Farewell

Thursday, September 1 will be my last day at Fleet Feet Sports Murfreesboro. You know when you watch the final episode of a reality show or your favorite sitcom (Boy Meets World is coming to mind at the moment) and they flashback to all of the best (and sometimes the worst) parts? That’s how I feel these last few days are going.

Like the time I flicked the light off and locked Eric in the bathroom in the dark when he very well could have turned the light on, unlocked the door, and exited in a perfectly mild manner. Instead he panicked and momentarily begged me to let him out. All the while I’m in tears at the hilarity of it all.

Or when the lock actually did break on the bathroom door and Parker was stuck in there for God knows how long!

And when Racie’s husband saved me from a giant cockroach on my wall in my sketchy little apartment on the square on her last day of Fleet Feet. Or how about the patience of Job as she taught my stubborn self how to work Photoshop!

Or when I didn’t get accepted into the dietetic internship, I was so upset I decided to quit the blog. Krista took me for coffee where we both realized that the internship was the first time I’d ever been turned down for something and she assured me it’s okay to fail. I guess that’s the millennial in me, right? And if it hadn’t been for Krista, I never would have gotten in as a volunteer at the Boston Marathon this year. It was truly a dream come true. A bucketlist check.

Then there was the time that Paul talked for so long that I fell asleep, sloth-position on the backrest of the black fit bench. (Please just picture this!)

Lyle’s first day (whom I didn’t hardly know him from Adam) and he casually admits he’d seen me the weekend before having too good of a time at JazzFest on the square. I was mortified, to say the least.

Running my fastest mile while Gail cheered and coached from across the track.

Staff Christmas parties. Secretly angry, secretly glad when someone walks in with a stash of treats. When a rep buys you lunch and you get to save $8. Fun Runs and free beer. Sassy Ally and her weekly scheme for ice cream or cookies. A new appreciation for what is actually considered old, and it ain’t Gail Vella!

Fred’s sense of humor.

Penny, who’s great laugh, appreciated my humor the most!

Maria, who met me at 6 am at the pool and swam the shallow end while I watched her and taught myself (with a few tips from Gail!) how to properly swim.

Arrington Vinyards with Michelle and hearing her (what I think is) brave story of leaving everything she knew and coming to the U.S.

And Marina. The reason I’m at Fleet Feet in the first place. Whom I befriended because she was my only [previous] coworker who ran (and swam and biked) and didn’t think I was crazy for running.

And lastly, our sweet customers. Never would I have imagined befriending so many people who walked through that door! I specifically remember my first time meeting all of you. And there goes that reel in my head again. Flashing back to all of our memories. I am truly blessed, grateful, and humbled by all of our friendships. Thank you.

Love,

Bethany

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Is it October yet?!

Y’all, it is HOT! These 100 degree days are killing me! Just like winter, though, I haven’t succumbed to the treadmill quite yet! I’m scaling back my runs — short runs have higher intensity, long runs (not more than 7-8 miles!) I’m just tryin’ to survive. I also find that I’m trying to convince myself that I am, in fact, feeling a breeze when we all know that wind only blows when it rains — if anyone can even remember what that’s like!

So I’ve been extra careful to not let dehydration be an excuse to skip my runs and workouts, and I’m super excited to share with you the new stuff that I’m loving lately.

I’m most excited about FINALLY finding a handheld water bottle that I’m comfortable lugging around for an hour! The best part is that it collapses so I’m not toting around a lot of bulk when I’ve actually emptied it in the first 2 miles of run of 89% humidity!

Exoshot

Nathan Exoshot

Next, I would like to announce that I’m back on the Nuun wagon. They’ve reformulated it, taking out the artificial sweeteners, and pumping up my runs with my favorite: Cherry Limeade Energy Nuun. You can also check out the Nuun blog where they’ve got some pretty sweet ideas for summertime Nuun cocktails! 😀 Nuunarita anyone?!

Lastly, I know a lot of you have maybe heard the hype about Tailwind. No “gutbombs”, full spectrum of endurolytes, 25 g of carbs. Basically it’s an all-in-one, and we can hardly keep it on the shelves! Popular among the ultra-endurance athletes, proving gut-safe for even “shorter” long runs.
Tailwind

I can’t forget the old faithful products that have led folks through ultra marathons, Badwater 135, and triathlons. Hammer’s Endurolytes and Salt Stick’s capsules that have saved a number of runners from performance inhibiting cramps and those that just cant tolerate the sweetness that comes from other electrolyte and carb replacement options.

