It wasn’t the realization of the added ten pounds on the doctor’s scale (at which I cried) or the 2 minute per mile slower running time; not the puffy face in recent photos nor the general feeling of blah. There’s no reason for jump starting the healthy eating plan (again) other than it is time.
For the past two days I ate things like this:
A piece of Millet bread with a quarter of an avocado spread like butter, topped with a scrambled egg (and two egg whites) and a spoonful of fresh salsa.
Juice made from carrots, celery, apple, ginger, kale, beets, and huge bunches of spinach.
Back to Nature’s Multi-Seed Crackers with half a piece of jalapeno cheese and a slice of uncured honey ham.
Whole wheat crusted chicken nuggets baked in the oven with green beans and tomatoes on the side.
Two days of healthy eating and a small dose of exercise (a three-mile run yesterday), and one would assume I was completely on track.
But there’s always a hitch when it comes to clean eating, this time it came in the form of tiny white-fudge-frosted gingerbread men (120 calories for three) nestled inside a pretty Christmas colored box.
If it weren’t for those sneaky gingerbread men I would have conquered two full days free from processed sugar.
Except their pull over me was too strong that I ate three. And then I ate three more. And the 240 calories I ingested happened faster than you can holler, “KALE!”
The good news is that I got a grip on the situation and stopped. I didn’t go back for more. But I thought about it a lot (a lot, a lot), before running far enough from the kitchen that I was no longer tempted.
One day at a time.
One day at a time.
Do you eat clean or do you struggle? What is it that makes you attack the gingerbread men?
I had planned on hitting the road this morning for my first run back, but the pollen that poofed from the pine trees in Raleigh is too thick, covering everything living and dead with a coat of yellow dust.
Instead of pushing it and risking a sinus infection, plus the fact that overall I feel a little “spent,” means it’s a good time to take it easy and do a little cleanse.
Cleansing typically means a hiatus from the gunk that is consumed too often. This equals less empty calories ingested overall as the organs moves to absorb the easily digested juices and nutrients from the whole foods that are being consumed (in my case only at lunch). The body begins to reboot by flushing out the yuck that has been festering inside. It’s a process that takes a little while, which scares some people off. I, having done this once before, have seen the benefits first hand and am excited to give it another go.
With less calories being consumed from sources that are considered to be a problem for some (dairy, red meat, wheat, caffeine and sugar), comes what I describe as the lovely day 1 headache.
Instead of complaining or fixating or reaching for the coffee to make it go away, I have spent my morning at Whole Food collecting the good stuff (more chia, almond milk, flax meal, beautiful greens, etc.) and have an afternoon play date scheduled where I’ll spend my time holding a very small and sweet newborn.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and total health will not happen overnight, but every little step is one closer in the appropriate direction.
I’m not sure why I ever veer off from this kind of healthy eating (that I know is so good for me), but when time is not managed properly my diet is always the first to go down in flames. Weeks can go by and I start to feel sluggish. My jeans become tighter and I suck in my stomach extra hard and pose sideways as I pass mirrors. Standing face on reveals the lumpy truth. It’s always at that point when I get out the juicer and start again; such a disheartening cycle.
I drank my smoothie after this morning’s run and it felt like a good choice for recovery. On the way to grab the girls I toasted two pieces of Ezekiel bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter and some jelly. I was feeling the need for crunch so I took along an apple and a cup of lower fat tortilla chips and headed out the door. I know it’s bad to eat in the car, but when I’m on the go there is no other way.
The weather today was warm, so the moms met up at the playground to chit and chat. The kids played nicely and I realized how much I love the group of ladies that come to the lower playground under that big old tree.
Most of the pre-school moms meet up at the enclosed playground where they don’t have to watch their kids as closely. There’s always a flutter of activity up there, but my kids like the swirly thingy that they can wind down and the triple slides, so to the smaller lower playground we go. In a way, it feels a little like high school with all the cool girls up in the quad, while I hang out with the smokers and rebels behind the bleachers. None of the moms I hang out with are actual smokers or rebels, but I like that we are a little off from the bigger group. It’s always been how I roll.
To say I had the best time I’d had all week would be an understatement. I left after an hour of really amazing jibber jabber about boogers and baby weight, cancer and gallbladder removal, feeling happy. Really connected and happy. Isn’t that amazing? That booger talk and gall stone removal could inspire such a reaction in a person? I think it’s why mommy groups were created to begin with, though I wouldn’t know because I never joined one. I thought all mommy groups were created by those girls in the quad.
