Wednesday, February 26, 2014

John Kolar Describes The Different Produce Options

John is my favorite Raw Foodist. He's saved his life through raw eating. I don't consider myself a raw foodist because winter-time is too cold. I need fresh warm soups and stews to make it through. I DO however, try to eat raw more in the summer. I'll share more this spring as we have a nice garden out back.

Fighting Through The Challenging Weeks. I WON'T give up!

The past couple of weeks have been challenging at the least. The muscles and tendons in my legs are feeling quite painful.  My coach says the more we get into training the harder it may be for these muscles for right now. It's because my legs have just never used all these muscles.

I had to stop running on the treadmill and now I'm doing Aqua running. I haven't taken pictures because of privacy for the other patrons but I must admit that it's a first for me. I wouldn't ordinarily be caught alive in a bathing suit in front of people, let alone those who are thin.  It's for my health so I sucked it up and got in the darn pool!

THIS week, I started feeling better with a little rest to my legs BUT I have a toddler and things need to get done in my home.  I am noticing the cold weather affecting the pain too. Not really a HUGE pain but enough to know its my muscles and tendons screaming for mercy because they don't like being stretched.   They're just stiff muscles.  Who'd think it would be this challenging?!

Add to that our daughter is in the early stages of her potty training and has gotten MUCH more energetic lately and you have one tired momma trying to balance daily chores, a toddler, training and mental health and well-being.

This week I'm only getting 3 days of training.  I'm finding I HAVE to have a little rest both mentally and physically.

Oh how I wish we could afford a vacation. I'd do anything for a nice Disney Vacay. We haven't been able to afford a vacation since our honeymoon in 01'.  Being a stay-at-home mom, I tell people we give up luxuries so I can be at home to care for my husband and daughter.   I wouldn't give it up for the world.

With that said, we'll just make do and make our backyard a nice getaway. I'm hoping to get a bike for Doug soon so we can start incorporating exercise together as a family. THIS is why I'm working so hard!  Jamie (my coach) says this is usually where people quit because the work is hard. Not even a chance!

I'm not going to quit. I'm already feeling better than I have a year ago. Yes, I have aches and pains. Yes, I'm tired, and slightly overwhelmed at times.  This is NOT the time to quit.  20 lbs down and I'm planning to lose 43 more pounds by fall. I'm also planning to run that triathlon and get off my insulin.

I have an appointment with my endocrinologist. I'm dreading it. I LOATHE going to this Dr. but I'm excited to show him a loss and say, BOOM! I'm doing what you've said I couldn't do buddy. Your not stopping me and I'll be back come fall less than I am now, having gone through a triathlon and ready to hand back my insulin pump.

I'll document what happens on Friday.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Stepping Out Of My Creative Comfort Zone

I've been playing with the design of this blog myself.  It seems like I may be creating it on my own.  I can't believe how often I am stepping out of my own comfort zone and accomplishing even the smallest of things I never thought I could do.  Keep watching.  I think this is appropriate!  I'm working hard to overcome some serious physical, emotional and spiritual obstacles. So instead of paying someone to design my page, why not me?! FEAR NOT.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Disappointing Workout, Something Learned, And A Great Group Of Tri Girls!

1 hour on the bike @ Bikeloft N. Disappointing workout but glad I didn't quit. Feeling like I'm going to hurl, icing knee's and found out that my legs are turning out. I nearly died laughing when my coach showed me the position. 14 years of dancing lessons have paid off...It was Plies position (though not good form). Now I need to UNlearn twisting my legs because they're hurting my knees. The harder my workouts get, the more work I see to rethink old habits and start new healthier ones. Recovery time!

I also had a great time this evening with the Tri To Train Group.  I felt so good after that informational meeting. Each of the seasoned group members talked about their experience, what let them to it and what their goals were.  I actually walked away thinking I could pull this triathlon goal off. Haha

The girls meet come spring to help each other reach their goals, pray for one another and push each other when we need it.

I really have to say that having SO MUCH support is helping me.  I am grateful for a husband who supports this endeavor as well.  Not everyone has that kind of support.  It's why groups like these REALLY come in handy for those who need encouragement that don't get it at home.  I'm lucky enough to have it here at home, in my group, in the CNY triathlete community, with my coach and SO many others.  I really hope that some way I can be of encouragement to someone else.  Just to get out there and stop living in fear!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

EXCELLENT Tips For Plant-Based Athletes.

