In Case You’re Wandering

Well, whatdoyaknow, it’s another rainy day on the central coast! Probably just some sympathy rain for the polar-vortex-sequel hitting most of you around the rest of the country. I’ll take it. And I’ll keep you busy while you’re comfy and cozy indoors!

Some reading and wandering I’ve been doing ‘round the web:

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1) “The New Rules of Fitness” – OutsideOnline.com

I’ve learned a lot about hydration in a short amount of time, thanks to some nudging from the Coach to take a second look at things. This list touches on the importance of quality hydration practices, but also a lot of other interesting things that have emerged in our world of fitness recently.
(Of note: this is not breaking news, rather it was posted in April, but a good read nonetheless.)

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2) “Affordable Care Act Enrollment FAQs” – NYTimes.com

Whether or not you support ACA, I think we can all agree there are questions. And here are some answers.  It affects everyone – read up!

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3) “What is your life purpose?”  – MarieForleo.com (MarieTV!)

first stepQuite a deep question to ponder on any day, but hey, if not now then when? Amiright? Decide where you’re going. Even if it’s just to stick around on the couch in sweats for now, making plans.

Either way, now you know about MarieTV and your Tuesdays just got better!

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4) I’ve saved the best for last. If you haven’t watched “New Girl” (Fox) yet, you’re missing one of the most brilliantly scripted characters on television.

Start here (warning: some NSFW words). You’ll see:

slipperiest loafers_buzzfeed

Photo source: buzzfeed.com

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What’s open on your browsing tab(s) today? Add to the list!

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Cardio & Kitchen Abs: November Challenge

Well this post is about seven days late, but not a dose-of-ab-inducing-awesomeness short. Don’t you worry.

My colleague and fit-buddy, Melissa, brought me onboard for her November “Abs Challenge”, and you know I can’t turn down a monthly goal. The first week’s focus: the kitchen & the cardio workout.

It’s a pretty common misconception to think that you’re 1,000 crunches away from a six-pack. Rather, those abs may never been seen if you don’t tackle nutrition and cardio, too. Core strength can be achieved in a variety of ways, but if you want visible results you have to take it a few steps further.

Exhibit A: the interval workout.

Track Interval GRP workout_Dietitian on the Run

I’ve spent more time with the 6-lane oval in the past 6 months than I have in the past six years. (But it’s worth noting that you certainly don’t have to run in ovals to get in a quality interval workout!) With any interval/speed workout, make sure you give your muscles a proper warm-up with some walking, jogging, strides and/or plyometrics (depending on how much/fast you intend to whomp yourself). Then, hop to it!

If you’re training for a race, have your goal-pace in mind (goal race pace = GRP). If you’re just out working on your fitness, go by feel and your level. Ex: recently raced a 10K for the first time? Go for that 10K pace by feel. Turn the hurt up a notch for the 800s (GRP – 30 seconds). Something comfortably hard. Don’t be all chatty during that 1 mile or any of the 800s, but don’t reach that finish-line-puke-threshold level.

Cool-down. Recover. Refuel!

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Now that we’re in the kitchen, we have Exhibit B: Quality Carbs.

natures carbohydrates_Dietitian on the run

Newsflash: most people eat plenty of carbohydrates! Rather, most people eat them in excess. And the body is so used to this that is has plenty of mechanisms in place to put the extras away for later. In case we, you know, randomly go into starvation mode or suddenly find ourselves with NO FOOD ANYWHERE or maybe decide to hibernate. All of which are such unlikely circumstances today that what actually happens is we store layer upon layer upon layer of extra carbs. Some of it can be found in the liver and muscles for quick use, but because those stores are pretty full, too, guess what’s next? Your belly! 

And your abs don’t take precedence here. They hide in the shadows.

So, rather than pile on the extras, let’s hop on nature’s carb party! If your goal is to build lean body mass (muscle), shift your focus to natural sources of carbs and leave it at that. They happen to also be full of fiber and water, so you fill up pretty quickly! We’re looking at things like squash, potatoes, fruit, beans and legumes. And did you know some nuts have carbs, too? YEP. See, plenty of nutrient-dense options!

These are just a few of my personal favorites:

Natural Carbs_Dietitian on the Run

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Ready to join? It’s okay if you’re late, too. Check out Melissa’s posts for some more food & workout ideas, and let us know if you’re in!

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Filed under challenges, exercise, food, Goals, health, Nutrition

Recovery & Resilience

This year has taken my running+racing ego for a wild ride. Let’s just say this:  I severely underestimated the cumulative effect of taking 2013 “off”.There’s not one single thing I would change about that decision, or any of the other ones I made in that calendar year (‘twas a great one, indeed),  but set me up for peak physical fitness it surely did not. Noted.

