Monday, January 30, 2012

From sun to snow

Well all last week I was running in this...

And now I am back to this...

Brian and I went on a cruise last week and it was a much needed vacation.  But now we are back to life and back to work.  I defeintely got used to the warmer temperatures and coming back to the cold and snow was not exactly fun.

Last night we got pelted with about 2+ inches of snow which made this mornings run extra hard.  Between dodging snow plows and trying to not slip and slide around, I made it 5 miles.  My knee is actually feeling pretty good - I don't know how but the vacation really helped.  I still ran 5 of the 7 days for a total of 32.5 miles and my knee didn't really complain at all. 

Happy Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!!

Just a few favorites from the week!  Have a great weekend!

Favorite idea.

Favorite Post Run Refuel.  I just love grilled cheese after a long run, but regular grilled cheese can get boring so I like to spice it up!

Favorite Boots. 

Favorite Elevation Run Chart. From my run a few weeks ago - it was a snowy, slushy and hilly!

Favorite new dessert.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

His and Her Shoes

On the left we have my shoes and on the right we have Brian's shoes.

Brian is always complaining about how my shoes are in the way but I can't help it! I have a lot of shoes - shoes for work, shoes for working out, shoes for running. 

Currently only one pair of those shoes is actually for running.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My week in Hours

Last week was a very busy week and it got me thinking about what I actually do all week and where the time goes.  It just seems like there is never enough time in the day to complete everything I want to do and some things just end up taking priority over others.

Total hours in a week: 168

Sleeping - 55 hours

Working - 48 hours

Making food/eating - 21 hours

Blogging/Reading blogs - 16 hours

Washing/folding clothes - 5 hours

Running - 4 hours 

Cross training classes (yoga, spin, etc) - 4 hours
Total hours used: 153

Time leftover: 15 hours

After I complete all the things I need to and want to each week, I have 15 hours left over.  Now some of that time is spent driving to and from work or the gym and running errands and grocery shopping.  But on top of that I know that some of that time is spent watching tv.  

I try to stretch and do my knee exercises while I watch tv, but I am still spending time watching tv instead of reading or doing something else productive.  I think I need to try and give up tv and see what happens, but its tough because I really enjoy a few shows each week like Biggest Loser and Law & Order.

Back when we first got married, we didn't have tv for the first couple of weeks and even though I didn't like it at the time I kind of wish we hadn't signed up for cable.  Its just so easy to sit on the couch and flip on the tv.

In a couple of weeks I think I would like to give up tv and see how I do!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Whole Living Cleanse: Week 3

Thank goodness it is FRIDAY!! I am so happy that the weekend is almost hear because this week has been stressful and very tiring and I need a break.  If you have been following along the past few Friday's you know that my best friend has been doing the Whole Living cleanse and this is her third and final week!  To catch up, you can read week 1 and week 2.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

Whole Living Cleanse: Week 3

Welcome to week 3 of the Whole Living Cleanse! The end is near and I am so excited to welcome back the array of off-limit foods I have been staying away from for the past three weeks! Some of you may remember from my first post that includes a bonus week 4. When I started this cleanse, I had every intention of taking it to the end and doing all four weeks, but I am pretty much done with not eating bread or having coffee, and my willpower is starting to fade. While life is all about eating well, I think you also deserve to eat the foods you love!

Breakfasts this week involved an array of delights: a smoothie one morning, followed by oatmeal the next, and so on. Even though I had the option to have eggs for breakfast this week, I decided against it because I knew I would crave toast or hash browns and that was definitely not happening.

Lunches consisted of quite a bit of gluten free pasta drizzled with various sauces and veggies: broccoli almond pesto, butternut squash, avocadoes…

Dinners were excellent and most like what I cook on a normal basis. Quinoa, gluten free pasta, and the big excitement: veggie burgers (bunless, of course)! I do plan to make a few of the Whole Living week 3 soups this weekend (specifically the Kale, White Bean and Potato Soup and the Roasted Red Pepper Soup); I simply ran out of time to make them for dinners this week. Nearly all of the dinners I cooked this week are ones I will add to my arsenal of easy, wholesome weeknight recipes, which was really exciting. The veggie burgers are definitely coming back next week with yummy rolls and a bit of mayonnaise with the lettuce and tomato topping!

