Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I have three kids, I drive my two nephews to and from school (in the a.m. they come to my house and I take them to school, in the afternoon I pick them up and then take them home), I drive a Kia Mini-van. I used to think that the gas I put in my car wasn't really as important as some people (especially the ad execs) wanted me to think. Then my car started hesitating when I accelerated. I changed my gas and most of the problems resolved themselves (it still needs a tune, but the gas change has made a huge difference). I was using the cheap-o Arco, I switched to Chevron (with Techron-lol they should just put that right under the name on the signs).
So, if what I feed my car's engine matters, wouldn't you think that what I feed my body's engine would matter too? Well, duh right?
But, I've been thinking about this and really I'm facing a huge change here. For a long time I've been cutting back on sugar, and I've faced the truth that I don't think I want to live a life completely void of sugar, so I've allowed myself to indulge. But, now thinking about the fuel thing, even my indulgences need to change. I used to think, hey, what's wrong with an Oreo every once in awhile (and I may still have the occasional Oreo), but do you know what they do to those to make them so yummy? I won't go into it in detail, but the CHEMICALS, really...I wouldn't go down to the local lab and just start ingesting things, but that's what eating an Oreo is like.
It gets worse, did you know that most of those cereals and "fruit" bars that are supposedly healthy are also filled with chemicals? Most of the "fruit" is a science experiment, not actual fruit. Some of them put in just enough real fruit that they can claim it, but it usually isn't even the fruit you think you are buying. Anyone buy REAL blueberries recently? Did you notice the price? Here in CA blueberries are one of the most expensive produce items you can choose (anytime of year, even in season). Part of that is that we just don't grow alot of blueberries here, the weather isn't right for them. We get hot for too long and they just don't do as well here as they do in other parts of the country. Now, if you wanted some nice juicy oranges, you can get them dirt cheap from the ranch at the other end of the valley during harvest. Well, turns out that blueberries are expensive for those food companies too, so if you are lucky you get a miniscule amount of real blueberry mixed with pear and apple (apples are inexpensive and cost effective additives and that is okay, still real fruit right?), AND chemical dyes so that you get that pretty blueberry color. If you aren't lucky or a dedicated lable reader what you get is blueberry bits (or crunchlets as one company calls them) which are not blueberries and do not share any of the health benefits of real blueberries, they are a lab experiment.
Seeing my problem here? For YEARS, DECADES I've been trying to adjust my thinking about food to move away from my childhood experiences into the actual realm of health. We are not even talking about Arco to Chevron any more, we are discussing buying gas from the flea market and moving up to Arco. This has taken me DECADES to change and it still isn't perfected. I still buy too much of my fuel at the flea market (to stick with the analogy-Oreo cookies? Flea market fuel).
I'm looking at the fact that what I THOUGHT was Chevron fuel is actual Arco.
It is so frightening to stand at a precipice of change and begin to see that what you thought was good enough really isn't and how on earth do you start to effect the changes you see looming in front of you. How do you simply STOP fueling the most important engine on the planet with crap fuel and START fueling it with top line premium. Especially when you really look at it even the price comparison is similar.
Again, we aren't discussing simply buying more fruit, we are discussing buying organic fruit. Not simply cutting back on meat, but making sure that when we do eat meat it is top notch meat. Do you know what nitrates do and how many nitrates and nitrites are in BACON? Have you tried to find nitrate free bacon? Have you seen the price? And, while bacon has become a special treat and not a regular event, I'm not ready to forever turn my back on bacon, but am I ready to spend twice as much to get the premium, top-notch, this is as healthy as it's going to get, bacon?
It gets REALLY hot here in the summer, I mean REALLY hot. If you don't live in the south-west, take what you think is hot and add at least 20 degrees. Thankfully, most of the time, we don't have humidity and our worst heat is limited to a handful of days, but 100 degrees is normal for anything from July to September, hot days go up from there. Popsicles? Flea market food.
I'm staring down the idea of taking fresh fruit, creating a puree and freezing it for summer treats. Fresh fruit to make one treat for each family member will cost the same as a HUGE bag of popsicles. Plus, there is the prep and waiting time...popsicle...unwrap and you are ready to go.
Maybe part of the problem is that I've never seen myself as being the kind of person who does thing like eat vegetarian, clean eaters have me stymied (how on earth do they manage). But, clean eating is exactly the type of precipice I'm standing at...do I leap, do I hesitate, do keep on doing what I'm doing and trust the food companies to tell me what I'm actually consuming? Obviously it's too late to take the ignorance route...
Arco regular or Chevron Premium? What exactly do I want to fuel my engine with? Is my engine less than that of a Kia Minivan? Or is it the engine of a sluggish Ferrari? I think I want a clean running Ferrari engine...maybe I should make that a Porsche since I have ties to Germany-lol! My sister's kids are Ferraris, I'm probably more of a Porsche-lol.
