Tag Archives: food

Celebration Thursday

Running is a funeral for your fat. Let sweat and tears flow freely!

Today is Thursday and there has been a lot of celebrating going on. Thursday is an oft underrated day of the week.

First, last night was a milestone. I had ice cream for the first time since Mother’s Day. My  3 whole days of strength and will power are to be commemorated.

Secondly, we tried a brand new pizza place specializing in “healthy” pizza and it was amazing. It is called Pizza BOGO and their whole business model is around hormone free, antibiotic free, and organic ingredients. They have a flax seed miracle crust and were running a special for as many large unlimited topping pizzas you want just $5. I was in vegetarian, clean eating heaven. Anytime you tell me pizza is healthy, I’m going to make you proud with the vast amounts I consume. I will definitely be revisiting Pizza BOGO frequently.

The third and final celebration related directly to me is that I ran 6 hot miles thinking I was going slow, but realized I was going quite fast and had an epic run, seemingly without effort. Day 549 of the runstreak was completed well. I also had an epiphany regarding self-image during this run. I realized I don’t care what people who look at me and watch me run think. I used to only run in the metro park because you rarely encountered cars or people. I thought others were judging my pace, sweat, or stride. Today I’ll gladly galavant anywhere soaked in sweat and salt crystals. I earned my stride. I’ve fought for my pace. I’ve also realized that most people just stare because they are truly amazed you would run so much with no one chasing you. I smell admiration off them. (On a side note I passed a PTA mom on my run with her hair perfectly coiffed, fully made up, and a cute yoga outfit on doing a little perfume scented jog in the neighborhood. I did not let that deter my salt infused, hair soaking wet, BO scented self-esteem from running proud.)

20130516-175604.jpg Gentry celebrated yet another trip to the grocery store with mom. He gets free cookies when we go to Giant Eagle and gets to drive the car. We were also celebrating my very healthy choice to take advantage of the 4 (12 packs) for $11 coke zero sale. In all honesty, my soda consumption is significantly lower than it was a year ago. I’m baby stepping away from drinking it all together. I’m not even drinking a can a day, however I do dream of it often so that is why I write about it so much.

20130516-175611.jpgToday we are celebrating Reese’s amazing participation in our LifeGroup Bible Study last night. Of his own volition, he took out a notebook and pencil and wrote down scriptures, memory verses, and took notes on the lesson. He also participated like a champ. That boy is hiding God’s word in His heart.

20130516-175623.jpgWe are celebrating Reese running faster than any other kid at the Forest Elementary School Family Fitness night.

20130516-175631.jpgWe are celebrating how much fun we had at Gentry’s end of the year picnic at his pre-school with all of his friends and the fact that I ate no desserts at the potluck and stuck with fresh fruit and salad. I really am better behaved than I let on, but it’s not as much fun to share all of my good choices. Bad choices are more intriguing.

20130516-175648.jpgAnd the biggest celebration of the week is that Gentry graduated from Pre-K like a champ. He is now a certificate holding finisher of John Knox Presbyterian pre-K and armed with all the knowledge he needs to take Kindergarten by storm.

20130516-175700.jpgCelebrating family: Mimi with her boys at Gentry’s graduation

20130516-175716.jpgCelebrating Gentry’s stellar performance skills. This kid has no fear of public speaking, singing, dancing, and poem reciting. Be on the look out for him on the front page of your favorite news website someday. This beats his former no fear of removing his pants in public. Thankfully he grew out of that stage so you aren’t reading about him for less than savory reasons.

What is worth celebrating in your life this week?– I am celebrating that tree pollen seems to be climaxing. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. (As I look through watery, red, itchy eyes glazed over by springs finest torture makers)

What is one of your favorite new “healthy” food discoveries? Seriously check out Pizza BOGO

5 Epic Failures

It’s not a problem to make mistakes, everyone does, but it is a problem if you don’t learn from them.

Epic Failure #1

This past Friday I realized that I had made a hugely, terrible epic mistake. I had done my weekly haul at Costco (that little piece of heaven on earth where I buy all my fresh produce and super healthy items because we eat those types of things in epic proportions at my house and I would have to go to store and spend $5,678 a day if I went to an average grocery store) and I had returned home, unloaded it all, and realized I had forgotten to purchase my Chobani yogurts. This my friends was a failure of “IRS tracking tea partyer” size. Even on sale, the cheapest you can find Chobani at the local grocery store is $1.00 per container, but at Costco, even when it is not on sale and doesn’t have a coupon it only averages out to about $.85 a container. My body basically lives and thrives on that protein infused goodness, so I had to make a second trip to Costco that week where I bought not one box of 15 yogurts, but 2 to be safe. I am so lucky that I outsmarted myself on that second trip. Epic fail to Epic win in the matter of 48 hours!

Refridgerated proof of my bounty.
Refrigerated proof of my bounty.

My Tweet: Costco twice in one week because I forgot my Bought 2 boxes to play it safe.

Their Reply: Phew! Can’t risk running out.