This is a long video but has a WEALTH of information on keeping up with vitamin b12 levels, what veggies are best to eat, Should you go raw or cooked, etc.  I'm planning to use this as a resource to look back.  One thing The Plant-based Dietitian (Julieanna Hever) keeps stating is a food journal which I have started to practice.

I caught something that may help me lose weight a bit more. That is, getting off so many grains.  Not all of them but MUCH of them. I'm going to try an experiment to see if I lose more weight faster by eating specific grains like quinoa and brown rice versus the whole grain breads, pastas, etc.  I love them, but even THOSE can be bad for someone who is trying to lose weight she says.

I also wanted to post her recipe for the electrolyte drink she talks about which can be found on her website which I'll link to below:

Recipe for a Natural Sports Drink:
4 cups water (can substitute partial or all coconut water or tea)
1/4 cup pitted dates or 100% pure maple syrup
Juice of one lemon, lime, or orange
1/4 tsp. salt
Instructions: Blend all ingredients together until dates are liquefied. Pour into sports bottle(s) or store in refrigerator in airtight container for 4-5 days. Makes 1 liter or just over 1 quart.
Source: Julieanna Hever at The Plant-based Dietitian 

First Low Impact Swim Class

Hell MUST have frozen over because I was seen in a swimsuit for my very first swim class. I cannot tell you HOW scared I was to walk around in front of people in a swimsuit.

After I got through the deer in a headlight look, I got in the pool and spent an hour just stretching nice and easily for an hour with a low impact workout.  I felt great and even made friends afterwards in the sauna drying off.

It's been good to get back in the swing of things.  Last Wed. I was achey all over my body. By Thursday I had a sinus infection and my knee was hurting from the incline walk the night before. It was kind of unusual as I've done an incline walk and hadn't felt so bad.  My poor body was fighting itself. Cross between the weather, sinus infection, Ovarian Cysts which I suspected burst, and just feeling pretty darn sick.  I wrestled with MANY things over the weekend.

FINALLY I'm back in the game so-to-say. Coach asked me to wait until I was done with the z-pack to start back up.  Even then, we're treading lightly since my knee feels achey still.  We've been trying to build my leg muscles up. They are crap. I haven't really used them in YEARS, so its no surprise.

Tomorrow I have aqua running to keep me running therapeutically without putting added stress on joints and muscles.

Friday I'll be on the bike trainer.  THAT is a different sort of pain.  It's a burn.  It's also an extreme mental challenge for me. I have to get past the mental fear of not being able to finish it.  Two weeks ago I did an hour on the bike and it was EXCRUCIATING!  Last weekend I had to miss a training session thanks to the issues I was dealing with.  NOW I have to work back up again.  My hope it to get 1hr and 15 minutes in.

I also know I have to eat MORE. I've always skipped breakfast. During training days I'd eat a banana.  That is until my coach found out.  If I don't eat more, my body will find it harder to run.  It may be why last bike training I really felt awful.  We'll see how it works this week!

So far I've had oatmeal for breakfast, a Chia protein bar, we stopped at Moe's after the gym and I got a veggie bowl NO CHIPS, No cheese. Just salsa, veggies, rice and beans.     Baked Sweet Potato for dinner with a salad.

Unlimited water today and I've had 20 ounces of orange pekoe tea with lemon.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Green And Red Lentil Enchiladas by Sarah Matheny, Harlequin from the book "Peas And Thank You"

Green and Red Lentil Enchiladas
(From "Peas and Thank You," by Sarah Matheny, Harlequin)