2014 started off like a rocket: taking the RRCA running coach certification course, signing on to work with a Coach and subsequently starting to train for a marathon (after a 10 day trip to Africa, of course).  If you’ve hung around for a while, well, we know how that turned out.

Desire to Change_Dietitian on the Run

Right away my name was thrown into the MCM lottery just to see what might happen.  I knew that my body had more to give. I also knew that was a lot more to be learned from MAF, my coach, and my favorite sport.

I ran MCM with a goal to re-qualify for Boston. It wasn’t a huge stretch, but it certainly wouldn’t be easy (and it’s not supposed to be!). I let Katie whoop my butt from July to October, and have never been so happily exhausted.

Aaand, now we know how that turned out, too.

Katie reminded me that I took a huge chunk of time off my spring vs. fall marathons in one year; I did what I did on that day. And it’s up to me how to move forward from that, how to recover.

Resilience_Dietitian on the Run

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this year, it is this:  whether or not you choose resilience will teach you a lot about yourself and your strength. It won’t give you measurable pounds lifted or minutes per mile run or a specific race time. (At least not right away….) But every time you choose it, you run a meter that deposits a lot of emotional energy in a bank with an incredible interest rate.

When you choose to be resilient after your perceived failures, set-backs or let-downs, you’re recovering and coming back stronger.  You’re soaking in a mental ice-bath – letting the sting of the situation-at-hand cool down, become numb, and eventually dissipate. It’s absorbed into your muscle and brain tissue to rebuild and get ready for what’s next.

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It took a few days and enough time to accept, absorb and let go of a race day that wasn’t what I expected it to be, before finally giving credit to a few things. I didn’t enter this year with the fitness base I’ve had in the past. I didn’t keep building on the successes of 2012, and because of the year I did chose to have ( think: more fun less fitness, in a great way), I entered this one as a different athlete. I’m rebuilding. And it’s a long, tedious process that involves using a lot of patience that I didn’t think I had (still debatable, I s’pose). 

But it’s way more exciting to be resilient – to chase endurance and strength and speed on my own terms – than to throw in the towel.

courage_Dietitian on the Run

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Filed under about me, challenges, Goals, learning, running

Forever Faster with Puma: Fitness + Comfort Gear Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf
of PUMA.
Opinions are my own.

I’ll start this out with an honest confession: I’ve not previously been inclined to buy Puma shoes. I had a casual pair in college that I loved the look of, but they essentially suffocated my feet. We just didn’t get mesh, and I had to accept that. Move on. Shop with wide-feet-needs in mind.

But I signed on to check out what Puma has been up to lately, knowing that as much as I’ve changed since my college days, they probably have too. They have some new fitness gear and shoes up for the challenge.

Logic came out with a huge win on this one!

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Let’s start with their Fashion Comfort line. Because if you should know anything about me it’s that I love wearing anything that is not denim. Work in a fitness retail store for a while, wearing spandex or some extension of lycra, every day? You’ll never be the same. My current job agrees, as does my current working-from-home situation.

PUMA Comfort Collage Dietitian on the Run

If you’re on Instagram, you may think my “fall” wardrobe consists of one Puma sweatshirt. You may not be entirely off. 

Here you see the French Terry Sweatshirt, which I’ve adapted to every situation I possibly can. It’s a sweatshirt with style – a little swagger that goes a long way. It’s soft, fits perfectly, and easily pairs with fitness and every-day gear (think: jeans, crops, sweats or shorts). The Progressive Trend Pants are the kind of thing you’ll see me wandering around in all the time. Loose at the top, fitted around the ankle; technical dryCELL material that draw sweat from the skin should you be out-and-about or getting in some activity with these pants.

Sale alert: the FT Sweatshirt is marked down! Snatch this gal up!

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Now, we have the real game-changers. I received two pairs of shoes to test out – see note above: I was a little weary of how these would feel, especially on some sensitive, post-marathon, trashed feet.

PUMA shoes_dietitian on the run

These shoes offer very different perks, but I may have discovered the key to Puma shoe-buying: order 1/2 a size up. I did so assuming they would be a little bit narrow, and 1) they don’t feel narrow at all, rather 2) they both fit like a sock. I can slip them on and off so easily, and just leave them by the door because I wear one or the other almost every day now.

The Mobium XT is perfect for cross-training activities such as weight-lifting (flat, minimal design) or spinning (lightweight, minimal, breathable, sleek). They’re officially my go-to gym shoe. You can hardly even tell you have them on, this is easily the lightest shoe I’ve ever worn. They twist, turn and bend with your moves. And they’re pretty chic – WIN.

Not totally convinced? Good – test them out for 30 days.