Epic Failure #2

That second trip to Costco reminded me of another major failure I have had that also involves Costco and that is the failure to grocery shop without a fully staffed nanny firm as my entourage. My boys adore Costco and all of their glorious samples and friendly staff members. I do try to go though when I only have one boy with me instead of both, or if I have the hubby for back up. On one such trip all bets were off. I was getting into the fridge to pull out some milk and I heard a lady behind me snap at me for my kids. I turned around to see what her deal was and saw my kids climbing in the freezers and having a dance party. I definitely was mortified, however, I thought the lady was totally nasty in the way she dealt with it. Nobody was injured. Nobody died. Nobody was bothered by the incident except the lady who woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Other customers got a chuckle. I was embarrassed, but what parent has gone their entire parenting career without one grocery store fiasco? I doubt there is even one on this planet. I guess you learn really quickly that turning your back for even 2.2 seconds can be an epic failure.

Epic Failure #3

Another epic failure that many women in general make is looking to romance movies to find out how to navigate real, committed, long-term relationships. A single friend of mine texted me this weekend that they were watching “Notting Hill” and crying. I texted this friend back and told him the truth. I said:

After 12 years of marriage the line “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.” (So sweet and sappy )

Becomes: “I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to fold laundry.”

I then had to send the obligatory LOL on the text because truth be told my marriage is still sweet, sappy, and easy to navigate 87.56% of the time. I’m blessed!

Epic Failure #4

On my 8 mile run this morning my Garmin did not work at all until after mile 1. There was extreme heavy cloud cover, so I don’t know if that contributed or not. I passed what I knew to be the 1 mile mark at minute 9 and it was saying I had only gone .2 miles. Needless to say, I stopped the watch, got a new signal, and then took off on my run happy spree. It was a great run once I resolved my technical issues. One day I’ll learn to run “naked” and just let myself go without being married to my GPS watch. I’m totally addicted to it though. I love seeing the results of my time per mile, my overall distance, and my calorie burn. I would hate to have even .1 of my run not count on my chart. I will be sharing yearly mileage goals with you very soon.

Epic Failure #5

Participating in an ugly sweater contest and allowing yourself to be inserted into photographic evidence as such. Disclaimer: My husband won, but I bought him the shirt so I should get at least 2nd place right?

20130514-150029.jpgChristmas 2012

 

20130514-145940.jpgSo Diet Dr. Pepper might not be a superfood, but you can’t be perfect all the time and it’s supergood. That makes this snack just a 50% fail but a 100% taste bud dance party.

20130514-145947.jpgThe perfect lunch. A Baked Sweet Potato with cinnamon and an egg sandwich served up all classy like on my finest plates and table decor.

Have you ever seen the “Google Chrome” Stewy commercial? It is the complete opposite of a mistake or failure. It is hard core fact. I’m thinking it is oscar worthy material. Mom. Mum. Mommy. Mother. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mum. Mum. Mommy………..

What epic mistake have you made this week?

 

 

SuperMom

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Today is a very special day. I look at it as a day to say “Happy female empowerment”. While not all women are mothers, and while mother’s day does not conjure up warm fuzzies for everyone, we can celebrate that care giving spirit that God put into women today. I am thankful that for me today is a “Happy Mother’s Day” type of day. I was raised by a virtuous, faithful loving woman and I am privileged to be raising children of my own. I have a Godly, praying Mother in Law, and I’m praying circles around the future wives of my sons. We will not be the statistic.

As the mother of boys only, I am praying that this statement will not apply to my future “A daughter is a daughter all of her life, but a son is only a son until he takes a wife”. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

20130512-153639.jpgAfter I got up at 5:30 and did my short Sunday morning run (The pace of each mile was expedited by the fact a pack of deer were chasing me), I came home to these 2 amazing snuggly little guys bouncing off walls, filled with excitement to hug and kiss me while singing “Happy Mother’s Day to you” to the tune of the birthday song. I’m thinking that these moments are part of the riches of my inheritance in Christ.

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Just a few of the ladies, all of whom mean the world to me, willing to pose with their carnations today.

The Bridge Church was wonderful today. I was so blessed by the “Life Change” story shared by a friend of mine today at the opening of church of the power of God working in her life through the Bridge Church. This is what my life is all about. Chains be broken…..Lives be Healed….Hearts be opened….as Christ is revealed. The sermon was a glimpse into the life and mind of Mary, the mother of Christ. First, it wasn’t odd to her at all to be confronted with angelic visitation and the voice of God. Secondly, we choose which voices we want to have guide our lives and Mary chose to go with the voice of the angel and the voice/promise of God over the pressures and voices on the outside and over her own comfort. Even though my husband preached today with a male perspective instead of me with a female perspective, he’s a super mother lover and said I was his visiting angel, so it was amazing.

20130512-160213.jpgRocking the sermon

20130512-153620.jpgI knew you would be super disappointed and not able to live one more day if you didn’t see a picture of my food. I had the most amazing strawberry, pecan, feta cheese, and other random various fruits and onions salad as my appetizer. I wish I could have someone deliver me this awesomeness on a daily basis. I’m glad I was able to be with my mom and my boys at lunch today. There is nothing sweeter than generations attending church together and then eating lots of good celebratory food with each other.

(Repentance followed by gluttony followed by repentance. Gotta love the cycle)

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A passel of both purchased and homemade cards from my men. Be still my heart!

