Thursday, December 31, 2015

I have landed.........

Well, not quite. I successfully left my apartment in MA, clearing out clutter, gifting to friends, selling what I can..... filling dumpsters along the way. and book and clothing donations boxes. And I arrived in NJ on Thanksgiving evening. Much later than I had desired.

I arrived!

And the craziness began!


My 30th high school reunion. I honestly do not know when that happened. 30 years out of high school..... Well, maybe that is a good thing!

And then off to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I could really get used to this! In four days, I secured housing, work and did some sight seeing.

And I returned to New Jersey to retrieve my cats and the rest of my stuff. And I have remained in a holding pattern since. So much for plans!




Fast forward: I am now preparing to head to Houston, Texas. Where I will be working as coordinator and coach of an existing youth triathlon program. I anticipate continuing to train and coach and teach in my new environment.


Today, is the last day of 2015. I have been reflecting on the past year, and planning for the upcoming year. I never imagined the journey I would have traveled in 2015. Last year, I chose the word LEAP to encompass what my goals and ambitions and what I wanted to do through the course of the year.

It was not until October that I learned in order to leap forward I had to let go of what I was hanging onto behind me. Like swinging on the monkey bars of a jungle gym, let go of the rung behind you to,grasp the one before you. And as I packed and purged, I learned and embraced the LEAP forward.

And so today...... I am bidding 2015 good-bye, welcoming 2016, and the adventures that will come with the new year.

I have chosen a word for 2016. I was impressed with myself, as I really took the time to think about it, focusing on what I learned in my journey and what I wanted to continue to learn, pursue and how I would challenge myself.

The word for 2016 is OPEN.

I am learning to be open. To open more doors. To be responsive to those doors that are open. To be available, willing to share, welcoming to new athletes, being approachable, friendly and kind. To understand that to develop my business I have to show these qualities more often. I am looking forward to learning and seeing where this new adventure will take me.

And in the meantime, I will continue to chase the run, swim, bike and row. Because I love these!

I have set various athletic goals for 2016. I will share as these opportunities are provided.

I will continue to share on this venue as well as on my professional website MSJ Athletics and MSJ 4 Her. Please visit me there, and join in the chatter on my Facebook Page. As I continue on my journey, please do not hesitate to share yours.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Twelve Days

What can one accomplish in twelve days?

I have twelve days (eleven as of tomorrow) remaining in the glorious state of Massachusetts. I am stepping forward into a new adventure. And in the course of the next twelve days, I have to finish prepping, packing, and making the necessary arrangements to relocate. I leave MA with just my stuff and some idea of where I am headed. I am stepping into a new adventure.


My apartment looks like a hoarder lives here. There are boxes everywhere. In the midst of it, the boys (my four cats) are enjoying playing and sleeping in and on the boxes.

And I have twelve days to organize the madness.

In the midst of this insanity, it would be easy to forget about my health. It would be easy to toss it to the wayside, and neglect myself.

I had started the Whole-30 Plan. And at this time, it is not appropriate for me. I live in the real world. Yes, I want to reduce and eliminate my sugar and flour intake, and reduce my dairy. But, I struggled to stay focused. So my focus changed, creating opportunity to focus on how foods interact with me.

I have learned that I need Apple Cider Vinegar. I stopped using this for about a month, and after returning to drink my ACV mixture in the morning I feel better. My feet and ankles are not swelling, and my body is able to counteract the reactions I have to the chlorinated environment in which I work.

I have learned that I enjoy vegetables at any time of day. And I like some with hummus.

I enjoy omelettes! And bacon!

I like pancakes!

I feel better when I don't eat three or meals per day. I feel better when I eat one major protein (animal if I choose) feeding in the evening, and graze on fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts throughout the days. I feel stuffed and sluggish when I eat three meals consistently.

I like Haribou frogs. I know they are full of sugar. I enjoy them.

Over the next twelve days, I am observing how my body responds to various foods, and eating styles.

And I am going to work on building a foundation for my fitness levels, by running, rowing, and swimming.

And I hope to share.


What can you do in the next twelve days?


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Whole 30

For a whole 30-days.


I was challenged to participate in the Whole30 plan. I have been struggling with different things related to health and the extra weight I am sloshing around with me. Weight that doesn't seem to move, ankles that swell at the end of the day regardless of the amount of water I am drinking or activity I am doing. I feel puffy, and fluffy and not happy.

