Save Our Soles!

13 10 2009
Holy moly FitFeat Friends… there was an explosion of activity on the blog yesterday!  Wow!  A record number of hits to the FitFeat site.  Whatever you guys are doing to spread the word, THANK YOU!  And please keep it up – you’re AWESOME!

So I thought I’d take some time today to talk about another one of my favorite “tools” – but this one is not related to the kitchen.  It’s for our feet. 

Back when I was running half-marathons more often and putting a lot of miles on my feet, I was getting blisters left and right. 

Two friends / running buddies each recommended that I try a particular brand of sock called the Wrightsock Coolmesh.   What’s special about these socks is that they are made of two thin layers.  Instead of your sock and foot rubbing together, the two layers of material rub together and the friction stays within the layers as opposed to on your skin.  

I wasn't kidding when I said I have SMALL FEET...!

I wasn't kidding when I said I have SMALL FEET...!

These socks were lifesavers (well, OK that might be an overstatment 🙂 at the very least they were sole-savers!)  They are a small investment early on, but worth every penny.  I now own about 8 pair and I wear them every day:  running, hiking, walking.  Anytime my sneakers go on, so do these socks.

If you’re a runner, walker, hiker or just someone who is prone to blistered feet, you should look into trying out these socks.

I am grateful to have learned about these socks at a time when I really needed them (thanks Scott!  thanks Lori!) and wanted to pay it forward, so to speak.

In light of the recent FTC ruling about product reviews and blogs, I thought I’d make a note for the record that all of the products I have reviewed and/or recommended to date on this blog are offered up solely because I use and like the products, not because I am being paid to do so or offered any sort of kickback.

On to Monday’s eats:

After the nice Back/Trap workout I detailed in yesterday’s post, I wanted a quick influx of carbs.  So I opted for a bowl of mango-licious.  This one should have been given over to the green smoothie gods though, because it wasn’t as ripe as it should have been.  That’s what I get for being impatient and dying to eat my yummy mango taunting me from the fruit basket on my counter!
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Shortly thereafter it was time for my real breakfast so I had a bowl of OATSMILE:

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Lunch was yet another leftover serving of Veggie Enchilasagna with a side of spanish rice.  There’s one more sliver of this still in the fridge, but I’m pretty sure at this point that I’ve had my FILL of this particular food for awhile.

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I also had a side salad with lunch (spinach, tomato, dulse,  pepitas, hemp oil, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast):

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Followed by a little dessert!  Endangered Species brand 72% dark chocolate… mmmm chocolate!

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Afternoon snack time came up FAST!  I was busy on blog hosting study… I decided to forego the standard Larabar for some hummus, Wasa, raw goat cheddar and baby carrots.  Tasty and fiber-rich!

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When MSP got home, we still had some daylight and it wasn’t completely freezing outside, so we decided to take the dogs out for their wog:  a quick 2-miler to work up a little appetite before dinner: another set of leftovers that I tried to make into something different.  I had some of Friday night’s “Warm Asian Thai-Fry” left, so I warmed it up, then wrapped it into red chard leaves.  The ‘dipping sauce’ is just a generic version of Annie’s “Gingerly Vinaigrette” from a bottle. 

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It wasn’t bad at all for a meal that only took about 90 seconds to build!  But I was still a little hungry after so I had a few Mary’s Gone Crackers with some slivers of the raw goat cheddar

OK, friends, I’m off to get Tuesday started!  Have a fantastic Tuesday!  If you’re located in the Colorado are, KEEP WARM!  If you’re located someplace outside of Colorado that is warm, please send some heat our direction!

For today’s discussion, do you have any tips/tricks/tools that have helped any of your outdoor activities, in the way that the Wrightsocks have helped with my blisters?  You FitFeat readers are very FIT-SAVVY, and have lots of great info to share!  Thanks for doing so and keep it coming!  We are ALL learning and benefiting from each other!

See you tomorrow!

— Shari B. =)

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Bitten by the Hungry Bug

2 10 2009

Wahooo TGIF!  I love Fridays and Saturdays!  Got any big plans for the weekend? 

