I would actually consider signing up for. Thanks for such a fun & healthy weekend!
Last but not least, next installment of my marathon training playlist. This week I’m going to have to go with Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down and I apologize for the old dude in his underwear…
A little bit of a throwback… The song is 14 years old and I remember listening to it in elementary school. It’s definitely in my 200-song playlist for marathon training :) There aren’t really any specific lyrics this time that I can relate to running, just love the beat!
T-14 days to my first marathon! Time to get those 8-hours of zzzzz’s…