Ingredients (Makes 8 large enchiladas)
1 30-ounce can of prepared green enchilada sauce, divided
1½ cups water
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
8 to 10 corn tortillas or La Hacienda de Peas Tortillas (p. 102)
2 cups non-dairy (i.e. Daiya) or organic cheese
1 4-ounce can sliced olives, drained
Trimmings: non-dairy or organic sour cream, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, diced fresh tomatoes and/or fire roasted salsa
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Bring one can enchilada sauce and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils, onion and jalapeño, if using, and cook approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Liquid should be absorbed completely and lentils should be tender. Stir in chopped cilantro and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, wrap 8 to 10 tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for approximately 30 to 45 seconds to soften.
4. Pour one-third of the green enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13 × 9-inch baking dish.
5. Put several spoonfuls of the lentil mixture into each tortilla and roll, placing the tortilla seamside down in the prepared pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
6. Pour remaining green enchilada sauce over rolled tortillas and top with cheese and sliced olives.
7. Bake enchiladas for 20 to 25 minutes, until heated through and cheese is melted. Pass trimmings at the table.
It should be noted that I used Red Chili Enchilada Sauce and not the green.  I like red sauce over the green and it's just by way of preference.  You can substitute any good tasting enchilada sauce.

Menu And A Day FILLED With Stress.

Breakfast:  Mean green smoothie

Lunch:  Sweet potato and cauliflower soup

Dinner: Hash browns and scrambled tofu

Snack 1:  banana cacao ice cream made with a cup of cashew cream

Snack 2: Vegan nuggets with light dipping sauce.

Today has been STRESSFUL! I'm not sure WHAT was up with Little Bear, but she was having tantrums all day long.  It's left me almost in tears and the night has ended with a terrible headache and strained neck.

I felt much like eating the stress away and even called Doug to buy a triple chocolate chunk cookie from Insomnia Cookies WITH a skim milk only to turn around and call him back to say never mind!  I decided that eating the stress would only make matters worse so I made ice cream out of frozen bananas and a small amount of cashew cream.

My husband kindly rubbed my neck and sore feet and just held me.  I love him for that! He has a long day on his feet in a cardiac unit and HE rubs MY neck and feet. I really have such a selfless husband. God bless him!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pushing Beyond What You THINK You Can Do

This week has not gone as I had planned it. Balancing potty training (kudos to you moms & dads out there with more than 1 child), house work, exercise, and eating regularly has been really hard to me this week. Add to that, I'm feeling bloated, moody, and achey all over just gives me a feeling of wanting to curl up in bed and never get out.

I wasn't sure if I should meet up with my yoga instructor today with sinus issues and a sore throat, but both she and my coach thought it was a good idea. ESPECIALLY with the stiff and achey joints which my yoga instructor thought was combination of weather and newness to more intense workouts for me.

She came, I stretched, learned that I'm holding my breath a lot (it's what I do when I'm tense), even did a downward dog (loosely). While I still have some aches and pains in my joints, I feel a heck of a lot better than I did had I not done yoga today. I'm feeling like it's easier to breathe, and much of the tension has loosened up a little.

Tomorrow morning is hydro running in hopes it will loosen my joints and muscles a bit more. I can't help but feel a little disappointed that training hasn't gone as perfect as I wanted.

Here's the most important thing. I feel SO blessed to have a slew of people who are keeping me accountable! My sinuses and body make me feel like a Mac truck hit me. My mind is, well, moody! Not only was I unsure of exercising today, I honestly didn't feel like getting out of bed. Had my yoga instructor and coach not talked with each other and decided to kick my bum in gear, I wouldn't feel better than I did BEFORE I stretched and breathed. It is in a sense win-win when you get past what you think you CAN'T do and just do it! My body feels better for it and my mind is a tad bit clearer.

I really have to thank my coach Jamie and yoga instructor, as well as all the new friends I'm making through the Tri community. Family and friends alike whom are supporting me along the way. There really is no reason to make my goals and I feel REALLY blessed for all that I have. God is good! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Grief That Brought Me To The New Journey And The Family That Inadvertently Became My Own.

Oh how I weep when I hear of another mother who has lost her child. I know that grief. It is a pain that while we each go through different circumstances, becomes a similar way to cope. It is weeping and wailing through the quiet hours. An inability to remember the fuzziness of the day it happened. Though we heal and courageously move toward our children in heaven, we mask our days with smiles. We remember our children daily, hourly as the clock keeps ticking. We shed more tears, ponder who our children were and who they could have been had things been different. We grasp at the things that keep us going and try to LIVE for those who are still here. While people think our broken-hearts have fully healed, it is US who asks for Gods mercy to get through our days. The pain becomes dull but is still there deep within. Those of us who’ve lost a child (no matter the age), we become sisters.