But, I do have a confession to make- I couldn't completely follow the cleanse diet this week, and had to break my routine for one meal on Monday. Due to a personal family matter, my husband and I had to travel out of town for an overnight trip, and it is obviously very difficult to make healthy choices while on the road. I had packed us lunch, a snack, and breakfast for the next morning so that we wouldn't have to eat at thruway stops, but I couldn't get dinner together and figured we would have to rely on our hosts. I was hoping there would be some meatless, wheat-less options and didn’t worry too much about it. Well, there weren't. I ended up starving myself through dinner with some wilted romaine lettuce and balsamic vinaigrette while everyone else noshed on yummy baked ziti oozing with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. The next day, still famished, I knew I couldn't put my body through a low cal lunch with a 6-hour car ride home. So, I ate 4 mini sandwich wraps off a party tray from Wegmans. They had wheat in them, probably a slice of cheese, and turkey. I hated breaking the cleanse, but I really didn't have a choice and luckily I am not gluten intolerant so I had to remind myself it was okay to eat wheat and I would be doing so again in six days after the cleanse ended. Nevertheless, it was disappointing, but sometimes that is life. Also, it gave me a bit of comfort to know that Lindsay, an editor at Whole Living and a fellow cleanser, also cheated this week; she had a cup of coffee.

While I don’t know of anyone who is allergic to gluten AND dairy, I certainly know people who have at least one food allergy. Among other things, this cleanse has given me a heightened sensitivity to the food allergies that people live with. It is very hard to eat at restaurants or at a friend’s house when certain ingredients are forbidden! I am thankful every day that I can freely enjoy wheat, dairy, nuts, and soy.

Other than that, this week was good, and most like my normal diet. Having an egg on top of my dinner last night tasted like Christmas. Mostly the cleanse has helped me think about my relationship with food and how valuable colorful fruits and vegetables are to a healthy diet. However, buttermilk pancakes will be gleefully served at my house this Sunday morning.

Thank you so much for reading and following me on this journey!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The return of the Lunch Run

Back before Christmas, my work group did a major move to a new building.  Although moving is never really fun, I was super excited because the new building had SHOWERS!

In the past I have gone without showers after lunch runs, hoping that deodorant and body spray would keep me smelling decent for the remainder of the day.  Now I can at least rinse off after a run before heading back to work.

Today was the first time I got to run at lunch and try out the work showers.  I didn't want to run this morning because I knew I would still be pretty tired from my Tuesday night run and I didn't have time after work.  So lunch time it was!

I changed in the handicap bathroom because there was more room.  Sadly that shower seems to be filled with bathroom supplies.  It was a beautiful day with the sun shining and I headed out for 4 easy miles.  The only bad part was the 20mph winds that I ran into for the first part of the run.  With the wind I was freezing, with the sun I was sweating!

When I got back, I quickly ducked into the women's bathroom - I don't like too many of my co-workers to see me in my running clothes!  I went into the first shower stall, got my stuff situated and turned on the water.  I waited and waited and waited for the water to get warm but it barely got luke warm.

I jumped in quick and started going through the showering process as fast as possible.  Suddenly I could hear through the wall that someone in the men's room next door had flushed the toilet and I was then blasted with cold water.  Then I could hear them turn on the facet and I was blasted again with cold water.  Being able to shower after a cold run didn't necessarily mean I was going to be able to warm up.

I jumped out of the shower as soon as my hair was rinsed and tried to warm up quickly.  Even with all my clothes on I was still chilled to the core.  When I got back to my desk I put on my scarf and extra fleece jacket but it did nothing to help warm me up.

My friends at work thought I was crazy for running during lunch.  Back when we didn't have showers, my friends at work all thought it was gross that I didn't shower after my lunch runs.  Now they think it is gross that I shower in the work showers.  Guess I can't win.

Lunch runs??  Shower or no?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Some days you just need a run

This week has been tough and its only Tuesday.

Yesterday I walked into work and found out that my very good friend, co-worker and mentor was leaving the company and his last day would be this Friday.