My Thursday started off with a little Rascal looking at me through my coffee mug.  I sure love that little guy!  It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having – Rascal can alwas put a smile on my face. 

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Speaking of smiles, here’s another on on my morning toast!  (Ezekial with almond butter and raw honey.)

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After a client session this morning, I ate half of a HUGE cantaloupe. 

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I blasted through my to-do list, then did my ADC (attention-deficit-cardio).  I can tell I’m not ready to be running indoors just yet:  I was on the treadmill for about a mile then had to start mixing other things in because the monotony of the TM was killing me.  I did intervals of step-ups, mountain climbers, bench hops, jumping jacks.  Anything to keep my heart rate high and not bore me to death

Mid-morning, I finished off my Gingerberry Kombucha, in a wine glass 😉  Makes it feel more festive!

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So one of the new (to me) veggies that I picked up at Whole Foods on my quest to try new foods was Red Chard.  Very Christmasy looking!  It almost makes a good centerpiece!

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I wilted it over medium heat in some macadamia nut oil, seasoned it with a little onion powder and fresh ginger, then topped it with a tiny drizzle of agave nectar.  Thought it might go well with the leftover Spicyaki Boulder Bowl from Tokyo Joe’s.  The chard wasn’t bad, but not one of my favorites (at least prepared in this manner.)  I’ll try some in a green smoothie and see how that goes.

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I was still hungry after I finished the plate above, so I  made a quick open-faced sandwich of Ezekial, herbed goat cheese, sliced cucumber, slice of tomato, and a sprinkle of pepper.

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And a few squares of dark chocolate make the lunch complete:

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My standard afternoon snack:  Larabar!  This time I had Ginger Snap, with a side of green tea.

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For dinner I made MSP a swiss & spinach chicken roll with a side of rice pilaf.

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And for me, I made a MONSTER of a salad with a side of Amy’s Organics Split Pea soup.  This is my new salad bowl (I think it is literally 12″ or more in diameter…  I’ll have to measure.  It is HUGE!)  My salad was bursting with ingredients:  spinach, kale, red chard, cucumber, tomato, dulse, nutritional yeast, sprouts, zucchini ribbons.  I made a vinaigrette of hemp oil, olive oil, basalmic vinegar, a pinch of lime juice and a pinch of agave.  Turned out pretty tasty!

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While MSP was at softball late in the evening, I had almond milk flavored with some chocolate syrup, and an unpictured banana with almond butter and honey

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I have been seriously bitten by the hungry bug this week!  (I even have a pic to prove it!!)

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The little bugger got me good, no wonder I’m famished!!  😉  I’m having a tough time feeling full for some reason this week.  I wonder if it’s this streak of cold weather we’re having and my body thinking it needs some extra insulation for the winter!  I better dress warm today to trick it!  Since it is currently 28 degrees(Dear Summer, please, I beg you… do not leave me yet!  I’m not ready!)

When the hungry bug bites, I don’t want to ignore it completely if I’m truly feeling hungry (and not bored, stressed, tired or thirsty.)  In this situation I aim to fill up on nutrient-dense, high volume food, which is why I had such a HUGE salad for dinner.   It would be really easy to go grab something that I can stick my whole face into like a bag of baked chips, crackers, cookies, etc.  But I know that would just be adding insult to injury, and not doing any good for my body or my mood.  So I eat quality foods until I feel full.  If that doesn’t do the trick or if I have a feeling I’m just craving things for emotional reasons, usually a hot cup of herbal tea or a decaf coffee will work wonders.

Today’s questions:  Do you have your own strategy to fight off food cravings if you know they aren’t true hunger signals?  Do you have a “go-to” food or beverage that will squelch any cravings and keep you feeling fit?  Drop me a comment!  I’d love to hear from you! 

(Speaking of comments, where’s my sister-from-anotha-mister, Alexandra??  Hope you are doing well!)

Have a fit & fabulous FRIDAY! 

— Shari B. =)

 

 





Chew It Like Your Mama Told Ya!

15 09 2009

Hi friends!

If you’ve been following along with the blog, you know that digestion is a topic near and dear to me when it comes to health and fitness. 

