Friday, January 25, 2013

Eating Well for Under $30

I enjoy frequenting a market, Friendly Fruit Market, in New Bedford. The photo is a representation of the quantity of food I can get-- and ALL of this cost under $30!

Normally, I spend under $20, but this week I splurged on Japanese yams, gooseberries, pomegranate, a pineapple, apricots, and a honey dew melon!

*i like this kind of splurging!*



I ate processed food........

I was out with a friend who had a craving for fried food. So, I had some.......



The diet coke tasted tinny, the food was warm, at best-- not colorful, but pretty bland, and it didn't taste like food. The French fries tasted like freezer burn, and the rest of the meal went downhill after that.


AND..... I didn't feel energized and satisfied after eating it. I felt heavy, sluggish and full.

To think that this is how many people eat regularly. Disappointing, honestly.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Notorious Nineteen

Notorious Nineteen, by Janet Evanovich.

As a Jersey girl, I enjoy reading the escapades of Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter.  I have read and I own all nineteen books.  And what better thing to read when not feeling 100% on a Sunday, but this.
The books are light-hearted, and really have no plot-- Stephanie Plum bounty hunter, manages to solve something sketchy that is happening in Trenton, NJ, while blowing up her car at least once in the process...... although Evanovich is developing different characters and showing us different sides to the characters.  You can read this book without having read any of the other eighteen.

This was my Sunday afternoon, just resting and reading.  I thoroughly needed this after the long days and weeks that have accumulated so far this year.  I am ready for the high school swim season to be over;  I need a break.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


It is flu season, and the coughing and sniffles have attacked my swim team. Many are running for flu shots--- something I have never had, and yet, I last time I had the flu, I was sick for a mere four hours. My sister laughs because I took a nap and was better.

But many are attacked each year with the flu and colds that never seem to end. I think the quality if food we eat is a big factor in this-- way too many grains, meat that is overburdened with antibiotics and hormones, not enough fruits and veggies. Since I have gone predominantly plant-based, I realize I actually feel better.

The point of this is not to discuss a plant-based diet, but to share some remedies that are non-pharmaceutical in nature and yet have helped keep me healthy. In the picture, there is cayenne pepper, lemon juice, cinnamon and honey.


Cayenne Pepper-- I read somewhere that drinking a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper mixed in water will increase metabolism. I am not sure how true that is, but when I drank this the first time, I felt a burning warmth run through my body..... A tingling sensation. And after a week, my body seemed more 'regular'. Since then, I have gargled somewhat regularly with the pepper, similar to salt-water when fighting a sore throat, and have felt my sinuses clear up.

*i recommended this to a swimmer who has been congested since the start of the season. She claims this remedy doesn't work, as the sinuses drained and she felt it was worse.*. The problem is comprehension-- when the sinuses are draining, and we get sniffles, the immune system is fighting infection. It is doing its job. WE think we know best, and take a drug or medicine to stop the sniffles, preventing the body from doing its job. *asian mustard also works wonders with clearing sinuses*

Lemon juice-- lemon is a natural scouring agent, designed to clean the intestines. I drank a teaspoon of lemon in a cup of hot water and found it aided tremendously in keeping my system regular. I still use this from time to time, and recommend this for people who are eating a high protein diet and may not get the fiber necessary to clean the intestines.

Honey and cinnamon-- this is my most recent discovery. A friend shared on FB some of the properties of this combination. I googled it, and wow! It is amazing how many sites and properties of healing, cleansing and weight loss.

Currently, I am 'testing' the weight loss remedy. In the mix, I do feel my sinuses are clearer and I feel good. I am not sure about the weight loss-- it has been two days, but it cannot hurt to try.


In our society of take a pill for any bump, bruise or ache, I find it interesting that individuals are skeptical to natural remedies, and willing to take any thing on the pharmacy shelf. Granted there are times when we need the pharmacy, but I would much rather help my body heal naturally.

What remedies do you use?




Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Slightly faster moving vehicles......

Progress...... Is sometimes slow moving.


Assignment for today: Run 30 minutes (attempt to finish 2miles) with 6x 30 sec bursts.

Actually completed: ran 17 minutes at a 10min/mile pace, 4 minutes faster than my last running pace, and walked the remaining 13 minutes. NO bursts or hard runs at the end of the run.