Then, there’s the Middle Half. 50 degree runs. Bonfires. Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING. And little monsters ringing your doorbell! We’re so close, y’all!

7 Life Hacks for Runners

As I think back to my earliest days of running, I reflect on all of the things I knew. They are as follows: ___.

Nope. Haven’t left anything out. I. Knew. Nothing. Well, I take that back. Thanks to my mom, I knew you should wear a size larger running shoe than what your foot measures. So I stepped up to the grandiose size of 6. Other than that, ask me what a 5K was. I didn’t know. Technical running socks. Do what? Fartlek? I beg your pardon!

But we’ve all seen those memes like “Life Hack #6852. Starbucks has a secret menu! You can find it [here].” But alas, here I am, 9 years and 2 months into running ready to share the wealth of knowledge a 25 year old has with you.

Life Hack #1
The 5K

pizza and beer

The biggest difference between a marathon and a 5K

I was fitting this lady a few months back and she was going on about how she was doing her first marathon in a few weeks and needed some new shoes for training. Never mind the dozen other indicators that she couldn’t possibly be doing a marathon, I was confused as to how she planned on training for 26.2 miles in just a few weeks, . Then she lets it slip that she’s doing a 5K. Life Hack #1. A 5K is NOT the same as a marathon. Both distances can be hard and equally lofty goals, but a 5K is NOT a marathon — 42.2K is a marathon.

 

Life Hack #2
Those technical socks
Cotton is rotten. I can’t tell you how many races I’ve done and seen runners with a chewed up Achilles from their cotton socks that have been eaten by their shoe. Working in running specialty, I feel like it’s my duty to tell them that I know why that happened. Properties of cotton: they trap heat, they do not hold their shape, they do not wick moisture. This creates the prime environment for blisters and sock digestion by your shoes. Save your feet and your run. Invest the $12 into a pair (unwiden your eyes; yes, $12 for a total of just 2 socks) of synthetic socks. They literally last yearrrs!

Life Hack #3
The foam roller
Foam Roller
And I don’t mean those cheap literal pieces of foam. I mean the mean ones with grooves and knots that kinda make you want to cry and question your self inflicted pain, but at the same time remind you of all the $$$ you’re saving from a massage therapist. And if you’re not game for rolling around on the floor for your deep tissue work, check out these fancy handhelds!


Life Hack #4
Sports Bras
lets talk about bras
They really deserve a shared spot with #1. Did you know 4 out of 5 women wear the wrong size sports bra?! And women are supposed to have it all figured out! With running, comes multidirectional, 360° of movement. And once those ligaments tear, the only hope for repair is surgery. This is where we come in. With 10+ styles, 4 different levels of support, and half a dozen women trained in proper sports bra fittings, I have to ask: A $60 insurance investment, or a $10,000 repair fee and 6 weeks of downtime?

Life Hack #5
Body Glide
body glide
I have one word: chafing. Summer is coming. Slather yourself in the Glide. Because someone reading this is still going to wear their cotton socks and cotton t-shirt and suffer blisters and raw armpits. There’s also those of us blessed with thighs of thunder. It’s gonna be hot! Wear those short shorts, girl. I will be! Body Glide is your best friend from the months of June-August. Trust me on this one. (P.S. there’s also Sports Shield. Your local running store will help you pick your preference!)

Life Hack #6
Size Doesn’t Matter
shoe fits
Trust me. Ain’t nobody looking at the size of your feet. I look at feet for a living. Then I look at feet at the grocery store. And the airport. And every other time I step foot outside the house. But the rest of the world, unless you tell them, they don’t know you wear a size 11! You literally have no control over the length of your foot, so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about 🙂 Wearing the appropriate size shoe will help prevent hammer toes and rescue your toenails from the black and the ingrown! You’re welcome 🙂

Life Hack #7
Buy it where you try it
Like you, I love a good deal. But I also love supporting local businesses. Spending your dollars locally supports local schools, roads, emergency personnel, local groups/organizations, and so much more! Not only do we measure your feet and assess your gait, but we also assess your bunions, your corns, your calluses, your toes, and are more than ready to share with you everything that will make your run the most comfortable! Every customer is worth our time, and we hope you consider us worth yours!

