Wednesday, May 28, 2014

This whole trend of hating trends? I hate it.

I don't know if it's human nature, or if it's something that has just been boosted to the umpteenth degree because of the Internet, but there are a lot of people who are eager to express their dislike of the latest popular thing. And maybe because I happen to be a big fan of two things that are lately popular (CrossFit and the Paleo diet), but it's really been wearing on my nerves.

I know I seem to spend a lot of time ranting about things and being angry (and truth be told, there are lots of things to be legitimately angry about), but I honestly try to operate from a position of "Live and let live." You'd rather be vegan than Paleo? Cool, go for it! You don't want to do CrossFit? No prob, I hope you find an activity you enjoy. You like wearing yoga pants to the grocery store? Hey, I have days like that too - no judgment here. As long as you aren't oppressing anyone or being malicious, then YOU DO YOU, BRO.

That's the thing - when you're writing articles spewing your hatred of the latest thing just because you find it annoying, it's kind of malicious. I've read countless anti-Paleo and anti-CrossFit articles, and most of them are of the "man, these people are irritating, so I'm going to take them down a peg" variety. They're not informative or educational; they're just ranty. Are you actually trying to teach us something because you're genuinely concerned for our welfare, or are you just spewing your venom on the Internet at a group you happen to not belong to, just because you can? Are you using your powers for good or for evil?

Each person has a voice. It may be a small voice, just one voice among many, but it's still a voice, and you have to consider whether you're using your voice for good or for evil. Are you supporting, nurturing, or guiding? Or are you excluding and shaming? (Because, let's face it, an anti- clique is just as cliquey as a clique itself.) When your friends post about things that they like that you find annoying, are you the first person to post your disapproval in the comments, or are you able to close the window/click "Hide" and walk away? I couldn't care less about football, I don't watch Dr. Who, and I've never read Harry Potter - but I have nothing against them either. So I leave it alone, and I do the things that I love instead, and I leave other people to their passions. (I hate that I'm even taking the time to write about hating, but it's been on my mind.)

If Hobbes is right, and life IS nasty, brutish, and short, then I think funneling your energy into letting everyone know JUST HOW MUCH YOU HATE THIS THING THAT OTHER PEOPLE LOVE is a huge waste of time. I'd infinitely prefer to do something that makes me happy instead.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Whole30, Day 21

Paleo mayonnaise. Instagram helps me be artsy.
  9 10 days to go! (Forgot there are 31 days in May)

Still going strong, although I think I'm looking forward to having a little more breathing room to include things that have honey/agave/vanilla in my diet.

I've been feeling great, and where I'm noticing changes the most is in my athletic performance - my runs have been going really well, aside from some knee pain (as I readjust to running on concrete). I've also noticed that clothes I've had that were too snug before are now actually on the loose side.

One thing, though, that I'm kind of worried about is that lately I've been waking up during the night sporadically. It's not always at regular intervals, and it's not always every night, but I'm definitely noticing that I've been waking up in advance of my alarm clock almost every time.

It could be a number of things - my body is still adjusting to my new nutrition habits, my room isn't completely pitch black, I sleep next to my daughter, who is a restless sleeper herself, etc. - but I wish I could just sleep straight through the night. I'm definitely still feeling rested and energized throughout the day, especially in comparison to how I was feeling before, but sometimes it's disconcerting to wake up in the middle of the night. Especially since my first instinct is to think that it's time to wake up already. So last night, I woke up sometime around 12:30 in the morning, and realized that I still had over five hours to go. (I have NO idea how I used to manage going to bed AT 12:30. Crazy.)

All in all, I feel great. :) I have no regrets, even though I miss ice cream sometimes.

Recipes I made this week:
- I can't post this online, because it's from a book, but the recipe for Coconut-Pineapple "Rice" (cauliflower rice) from the Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans book. It's AMAZING.
- From the same book, the Slow Cooker Kalua Pork. (Because Michelle Tam recommended them together.) Also amazing.
- I also made Thai Curry (because it was recommended with the rice), and it's something I throw together myself, that I've always loved in the past. I use coconut milk, red curry paste, canned bamboo shoots and canned straw mushrooms (check the labels to make sure they're not soaking in something weird), chicken, sweet potato chunks, and bell pepper strips. I also throw in a few dashes of Paleo-friendly fish sauce (which is probably not Whole30, but *shrug*) and coconut aminos.
- Mayonnaise recipe from Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed
- And using that mayonnaise, the Dreamy Avocado Dressing from It Starts With Food.

I also made myself lettuce burgers using grass-fed ground beef and just salt and pepper, topped with my mayo, mustard, and Tessemae's Ketchup. Have I mentioned how much I love Tessemae's? I LOVE Tessemae's. They are not giving me free stuff to say that. (Although, now that I've said it, I would gladly accept free stuff after the fact. *winks into cyberspace*) One of my favorite things off-Paleo was burgers with mayo, mustard, and ketchup, and this tasted fantastic.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Whole30, day 14

http://www.whole30.com
It's been two weeks! And I'm still holding strong. You know that idiotic saying, "Nothing tastes as good as being thing feels"? Well, for me, it's "Nothing tastes as good as feeling good feels." (Although... macarons.)