I was willing to try anything.

And here is the program:

Eat Real Food. Eat meat, seafood, tons of vegetables, some fruit, and plenty of good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronouncable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all because they're totally natural and unprocessed.

Avoid for the next 30 days:

  • Do not consume sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking.
  • Do not eat grains.
  • Do not eat legumes.
  • Do not eat dairy.
  • Do not eat carrageenan, MSG or sulfites.
  • Do not try to recreate baked goods, junk foods or treats with 'approved' ingredients.
And lastly, you are NOT allowed to step on the scale or take any body measurements for the duration of the program.

And so I began. For 18-days, it was a fairly solid, and surprisingly easy journey.


I felt happier, lighter and I noticed that my tastes became clarified, and my sense of smell radically improved. It was pretty cool when I put in a swim suit and it was not as snug as it had been. My energy levels increased.

And, my ankles were not swelling. My ankles had been swelling to the point of pain. And NOTHING I did, would eliminate that pain.


This past weekend, I was not prepared for the events of the day. As a result, I ate quite a bit of gluten -- you know the fast and easy food. And Monday night, my ankles were swollen and stiff and in pain. UGH!


All things being the same, the gluten and/or processing in the foods of the weekend splurge caused my body to feel puffy, bloated, swollen and heavy. I did not feel good at all.



I would definitely conclude that I have some serious gluten intolerances. As a result, I am recommencing my Whole30 Challenge. Over the next 30-Days, I will be eliminating the junk and seeing what happens. I am also participating (vicariously) in the YMCAs 6-week weight loss challenge that started this week. I say vicariously, because this is about me and not a team. I am running and swimming and cycling.


This process is to see what happens, to find what I may be allergic or have sensitivities to, and how I feel. It is about getting healthy, which is so much more than a number on the scale. And while some of you are cringing about the food elimination, it is only 30-days.


Who's in? Anyone care to join me?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Learning to Swim

If I'd blinked, I would have missed it.

The opening line to the book had me. This novel, while dragged at times with details and information overload is about a woman, Troy Chase, who learns to swim.

She witnesses a child tossed overboard a ferry, dives in the water, rescues the child,swims to shore, and then investigates his kidnapping. In this quest, she is learning to trust and allow people to help her at times of need. It is Troy who is learning to swim.

The novel has many twists and turns, and there are characters who seem to be guilty and prove to be innocent. It is not until the end, that the story unfolds and the true villian reveals herself.

It is a great read. At times, long and heavy in detail. I enjoyed reading it.


Monday, June 8, 2015

It's all about the VEGGIES!


As some of you may know, several years ago I did a self-experiment and followed a nearly vegan lifestyle for six weeks. I did so after reading the book, Eat to Live, by Dr Joel Fuhrman (book on Amazon)



At the time, I was on a journey to delve more into the world of weight loss and the various philosophies within. And I took myself on various journeys throughout each ideology. The process taught me a great deal about my habits, my needs and choosing better quality food. I learned I love veggies, including Brussels sprouts (with honey mustard), and that I do not need to eat meat every day. I

In this, I also determined the eating style that seems to resonate the most with me is a plant-based diet, warrior-style.

What does that mean?

Plant-based: I eat predominantly fruits and vegetables throughout the day. These are fresh and not cooked. In the evening, I continue with my vegetable scheme creating a meal around various veggies, and potentially incorporating some meat in the plan. The meat serves as a garnish, and not the main event. Yes. I do eat meat, and fish, and the like.

Warrior: simply means, I eat the majority of my calories in the evening. (Warrior Diet)


Yes, I know..... Diet heresy. But I feel better, this way.


And so....... I have continued in my quest for a healthy life-style, and have joined a challenge for Vegetable of the Week. The challenge is to expand one's horizons and explore veggies that might not be regular staples in your eating scheme, and create (or use a pre-existing recipe) dishes or even meals using the veggie.

The vegetable this week is the red cabbage. It is no different than the purple cabbage, except in color. And the fun begins. Who knew there were so many interesting recipes with an Asian flair? And my own heritage of Denmark boasts Rødkaal, a sweet-sour red cabbage dish. (Which is currently cooking).