Boston Marathon and Other Big Deals

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I remember sitting in the diet office of [then] Baptist Hospital reading the [then] current issue of Runners World magazine — featuring the 2010 Boston Marathon — of which I had never really heard of. I’d been running for over 4 years, and never knew there was a big deal about the Boston Marathon! If you know me, though, this shouldn’t be surprising. I mean as I toed the line at my first half marathon, and the girl next to me asked if I’d ever done a 5K. I didn’t have a CLUE what she was even talking about! BUT! Back on topic — after reading up on qualifying times,  I realized I’d be 80 before I could ever qualify for the Boston Marathon! So I updated my mental Bucket List to include volunteering at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I wanted to see what elites looked like. What that kind of speed looked like. I figured that might be the closest I’d ever be to that blue and yellow finish line.

Fast forward to 2013 — the year of the Boston bombings at the marathon finish line. My friend, Marina, was going to try to qualify for Boston that year. I told her if she qualified, I would go up and watch the race. 5 months later she qualified, and I booked my ticket to New England!FullSizeRender (11)
My cousin and I traveled into Downtown Framingham, Mass. on Apil 21, 2014, got our coffee, and positioned ourselves within the 6 Mile Moment. I’ve never seen anything like it. The wheelchair racers. Tatyana McFadden. Blind Runners. Blade Runners. Prosthetic Leg Runners. Elites. Then, a sea of runners, a blur of neon, a marathon of stampeding. The entire thing was absolutely electric! I saw Ryan Hall, Meb, Shalane Flannagan. I was on Cloud 9!

During the Spring and Summer of 2015, a handful of my running buds qualified for the Boston Marathon. What better time to live my Bucket List dream of volunteering at the finish line of Boston, awaiting some of the best runners I’ve ever had the joy of taking stride with — if the B.A.A. would have me.

So, I applied to volunteer. My boss may have put a special request in 😉 , and two months later, I was sipping mimosas at the beach and received my email with the assignment of Gatorade Recovery Tent — Boston Marathon Finish Line! And then the guy sitting next to me says, “How far is a marathon?” [breathe.]
FullSizeRender (5)In the meantime, I found out how I could cross the Boston Marathon finish line — at the B.A.A. 5K, held the Saturday before Marathon Monday. Cutting to the chase, it was one of the most beautiful races I’ve ever ran! Boston’s Back Bay. The Brownstones. The blooming Bradford Pears. Only the sound of cheers, cowbells, and footsteps of 8,000 other runners. I’m bummed it was only a 5K!
Boston Back Bay(I totally got this picture from Google, but it best represents what I saw!)

With opposition to what everyone said, (“You can’t run a PR in a 5K with 10,000 people”), I got my PR with a 22:53 — 7:19 pace. Can you say over the moon?! Then I got a bag full of snacks at the end! Yea!


Marathon Monday, I got into Boston at 8:00 AM. It was comfortably quiet; the calm before the storm. Mark Wahlberg was at the finish line, and the small crowd of spectators were whispering to each other in excitement. I walked up and down Boylston with my latte from Pret A Manger for an hour with I’m pretty sure a smile on my face the entire time. The building energy was amazing. This is the sport I love!

IMG_9448By 11:30, I had been through my own whirlwind of getting checked in, lunch, and opening hundreds of bottles of Gatorade Protein Shakes. Over the next several hours, the finishers chute was packed with some of the fastest runners in the country! It felt like prom all over again — my cheeks hurting from grinning so much! A man from Nova Scotia I had met during the 5K stopped and I gave my first of half a dozen sweaty hugs! Don. Marina. Amanda. Gail. Miles. I only missed Vic and Scott! What an exciting time for me! I’d seen these folks train SO hard for this pinnacle race, and here they were, with it all said and done.