As our broken hearts start to heal just a little, we find newfound strength that we couldn’t bare to know in those early hours that went by and by. Some of us put faith in a Greater God who was the only one to pick us up at a time we could not stand. Today we move. We just move. LIFE becomes more precious and thus, we do not take it for granted. It is why even “I” have taken on a new journey of my own. To step out of fear, grief, discomfort and choose life for those who need me most. I DO however, have these moments when I grieve WITH my sisters.

Today is one of those days. Sadly, I have MANY sisters who are on facebook & nearby physically who have felt this pain. My prayer will always be for God to strengthen them, heal their heavy spirits, wipe every tear from their eyes and build them back up again into a new kind of whole. Not one which will replace those memories or the precious ones we’ve let go. But one with which we can move FORWARD knowing they are not behind us. We’re not leaving them, but are walking toward them. Reminders that they are walking in the garden with Jesus at HOME waiting for US to finish our journey. Today, I weep with friends for our classmate and sister and for her beautiful son Jack. Tomorrow I continue to fight through my own journey which brought me here. To God be the glory! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Day FILLED With Encouragement!

Snow storm started today. I LOVE this weather though.  If you have the right attitude, it's a way to meet your neighbors.  Doug shoveled before he left so I decided to go out several hours later to keep up with it. I'm glad I did.  Since starting this Triathlon Training Journey, I've noticed a lot of changes.

This  morning I stepped on the dreaded devil scale to find I hadn't gained but lost 18 lbs.  That scale has gone up and down more than a yoyo. It's been frustrating, so I RARELY use it but have been focusing more on how I'm feeling and seeing loss in inches rather than the numbers.

The other difference is that I was able to shovel THE WHOLE DRIVEWAY pretty much without stopping.  I wasn't out of breath and even felt pretty good after. I got another sweat on folks!

The evening brought a treadmill workout which consisted of a 5 minute incline warmup, a 20 minute power walk at 2.9 and another 5 minute cool down.  I looked at my heart rate monitor to find that I was in "the zone" 28 of the 30 minutes. I felt GREAT and I noticed my thought process was a positive one. I felt proud to have come so far.

There's only 6 months left of training until IG.  At times I have no idea HOW I'm going to do it.  Sometimes I want to run away or wonder how I ever got myself into this.   It's days like this though, that put me back into a positive perspective.

Coach and several friends kept telling me that I'm not racing anyone else. I'm running against myself. My own time, my own pace. To move faster than I did today, yesterday and several months and years ago.  Looking back, I CAN see how far I've come.   God tells us not to worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself.  His words ring true. Do today what you can do and worry about the things of tomorrow...well, TOMORROW!

What I ate today:   Oatmeal with ground flax seed, a teaspoon of natural and local maple syrup and a half of chopped banana.

                              Lunch, homemade cashew carrot & ginger soup with lite coconut milk and herbs
                              Snack of 1 mean green fresh juice

                             Dinner, pasta with diced tomatoes, garlic, italian spices and turnip greens

                              After workout RAW protein Bar

                              Snack of cherry tomatoes, baby cucumbers and a tablespoon of hummus

                             Lots and lots of water with 2 glasses of iced tea.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Yoga and First Jog Longer Than 3 Minute Intervals. 20 minutes To Be Exact.

An hour of yoga with my instructor. THE BEST yoga experience. I learned breathing technique, basic poses and stretched the heck out of my body. last few minutes were a gem with just relaxing. LOVED it! 

If you've only done yoga through a video it's time to get out there and go to a class. A few things I've noticed: Just following a video pose doesn't mean your doing yoga correctly. If your not feeling it, your not doing it right! 

You are more aware of your stretch, technique, breathing and upper/lower body strength at the same time. It's not as easy as it looks. I sweat and I was doing VERY low impact for my body type. LOVED the stretch I was getting, but most importantly the focus I had to have to BREATHE through each pose. Having a yoga instructor is certainly more beneficial. If your looking for an instructor, let me know and I'll hook you up with classes that are available. 