20130512-153553.jpgPeeking through all of my mother’s day flowers at the boys who call me “Mom”. (Eventually every kid in the neighborhood was in my yard. I hope their moms got some rest while I corralled all of their kids 🙂 )

20130512-153559.jpgA glimpse at a page in the book Reese wrote to and about me for Mother’s Day. I love his artistic rendition of my appearance and his views on my fashion choices.

20130512-153605.jpgThe card Reese picked for me. It plays a hilarious song. His perception of me totally cracks me up. I guess I’m pretty obvious! No more hiding my stealth type “A” get on top of everything skills.

20130512-153611.jpg20130512-153615.jpgCoffee with my favorite NBA stars, and a game of “Who loves mom?”.

20130512-153644.jpgThe grand finale of the SuperMom post is a picture of me exactly 8 years ago, 7 days before Reese entered the world and became the first to call me mother. He was born on May 8, 2005, which was Mother’s Day that year.

  • Do you ever wonder how in the world your belly, or your wife or mother’s belly, ever got that ginormous and then eventually returned to normal? The miracle of life is astounding!
  • What was the best thing that you have eaten so far today?
  • What is your idea of a fabulous mother’s day?

Deep Thoughts

What good is starting tomorrow when you can stop being lazy and start today?

Since this blog is in part a leadership blog (Isn’t that obvious from all of my food pictures I post?), I thought that I would spend today sharing with you some of the deep thoughts I have been thinking over the course of my last several runs. Spending hours alone with nothing but the birds, the pollen, your tennis shoes, and a little bit of concrete separating you from your brain creates a magical place where genius is born.

Workout Review:

Yesterday I ran 3.25 miles followed by strength training and weights (The Kettle Bell DOMS never kicked in so I ramped it up even more. I’m in total post half marathon beast mode), and today I did a nice, breezy 6 mile run.

Food Review:

I’m feeling like my glycogen stores are stocked up adequately for a coast to coast non stop run. I even said no to cake at a community event I attended Thursday night because at some point the party has to stop. It is always a delicate balance to eat enough to build and maintain muscle, keep a healthy metabolism, fight off the scary runners appetite from increased mileage, and maintain weight loss. My weight hovers in a 3-4 pound range that I like to keep it at to feel strong, fit, and healthy. On any given week I will hit both the bottom and top of the range and this is perfectly normal based on hydration, digestion, activity, hormones, and a whole host of other things like if I ate an entire gallon of ice cream or not the night before or whether I ran 18 miles or 8 the previous day. (I don’t see how it is possible to keep your weight identical, so I have established a range and I WORK to stay within it. It does not just magically happen. I established a range so 1-2 pounds of water weight or life issues won’t freak me out. It is when I get out of that little perfect range that I freak out and do an intervention.)

Deep Thought #1:

  • The weather in Cleveland is not like the weather in Southern California

In typical Cleveland fashion, we got amnesia about what it is really like here and got too comfortable with the amazing weather spell we have had. I stepped outside this morning almost regretting my short sleeves when I noticed the sun was not coming out today and that we were sitting in the 40 degree Fahrenheit range. It’s a good thing that I’m such a salty runner. I managed to get in a good sweat even in short sleeves today. I need to quit following running bloggers in LA. It is just depressing to see the sunshine they “endure” on a daily basis.

Deep thought #2

  • Know your strength zone and stay in that zone.

Reese wanted Chick Fil A as the last stop on his birthday week tour today. The birthday week has to end because tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and therefore, the party is all about me again. (Who am I kidding? It’s about my mom. Nobody cares about me. Once you reach 60+ I guess you’ve earned the right to pick the restaurant.) Our local Chick Fil A has updated their menu to include the nutritional information right on the board in compliance with all these new Anti-Obesity laws Michelle Obama has been pushing. The greatest thing to come from these new menus is the realization that it is better for me to eat 2 Spicy Chicken Sandwiches instead of having a milkshake. Jonathan and I were extra starving today for some reason and so we both caved and ate a second sandwich. I am only admitting this publicly because I was able to get my vegetable servings in with the extra pickles I ordered on BOTH of my sandwiches. I guess it’s a good thing I have eaten numerous super foods today as well and that I ran 6 miles.

20130511-133113.jpgSide Note: Truett Cathy knew his strength zone. Instead of a career in modeling, he pursued business ownership. Think of how different the world would’ve been if he had chased a dream out of his skill set.

Deep Thought #3:

  • Not all diet books are good for you

I’m a pretty big fan of Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, and the mission of the Biggest Loser Crowd. In fact, I have read numerous Jillian books and Bob Harper’s book “Skinny Rules” really impacted me. I now drink my coffee black because that is a skinny rule (I don’t even know how I stomached cream before. Now that I’ve gone black I’ll never go back) However, I do not recommend Bob’s new book “Jumpstart to Skinny”. I got it at the library excited to learn a few new tips for my arsenal and was completely off put by it. He advocates full blown dieting and we all know that does not work. It is just a temporary fix. The only thing in that book that will change your life is to increase your water intake. Oftentimes dehydration masks itself as false hunger. Guzzle water all day long and just taper back some near bed time so you don’t have a miserable night clubbing in the WC. In fact, I just stopped mid sentence and got a glass of water just so I could practice what I preach. you will never find me being hypocritical on water intake. I have always been a huge drinker. I come from a long line of super thirsty folks, but I never paid attention to how different my body felt and looked when I drank lots of water versus when I was drinking illegal amounts of Diet Soda, Crystal Light, and any other zero calorie beverage. (If it has zero calories it must be healthy in ocean size doses correct?) So now, especially in light of the runstreak, I make an effort to get most of my liquid intake from water (with or without lemon, but preferably ice cold).