I do have to say, though,that as exciting as this was for me, it was a little grim. All of these runners who put in HUNDREDS of miles. Raced through the heat and wind. With not a soul around that they knew until they reached the 27th mile where they could find their family and friends waiting. THAT was my motivation for this race. To be a face in a crowd of 9,400 volunteers that my friends knew. So I have to ask you, even if it doesn’t make much sense to you, this crazy running for hours thing we do, please support your runners! Though Boston is different, with security protocols and whatnot, so it’s not an easy thing to do, the marathon itself is a dream for many runners to accomplish. I can’t tell you how elated I’ve been to be at a race and see my dad or boyfriend’s face along the course and at the finish line. Your presence is more appreciated than you’ll ever know!

And as I drove back to Connecticut from Boston I realized I never saw one single person running the Boston Marathon. Oh, the irony!
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Reasons Running is the Worst

The Winter Edition

Chafing. Can we talk about this for a minute? The most unfortunate mishap for a runner. I mean I’m sure losing a toenail is worse, but less likely. So we’ll stick with chafing here.

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The Talkers-Into-A-Frigid-15K

I did the Hot Chocolate 15K this weekend. It was about 20 degrees at the start with a windchill in the single digits. By the time the race was over, it had reached a balmy 22 degrees. In the absence of the sweltering heat, I had let a few essentials go to the wayside. Like Body Glide. You don’t think about chafing in the winter when you’re wearing pants. But pants have seams, and a hot shower is an ugly reminder of long run mishaps. Conclusion: Wear Body Glide in all conditions. We’ll just leave it at that.

Runner’s Brain. Like this mindset that all of us runners have that we can brave any element. Rain? Wear a specialty running rain jacket. Cold? Craft apparel. I mean they outfitted the Olympic Ski Team! But you wanna know what this is all for? Running. Or skiing. I mean you’re moving the whole time, right? I wasn’t the least bit cold while racing. Rather comfortable, in fact. I had all the right gear. But a 50 minute wait in the cold post-run –nope! But I have runner’s brain, and I’m invincible and can face any element. Except when I cried from the 22 degrees-ice-picks-through-my-fingernails-and-my-chocolate-was-frozen 15K.
(PS. If you’re not wearing Feetures merino wool socks, you’re doing it wrong. Kiss those frostbite toes goodbye. Not even joking. My toes were the only warm appendages.)

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The socks that never lose their shape or their warmth!

Runger. Ravenous Hunger caused by Running. I wake up hungry. I go to bed hungry. I’m a 4’11” gal with the appetite of a 6’0″ football player. It’s unfair. Curb your appetite by munching on an apple they say. Get out of here. An orchard for one, please.

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(Or an oversized doughnut for one!)

 

 

Gut Bombs. If you’ve never had a gut bomb, you’re lying. I don’t believe you for a second. If you don’t have gut bombs anymore, it’s probably because you’re using Huma Gel or Tailwind Endurance for your water. Huma was created by a Vanderbilt grad student. Tailwind by some super cool dudes in Colorado. They’re like rocket fuel. Try it.

Sweat. It’s disgusting! Then your friends are like, “let’s go get brunch.” And you’re all sweaty. And windburned. But PTL for athleisure wear. You may look like a prune after killing that long run, but you can look cute to boot!
(Postscript. Nuun does wonders for that pruny feel. Electrolyte up before sipping mimosas. I’m a firm believe in a time and place for decaf anything. Never, and in the trash. So I drink Nuun Energy.)

Windburn. Briefly aforementioned. But here’s my tip. Don’t wax your lip 2 days before running a 15K in single digit wind chill when you have a headcold. You might end up with a mustache as impressive as your boyfriend’s.
Sorry bout your luck. No photo!

But alas. Running is great because we get to share in this crazy, legs aching, run til you puke thing with other like minded people who like to justify oversized doughnuts and drink beet smoothies to supercharge their runs. We do it for the runners high [legal in all 50 states]. Running for a great cause — like The Special Kids RaceFor camaraderie. For Boston. For yourself. Or to test the limits of the human heart. Or maybe to test how many doughnuts a girl can eat in one sitting 😉
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Those 5 Extra Pounds Justified

Some insight from a 20-something year old constantly battling those “5 Extra Pounds”.  I read this great article a few weeks ago about how an “ideal weight” is quite unacheiveable. My ideal weight is 98 lbs. Not by my standards, but by some institute of health. 98 lbs! The last time I saw those numbers, I was eating half a sandwich and a piece of fruit every day! I was starving!