Result: I am pleased. I am able to run faster for a longer period of time than last week. I will take it.

Baby steps and I will get there. Focus is on proper form, not speed. I want to run pain free properly. No cheating or slogging along the way.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Let's talk about lips

As a runner, swimmer, cyclist, kayaker, and lifeguard..... my lips take a beating.

Let's face it... they are out in the elements.  The sun, the wind, the cold, the heat..... my lips see it all.  And at times it is challenging to keep my lips healthy.  I don't want them to be chapped, or cracked.

And the reality, many of the products out there to aid in protecting my lips are not worth the cost of their packaging.  This is what I use to keep my lips healthy, as I battle the elements.

Burt's Bees makes wonderful products for the entire body.  I love each one of these.  One that is not listed is the 'Lifeguards Choice'  -- a weatherproofing lip balm for Sun and Snow.   This one is my favorite as it has zinc oxide in it, and really protects my lips while I am performing.

For those times when my lips do get chapped, I use the Satin Lips Mask, by Mary Kay.  The mask is designed like a scrub to gently remove the dry skin off my lips, so that the balms I use will then be able to protect my lips.  I use the lip balm from Mary Kay (Satin Lips can be purchased as a set), when I mask, as the product is designed to work in conjunction with each other.

*I know some of you are scratching your heads, as I sell Mary Kay.  How could I possibly use a different product.  My thoughts are to use what works, and what works well. *

What do you use to protect your lips?

So..... what is it that you eat?

So..... what is it that you CAN EAT?

I laughed when I read that comment in response to a Face Book post about what not to eat on the WholeFoods 30 program.  It reminded me of the commentary I receive when I share that I eat a predominantly plant-based diet.  The WholeFoods 30 is derived from the book, It Starts with the Food, by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.

This book is promoted by the Paleo/Cross-Fit Movement.  AND while many of you know that I don't approve of Cross-Fit for so many reasons, I wonder if they realize their food choices movement was actually started by many doctors before them.  I wonder if they were part of the group that was skeptical of the work of those physicians, or do they accept it now because of the supposed sport of fitness or the desire to be the 'most fit group on the planet.'

Essentially, the *rules* are:

  1. Do not consume alcohol, in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  1. Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. Yes, we said corn… for the purposes of this program, corn is a grain! This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  2. Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  3. Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  4. Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  5. Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate.

In addition, no Paleo-ifying dessert or junk food choices. Trying to shove your old, unhealthy diet into a shiny new Whole30 mold will ruin your program faster than you can say, “Paleo pizza.”  This means no desserts or junk food made with “approved” ingredients—no coconut-flour pancakes, almond-flour muffins, flourless brownies, or coconut milk ice cream. Don’t try to replicate junk food during your 30 days! That misses the point of the Whole30 entirely.
One last and final rule. You are not allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program. This is about so much more than just weight loss, and to focus on your body composition means you’ll miss out on the most dramatic and lifelong benefits this plan has to offer. So, no weighing yourself, analyzing body fat or taking comparative measurements during your Whole30. (We do encourage you to weigh yourself before and after, however, so you can see one of the more tangible results of your efforts when your program is over.)
**Granted they have exceptions like Ghee and various other things***

My personal philosophy has been to eliminate processed foods.  

AND yes, those shakes that many of the chain companies sell as a super food or a meal-replacement are processed foods.  If it comes in a package, it is processed.  

I like the idea of making a commitment of a month, and stepping on the scale at the beginning and waiting until the end of the month to note the progress.  I have found that when I step on the scale daily, I beat myself up when my body does its normal fluctuations-- retaining water, hormone stuff, etc-- on a daily basis.  Even weekly.  By waiting for a block of time, and not relying solely on the scale-- using girth measurements, and/or body composition-- the progress might be more meaningful.  

I have been reading and following The Engine 2 Diet, by Rip Esselstyn.  AND I have gotten many comments about my protein consumption, or 'the lack there of.'  More commonly, I am reminded that I cannot just live on salad.  
I challenged myself this year to try a new fruit or vegetable every week, or to eat a fruit or veggie that I haven't eaten in a while.  The purpose is to learn new foods, to expand my horizons.   

for those of you who still questions what to eat..... 

What to Eat, by Marion Nestle examines the food industry.  She thoroughly discusses local markets, groceries, organic vs. non-organic, and costs of eating.  I am enjoying and learning from this read.  