I ran a 5k this Sunday, and though it was hard, it was the best I had felt in a long time. I haven't had nearly as many stomachaches (like, 90% fewer, and I'm guessing it's only because my body had detoxing to do), and I'm much more well-rested. As I've said before, sleeping enough is a big goal of mine this time around, and it's making a difference because I could not for the life of me get up at 5am to run before now. (Though, what helps is that it's getting warmer and lighter earlier in the morning. Winter is hard for morning runs.) And yes, I do feel like I'm losing bodyfat. I haven't weighed myself, but my clothes feel the slightest bit looser.

Things I made this week:
- Slow cooker chicken with apple and sweet potato
- Bacon Bison Chili
- Egg/prosciutto rollups (I have a real prosciutto problem)

I also just did things like grill chicken and roast or saute vegetables, since sometimes, you just don't have the brainpower to deal with recipes.

In addition, I also discovered:
- Numi Chocolate Pu-erh Tea - smells HEAVENLY, and tastes great as an iced latte (using almond milk)
- Tessemae's dressings/marinades/sauces - Whole30-friendly ketchup and barbecue sauce??? (And other things!) I'm very loath to make my own dressings, so... this is a godsend. (I like the Steve's Paleogoods ones too, but they're not Whole30.)

Things I would like to find:
- a sulfite/sulfate/whatever-free balsamic vinegar. Does this actually exist? If you can think of one, let me know.
- almond milk that is purely almond milk, without preservatives. (Like, other than making my own.)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

I brought my Bia Sport watch to the Mermaid East Bay run, and it was fabulous.

This was my first race since January's Hot Chocolate 5k - I've spent most of the last few months being injured or sick (or both), and even though I registered for a few races in the interim, I ended up skipping them because there was no way I was ready (or even healthy enough) to run those distances.

In fact, I had originally registered for the half for this, but I ended up deciding to drop to the 5k. It was the smart thing to do, considering how I'm only just starting to hit about 3 or 4 miles per run these last couple of weeks.

I was pretty excited, because I had a bunch of friends running with me today (not WITH me, but at the same race) - my best friend Becca, my coworker, my derby friends, etc. Everything's more fun with friends!

So, since the 5k started at 9am, I had planned to get there by 7:30, but the line of cars into the parking lot was so atrociously long that I made it just after 8. It was fine for me, but I was trying to meet up with a couple of friends running the longer the distances, so... not so good.

It was a typical Mermaid event - high energy, female-friendly, and lots of newer runners who don't know that that faster people should stay on the left and slower people should stay on the right. Sigh. Also, the 9am start meant that it was warmer than I was used to (last year I did the half marathon, which started at 8), so the sun felt pretty unforgiving, even though I doubt it was much more than 70 degrees the entire time.

Wrist unit above; GPS Go Stick below
Today was an auspicious day because, first of all, I was finally taking my Bia Sport watch for a spin. (Click the link to read more about why it's so awesome.) I was one of the first wave of people to get one because I had backed it on Kickstarter, but I confess I haven't really used it yet, because 1) I've barely been running (as mentioned above), and 2) they haven't updated it to include the interval running function yet, and you know I am ALL about interval running. (I know, I know, I could run intervals with a normal run timer, but checking back down at your watch all the time gets annoying after a while. It's like watching a treadmill clock. I appreciate timed beeping.)

So this was my first time really using it, and I have to say, it did NOT disappoint. The Go Stick found its signal about five times faster than my Garmin ever did, and it's pretty intuitive to use - there is one button to turn on/turn off and start/stop, and all the other commands are done via the touch screen. You shake the Go Stick to wake it up, clip it somewhere on your person (I didn't have my hydration belt with me, so I secured it on the strap of my tank top/running bra), press the button to turn it on. After it finds the signal (in a few seconds!), you choose your sport (Run/Cycle/Swim), and pick "Just Run." (Eventually they will roll out the "Interval Run" and "Indoor" functions. Soon, I hope. *crossing fingers*) You press the button to start your watch, press it when you're finished, and you can choose to save the data or delete it, which I really liked because my Garmin stored EVERYTHING and only deleted it when you took the time to go into your history and clear it.