On the way home I talked my little gals into a little trip to Whole Foods. I reminded them that it’s not a super huge deal if the car cart is being used, so if it was gone we needed to act like four-year olds and not crying babies.
We ran through the doors and spotted the red one; the car with both wheels still in tact.
Like gold had been struck, we ran to it. They hopped in and we roamed around collecting more stuff for juicing and some fishies for dinner.
My kids have eaten fish since they were little. As a Mainer, it is my responsibility to feed them the gifts from the sea and generally they like what they’ve had.
When they saw a bunch of fish still attached to their heads and tails, they got out of the cart for a good look. They examined the fish and asked questions about how they ended up dead under glass. Were they real? Why were they different colors? It was like a spur of the moment Science lesson, right there in the fish department.
I felt proud when Sophie pointed to a crustacean tail and shouted out,” Look mom, lobster!”
Mainers know lobster.
I ended the day with a dinner of quinoa and a salmon burger with fresh avocado. Brian’s bean and veggie salad from last night was the perfect addition and I appreciated his thoughtful preparation. Sometimes we work pretty well as a team, though often it isn’t so obvious.
A piece of dark chocolate and I’m perfectly good and satisfied.
I made it throughWonderful Wednesday. Maybe I should have called it Wicked Wednesday in honor of that Maine lobster under the glass?
I wish I could say I was a completely clean eater on a daily basis. Unfortunately, in the past few days I’ve found my hand in the Oreo bag more than I care to admit.
During my morning taper run I thought about the next thirteen days and what I must do to ensure that I give myself the best chance for race day success.
The easiest task is to clean up the diet. I say it’s the easiest because I know the rules.
Sticktoitiveness is a different story.
I went to Whole Foods yesterday to get back on track. Believe it or not, once I (or you) get going with this kind of venture, the non-processed foods begin to whisper sweet nothings much the same way that Oreos do at 3:30 in the afternoon, the witching hour in my house. Juices and smoothies require serious pre-planning, though, which can be difficult if a spinach and kale run didn’t happen the day before. Mommyland can be very unpredictable.
I have whipped up three lovely glasses of green juice and two nice sized smoothie servings that should keep me going until the end of the day tomorrow. I have planned steamed salmon and kale for dinner. Lunch will be light, but with plenty of carbs since they are still necessary to ensure proper racing energy.
My nineteen miler was the most successful run of them all, because I adhered to the rules of clean eating and restricted (most) carb consumption to earlier in the day.
Let’s hope for Wonderful Wednesday and Thriving Thursday!
In order to avert overzealousness, I’ll be taking baby steps to Fabulous Friday.
Exactly one year ago, upon my return from the ING Miami half marathon, I tried a cleanse. I didn’t do it (primarily) because I was searching for better health. I did it because my running partner Sandra had just finished week three when we met at Loews Miami and she looked so darned good in her tiny bikini (lounging by that beautiful pool), I wanted a little of the zex appeal that the cleanse might provide for me.
As soon as I got home I bought a juicer. I read the book CLEAN, a cleanse by Dr. Junger, and cut out the “elimination” foods like dairy, coffee, wheat, strawberries and peanut butter (apparently bad for the gut).
I ate garlic sandwiched between apple slices, a ton of kale, and chia seeds for a snack. My one real meal of the day was at the lunch hour, usually salmon and a steamed green, but Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Detox had a delicious chicken recipe that I cooked a lot, too.
Overall I felt great, but there was a weakness I didn’t enjoy. I fully expected to complete the three weeks that the plan called for, but on the last day of week two came down with the most horrendous flu like illness, complete with fever and shakes and all, and the cleanse had to be forfeited. I threw up the white flag and begged for some macaroni and cheese.
I had lost seventeen pounds and as you might imagine, it crept back onto my bones with a quickness.
It wasn’t a complete loss however, because it gave me the opportunity to analyze my diet. The ways in which I thought I had been eating healthily were (in truth) more about deprivation.
For me, food is like alcohol and drugs to those who abuse those things. Once you get off the stuff and climb aboard the wagon, you have to put in the effort to stay there.
I’m a busy girl. I’m a girl whose physiology makes too much sugar in the blood a very bad thing. Running has been used in place of metformin and has allowed me to stop pricking my poor little finger tips. I am addicted to sugar and once I start to ingest it (after a period of near constant analysis of life without it), it’s really hard to stay focused; much easier to grab a donut and plummet back down into Candy Land.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m back on the healthy eating wagon, but not entirely for health related reasons. I’m vain and I like skinny jeans. I’m going to try really hard to stay glued to my seat instead of swinging off the back end like some rodeo rider looking for a quick fix.