Here's my thoughts for the coming week...I'm not going to be able to change myself or my family overnight. We have taquitos in the freezer we need to eat and desserts are never going to disappear. However, here are the steps I'm ready to take starting now.
1. Desserts will be homemade. At least I'll know the ingredients and sugar is still sugar, but at least I can use unbleached flour, or even better whole wheat as we start making those changes. I'll know that dyes are not going into them and if it is a fruity treat it will actually contain fruit and entirely the kind I select.
2. This week when I go shopping the majority of it is going to be done at the local health food market (Sprouts). I probably won't buy strictly organic, it's too expensive, BUT, since their organic prices are AWESOME when on sale, I can choose organic more often. I will have more choices when it comes to snacks, cereals, etc. that will not contain any dyes. I'll have to be careful and yes, I'll be spending more time in the kitchen prepping foods instead of taking them out of a box.
3. I can save some money by continuing to buy certain items at our regular stores. We already know where the best price on milk is and it's hormone free. I don't have to pay extra at the regular grocery for the courtesy of having milk free of drugs. Some ingredients simply are what they are, I don't have to buy them at Sprouts where they are more expensive, I can continue to get them at the big grocery or Wal-Mart depending on price. Two stores have FAGE yogurt on sale this week, one slightly cheaper than the other, it is what it is, I can get it where it is cheapest. Rice is pretty much rice, doesn't matter where I get it.
4. I've already gotten the family on board with some of the changes. Every Monday we have Family Home Evening. It is a night where we are together as a family, most often we have some sort of a lesson, everyone takes a turn. Sometimes we play games, sometimes we just use the time to discuss the needs of the family. It was my turn on Monday so we discussed what foods are healthy and good for our bodies and what isn't. The kids are totally on board with eating more fruits and vegetables. They WANT some of the changes!! Son designated tonight 5 food groups night and is expecting dinner to represent ALL the food groups. It works out great because Wednesday is our "make it quick night". Taquitos and quesadillas are on the menu (yep, those frozen taquitos go away tonight...they'll be baked btw). Meat, grain (corn tortillas), cheese on the quesadillas for dairy, refried beans, a salad on the side and I'm thinking a quick trip to the market for frozen fruit bars for dessert will round out the options and pretty much cover the bases.
Am I really ready to go premium? Don't really know and Arco is still better than gas from the flea market (I'm pretty sure I can't actually go to the flea market and buy gas, but it makes a point anyways), but I think I'd like my Porsche engine to be running at top performance level and not sluggish and slow.
Monday, May 21, 2012
Uggghhh....hiya sparkies. How was everyone's week? I didn't do everything I wanted, but more than nothing, so that was good. Right? So, I've been off track for so long, I'm really struggling to get back on track. Saturday was good, I did get up and go for the group run I had on schedule. I walked a lot more than I would have liked, but my distance did add up to a decent 3 miles considering I've done nearly nothing at all for quite awhile now.
After the run I started thinking about how it really was better than I expected (started out rough and didn't think I'd even get two miles in, but the kinks shook out and it was good after a bit) and that it should be easy to get back on track. Kind of left it there and left it as a vague thought to do better starting Monday.
Sunday before getting in the shower I decided to do something I hadn't done in waaaaaaay too long and stepped on the scale. It was disappointing to say the least, but I must say I handled it well. Decided it is what it is and that the only way to fix it is get back to work and started working on solidifying those plans for Monday morning. Determined I would get up early and do Jillian's 30 day shred 3x a week for the month and see where we were at the end of that (along with the Tues, Thurs and Sat runs).
So, last night I got to bed a little too late, but I DID put out my clothes and shoes so that all I had to do was stumble out of bed and get moving.
I didn't sleep well at all, waking up several times and when the alarm went off I just couldn't do it. I told myself that I would do it after the kids went to school, then I wouldn't have to fight them for the t.v. . Good plan, right? Woke up from my sleep-in with a headache.
Now the kids are at school and I'm using Spark to procrastinate my fitness repentance. Time to just go do it, right?
Shouldn't I read a few blogs first? See how my friends are doing on their journeys? Eat breakfast? Steel cut oats take a long time to cook. Clean the dining room? Clean the girls' room? My son's room? (the house is always a disaster after the weekend) No? Take a nap and banish the headache? What's that you say? Working out will get rid of the headache? And help me get the house clean because I'll be energized? Are you sure?
I don't know, I think Jillian is going to just kick my butt and I'll be dead the rest of the day. No? Okay, fine. I'm moving, I'm moving. Whatever....if you don't see me again you'll know Jillian claimed another victim.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Okay, so I TOTALLY dropped of the planet for awhile. No excuse for it...I ALLOWED life to overwhelm me and I got into a funk royale. I have NOT been doing most of the things I know are right and BOY, oh BOY am I feeling it. I'm refusing to get on the scale because I don't want to acknowledge what might have happened during the great depression of 2012. But, the news is not all bad. Guess what I did last week. Go ahead guess. No peeking.