When food doesn’t digest properly, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs.  If it doesn’t have the nutrients, systems aren’t going to function optimally.  This includes recovering from your training.  And recovery from training is just AS IMPORTANT as the training itself.  Digestion of food begins in the mouth, both from a chemical standpoint and from the signals it sends to the rest of the digestive tract.  You need to give it the time it requires to get this intricate process underway.

Are you a food inhaler?  Do you eat without thinking much about it?  Do you eat when you are in a hurry, like between meetings, in the car, or at your desk?  (If you answered yes to any of these questions, are you also carrying any stubborn pounds that you feel you aren’t able to get rid of?)  

Whether it’s training recovery or weight loss that concerns you more, if you’re ready to get started on the road to better digestion, start following what your mama told ya: Chew your food!

Benefits of thoroughly chewing your food go well beyond better digestion.  It will force you to slow down a bit, think about what you are actually eating, and allow you to be more aware of your hunger signals.  If you consume your food too quickly, chances are you will also take in more calories than you need before your body has the chance to realize satiation.  Not only can this hamper your weight loss efforts, it can even put you on the fast track to weight gain.

Bloating, indigestion, and gas are just a few others on a long list of issues associated with eating too quickly. 

If you’re not sure whether you are chewing enough, start by counting to 30 chews with each bite of food.  Take a bite.  Put down your utensil.  And chew away to 30.  Repeat.  It seems really awkward at first, but it will definitely show you if you’ve been consuming your food too quickly.

So at your very next meal, start counting! Then drop me a comment and let me know how it’s going! 

chompers

On to yesterday’s feats & eats:

Weight Training (Chest/Biceps/Shoulders)

  • TM warmup plus arm swinging, self-hugging and shoulder circles to get the muscles warm!
  • DB Bench Press 4 working sets of 12, 9, 9, 8 reps
  • Tubing Chest Flyes 4 working sets of 15 reps
  • Upright DB Rows 3 working sets of 12 reps
  • EZ Bar Bicep Curls 4 working sets of 12 reps
  • Side Raises 4 working sets of 12, 10, 10, 12 reps
  • External Rotation (rotator cuff) 3 sets of 15, 20, 20 reps

I included a lot of chest stretching between sets. 

The morning just seemed to need the DIVA mug:

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Breakfast was Genesis toast with a drizzle of flaxseed oil and raw honey, with a side of Ezekial cereal crumbs, since that’s apparently all I left in the box from the last time.  If you like “Grape Nuts” try the Ezekial cereal (from sprouted grains).  It’s great with some almond milk (or milk, soy milk, whatever you like) poured in and then heated in the microwave just long enough to soften.  Eating it like cold cereal seems to just be asking for a broken crown…

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No midmorning snack this time.  Breakfast stuck to my ribs pretty well and I was busy, so I had a hefty salad at lunch to make up for no green smoothie!  And a side of veggie lasagna that I am STILL working on eating up after Friday’s dinner!  That turned out to be quite the economical dinner!  I still have one more sliver left!

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My midafternoon snack was almond milk and a scoop of Vega Chocolate — shaken not stirred.  😉

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With a side of bite-sized chocolate:

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Dinner was leftover Thai Lime Shrimp stirfry from my Sunday Whole Foods Adventure.  Holy burn my mouth spicy!  The thai peppers must have had a party in the to-go box overnight because this was crazy spicy reheated.  I’m talkin’  “make your eyes water and face sweat” hot!

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That was the sum of my Monday!  It was a great start to the week:  good intense weight workout and mighty tasty (and healthy) food.  Hope that your week has started off even better! 

Have a GREAT day!  See ya next time!  (And remember to chew your food!)

— Shari B. =)





Even Energizer Bunnies Need Their Rest

8 09 2009

Hi Fit Peeps,

I’m back to finish my Lazy Labor Day recap since I had to scoot out in a hurry mid-post about 90 minutes ago!  I confess that I can’t call anything I did yesterday “labor”.   🙂  A good portion of this holiday weekend was spent relaxing!

Which leads me to today’s FitFeaturerecharging our internal batteries and energy balance.