As a weight loss success story myself, I can’t even imagine following his advice of eating only 800 calories a day. I eat that for one snack (joking). I do realize that with my runstreak and various races that I exercise more than your average gal. In fact, I have to have a take no prisoners approach to stay fitting my size 6’s, but I feel drastically better eating a clean, balanced, hearty diet combined with exercise. I have done calorie restriction and it was a losing battle for me. It never lasted, I always felt lethargic, and I would gain the weight back in the form of fat. Even when I was “dieting” in a sense to lose my 55 pounds to get where I’m at now, I still ate around 1,800 calories a day because I was changing my lifestyle, not “jumpstarting” myself to being skinny for 5 minutes just to yo-yo back. Bob, I know you mention exercise and I know you emphasize fruits and veggies and water and all of that is good, but other aspects of this book should be titled “Jumpstart to Starvation and Anger”.

Deep Thought #4:

  • Running is a great way to multi-task

Many people do not exercise because they don’t have time for it. I propose that if you have even 20 minutes to watch TV, read this blog, check your twitter/Facebook, or get a second helping of dinner, you have time to break a sweat. Now, it may be true that you don’t want to make time to workout 7 days a week, so just start with 3. Regardless, before you know it, you will crave exercise and you will start sacrificing other things in life to make time for it.

I do a lot of my personal growth and development when I run. I listen to leadership podcasts, sermons, lengthy passages of bible reading (the YouVersion app will read to you), and I get to work on our worship songs for Sunday. I know our Worship/Creative guy probably won’t read this, so I will tell you that he’s quite the vigilante on getting everything just so. I am sure my neighbors appreciate hearing me practice all the lyrics and my alto part loudly while I run. This is good training for my lungs too. I can do speedwork, memorize lyrics, bust out a crazy praise, and work on harmonies all at the same time.

In full disclosure, sometimes I like to run with no iPhone/ear buds and sometimes I have to have tunes that really pump me up, so I need some Pop Fitness Radio. I don’t suppose you can fit my habits in a box. I like to spice it up.

20130511-131112.jpgWhile these songs are not in the Pop Fitness category and are a tad on the slow side for an epic run, I do appreciate the mind, body, spirit fuel that they provide for a great workout and I’m going to be prepared like a boss for worship service tomorrow.

Deep Thought #5:

  • I found a dollar on the ground on my run

Very few things will get me to slow down or come to a near halt on a run. Once I lose my rhythm, it takes me a while to get back into it and it is like starting all over again. However, I found a dollar on the ground covered in ants and stopped to pick it up and blow all the ants of. If a penny saved is a penny earned, then I just saved 100 cents! This my friends, is deep. Who says it doesn’t pay to run?

20130511-131129.jpgDeep Thought: This kid just played some killer Tee-Ball and is unbelievably attractive. I can’t believe I’m a mom and raising such a handsome, well-adjusted child. This is proof of God’s grace.

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My mom, me, and my boys earlier this week. Happy Mother’s Day!

20130511-133924.jpgDeep Thought: My mom is really lucky that she was able to give birth to, mother, and raise my brother and I. Not all moms are privileged to be in the presence of such greatness.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies out there this weekend. Mother’s Day can be a mixed bag for a lot of people. Grief, death, betrayal, loneliness, insecurities, abuse, abandonment, abortion, adoption, dysfunction, and unmet expectations can cloud the day, but remember there is healing and hope!

What are you doing to celebrate mother’s day?

What are some of the deep things of life that have been heavy on your mind?

What do you listen to when you run?

Living the High Life

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I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.

(3 John 1:4 NLT)

This week we are busting through milestones like crazy in the Buckland house. Today was Gentry’s last day of Pre-School/Pre-K EVER!! He graduates on Monday and I remember when I thought he would snuggle in my arms forever. I thought he would never wean from nursing and that he certainly would never be potty trained. My mind had convinced itself that I would be elbow deep in dairy production and poo forever, and then, bam…it happened. They started growing up. Does anyone else feel that from the moment your kids start school, even if it is just pre-school, that time flips a Fast Forward button?

The second milestone is that Reese turned 8. Eight suits Reese rather well. He is developing into his own. There are many things about him that have matured exponentially over the last few months. In addition to revealing his gifting for teaching, admonition, instruction, mentorship, research, memorization, and writing, his basketball skills have gone to the next level. I am very thankful that I can raise him in the truth of Cleveland sports. Nothing teaches you to fight for the fruits of the Spirit in your life and learn resilience like being a Cleveland sports fan. I woke up this morning to him being fully decked out from head to toe in some of his new birthday gear. He wanted to be ready in time to have his morning research and writing time and his hoop shooting practice time before we walked to the bus. You seriously can’t teach that level of dedication!