I went out 3 days and walked and/or jogged!! Yep, 3 days...the other 4 were not good, kind of slothful, but you know what? Three days, that's what. And you know what else I learned? Go ahead, think about it, see if you can read my mind...
Life is NOT an ALL OR NOTHING venture. Shocked? I was. Life is not "do it all or you fail." Life is life and some days are busy and some days are lazy. Some days you can't wait to get out of bed others you REALLY just want to stay under the covers for the next 72 hours. And because life is NOT all or nothing that makes us responsible for the parts that we WANT to happen. It isn't I MUST do this today or I fail. It IS I WANT to accomplish this today so I will make it a priority. It is NOT I was so tired today that just getting the kids to school was a chore so I failed in everything else. It IS I knew today would not be perfect so at least I parked in the farthest parking spots during every errand I ran and when dropping the kids off so I got in something and something is good enough today. It is NOT I haven't done anything for two weeks might as well eat all the chocolate cookies I'm going to bake for the express purpose of binging. It IS I haven't done anything for two weeks so today I'll eat a salad with nice crunchy croutons to satisfy the need to chew.
Life is a complex and odd organism. We don't always get our way and life is tough sometimes. Set backs knock us off balance and throw us for a loop. Time to tell life that its MY turn. Time to take back my schedule and my time and put my needs , if not first, at least before some others (laundry can wait, right?). So, today, I was supposed to accomplish so much and I didn't accomplish so much. There are a few hours left of today and I've got lots to still do, but, I took time to stop by here and take some of my time back for me. And, I'll be back tomorrow, even if just for a little bit to read some blogs and start getting back in touch with the people who help me do what I want to do.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Getting back in the habit of coming over here has been really hard, but resolving today, the last day of the month, to make April my month to get back on track. Only goals this month are a minimum of three visits per week over here, make a plan and stick to it and try at least 4 new vegi recipes (sides or entrées, doesn't matter). Think I can accomplish that. :)
So, today was a great day!! I ran my March 5k..our local Bunny Hop. Smallest race I've EVER been in. Seriously, tiny, tiny field-lol! Maybe 30 people (max 40, but seriously I don't think it was even that many). I got the BEST race number I've ever gotten...111, seriously, outside of getting 001...111 has got to be the best :). Got in a great warm-up and lined up and we were off. I did my typical too fast start...that wasn't good. I felt great and fast for about 100 yards and then shin splints plagued me for the rest of mile 1. What saved me? A big old hill-lol. Since I've done hill training it forced me to alter my stride and did an awesome job of stretching my shins out :). After that hill it was good going from that point out. I picked up a lot of time on the return trip and finished in about 51:40 (according to my GPS tracker on my phone)...small race meant there was a clock but no chips :(. No water or snacks at the finish either, but two water stops, well placed so that was good.
I felt strong and great at the finish where spectators were cheering us on and an actual, ribbon, finish line was provided for each runner :). It was a great run!
Before the race started there were three raffle type games to enter. One was guess how fast the bunny would finish. Just realized I would have to explain that...race was a bunny hop...so of course the Easter Bunny was present. Took pics with the kids before their races and then rode a bike to escort the runners along the course. He was our contact with the real world if anyone needed help since our route went way out into the hills and if anyone was left behind it would be kind of permanent . So, bunny on bike...how long would it take him to finish? I skipped that one. Next up, how many jelly beans in the jar...I was off by about 50 and didn't win that one. Last, what would be the first place runner's finish time. I did a bit of observation and a bit of calculation and came up with 19:30 and put that on my slip.
Ta-da...I won that one!! First runner came in at 19:45, I was off by 15 seconds....wooot!!! Got an Easter basket with some little goodies in it that made me glad I have kids...some sidewalk chalk, some little bendy bunnies, some empty camo easter eggs, and a big bunny that sings Here Comes Peter Cottontail and bounces up and down. My youngest fell in love immediately :). Bunny is cute because it is wearing a little zip up vest that looks an awful lot like my vest I wear for chilly morning runs and a watch that could be mistaken for a running watch. Very clever .
Medals were handed out for top 3 in each division (not me...knew that) and then a quick raffle with the rest of the slips torn from the bibs. I won another little basket with more sidewalk chalk. That was fun and the kids were very excited with my haul....I just kept looking for the chocolate bunny-lol- .
Did I forget to mention that I accomplished all this with TERRIBLE cramps? Yeah, not fun, but really, not as noticeable while busy, just when I finally stopped I felt crippled again. Nothing was going to stop me this morning :).