First, let me say that I am all for regular bouts of intense exercise.  I am all for pushing beyond our perceived personal limits.  But I also strongly believe we start each day with a certain amount of ‘gas in our tank’ and need to use that fuel wisely for a fit, healthy and BALANCED life. As a ‘recovering perfectionist’ 🙂 , I used to go, go, go and go some more and never felt that I could afford a break.  Both in fitness and life in general.   It took me a long time to wise  up and acknowledge the belief that I now subscribe to fully:  that our physical exercise should enhance the rest of our daily living, not take from it.

Think about if you kept your foot on your car’s gas pedal and didn’t shift gears – you know that high revving sound?  Don’t do that to your body!  Don’t run your body with  your RPMs all the way into the red.  Do it for too long, and things might start to breakdown.  If I know I have a crazy day ahead of me that may take a lot out of me physically or mentally, I have no problem planning my exercise around that, by switching with a planned rest day or maybe using lighter weights and higher reps if it’s a strength day.  Or rather than intense cardio intervals, maybe I’ll do a slower paced run and just enjoy the scenery.  Try to be tuned in to what your body is telling  you.

Additionally, I try to take one full rest day each week (or at the very least a MILD activity day, like walking or yoga) and I regularly aim to spend some quality “ME” time just to top off that gas tank a bit and get the batteries charged back up.  My “ME” time can be a full-on lazy day or it can be as quick and simple as taking in a minute of sunshine or a cup of tea.

Push hard to make gains, but do it wisely by including appropriate rest and recovery.  REST is when your body is busy rebuilding and getting stronger, so making sure to build that time in is JUST as important as the exercise itself.

And when you listen to your body, by all means if it is telling you it’s a strong day, GO FOR IT!  It’s a two-way street!

Do you take the time to recharge your batteries?  How do you unwind and renew? Drop me a line in the comments section!

OK, on to yesterday’s eats:

I was so focused on getting my coffee yesterday morning that I didn’t even snap a photo!  Luckily it was in a boring white mug so you didn’t miss much 😉

After our weight training and doggie rollerblading, I was in the mood for some eggs rather than my green smoothie.  I sauteed some finely chopped mushroom and added a few slices of avocado and manchego sheep’s cheese on the side.  I had a few sips of some OJ left in the fridge so I had that too.  I don’t drink straight juice very often but it did sound good with breakfast.

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While we were out getting a few groceries, I had a tall plain soy steamer to get me through till lunch.  I LOVE their new cup “We don’t just want to make your drink, we want to make your day.”  Oh Starbucks, how I love thee.  You always make my day!

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Lunch was the second half of the Hookipa Salad I had leftover from Tokyo Joe’s yesterday.  Mmmm, salmon, greens, dried cranberries, edamame, pecans.  It was almost as good the second day.

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And a little piece of chocolate for dessert!

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Mid-afternoon I was in full-on LAZY mode.  We watched Julia Roberts and Clive Owens in “Duplicity”.  With all the flashbacks and flash forwards, I needed a snack to fuel my brain just to follow along!  So I made some brown bag microwave popcorn (because we don’t want all the extra stuff that they put in store-bought microwave popcorn!) and sprinkled it with nutritional yeast flakes for a cheesy flavor and some sea salt.

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When dinnertime came around MSP was craving a calzone, so while he went to pick up his carry-out, I started putting together my healthy little dinner.  I was feeling like something really light because somehow little chocolate chips just kept jumping into my mouth straight from the bag during the day!  Boy do they have springy legs and good aim, those little chocolate chips!  😉  I used my potato peeler and made raw zucchini ribbons, then I mixed up some “improv sauce” with half of a leftover tomato, some sundried tomatoes,  drizzle of olive oil, spinach leaves and some red pepper flakes.  After plating it, I sprinkled a bit of parmesan on top.  Look how pretty!  And I was not disappointed when I ate it either – quite tasty!

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OK friends, it’s time for me to peel myself away from the computer!  Have a great Tuesday and I’ll look forward to showing you how dark it was during today’s run when I’m back with today’s recap!

— Shari B. =)