I was shocked and confused.  I knew that the work situation would not be the same forever but I never thought that he would be leaving this soon. 

Last night I came home and ate three giant handfuls of peanut M&Ms and then pulled out the frosting from the fridge.  I definitely tend to eat when I am upset.

Today was not much better...I have been scrambling to collect all the information I can so that I will be ready to handle any problems that may arise after my co-worker leaves.  Its been scary to think what it will be like without my mentor and friend. 

Tonight I just needed to run.  And it wasn't the best run, but I managed to pound out a few miles at tempo pace which felt great.  Focusing on keeping my pace fast helped to not think about the work situation.

I think turning to running was a much better choice than turning to food.  And I feel a lot better after pounded out a few miles compared to after stuffing my face with frosting and candy.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Whole Living Cleanse: Week 2

Happy Friday!!  I am so glad it is almost the weekend - I have a perfect day planned tomorrow, but first we are back with the second week of the Whole Living Cleanse brought to you by my best friend Kaylie!  Enjoy!
(If you missed the first week, you can check it out here.)

Whole Living Cleanse: Week 2
With the hardest part behind me, I took on this week with a clear mind and a clean body. This week, I got to add back in seafood and beans, while still eating all of the foods from week one. I haven’t been able to find any wild-caught salmon and my husband and I won’t eat farm-raised fish, so we’ve mostly been eating beans with dinner, which is okay with me (although I would love to reap the benefits from eating a beautiful piece of salmon!).
One thing I tried to really focus on this week was chewing slowly and eating with purpose. It was good in theory, but mostly didn’t work. I tend to go 3+ hours between meals during the workday and so by the time I get to lunch I usually wolf it down in 10 minutes. But anyway, here’s my week in photos:
Carrot Mango Mint Smoothie
Strawberry orange banana Smoothie
Pomogranate Blueberry Strawberry Smoothie
I figured I wouldn’t ruin a good thing and decided to stick with the smoothies for breakfast each day. That is especially hard to do on weekends when I would typically cook eggs and toast or pancakes, but I survived. Also daunting: sitting at the breakfast table at 6:30 AM in dressy work clothes, shivering as I slurp down an ice cold fruit-filled drink. I am craving a warm, comforting meal to start my mornings with. Oatmeal is definitely coming back next week!

Red Lentils Soup
Vegetable Soup
Again, I took whatever I cooked for dinner the night before as my lunch the next day. I also made two snacks from the Whole Living approved-snacks list: a minty pea dip and dried fruit and nut bites.

Roasted Vegetables and cannellini beans
Field Greens salad with black beans and red cabbage apple onion slaw
See below for recipe!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Almond topping
Did you think I cheated and made eggs for dinner? It’s a fake-out! One of the breakfast recipes this week was the Tofu and Greens Scramble, but I couldn’t fathom eating tofu in the morning, let alone standing at the stove before work. So I made this dish for dinner and it tasted just like eggs (or maybe it was my eyes playing tricks on my brain). The secret ingredient? Tumeric! I will definitely be making this for brunch tomorrow morning!

Overall, any detox symptoms I experienced in the first week have completely disappeared. I’ve lost about 3 pounds, which of course makes me feel great. I still look longingly at the cheese drawer in my refrigerator, and I am mostly missing eggs, artisan bread from the local market we always buy from, and of course chocolate. I will say though that when you feel this good inside and out, the thought of “cheating” doesn’t even pass through your mind!   Week 3 looks tantalizingly tasty and easy; I cannot wait to bring back quinoa and eggs! 
Thanks for reading! Is anyone else doing a cleanse? How are you progressing?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Going Old School

January and February are the months when my running club heads indoors to a local track for workouts.  I like running with a group and I hope I can attend a few workouts before we head back outdoors.

Tonight was my first night back with the group in a very long time and it was good to be back. Since we were indoors, I had to dig out my OLD watch instead of my garmin!

Good old trusty Timex watch with no paces, no distance measured, just the time, stopwatch and a lap button.