I felt the burn in my upper body today. Can't WAIT to do more! Thanks so much to my yoga instructor for her help and kindness.

Tonight I'm doing a full 20 minute jog (never before done) with a warm up and cool down on the treadmill.  I will try some of the techniques I learned today from yoga to stretch and relax before bed. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Here we go...

Very Tough Day.  I don't deal with stress very well. It's gotten worse since our preterm loss in 09' where I believe I have some kind of post traumatic stress issue but have never officially been diagnosed.  I thought I'd write it out so that I can deal with it.  Here is what happened today:

"Woke up feeling well rested to almost slip walking out the door. Grabbed salt at home depot to find all the packages filthy with holes in them, ordered a salad that came FILLED with bacon (though I didn't read the fine print). A day where little bear was just NOT playing cooperative. One where 3 out of the 4 cart seat belts wouldn't work and a 30-something idiot behind us at Barnes and Noble who huffed and puffed LOUDLY behind me because he was annoyed by how slow I was making him. A day where we call our favorite vegan takeout to find their kiddie menu no longer had healthy food for little bear but chicken nuggets and fries. One where daddy can't walk anywhere without someone being attached to his back end. This was a day my flesh wanted to stick a certain finger and tell the world a thing or two...INSTEAD I look to Anne Of Green Gables to say, "tomorrow is a NEW day with no mistakes". Lord have mercy!"

Lets just say the salad with the bacon gave me an excuse to just eat my feelings tonight. I had eggplant parm and half a cannoli for the super bowl. Now I know this isn't the end of the world, but not only am I feeling sick (when you don't eat meat, dairy or cheese for awhile there are certain enzymes that lack. When you start eating those foods again, you feel AWFUL), I am also feeling guilty and to be honest not so very soothed.

The good news out of this deal is that I'm AWARE that eating my feelings didn't do a darn thing to help tonight. Which means that my feelings weren't soothed by food. THAT is excellent news. I still feel like crud physically, but emotionally I'm really feeling depressed (I also deal with season disorder due to the longer, darker winters). The only other alternative here is to find another coping mechanism during stress, anxiety and sadness.  

If you look at the stressors I've had, they are tiny realistically. Oh, I've had my share of "valleys and hills" to climb no doubt about that. Todays worries are just not that bad though. I should be praising God for today! Not just today but everyday! Wouldn't everyone like to have a rough day like mine today and NEVER have to go through the traumatic days that some have. Sickness, disease, poverty, lack of food, children who are orphaned, families that are separated from each other, loss of loved ones. The list goes on and on.

Luckily "Tomorrow IS a new day with no mistakes"! I'm able to start the day fresh knowing that a new perspective will either help me get to my goal over time OR my negative attitude will keep me from ever achieving anything worth while. It's ultimately MY decision.

I share this right now, because these ups and downs may help someone else. Nothing is ever perfect. There will be good days and there will be some rough ones. While I'm frustrated with what seems to be everything around me today. I'm ultimately frustrated with the setback that these extra calories and fat did for me TODAY. They were a different kind of empty calories. They didn't "fix" the problem.

Here's where things start to get better though...God has blessed me with a new friend and instructor. She is my yoga instructor who has offered to help me not just learn how to stretch but to new breathing techniques so that I can take these moments of stress, anxiety and sadness and BREATHE through them. Ultimately focusing on Gods plan for me:

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1Peter 5:6-7

And finally my FAVORITE verse:

"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."  Matthew 11:28-30

I am learning to STAND on God's promises.  Learning how to BREATHE and meditate on Gods words will be an AMAZING coping skill to cast my cares on Him.  I am looking forward to what yoga can do physically but more importantly to incorportate it WITH my faith in God instead of using food to cope and wallow in self pity. Changing Physically is NOT my only agenda. I'm looking to get emotionally healthy, financially healthy and most importantly spiritually healthy.  I really feel a transformation coming and I'm praising God for each little step I take to overcome. 

Tomorrow 45 minute power walk with treadmill on incline of 4.5 to 5. Possibly at the Gym. Depends on how long they allowed people on it.

Tues c25k as usual here at home.

I need to touch base with coach after Mondays power walk.