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You may be shocked to discover that this blog is in part about healthy eating and fitness. Seed-Lead-Run-Eat-Repeat

Sometimes, however, we get stuck in a pattern of eating and repeating things outside of the scope of our meal plan. The meal plan is part time vegetarian but most of the time clean and healthy. I strive for an 80% clean and healthy to a 20% party time ratio. The problem with the Buckland clan calendar is that Easter, my birthday, Reese’s birthday, and mother’s day all pile up on top of each other making my “splurges” seem like they are a way of life. If you are new to this blog, you may have whiplash from the fact that two days ago I was posting about all of the superfoods I am striving to eat regularly and then today I have pictures of Five Guys and Cupcakes. It’s ok though. I googled spring weight gain today and apparently I’m not alone in the fact that when the sun comes out I want to party all night and all day long and enjoy good food and good friends. I am on top of the situation though. Have no fear! Reese did request Five Guys and I was good ordering only the little cheeseburger, even though my heart wanted 2 doubles. Then, I absolutely had to have one of Costco’s famous Chocolate Cupcakes. Literally Costco cupcakes are the size of a small toddler. They have 750 calories in them, and every bite will make you glad you are alive.

As a side note, when looking up the calories, my LiveStrong App computed the calories for an entire Costco Sheet Cake…..12, 567. I am beginning to feel better about myself. I have never eaten an entire Sheet Cake in one sitting. I’m feeling a challenge coming on? 🙂

So, I delivered Reese a happy meal for lunch to school, Five Guys for Dinner, an ice cream social and cultural arts night at his school, and Cupcakes. I think my mom of the year meter is going on up Reese’s end and plummeting to new depths on Michelle Obama’s end. Thank God this isn’t an everyday occurrence. Today has been all health and wellness but I won’t bore you with those details. We will get back on track tomorrow.

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Getting in a workout on Reese’s birthday at Teeball. Reese was burning calories lapping the playground and telling all the younger kids what to do.

 

20130509-175911.jpgMe, my momma, and our reasons for living rocking the party flow.

20130509-175929.jpg20130509-180116.jpgLet the good times and great gifts roll!

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It’s my last day of Pre-School. Kindergarten is going to be way more awesome.

What is your best parenting moment?

Do you allow yourself to step off the healthy train periodically? What ratio do you strive to live by?

I will tell you that I NEVER compromise exercise though. I may eat 8 gallons of ice cream in one sitting, but I will lace up the tennis shoes for damage control.

 

 

How to Avoid Terrifying Toilets

If it is important enough to you, you will find a way. If it is not, you will find an excuse. 

(Mantra’s like this have gotten me through many tough days. Since life has no do-overs, don’t waste it with excuses!)

Many said it couldn’t be done. Today (May 7) in 1954 Rodger Banister proved them wrong by running a mile in sub-4 minutes. Impossible things happen.

I mentioned that I wanted to do a brief recap of the Capital City Half Marathon Race Expo and Race day.  The Capital City Marathon really is a great race to participate in. Everyone is nice, the crowd support is enthusiastic, the course takes you through all the main highlights of Columbus, and you get to chill with around 14,000 of your closest friends. Thankfully all three years that I have run the Cap Half have been accompanied by decent weather. This year was special though to me because, not only did I PR, but it was the first race that I have run side by side my main squeeze. He generally is a faster runner than me, so we hit all the expos together and hang out around the port a john’s, but then we split ways about 1 mile into the run. This time, he paced me through like a champ, bringing back memories of his stellar delivery room coaching skills when we had our 2 sons. Having a good looking man by my side to distract me and yell at me when needed, was just what the doctor ordered.

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The hero the day before the race. Somehow, he still manages to look this good even after a long run though. Guys are so lucky. Not a hair moves out of place.
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At about 6:15 AM on Race Day Morning, I knew the running weather Gods were smiling at us.

20130506-130256.jpg20130506-130350.jpgJonathan finding out the root of all of his problems from this nice sports medicine professional. Too bad they didn’t have a mental health professional. We would’ve been there a while! 🙂20130506-130405.jpg20130506-142200.jpgAs a side note, isn’t it funny how when I don’t have my kids with me, Jonathan becomes my object of obsession again? I guess I need someone to dote on and take copious pictures of. Love my men.

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Getting it all ready the night before. I love my spibelt by the way. No more safety pins ripping my nice technical shirts. My race day bib just hangs on to the belt and I can stash all of my essentials in it too. If I have any say in it, I will be bringing back the fanny pack. All runners know how amazing a good hip purse is.

Here are glimpses into the race day Expo. If you have never done a medium to large city race, you need to. It will most definitely provide you with the motivation that you need to keep exercising. It is so inspiring to see all of the people from all sizes, shapes, skin colors, countries, and back grounds come together to achieve a moment of personal greatness. Not everyone will win a major sports championship, but almost everyone can cross the finish line of a large race feeling like they are surrounded by adoring fans. Small town 5K’s and gimmick runs do not provide this same feeling of Olympic stardom, but they can be a good place to start. I really hope that I can inspire you to run. I have found nothing that helps balance my mind, body, and spirit for maximization like running does. (Riding my bike is a pretty close second, but running is still my go to.)