I had no idea what was planned for a workout and of course I was a bit nervous.  Thankfully not only was my run club coach there when I arrived, but I just happened to run into my old college track coach.  I spent time catching up with both coaches and they really helped me to relax not only about the workout but also about my future running and racing with my current knee problems.

After a quick, although boring workout due to the track being only 200m, it was time to start the workout. 

4x800m at Tempo pace (7:00 pace)
3:35 - First one done! That wasn't so bad.
3:31 - Legs are feeling good, but that was not easy.
3:30 - Hold on, Just hold on!
3:25 - Too fast. But I am done!

Running with my old watch actually wasn't that bad.  Relying on my body to know and hold the pace was a fun change.  I have gotten used to the lap button on my garmin so I had a little trouble reverting back to my old watch but it still worked.

It felt so good to run on a track, instead of a treadmill or outside in the dark.  And it was nice to have some company for the workout.  Overall, I think this is a great start - still trying to figure out what to train for though.

And now time to stretch and ice!  (My old college coach really re-enforced the fact that I need to do that tonight and he is usually right)

Do you run with a garmin all the time? Or do you have an older, not so technical watch?

Monday, January 9, 2012

A pre/post Run routine

I know that when I am feeling good and my running is going well, I seem to neglect some important steps before and after the run.

For example, when I am feeling good...

I stop stretching.

I stop icing.

I stop cross training.

Last week, I took a few days off from running because my knee was extra achy for some reason.  While I was feeling sorry for myself on the couch, I started to think that maybe I needed get off my butt and try to help my knee fell better.

So I started icing.

I started doing some quad and hamstring exercises and stretches.

And you know what...surprise, knee actually feels better!  Now I am not 100% yet but I feel better than I did last week, so that is a start.

I planned a morning run for Monday morning and before the run, I did a few hip and hamstring stretches.  And then I ran under a beautiful full moon.  The knee wasn't perfect, but it was amazing to be outside running in the early hours under the moon. 

And afterward, I made sure to stretch more and then ice while I ate my breakfast!  So here is hoping that this is the start of many more good runs and lots of preventative maintenance/icing/stretching!

Do you have a pre/post run routine that you do to make sure you stay injury free??

Friday, January 6, 2012

Whole Living Cleanse: Week 1

Happy Friday! Today I have a very special treat - a wonderful guest post from one of my dearest and best friends!  

Now that the holidays are over, I know a lot of us have been feeling less than our best due to all the indulgences we consumed in the last month.  I have been taking a very careful look at what I have been eating and trying to get back into a good routine.  My friend Kaylie has also been taking a look at her eating habits and is currently on the Whole Living Cleanse for 4 weeks.  I asked her to share with all of you her experiences with this and so here is her experiences with week 1!

The Whole Living Action Plan 2012: A Mind-Body Cleanse

Hi everyone! First of all, I am so excited to be guest posting on J’s blog, and very thankful that she let me do this today! J and I are best friends, were each other’s maid of honor at each of our recent weddings, and we are both passionate about health and fitness.

Except, of course, when the holidays bulldoze any hopes of eating healthy, and scrumptious snacks, decadent desserts, and an over-abundance of wine and spirits seem to be present everywhere. For me, this year was no exception, and after four weeks of mindless, unhealthy eating, I was feeling sluggish, inert, and out of control. When the January issue of Whole Living magazine landed in my mailbox just days before the start of the new year, I was immediately enamored by the beautiful, refreshing glass of juice on the cover. The writers promised a 21-day cleanse to detoxify the mind and body, and as soon as I read the challenge plan, I was ready to make the change back to healthy eating. I began on January 1, and tomorrow I will wrap up week one of the three-week cleanse. I’m here today because I’d love to share the plan itself and my experiences and results with you so far.

The 21-day cleanse: what is it?

For those who are wondering, a cleanse is not a fad diet. Cleansing is a way to detoxify yourself and clear out the poisons from your system, such as caffeine, pesticides, and alcohol. Cleansing allows you to get in tune with your body and forces you to truly think about your relationship with the foods you consume. Cleansing also enables you to break your bad eating habits and start fresh again from the beginning. All cleanses are different, but the reason why I like the WL cleanse is because it gives you many options for each meal, which is crucial to good cleansing when your food choices are limited.