As I explore the various vegetables, I will share with you as well as my peers who are also being creative with the various veggie choices. I will also be pinning these on Pinterest, and provide the links for you to see what my friends and I come up with.
Please feel free to join us, as we participate in Vegetable of the Week.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Deep Water Running

As I am training more consistently chasing new and revised goals, I found myself jumping in the pool Friday morning. And...... it was NOT to swim!!! I put a belt float belt on, and ran for about 20minutes.


So, I enjoyed a 20-minute run!! Completely challenging. I control the pacing and intensity. I can run and work on my intervals WITHOUT any impact.

Believe me, I was sweating. And I was able to work on intervals, running fast in one direction, recovering on the return lap.

This was the perfect pick me up, in the midst of my opening shift. I felt revived and alive!




Monday, June 1, 2015

Love Yourself


What a great reminder this morning, as I woke after a couple days of eating crap. To commence and short-circuit the crap-cycle (eat crap, feel like crap, eat more because I am craving crap). I had friends over for a small gathering to celebrate the deck opening, and the beginning of summer. (The sunset and it got cold).
And let's just say, the menu while providing fresh veggies, was not the most wholesome. And as a result, I consumed more gluten and sugar than I have in a while. I feel bloated, achy, tired and poofy.
NO WONDER the bowl of steamed Brussels sprouts and honey mustard was absolutely amazing last night.
My body wanted reprieve from the disastrous course I had taken. And as I resume my journey, I am reminded of the question I was asked, "Where is it you want to be in six months?"
Goal affirmation time, combined with course of action evaluation time.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Where do I want to be in six months?

This was a very radical and profound question I asked myself.

At the time, the question had geographical significance; I am preparing to relocate and leave the south coast of Massachusetts. But then I considered it many steps further. In terms of me: where do I want to be in six months? And I envisioned lofty goals of knowledge and physical accomplishments.

And truth be told, at times I struggle getting out of the apartment. (No, I am not depressed. I am tired. My work schedule is all over the map, and some days, I am just tired).

My project is to see where I will be physically in six months -- 10 November 2015.

And the journey begins (well, continues).


Where do you want to be in six months?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring has brought.....

MORE SNOW!!!!! Yup.... It has. The first day of spring brought another inch of snow to my deck. The good news--- it smells clean! The bad-- it is not giving a day off or time to myself.

Instead, I am headed out for a full day of work and play.

Soon, I hope to return to be able to finish my spring cleaning, started when I was finished with winter. Clearly winter, wasn't finished..... And so, I digress.


This morning I stood and looked in the mirror and I could see visible changes. I have really truly been focused on my eating this week, and I can honestly say I feel good.

I enjoy a cup of hot lemon water every morning. It is like my wake up AND full of vitamin C, as well as cleansing properties.

I drink 20oz of a mixture of MOSTLY water, a swig of apple juice, a squirt of liquid Stevia, and two tablespoons of Bragg's apple cider vinegar. *I definitely know when I have not drunk this.*

And I am enjoying all kinds of combinations of salad, fresh greens, broccoli slaw with poopy seed dressing, carrots, tomatoes, pomegranate, pineapple, and some Irish soda bread. The other night I sautéed mushrooms in coconut oil, poured these over spaghetti squash, with grilled asparagus and black beans.

And the list goes on...... There are so many choices and combinations.


After looking in the mirror, I decided to step on the scale. Remember I use the scale as a check-up, to be certain all is as is should be, not as the determining factor of my success. And the digits indicated that I have lost 7#.


All of that, without focusing on weight loss. All of that, without powders or shakes. All of that, since my last weigh-in on 7 March. All of that BY simply EATING MORE FIBROUS FOODS or fruits and veggies and some beans.

Yesterday, I was channel surfing and I caught a clip that a doctor was sharing regarding the weight-loss/weight-gain cycle. He said as the cycle continues it is harder to lose the weight of that is the extra that is regained when weight is lost rapidly and regained. This doctor further explained how dangerous the fat cells can become during rapid weight loss and weight gain, being conditioned to extremes and creating an environment that the cells will not give up the fat. He further said the BEST way to lose the dangerous fat cells was by increasing fibrous foods in fruits and vegetables.

While, I knew that..... It was positive to hear a reinforcement to my choices.

To see the results from eating such an array of colorful food.

And..... I have eaten a piece of chocolate everyday, enjoyed some Irish soda bread, and am thoroughly enjoying the food process!



