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30 Things To Do Before Turning 30

For Christmas, one of my stocking stuffers from my husband Zeb (oh yeah, I’m married! I suppose we do have a lot to catch up from since my last blogging phase from 2011-2018!) was a cute rom-com fiction book called “Love, Lists and Fancy Ships.” The main character is a 29-year old yacht stewardess who created a list of 30 things to accomplish before she turned 30. While reading the book, I was 28 and about to turn 29 myself. The number “30” startles my gag reflex. It’s an age that sounds so much farther in the distance for me than it really is. I feel like I just finished college still. I know I’ve hit the major adult milestones in my 20s – bought a house, got married, and found out I was pregnant with my first baby. But I still don’t feel “adult” enough to qualify for the 30s club just yet.

To make the new decade more palatable, I decided to copy the main character from this novel and write my own bucket list to make the most of the rest of my 20s.

The morning of my 29th birthday, Zeb and I went to brunch together at a local spot here in Idaho. I started a new note in my phone and began listing activities I hoped to do before my next birthday. By the end of our brunch, I had 17 items I would commit to doing over the next 365 days. We brought the note back out at dinner with my parents that night and rounded out the 30 items.

And here it is:

30 Things To Do Before Turning 30

  1. Visit a National Park
  2. Stand-Up Paddle Board
  3. Run a Half Marathon
  4. Visit a Museum
  5. Sing Karaoke at a Bar
  6. Do 30 Push-ups in a Row
  7. Officiate a Wedding
  8. Read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
  9. Try Caviar
  10. Fit Back into my Wedding Dress
  11. Volunteer at an Event
  12. Plant a Garden
  13. Catch a Fish
  14. Practice Calligraphy
  15. Watch All of the Harry Potter Movies
  16. Give Birth
  17. Make Homemade Bread
  18. Sled Down the Bruneau Sand Dunes
  19. Attend a Concert
  20. Swim in an Ocean
  21. Learn New Winter Sport
  22. Hike a New Trail in Idaho
  23. Visit a New Country
  24. Make a Coffee Table Scrapbook
  25. Ride a Roller Coaster
  26. Take a Dance Class
  27. Play 18 Holes of Disc Golf
  28. Jump in a Pool with all my Clothes On
  29. Go Tent Camping
  30. Travel to 3 Different States

Zeb says its cheating to add “give birth” since I’m nine months pregnant as I wrote this list (oh yeah, another catch-up moment for those blog readers that haven’t heard from me in 3 years. Surprise!) but I think it’s a pretty momentous occasion during my 20s that I should get some kind of credit for on this list of activities!

I plan to create a journal/blog entry for every item on this list as I cross it off and document the year through the photos and stories this brings up. So stay tuned to see how we work our way through this list before I turn the big 3-0 on February 12, 2023!

Food Journal vs. Intuitive Eating

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.

Food Journaling vs. Intuitive Eating (stronglikemycoffee.com)

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.

Clean Eating - packing meals and snacks for work (stronglikemycoffee.com)

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!

Clean Eating Fiesta Sweet Potato (stronglikemycoffee.com)

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?

 

16 Mile Manhattan Tour

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.

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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!

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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.

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