So, on my way back to my car I was thinking about the great morning and realized that this is the first race I've done all by my little lonesome and I survived and felt great and had a wonderful morning. Then my brain all on it's silly little self came up with the song the Heart is a Lonely Hunter...except changed it to runner and I had a good chuckle over that for awhile :). I can do things on my own....I am fairly dependant on meeting up with others to get me out the door. I am more likely to do it if I am committed to another person to do it. So...lesson for the day..I can do it alone and do it well enough and enjoy it....so...time to get past that barrier on an everyday basis.
The rest of the day was spent at home with the family and that was great too. Over all a wonderful day.
Another race next week and then time off...hehehe...not really....gotta finish that thought...time off from races to train and focus on the next big one...a 10k in June. I've only done one 10K and last time I ran it I came in dead last.....last....saw a statistic that said the chances of that happening are .02 percent...lol....I'm pretty rare . Though, I do find that a little hard to fathom since in every race SOMEONE has to come last. This time I do NOT want to be last...I really, really, really want to PR this race. So, I foresee lots and lots of hill training (it is a very mountainous race with very steep hills), some extra distance training and lots of speed work. 9 weeks from today to d-day. The goal for finishing up today is to sit down with my calendar and plan out all of April and then work on sticking with it .
That's about it for me...I'll be working hard at getting back into the swing of things here. Hope everyone is having an excellent weekend and has a great Fool's day tomorrow (nothing too crazy..k?).
Monday, March 05, 2012
I wrote this one a bit ago and saved it since I couldn't immediately post it...enjoy while I catch up on my reading and get reacquainted with ya' all :).
Okay, soâ€¦hereâ€™s the storyâ€¦
Christmas day we go to church and while waiting for the service to begin I find I am in need of a pen. I grab my bag, open it up and start the search. I start with the blind grab technique. You know, where you stick your hand in without looking and hope you end up with what you need. After a few moments of looking with that method and coming up with everything except a pen I decide Iâ€™d better do a more thorough search. I start pulling out items in search of a pen. Here is what I pulled from my bagâ€¦
Sunglasses case with sunglasses (the sporty pair I where during outdoor adventures (running, hiking, etc.))
Pack of gum (I donâ€™t chew regularly, but it is nice to have from time to time and is used primarily while running)
Recipe card (for Chocolate Cut-out Cookies at baking day on Christmas Eve)
Wallet (empty except for various club type cards)
Itty bitty plastic baggie with safety pins (left over from a race in June-theyâ€™ve come in handy on more than one occasion)
2 Packs Sports Beans (both Cherry)
Partially eaten Clif Bar (Black Cherry Almond-consumed during previous dayâ€™s run and not finishedâ€¦did you know that cold Clif Bars are similar to a block of taffy? Yeahâ€¦hard to bite off a bit and the reason the bar was not finishedâ€¦my jaw got tired with every bite)
Unopened package Clif Shot Blocks (Tropical Punch)
Orchard Fruit Bar (given to me to try by a friend)
Grocery Store Receipt
Bluetooth Ear Piece for my phone
Batteries (spares from a gift given to children on Christmas Eve)
Bank Card (for some reason running free instead of in wallet)
Pack of Band-Aids
RokBands Headband (worn when running)
Tube of Nuun-Lemon-lime flavor (electrolyte drinkâ€¦comes in tablets you add to bottled water)
Saucony Running Beanie
Son looks at my pile of loot and saysâ€¦â€ťMom, you have a never ending bag, next youâ€™ll pull out a hula hoopâ€ť!
Notice a theme developing here? I looked at hubs, laughed and saidâ€¦â€ťI donâ€™t need a purse, I need a gym bag.â€ť
Items not related to running: 8
Items related to running: 13
I counted the Band-Aids twice. Originally they ended up there during a hiking trip, but with three kids they come in handy, so they kind of are there for running/hiking and regular life. The number of items related specifically to my running out numbers my â€śdaily lifeâ€ť items even without the Band-Aids.
Lol-Running has taken over my lifeâ€¦not that Iâ€™m complaining. I think I really do need a gym bag instead of a purse.
Part of the problem is that I almost always travel before runningâ€¦to my sisterâ€™s house, a track, etc. I hardly ever run my own neighborhood. I suppose if I did there would be a basket full of these items and more. Actually, there is a basket, it is supposed to be in my bathroom, but a child stole it recently because it was empty, because all the stuff was in my purse instead of the basket-lol!
Oh well, I guess it is all good. It gives me a reason to have a bigger, cuter bag . I wonder what I would fill my bag with if I did transfer all the stuff to a gym bag?
Maybe Iâ€™d put a pen in there.
Update: Since writing this I have transferred my running stuff to a different bag, which I then transferred my wallet to...lol!! Meh, it's all good :).
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