But unfortunately, I still silently stress about food, how much I’m running, and that stupid number on the scale. But this article I read put this into perspective: those 5 lbs are the life I’ve lived. It’s the traveling. Your spontaneity. Your love. It’s existing.

I do enjoy taking care of my body, though. I enjoy eating well. I enjoy the performance in my runs from eating well. I enjoy how great I feel from eating good foods. But I exist.

It’s making gingerbread cookies with your mom and eating the ugly ones.

It’s having cinnamon roles for breakfast with your sweetheart

Or sushi and saki night because no one appreciates it like you two do
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It’s buying bread from the French lady at the Farmer’s Market and eating the whole loaf with your cousins before you can even sell all the corn

It’s napping after Thanksgiving instead of trying to squeeze in a walk
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It’s Mimosas (Or Moscow Mules 😉 ) at Sunday Brunch
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It’s skipping your run to have coffee with your mom

Or it’s getting hot chocolate (and yes we want whip cream) just because it’s cold outside and want to watch a Christmas movie
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It’s eating a burger because your dad says you need one
(and you should never disobey your parents)
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“Allow your body to exist effortlessly.” Let your workouts exist because you enjoy them. Eat foods because you enjoy them. Don’t be the stick in the mud that skips out on life because of a number. Modify and live!

Never Miss a Monday

I have a few rules I [try to] apply to my life when it comes to taking care of my body —

-Never go 3 days without running. Check!
-RECOVER PROPERLY. Check!
-Drink Smoothies (because they just make me feel good!) Check!
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-Do something different every week — which sometimes I royally pay for (like this week’s spontaneous decision to do split jumps AND squat jumps then proceed with not stretching and foam rolling. You know, they make those things for a reason…) Usually a “check!”
-Pack healthy snacks for work. Check!
-Never run less than 3 miles. Check!
-Get more than 8 hour of sleep most nights of the week (“most” being an incredibly arbitrary number) Check!
– And my favorite, NEVER MISS A MONDAY! CHECK!!

I run every Monday. I do all my stretches for my tight hips. I cross train. I eat a healthy breakfast. I start my week off right.

Then, I drag my sore body for a few miles Tuesday morning. Because really, Tuesday is just Monday’s ugly sister.

We live in a world of justification and entitlement. It’s an issue blinded by who-knows-what-else going on in our lives.

But I do believe in 2 things:

  1. Justify your workout because it’s Monday
    Example: “Why do you have to workout today?” “Because it’s Monday.”
  2. You ARE entitled to a healthy body.
    As I’ve said before, this is an era of trendy foods. Triple Bacon Sriracha Mayo Doughtnut Cheeseburgers. Fried Cookie Dough. Nutella Creme Doughnuts. (okay… I know that sounds great, but stay with me here). And if you’re in the Nashville area — Hot. Fried. Chicken. Everywhere!

BUT! There is also: Spicy Roasted Brussel Sprouts. Cauliflower Steaks. Kombucha. Avocado toast. Tastier endless possibilities than maple bacon doughnuts and fryin’ up everything-but-the-kitchen sink!

So, I challenge you to make a REALISTIC rule for yourself. Because when it comes down to it, you yourself is the best accountability partner you can have!

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Christmas in July

IMG_4853If you’ve never celebrated Christmas in July, you’re doing Summer all wrong. Sure it’s fine to go to the beach, lay (lie…whatever) by the pool, go out on the boat, drink pitchers of margaritas and sangria, and wear your shortest shorts (that your dad hates) because you’re only young once and can only get by with it for so long. (okay so maybe I’m specifically applying that to me–and my sister.) Yes, that’s a fine, but the true Christmas season is only so long, and with Christmas in July, you don’t even have to buy gifts!  Now you can go about this several different ways.