How does the WL cleanse work?

During week 1, you eat a basic but very colorful palette of fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats, including nuts, seeds, and oils

During week 2, you add back in seafood, beans and lentils, and organic soy

During week 3, you add gluten-free grains and eggs

The WL website, but not the magazine, has also included a bonus week 4 to help you transition back into “real world” eating with practical, sensible meal options.

What’s off limits during my cleanse?

WL advises “six to skip” for the duration of this cleanse: caffeine, processed foods and beverages, anything with added sugar, dairy, gluten, and alcohol. All of these can tax the digestive system and cause symptoms such as inflammation and bloating. 

And now… here we go: my week in pictures! Here is a sample of what I ate:

Antioxidant Smoothie
Coconut Water and mango Smoothie
The Kicker - Green Smoothie with kale and apples
Strawberry banana Orange Smoothie
Lunch: I have no pictures from lunch, but basically my dinner from the night before was my lunch the next day.


Field Greens salad with Broccoli and Butternut Squash
Spiced butternut Squash soup with apples
Roasted cauliflower and mushrooms
Avocado with bell pepper and tomatoes
Roasted broccoli and butternut squash with garlic
 I also did not take photos of the homemade snacks I ate, but I simply chose a few from week one of the WL website, and then supplemented with raw nuts or veggies.

My thoughts so far:

This week was TOUGH for me, but I knew I needed to get through it and I did not cheat at all! Although I knew that giving up my beloved cheese and treasured bread would be the hardest, headaches from caffeine withdrawal and low calorie intake plagued me for at least three days out of the seven. And some of the meals I felt a bit discouraged with; for example, try as I might, I cannot love peppers. One night I talked myself into making the Avocado with Bell Pepper and Tomatoes for dinner, and I just could not get past the peppers. I would have had a much more successful meal if I had substituted a different veggie and not tried to force myself into eating something I know I don’t like.

You know how Wegmans (our local grocery store) advises us to “eat a rainbow”? Well this week, I truly have. This is an amazing concept to me—both the fact that I did it, and that people tell us to do it everyday— and I think it is certainly more difficult to accomplish with so many other distractions (eggs, cheese, bread… can you tell the things I’m missing?) around us at the grocery store and in our kitchens.

When you eat like an herbivore, there is so little waste. The majority of my garbage bin this week are apple cores and banana peels. Call me crazy, but I feel like I’m lowering my carbon footprint as I eat!

I haven’t lost any weight, but that isn’t the goal of my cleanse. My goal is to feel better and in control of my body and my choices, and I have re-gained both of those things. A cleanse is certainly not right for everyone, and you should definitely make sure you are well-educated on the subject before you begin one. But giving up processed foods, caffeine and alcohol is a good thing to do every once in a while. All in all, I am feeling precisely like the magazine promised I would by the end of week one: “light, energized, clearheaded, and motivated to conquer week 2”! I hope to check back in with you next week to give you my latest progress report!

Is anyone else doing some form of a cleanse as we begin the New Year?

To read more about the Whole Living 21-day cleanse, click here:

Stay tuned next week for Week 2 from Kaylie!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And we have snow

On the first day of 2012, my in-laws came to visit me and brought loads of cookies and bread - talk about carb overload.  This is all that is left after I ate more than my share of cookies and took even more into work with me.

One the second day of 2012, I had to go back to work when most people still had off - I enjoyed the less crowded roads as I drove home.

One the third day of 2012, it snowed! And the temperatures dropped to freezing levels so I went to the gym and battled for a treadmill to run a few tempo miles.  I really hope I can limit my time on the treadmill this winter because today was just not fun.


This year has started off pretty well and I hope it continues.  I didn't make any resolutions last year - I just wanted to train smart and stay injury free. Well that almost worked and so for 2012 I am going to try again.

I want to stay injury free for 2012. 

And I hope I am on the right track because I am feeling better and stronger thanks to ART and my cross training at the gym.  I can now do lunges properly and I can ever run 10 miles again.  It seems like everything is coming together for another great year!

Now all I have to do is plan out my race schedule for the year...I think I'll focus on spring first and then work from there.