Race expos are a great place to find and purchase running gear. I got my Mother’s Day gift early, a new pair of Brook’s Adrenaline GTS-13. Jonathan finagled us an even better deal than the rock bottom price they were already offering since we were buying two pairs. The His and Her shoes are our big holiday gift to each other. Yes, we are weird and frugal.

The main expense involved in running is keeping your feet blanketed in appropriate wear. I have flat feet, bunions, and a whole host of other foot related issues, so if I didn’t spring for shoes I would be bed ridden or crippled. I try to buy my shoes at the cheapest possible prices. I have purchased them from race expos, zappos, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Nordstrom Rack depending on who has the lowest prices at the moment of my need. This requires some sleuth skills, but even with nice tennis shoes every 4-5 months (depending on the mileage I’m running), running is infinitely cheaper than risking my health. (Remember my dad was in his 30’s when his kidneys failed and he had complications of diabetes and heart disease leading to his death at 51). I must stay in shape and keep my weight down. I always tell myself this isn’t about my appearance, it is literally life or death. I guess I’m blessed in a morbid way to already have a view of the grave and my mortality at only 33 years old. After all the Bible says “Teach us to number our days and make our days count.”

20130506-142142.jpgPeeking at the finish line and getting excited for the after party. Seriously, who ordered the weather we had over the weekend? Good job!

Pre-Race Fuel:  Bagel with Grape Jelly and some Mixed Fruit and a Small amount of coffee and water

You want to be hydrated and caffeinated, but you want to avoid stopping at the potty during the race if you want to PR, and you discover that the pre-race bathroom lines are INSANE, so you only want to wait in line and go as few times as possible. I was totally shocked at my first official race by the bathroom scene. It is also common and accepted practice at these events to discuss your personal number 1’s and 2’s with total strangers. It is like being at a “Mommy and Me” meeting where women discuss ultra personal health, hygeine, and birthing stories with each other. Don’t be grossed out though. You can learn a lot about how to be a better runner by learning to fuel, hydrate, and go to the bathroom well.

During race fuel: A Mandarin Orange Flavored GU and Gatorade or Water at fuel stations as needed (Seriously you haven’t lived until you have gotten a drink at a fuel station. Watch up for cups flying into your face, friendly volunteers, and people getting tangled with each other.)

Post Race Recovery: Water, Free Panera Bread Cinnamon Crunch Bagel (heaven handed out at the finish line), Coke Zero, and Coffee

I can guarantee you that the Capital City Half marathon toilets weren’t near as scary as a toilet I used on Sunday. The bathroom was full of advertisements on getting screened for HIV and STD’s. It definitely brings comfort to your soul to know that the majority of people using these public toilets with you are living lifestyles that would urge them to get frequent tests on their bodily fluids.

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What is your worst public bathroom experience?

Any race day hydrating or fueling strategies that you would like to share?

What is your favorite recovery beverage after a long run? I always crave caffeine, so it is an ice cold soda (preferably Coke Zero even though it has ZERO nutritional value) or coffee once I’ve had my water or a sports drink with electrolytes as needed.

How to run a mile

You can’t grow if you can’t be uncomfortable.-@leadershipfreak

Growth moments occur with one foot on solid ground and one foot firmly in midair. Growth happens “where the sidewalk ends.”

The bottom line is that you can’t do anything if you first don’t start. Two and a half years ago I couldn’t even run one mile from start to finish and was 55 pounds larger than I am today. Saturday I will run my 6th official half marathon race (I’ve also raced a full). Contrast that to this morning when I ran 1.5 miles just to keep my run streak alive (the powers that be usually recommend a complete rest day before a race) and literally felt like I had done absolutely nothing. Two and half years ago I would’ve wept at running a solid 1.5 miles, and now it felt like almost a waste of all the time and effort it took to put my clothes and tennis shoes on, but keeping the run streak alive is no joke! Keeping these 55 pounds off and toning up a body marred by two pregnancies and 14,000 years of yo-yo dieting is no small task. This girl is on fire. I’m not letting anyone slow my go. I’ve come to far to turn back now. (I think I have the makings of a political speech. Please vote for me. I’m Citizen of the Year.)

20130503-101634.jpg Because I have learned that you are all dying to know what I eat, when I go to the restroom, and the temperature that I like the room set at, I didn’t want to forget to leave you with these nuggets of information. In keeping with the part-time vegetarian lifestyle, once my Daniel Fast was over this week (the Daniel Fast is more vegan than vegetarian), I had an amazing egg sandwich for lunch. This is my go to lunch 4/7 days a week usually, unless I’m on one of my nut butter kicks. I get my protein. It tastes delicious. It is very filling. And, it has the health muscle building fats and complete yada yada yada that you need to thrive. I add one serving of cheese on the egg and place it on two slices of whole grain bread with a serving of strawberry jelly. It will change your life. Try it ASAP.

20130503-101640.jpgRaising the kiddos as part-time Vegemite’s too. They don’t know it though. They just like the healthy food to make them big and strong. Food always tastes better on a cartoon plate. Look at all this protein and body building fruit from Gentry’s snack/lunch combo yesterday. Yum.

20130503-101651.jpgOne of two of my favorite athletes.

My delicious breakfast today! A perfectly healthy and delicious carb loading oppourtunity.
My delicious breakfast today! A perfectly healthy and delicious carb loading opportunity.