Unlike the full cleanse, I’m choosing to continue to drink coffee and dairy. I like peanut butter and strawberries, so those will stay too. Instead of reaching for a bowl of cereal the moment I crawl out of bed, I’m going to follow Gwyneth’s lead and have a glass of room temperature water with lemon to jump start the system. I wasn’t a huge fan of the almond milk that was a staple of Dr. Junger’s plan, but I will have an afternoon snack of chia seeds and chocolate milk, because the enrgy it provides is what I need at 3:00 p.m., otherwise known as the witching hour.
Since the day I joined Jenny Craig at the impressionable age of seventeen and throughout the next twenty three years, I’ve learned a lot about a good diet. Much of what I learned has been tossed away, some has remained, and new things that work for me have been added.
Learning to manage one’s health when it comes to food (and happiness with race photos) is a cumulative effort. A personal and lifelong cumulative effort.
What’s crazier than actually running seventeen miles, is that I’m not all that worried about it. I know that I’ll be able to do it and I have a plan.
My goal for tomorrow is to run slowly and easily for the first ten miles. Instead of focusing on the time below the beveled face of the Garmin, I’m going to watch my blinking heart rate, so that I can accurately monitor my exertion.
This has been a plan a few times before, but as endorphins begin to fool me into believing I am stronger and faster than I am, I speed up too early making my remaining miles feel endless.
No, I am sticking to the plan. Ten easy miles.
At ten point one I will Gu, and then speed up a bit.
I’ve been pretty consistent when it comes to hitting hills, but tomorrow I’m gifting myself with a flatter course; throwing myself a little bone.
Around North Raleigh I will go, literally, since the hills are in the center. I will probably finish my audiobook, so the last miles will be motivated by music and the long hot epsom salt bath I will soak my aching bones in soon after I return.
I must be certain to eat properly first, before schlepping my legs up the stairs to get clean.
Last week’s fifteen made me so endorphin high (happy and eager to share) that I immediately sat down to write. I was coated in sweat, as if I’d been dipped in the Red Sea, and completely dry by the time I was finished. I neglected to feed my body, instead choosing to feed my mind, and believe that I suffered from the choice later when recovery had begun. My legs felt detached from my torso, like I was hauling around a pair of tree trunks out of proportion with the rest of me. The exhaustion of the task was incomparable to any tired feeling I’ve known before.
Speaking of fuel, I’m going to make an extra effort to eat mindfully today. I have enough kale and beets left for an afternoon juicing. Last night’s spaghetti and sauce (cooked with carrots and shallots, celery and garlic) will be a great choice for tonight’s dinner. At the grocery store this afternoon, I will steer clear of the cookie bin, but buy more garlic and apples and ginger. I need to use more ginger.
Stay tuned. Send good vibes. Pray for an easy time and pleasant weather. I’ll be surely thinking of you all, whose precious time spent reading this is so appreciated and who have added a priceless aspect to my motivation and training.
After a food and wine filled weekend in Virginia, I decided to get back to the plan yesterday.
I had neglected an entire list of Mommyland chores the week prior, so yesterday was an exercise in diligence. I checked off each to do box, one after another, and felt a little more in control of my situation by the time the girls went to sleep last night.
One of my goals for the day was to do some juicing. I am in desperate need of vegetables and nutrients in my diet, and since I lack the gene necessary for interesting and delicious cooking, juicing gets it done. Plus, the girls like to help me, so I feel like they are getting a lesson in healthy living.
Sorry about the fuzzy photos, something’s up with the camera.
My race is now 16 weeks away. I went back to look over Hal Higdon’s plans and have decided that Novice 2 is where I should be. I am jumping in at week 3, which is fairly easy with the long run at only 6 miles. Yesterday I logged 3.5, and will attempt 5 today. It’s pouring rain right now, so maybe mom will watch the girls this afternoon so I can go. I’m dying to get to Jen’s vinyasa tomorrow while the kids are at school. I hate to play favorites (I really do love each and every Evolve teacher), but Jen’s class is the perfect mix of flow, intensity, and centeredness. I’m going to try my hardest to make it there.
Yesterday’s to do list only has a few more boxes to be checked off; pay pre-school tuition, finish unpacking and fold the enormous pile of laundry. There will be a few moments of gratification when it’s done, and then I’ll probably sigh.
Before that occurs, though, as inevitably happens, the next list has begun to write itself. The tree needs its ornaments, the presents I’ve already gathered need to be wrapped, and the baby jesus lights need to be untangled. December is on its way.