My favorite thing about it, and I couldn't get a picture of this because I had JUST crossed the finish line, was that after I save my run info, the summary screen shows your time, distance, and pace, as well as the message "DROP AND PLANK." I definitely did not drop and plank, but I got a good chuckle out of that one. :)

So, the run was difficult. I've been having really GOOD runs this week on the treadmill, but of course, it's always a different story when you have to run outside. Especially on a dirt/gravel trail with no shade whatsoever. It wasn't as hot as it was last year for my half, but again, we started today at 9am, which is later than I'm used to (and threw off my eating routine a bit) and warmer. So I was definitely struggling with the sunshine. Also, I was struggling maintaining my pace - this is not a humblebrag when I say that I kept going too fast. I was hoping to stick to a 13:30 pace and take only a few walk breaks, but I kept hitting 11:00-12:00 paces, which meant that I would wear myself out and end up stopping more often. I started chanting mantras to myself to try and keep myself going slow, but it was a struggle for me to pace myself, even for such a short distance.

That said, I still made my goal! I wanted to go under 44:00 (hopefully beating my Hot Chocolate Run time of 43:43), and not only did I do that, I actually went under 43:00! My official chip time was 42:52, which is pretty exciting for me, and I felt pretty good about the whole thing. I finally feel like I'm getting back on track to being my old self, as far as running is concerned.

Next up: I will be starting half marathon training in a week. (I know, I have so little base mileage, but it's a very beginner-friendly training plan. It's gentle.) My other big running decision was to drop to the half for Santa Rosa (which made me sad), but to register for the CIM in December (on my birthday!), so I'll be actually training for this half, aiming for a PR, and then chasing marathon #3, which was supposed to happen last year but didn't because of my injury.

My next race will be the See Jane Run half marathon in June, which is exciting because I'm a SJR ambassador! And I haven't done this half in a really long time, so it will pretty much be new to me.

If you would like to join me for See Jane Run, you can get a 10% discount on your race registration with the code SJRAMB239. (Or, I mean, you don't have to join ME specifically... you could run with your own posse.) You can also use that same code for 10% off purchases on the See Jane Run website.

Pictures:

Eternal Water was one of the race sponsors. I couldn't resist taking an #eternalselfie.
THIS IS WHAT A RUNNER LOOKS LIKE. HOLLA.

The finishers' necklace! On the other side of the shoe, it says "pace"

Me and Becca - running besties :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

FYI

I decided to reopen comments on my blog. Be gentle. *hides*

Whole30 Day 7

So far, I feel awesome. It's a bit cliche to be like, "WHY HAVE I STAYED AWAY SO LONGGGG" but it's the truth - I've known all along (at least, for the last two years) that this is what makes my body happiest, and instead, I kept feeding it junk (tasty, decadent junk, but still junk).

Things that have changed over the past week:

- I'm sleeping more and sleeping well. Even though I've been waking up before my alarm clock a lot (even today, at 5am!), I'm waking up feeling refreshed.

- Once I got past the initial days of carb flu, my mind started feeling sharper and clearer. I feel like I've been floating in a haze, and now the fog has lifted.

- My run this morning (2/1 intervals for 45:00) was infinitely easier than it was last week (same intervals for only 30:00). Even on Sunday, I had trouble keeping ALL the of the intervals. Partly it has to do with speed, and me trying to run too fast, but even when I slowed down the intervals, I was barely hanging on and had to take extra walk breaks? This morning, not only did I make EVERY interval, but I was able to speed it up some. This by far has been the best thing.

- I bet running better has to do with the fact that my body feels lighter. I haven't weighed or measured myself, but I can just feel it. I don't think it's necessarily that I've lost weight (though my abdomen feels minutely smaller), but that my body feels less bogged down. Definitely feeling less bloated.

- I'm eating regularly. My other goal (in addition to the sleeping one) has been to stay on top of cooking and meal planning so that I'm never stuck without food options, and so far, it's been working. I've been finding the easiest recipes I can and making large batches so I have lots of leftovers. But moreover, I'm remembering what a pleasure it can be to cook. I've found recipes that I'm excited to try, and it doesn't feel like a burden.

All good things, and at the moment, I see no signs of slowing. Hell, the running one alone is a good enough reason to keep going, but honestly... considering how awful I've felt this past year, it's awesome to start feeling GOOD again, and to know that it's all under my control.

Recipes I've made this week:
Slow-cooker shredded chicken, which I put on a salad with guacamole and salsa, and then I could pretend it was from Chipotle =P Jimmy (who is not doing Paleo) put it on top of tortilla chips and cheese for chicken nachos
Balsamic Pot Roast - I didn't make the mashed cauli though. I just ate it with a sweet potato instead.
Balsamic Beef Bolognese - THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. Instead of making zucchini noodles, I just steamed some broccoli slaw. Same difference to me. I also made an omelette with this for breakfast one day. Jimmy and Jolie ate this with spaghetti noodles and loved it.
Artichoke meatloaf - I liked it okay. I'm not a big artichoke eater.
Carrot cake porridge - Omitted the maple syrup and vanilla. Still REALLY good. It's very dense, especially when reheated, so I've taken to splashing some almond milk in before reheating, so it's a little creamier, and topping it with cinnamon-roasted walnuts and unsweetened dried coconut. I also put extra raisins in the actual porridge rather than using them as toppings.