Full disclosure: I followed that gorgeous plate with a bagel and jelly. I definitely think that extra glycogen will buy me a first place win.

My first full fat, whole milk cappucino since the fall. I'm not going to lie, the foam is amazing with whole milk.
My first full fat, whole milk cappuccino since the fall. I’m not going to lie, the foam is amazing with whole milk. Good thing I ran a whole mile this morning.

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Before you are jealous of what you perceive to be my at home coffee bar and perfectly crafted breakfast, you must be made aware that I’m out of town for a business trip that coincided beautifully on the calendar, in the same city, with my Half Marathon tomorrow (a Race and Expo Recap will be going down on the blog) at a hotel with unlimited Starbucks coffee. I caution all citizens to be on high alert because by 8 AM this morning I was about a gallon of the goodness into my day. I “hydrate” so well for races. I’m following all of the rules. I mean, certainly coffee is better than water correct? It’s a bean!

I love it when business and pleasure piggyback. Isn’t that what life is-a mesh of mind, body, spirit, work, and play?

Seed, Lead, Run, Eat, Repeat: I love the cycle.

Learn when to work, when to play, and when to rest. It isn’t weird at all that I consider running 13.1 miles rest. Mind. Body. Spirit.

He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame. (Proverbs 10:5 ESV)

Ok, now I want a vacation. Seed, Lead, Run, Eat, Repeat. Fly away to Australia for 3 weeks (I wish)

How do you make sure that your work involves play and your play includes work? We don’t want any workaholics or sloths. We were created for so much more than the extremes.

Climate Change

Fact: Every run counts. Every bit of junk food hurts. It’s not a game. It’s your life and health.

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The weather here in the Cleveland Metro Area has finally started to meet my standard of approval. I am not one to complain of the weather, because if you wanted paradise in terms of temperature and weather patterns, you probably shouldn’t live in North East Ohio. However, there comes a point at which when snow is falling in April that you throw your hands up in the air like a child and start trying to call fire down from heaven like Elijah. Thankfully, global climate change caught up with us and we are enjoying pure heaven on earth this week. I took the kids on a bike ride to the park to play with about a hundred of our closest friends. I am doing my best to instill good food and fitness principles into them without making an issue of it. Like in other areas of my life, I am striving to lead by example. I think eating disorders and an odd relationship with food are born by people obsessing too much about the weight of their kids or making certain foods forbidden (Notice my theory in practice in the above photo. Gentry rode his bike two miles round trip and that necessitated the ingestion of the leftover Easter peeps. He needed to boost those glycogen stores). Model good habits and patterns and get your kids off the couch and outside. Since the weather has been nice my children, and just about ever kid in the neighborhood, have been playing in our yard for hours.

On this bike ride, Reese informed me of all of the good things he is learning at school, like how the fact that we own 2 cars is killing the environment. He told me that we need to get rid of our vehicles and ride our bikes or walk everywhere so that we can stop destroying the earth. He was sent on a mission with his classmates to tell their parents all of the horrible things they are doing on a daily basis to ensure our planet is annihilated. These tidbits of knowledge will serve him well. Who needs math and language arts skills anyway when you are armed with these inconvenient “truths”? I told Reese that I will take him up on that next time we have to go somewhere that is beyond the 2 mile radius of our home and see how his little legs keep up.

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Vegetarian can be delicious. To the left is a HUGE pan of Oven Roasted Vegetables I made seasoned only with a little Mrs. Dash. To the right is Organic Brown Rice (Bought in a 987 pound package at Costco) and Stir Fried vegetables. I really do enjoy eating like this as long as I'm not within 3 miles of smelling a Five Guy's Burgers and Fries.

In other news did you know that eating meat is also destroying the planet. Who knew? It’s a good thing that Meatless Monday was turned into Meatless Tuesday and Meatless Wednesday this week. At the end of one month and beginning of another month, Jonathan and I do at least a 3 day vegetarian regime commonly referred to as a Daniel’s Fast. I will write more on this later, but in short, we like to “tithe” a segment of time of our month in a season of more intense focus.(Most months are 30 days, hence a 3 day fast.)  This is for renewal physically, spiritually, and mentally. As mind, body, and spirit, we can’t ignore the fact that life has a way of adding pollutants, a Spiritual climate change if you will, and the only way to break through the fog is for your body to feel healthy and renewed, your mind to be focused on things outside of yourself, and your Spirit to be in tune with God. It sure did not hurt that our end of April/beginning of May vegetarian spree occurred right as I was detoxing from the birthday celebrations. These short little fasts every month always make me feel so energetic in both Spirit and body. I encourage you to read up on this and start implementing it. I will be blogging much more about it in the future. Science has also proven that seasons of fasting can prolong your life, so even if you don’t care about Spiritual renewal and mental focus, your health will thank you.

What do you implement in your life to reset your mind, body, and Spirit?

What is your favorite vegetable?

How do you hand the “Inconvenient Truth” of climate change?

I recycle. I try to be a good steward of the earth. I do not litter. I do, however, like having a car.

 

Are you ready for a miracle?