The first year we (Nicole and I) made ornaments. In my case, I stupidly cut up parts of my favorite newspaper from the 2012 London Olympics that I actually purchased in London and paper-mâché/glittered it onto a a standard ball ornament. Then my roommate’s dog proceded to eat the almond ears off of the wine-cork Rudolphs that we made. Have you ever tried to not only slice wine corks (nearly, but not entirely, impossible) but a single almond with a paring knife?! I suggest you don’t–especially only to have those glittery-glue almonds eaten by the dog! Year 2–I donned my mom’s 1990s heavy as you-know-what Christmas sweater and curled up on the couch and ate cookies while watching Christmas movies with my sister and Nicole.  This year, we (meaning I) decided to make carrot bread. Nicole and I went to Target for carrots, flour, and applesauce and came out with this.

IMG_4829Ridiculous. I also hate carrots. Don’t ask why I wanted to make carrot bread. Just know that it was worth it.  Note that my ideas are rarely perfectly executed. I would like to blame Nicole for losing the piece of the food processor needed to grind those carrots. So she had to use one of those old chopper things. Turned out fair enough, though! Then, of course while I noticed the racks in the oven looked a little funny, I couldn’t quite place what was wrong. Fast forward 40 minutes and when our breads were still jiggly in the middle, I realized the racks were too low. Resituate and add 10 minutes. Fortunately they turned out perfect, and Brix believed me when I “promised” (oops) I hadn’t done anything funny to them. Eh–he should be used to whole wheat and apple sauce subbed everything by now anyway.

IMG_4849Proceeding–Nicole’s dad ground coffee beans and made us a pot of coffee. We watched Elf for the 100th time in our lives, sipped the world’s best coffee (don’t tell my mom), and ate way too much, but totally seasonally appropriate, homemade carrot bread. Now I present to you: the recipe.

BreadHomemade (Pretty Healthy) Carrot Bread

Makes 4 mini loaves or 2 regular loaves
3 c Finely grated carrots
1/2 Mashed banana
1/4-1/2 c Walnuts
1 c Pumpkin Spice baked apples (impulse Target buy. Regular/Cinnamon will do.)
1/2 c Oatmeal, old fashioned
4 Eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Floud
3/4 c sugar
2 t (tsp) Allspice
3/4 t Baking Powder
2 1/4 t Baking Soda
2 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Cloves
1/2 Nutmeg
1/2 t Salt

  1. Oil 4 mini loaf pans. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients, including options, mix really well and set aside. Combine all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Fold moist ingredients into the dry ones gently and only until everything is damp. Over mixing can cause the bread to not rise and be too dense. Pour into the cake pan, avoid smoothing the top around as much as possible to keep air in the batter.
  4. Bake (on center rack!) ~ 25 min or until a tooth pick in center comes out clean and bread is still very moist.

No Sugar Detox

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Caught your attention, huh?  They say it takes 21 days to create a habit. 2 months to get in shape. 2 weeks to lose fitness.  So many rules. There’s this fitness stigma that we all fall captive of. So how do we escape it? Or is that even possible?

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It’s well known among my friends and family that I have inherited many things from my daddy — my blonde hair, my beady eyes, my high arches, my personality, my appetite, my sweet tooth.  I tell you what, these Garretts can put away some ice cream and cookies.  Our fatal flaw!  Well, my sister and I spent a week in Texas without dad last month.  Did we eat ice cream every day?  Pert Near!  Did Daddy change out of his sweatpants and slippers at 9:00 one night to take us to Baskin Robbins?  Totally did!

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The day before we left, Audrey and I were watching the Today Show.  They were having a 10 day Sugar Detox challenge.  I think we gained 2 lbs in a week, but felt so heavy and like we’d gained 10!  Needless to say we were ready to jump on that bandwagon.  No sugar.  No honey.  No agave.  No stevia.  I got back home two days later and started that dreadful thing.  The 3rd day in I was cranky and guess who missed the bandwagon entirely!  AUDREY!  No one to be miserable with.  And it’s not even the no sugar that got to me.  No BBQ sauce.  Reading the labels on EVERYTHING.  No margaritas.  At that point I knew this wouldn’t last forever.  But I held out.  I lost zero pounds, but I had no:
Bloating
Zits
Fatigue
Heavy feeling while running

FullSizeRenderOn day 8 I went out to watch the sunrise on the lake.  At 4:45 AM, Brix shows up with a bag of 4 different Shipley’s donuts and 1 bottle of Tru Moo Chocolate milk for both of us.  Did I crumble?  Like a stale cookie!  Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  You don’t say no to any breakfast that a cute guy brings you when you’re watching the sun come up on his boat.  Nope.  And I’ll also admit that I didn’t crawl back on my wagon the day after either.  Or at all.  BUT in those 8 days I did adopt some great habits and new recipes.  Particularly pertaining to almond butter.