So.... what is it that I eat?

fruits and veggies first, nuts, seeds, an occasional piece of fish or meat (because I want it, not because I need it), spices, and some oatmeal from time to time.....

Oh, I also eat like a warrior.   That means..... I eat the majority of my calories later in the day and do a controlled fast during the day.  I do not eat six meals a day.  I eat when I am hungry, and not because the addict in my stomach is screaming for a fix.  I feel better because of it.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A day off....

Today, my intention was to swim.

My body said otherwise..... I am utterly exhausted.   And I struggled to stay warm.  In that, I chose to rest.   I listened to my body, and took the day off.

Tomorrow, I continue with my programming.   I am not going to worry about the missed swim today, I am going to focus on cycling tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Caution: Slow Moving Vehicle

Caution:   Slow - Moving Vehicle Ahead......

or better yet, the sign should have read:  

Caution:  Slow runner/Hamstring Recovery In Progress

AND YET.... I am the only one who seemed to care.    Just me.   

Out on my first run of the year, I managed to run one minute pain free and repeat that seven times, with a five minute brisk walk between each run.   The minute is the current breaking point-- the point where the hamstring feels like it is going to seize from the work imposed during the absorption, coil and recoil, and extension of the muscle as it is moving through the running cycle.   

AND so.... I felt like a slow moving vehicle.   I traveled 2.9 miles (goal was 3.0) in 53:31 and an average pace of 18.27 min/mile.   I burned 417 calories.    


As I completed this run, I questioned the fact that I have signed up for the Hyannis Half Marathon, on 24 February.  Last year, this race utterly and completely kicked my butt..... everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong.  And here I am struggling to run a minute.    

So, I did a reality check.  I am fit.  My hamstring is the weakest link right now.  I feel capable to do this;   I need to strengthen the weak link.  My goal is to be able to run this in its entirety.   REGARDLESS of how slow I go, I want my hamstring to conquer.   

In that, I am going to continue to work on the strength, and endurance necessary.   I will continue running, cycling, swimming and rowing, as well as my strength work.  AND I am going to give it my best effort.   I cannot do more than that.   

Until that point..... look for me:  I will be wearing the SLOW MOVING VEHICLE sign on my back.

Happy New Year

to 2013.

Today, 1 January 2013, is the day that all those resolutions for the new year go into affect.  Almost like a personal set of rules that we know we are going to toss to the way side the moment the challenge gets tough.

For me, today commences a renewal in my commitment to myself.  A renewal in my goals.

I am currently reading, The Speed of Trust, by Steven Covey.  In it he describes our commitment to self and how at times we laugh it off.  His story was making appointments with himself to get up early, no matter what, to exercise and find that on those mornings he chose to sleep in.  The result:  he didn't trust himself to keep his appointments with himself. AND that doesn't seem like a good self-relationship.  He learned that he needed to be realistic with himself about those appointments, and when he understood when to make the appointments, he was more committed to keeping them.

AND I wondered about my commitment to self.  How frequently do I start a project, a book, something else and fail to keep the commitment.  Which caused me to wonder......

Is it fear that is slowing my progress?

In this interesting book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers discusses procrastination.
What is the underlying problem with procrastination?  Generally speaking, FEAR.

What am I afraid of?  What could be so awful about being awesome again?
Well.... that is a very deep question, and perhaps needs some more reflection, but simply put.... at times, I am afraid of excellence.  I know it doesn't make sense, but it is pretty scary place to be absolutely awesome at something, and to maintain integrity and humility...... and alas, I digress..... as I continue to challenge myself to be excellent and not be afraid.

The last book which has been very inspiring to me.  Even Eagles Need a Push, but David McNally, discusses at times we all need a push.  Did you know the eagle will NOT fly until it is pushed, yes pushed out of the nest?

Why does the thrill of soaring begin with the fear of falling?  

And this all brings me to MY word of the Year..... Soaring.

Soaring describes what I aspire to do professionally and personally, encompassing all aspects of my being.

I laugh at the phrase:  How can I soar with the eagles, when I am stuck with a bunch of turkeys?
This is funny now, as I live in Massachusetts, the state bird is the turkey.  Don't get me wrong.... turkeys are pretty interesting birds, but they are definitely NOT an eagle.

And to soar, in 2013.... that is what I want to do.