Next up – the Carson Runner. Designed for the to/from and around town things you might be up to. Breathable, with a little more cushion on the bottom for happy on-the-go feet. And while you’re on the go,  the anti-microbial sock liner’s got you covered.

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Alright, friends. Enough talk, not enough action.
Let’s hit the workout gear:

PUMA Fitness Clothes_Dietitian on the Run

I admit that my workout wardrobe is completely dominated by my days with lululemon. I know it’s pricey, and I sparingly purchase items now, but it fits and it’s functional and I rarely find things that compare on both levels.

This outfit hit the mark. I ordered the same size in both and just crossed my fingers it would work – check! The crops (Move 3/4 Capris) are fitted, but not muffin-top-creating spandex. They’re just the right 3/4 length (I’m 5’5”), and most importantly, comfortable. Sale alert$24.50 > you’re welcome.

The Gym Tank is a stylish black top with a little shine a little hint of ‘pool’ green. I approve. The length was just-right, fit is true to size and Lycra-Sport material blend moves right with you. As you can see, I’ve tested this top up and down: 5-stars. Sale alert: Currently selling for $28 > so you’ve now got a new workout outfit for under $60!

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Add these to your shopping carts or holiday wish-lists if you’re on the market for some new gear with a sassy cat. They’ve really upped the game here and offer affordable kicks, crops and tops for any exerciser.

Nicely done, Puma. Thanks for the challenge to breakout of my brand boxes!

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What parts of your workout wardrobe need an upgrade? Have you tried any of the above? If so, let’s hear your thoughts, too!

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Filed under cross training, fitness, new things!, running gear, things I Love

In Case You’re Wandering: Health Reads & Eats Edition

Guys. It is RAINING here. I don’t even know what to say about this. My rainboots are dusty. My rain-jacket hasn’t been used in months. I’m so used to eating lunch outside in the sunshine that I really had to think about where to put my plate today. (All, 100% #firstworldproblems. I know.)

Meanwhile, the farms all around the central coast of California are rejoicing and you can hear the Hallelujahs from miles away! So, good for that.

Since I can’t sit here and watch a movie with you on this rainy day, I’ll keep you busy with something else – pretty damn good reads and quotes I’ve found by wandering around the internets recently. I’ve taken the 15+ browser tabs open on my Chrome right now and passed the highlights right along to you!

No problemo, amigos.

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Coach heather sign

The Truth About Cholesterol
– Whole9Life.com

Do you know your numbers? We test them for our clients and I spend a lot of time discussing TG, HDL, LDL and other acronyms related to health risks. As per usual, the Whole9 team gives a great, easy to comprehend recap.

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trailhoghalf_H3

Is your Hydration drink making you Dehydrated?
Interview with Osmo’s Dr. Stacy Sims – OutsideMagazine.com

I’ve received a little tough-love from the coach lately about hydration and endurance training. That little 12-oz water bottle I’ve finally learned to carry around on runs and during races isn’t doing me quite as many favors as I once thought. I’ve gone from Nuun to Skratch Labs mix (because of the sugar alcohol in Nuun), and now to Osmo Nutrition drinks. It’s a long story. Let’s let Dr. Sims do the talking.

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California International Marathon (CIM)
Running Tips 

Speaking of running, a big race in a little city of California is coming up and a certain someone in this house is running it! He’s got a lofty goal in mind, and I’m pretty pumped to see him crush it after months of dealing with me giving him MAF runs. We’re about 5 weeks out from his race-day and the plans are coming together (lodging, shuttle-catching, race-day strategizing, etc.).

Any other hands-raised for this one?

Alternative read: Josh Cox’s CIM race report

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What you eat affects your productivity – HBR

In other words, the above-pictured lunch may not be your best workday option. A goal set with a lot of my clients is to revamp the midday meal, because it can drastically affect how the rest of your day plays out.

“Unhealthy lunch options also tend to be cheaper and faster than healthy alternatives, making them all the more alluring in the middle of a busy workday. They feel efficient. Which is where our lunchtime decisions lead us astray. We save 10 minutes now and pay for it with weaker performance the rest of the day.” Read more by clicking above.

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pumpkin-soup-dietitian on the run

What kind of Halloween post would this be
without some PUMPKIN love?

33 Pumpkin Recipes a la Anne @ fANNEtastic food

My favorite (spiced) pumpkin soup                 &

How to make your own pumpkin puree (skip the can!)

(And while I may not be dressing up this elaborately this year, I give you this 2006 flashback. Mmhm. Purple-people-eater was the exact color, in case you’re wondering.)

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And last but not least, this thought has consumed my post-MCM mind. Let it sit and let it change a decision you’re having trouble making.

never give up

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Filed under Dietitians, food, health, in the News, random, recipes