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I made my own loaded oatmeal and my own flavored Greek yogurt.  I ate these two things for weeks before realizing that they were the exact same thing just with a different base.  But they were both very filling, no added sugar, “clean”, and full of more nutrients than if I was eating my usual oats and yogurt!

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I also went to the store and bought all the fruit that sounded good at the time.  I took it home, washed, plucked, and diced all of it and mixed it up in a large bowl.  I then split it into 5 different containers to take to work the week.  AKA.  Meal Prepping — but that’s such a snobby phrase!

These were the biggest changes I made, and in such a short time these are the changes that came about in regards to my food preference:  I lost all desire for:
Chocolate candy — Milky Ways, Twix, 3 Musketeers (now replaced by my yogurt)
Sweetened Oatmeal
Cascadia Farms Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (now replaced by a cookie — just one!– or nothing at all)
The 2 T of Natural Vanilla Creamer in my coffee.  Now down to about 1/2 T!

So, I encourage you to try it — even if it’s just for the sake of trying something new! It may not be possible to escape this fitness stigma, but just as some turn their noses up at others downing burgers and XL fries, how many times have you turned up your nose at someone trying to be “too healthy”?  You only get one body.  And every excuse to eat crap is not always as justifiable as you think.  You must eat well in order to train well.  Look with fresh eyes at those around you.  You may not every reach an 8:00 mile, but as long as you feel as good as someone who is — that’s what matters.  And a lot of it starts with what you put in your body!  So, enjoy the little things — your favorite dessert, milkshakes with your kids, and pizza on Fridays.  But don’t lose sight of your goals and let them fall way to something you truly have more control of than you think — FOOD!

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Almond Vanilla Yogurt

1 container (or 1 cup) Plain Greek Yogurt
1 T No Added Salt Almond Butter
1 T Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon to Taste
Optional: Chocolate Chips (for faux cookie dough!)
No Sugar Option: Carob Chips

Almond Butter Oatmeal

1/2 cup quick oats
(or 1 pkg plain instant oatmeal)
3/4 cup skim milk
1 T Almond Butter
1/2 T Vanilla
Cinnamon to taste (less is more with the oatmeal)

10 Takeaways for a Healthy Makeover

Bethany Seminar

With every training program session, Fleet Feet Murfreesboro provides a nutrition seminar for those transitioning into a healthier lifestyle.  Last night I conducted what was possibly the best one yet!  Did you know most cereals call for a serving size of 3/4 cup of cereal and 1/2 cup of milk.  Most people pour at least double the cereal and, with that, roughly 25% more milk.  While I’m sure this may seem like a skimpy breakfast, it’s because it is!  This doesn’t mean it’s okay to have double the cereal and 25% more milk, though.  This means you’ve got room to add more food groups to your breakfast!  Try adding a piece of fruit or even creating a parfait out of your breakfast!  Greek yogurt has twice the protein of milk, making it much more satisfying.  Plus, parfaits can make it seem like a treat for breakfast!

A lot of times just making minor tweaks to your daily diet are all you need to successfully be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. The following are some main takeaways mention last night:

¨DON’T self create a diet
-Unless you are a dietitian, use a researched diet or (even better) see a Registered Dietitian.

¨Eat Breakfast

¨Eat Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Queen, Dinner like a Pauper
  -In reference to Nancy Clark, let your diet start at dinner.

¨Be consistent
-Regular/vigorous exercise
-Weigh once/wk

¨Stop looking at food as fattening
-Excess calories make you fat.  Not carbohydrates.  Not fat.  Not protein.  Excess calories and low quality foods are what you can attribute to an expanding waistline.

¨Invest in top performance
-Think of your performance when you are eating.  If you eat well, you can run well.

¨Choose 3/5 food groups

¨Enjoy your favorites

¨Write it Down

¨Think: Fit, Healthy, Lean
-Forget skinny.  Skinny is a body type.  There are numerous body types out there and many are not built to transform into “skinny.”  Make being healthy your #1 goal.