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Walking on Snow


After work on Sunday, I managed to walk on SNOW. Yes, I did..... TWO whole steps, until I face-dived right into the snow. Laughing, after I fell. Nothing like a good dive to jump start your adventure. All the better, to laugh about it. Life is funny that way.

And in the midst of my craziness, I completely enjoyed the beauty around me.


The snow is starting to melt (after the last two days of warmer weather, much of it is gone. I can see my deck!). And the essence of spring is in the air.

While I watched the waves hit the snow, I observed the water become slushy and freeze. Absolutely COOL!


The harbor is still frozen.

In my adventure on Sunday, I was reminded how blessed I am to live here. In spite of the fact that I have visions of moving to the OBX (soon), I love life here. The shore all year round! And did I mention the shore????


And for a moment...... I was able to walk on snow.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spring is on it's way!


Spring is in the air! After enduring yet another snow storm, I have begun the cleaning and purging that happens after winter. Spring is twelve days away, and I am getting ready!!!!


Part of my Spring purge this year includes an overhaul in my overall fitness. This year, I am refocusing on my overall wellness. And you are saying, yeah, yeah...... Have seen this before. And yes, I have been here before. I bring with me all the struggles and challenges of life with me. I acknowledge I am committed to me.

As my many of my friends are pursuing 'health' through various weight-loss shakes, and other means or challenges, I am compelled to create my own pursuit. My self-challenge is in NO WAY intended to put down anyone's choices for self. My self- challenge is for me and about me.

My challenge is for ME!!

In that, I will be sharing my journey! My principles are to be active everyday-- well, more than that, as I prepare for the OuterBanks Marathon in November, and a variety of open-water swims this summer.

My eating principles are that of a Spartan Warrior:

1. Eat when I am hungry. If I am not hungry, do not eat.

2. Eat Consistently. Eat slowly and ENJOY every mouthful.

3. When I feel satisfied, STOP Eating. (Or when I feel more thirsty than hungry).

I am looking forward to eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, eliminating my sugar cravings, and training.

I am looking forward to getting to the run!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Running on Ice

Today, I decided to go OUTSIDE to run. This winter has taken its toll on me. It is COLD, wet and snowy!!! And the sky is more gray than blue. And I have been missing terribly the sun!!

So today, I decided to journey OUTSIDE to run! Half a mile into my run, it started to snow!!

Perhaps, someone was trying to tell me to STOP!!!!

Or perhaps, someone was laughing at me!!!!


Today, was not necessarily about the run. I walked more than I ran. I was trying to avoid the ice. Since there is still a lot of ice on the road ways, I walked. And where the roads were clear, I ran hard.

Now, I am home warming up, feeling satisfied that I was outside, running on Ice.


I am thrilled to be out and about. I started prepping for the OuterBanks Marathon Tuesday.


Monday, February 9, 2015

Snow Stepping

I love walking in someone else's snow prints! I found it funny that this was today's calendar:


Snow stepping is when you're wearing shoes, but the person ahead of you is wearing boots, and while the two of you are trudging through the snow, you just step in all the nice Snow Holes they made for you.


Today, I enjoyed stepping in remaining footprints left from a previous walker.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Eat Like a Gorilla

I was reminded this week to eat like a gorilla.

In my personal quest for weight loss and improved overall health, I have been successful in the past by increasing my fruits and mostly vegetables, and using meat or animal protein as a garnish. In the wild, the gorilla eats predominantly leafs (veggies) and stalks with some animal protein (Beatles and slugs) mixed in. I feel better when I mimic the diet of a gorilla.


Personally, I don't do well on a Paleo-style diet. I feel sluggish and stuffed. The higher protein demands of the Paleo lifestyle does not agree with me.

And...... I enjoy grains from time to time. Quinoa, barley, amaranth, and other grains create different tastes and textures to my meals. BUT again, I use these as a garnish to my veggies.

I love the colors and various textures of the fruits and veggies. I also love the available nutrients and healing properties of fruits and veggies.

Yes, I am glad I was reminded to eat like a gorilla.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Visions of Blizzard 2015

I took a walk this afternoon. Here are some photos from my walk around town.

My deck after clean up.


In the village









I love living on the coast, even in the snow. Although, I am feeling a bit chilled after the stroll through town. Maybe I will learn to wear a coat and socks. Until then, I will just enjoy the views.

I wanted to share because things get too serious sometimes, focusing on training. I want to keep it real.

Enjoy the rest of your snow day.


-- Coach Meg