I don’t run to add days to my life. I run to add life to my days.

suavedryshampooAussie

Everyday is a new opportunity for a miracle. I thought I would share some tips with you to ensure that you never miss a moment of excellence in your life. As a runner, especially a runstreaker (completed day 534 this morning), you naturally sweat a whole lot, and if you value friendship, family, and your job, you will shower after you run. This sacred truth is even infinitely more true for those of us who are super salty glow sticks even in sub arctic temperatures. This actually presents quite a challenge if you are a female with long hair. The dirty little secret that long haired girls have is that we don’t wash our hair daily. Perhaps there are a few of you out there that get a gold star or have naturally shiny, healthy hair despite overuse, but for the majority of us, we are walking the tight rope between hair that is like straw on the ends, but clean on the scalp, or moisturized and silky throughout with a vat of Crisco on top.

Is anyone else jealous of how their husbands, sons, and other men can just shower, towel off, dab a spray of hairspray or a little squeeze of gel and set off looking like a million bucks?

I have a few tips to share with you that will change your life as a female that desires to be physically fit without engaging in hours of primping. First of all, always wash your hair on medium and long run days. No matter what, mileage over 5-6 miles should come with a Public Service announcement encouraging you to use shampoo and conditioner. However, on your shorter run days (or cross training days if that is your thing), or on your strength training days, be nice to your straw ends and give them a break from the washing, drying, pulling, and primping. The greatest discovery of my generation was dry shampoo. It used to be expensive and I never bought it, but now Suave and other drug store brands make and sell it for less than the price of a Latte. You just spray a little of that on your scalp and it absorbs oils from your scalp without affecting your ends. It has a nice neutralizing smell too, so you don’t start smelling like a 15-year-old boy.

The next wonder worker is the “3 minute miracle” from Aussie. I have bought about every brand of deep conditioner or hair mask from all price ranges, and have found the $3 Aussie brand is the best for me. I get unsolicited comments from all 3 of my men on how soft my hair feels on the days I use it. I use it once or twice a week, depending on how my hair is holding up, and then use just regular voluminous conditioner on the other days.

My hair use to be super dry, super crunchy, and super scrunching. Up until 3 months ago I used gel and mousse and hair spray daily. Thankfully one of my friends witnessed to me about how even though the clothes from the 80’s are back in style, my hair belongs back in 1983. She saved me. She introduced me to smoothing serums and heat protection products and Moroccan oils and my hair is being resilient. After years of wearing my hair curly and wavy, I have been wearing it straight, and when I do curl it, I avoid the scrunchy, permy 80’s curl, and actually use hot rollers. I’m an unstoppable fashion force. I need to pay my tithes to this friend because she made me see the light.

Whatever you choose to do with your hair, please remember to bathe every crevice of your entire body daily regardless!! There are no shortcuts for fresh arm pits and zit free faces outside of a good old fashioned cleansing. I’m petitioning the Lord to add this wisdom to the book of Proverbs.

20130501-131528.jpgI am not a fan of “selfie’s”, however, my full-time personal photographer needed the day off. I love to run with a pontyail, however, a super attractive and fancy updo like this keeps the hair off your scalp and neck much more effectively and efficiently keeping the oils, sweat, and grease to a minimum.

What products and hair-do’s have revolutionized your life?
Are you a duck faced “selfie” addict?
How often do you wash your hair and why?

 

Who is my neighbor?

The difference between who you are now and who you want to be is the work you put in.

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I am super proud of my husband. You have to admit that he is a rock star. When we first started dating, he told me that his dream was to be a rock star. Although I’m pretty sure this was tongue in cheek, when you decide to plant a church you have to be willing to wear many, many hats and Jonathan has been totally owning the drummer hat. We are, however, accepting applications for the Bridge Church drummer position in case you were wondering. Jonathan would give up that seat in 3.2 seconds if somebody able AND talented wanted it.

On Sunday, after playing with mad skill, Jonathan continued our Parables Sermon Series at the Bridge Church with the parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke Chapter 10 is where you can read the parable).  This parable speaks to me every single time. I think we have all been guilty of being so busy, even busy with good things, that we neglect the greatest calling that we have, and that is to serve, bless, and minister to those around us. Too many people are more interested in getting people to COME to them that they fail to GO and tell or GO and show or GO and share.

An individual who is more interested in building barriers rather than bridges has missed the heart of the GOSPEL!

Barriers can be big or small. Sometimes barriers aren’t even spiritual, but they are cultural. We don’t want to step outside of our comfort zone or interrupt our schedules. We are inherently selfish. I know this to be true because you have to TEACH your children to share. They aren’t born wanting their sibling to have a turn on the swings, they have to be taught that. We must learn to teach ourselves to share of our time, talent, and treasure and look at people with the same compassion that Jesus looked at us. Jesus came to save the entire world and his mission on earth was only 33 years long and his ministry was only 3 years long and yet he was never too busy to be interrupted. He didn’t hang out with “church” people or religious elites all the time, he focused on the least of these. My challenge this week is to ask myself who I can serve and to focus less on my to do list and my ministry and my mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health and see who I can pour into. Not that I don’t already do this, but we could all be significantly better at being intentional in every interaction we have on a daily basis. You may think you know somebody, but it could be what you don’t know that could cause you to miss a God given opportunity. You don’t know their hurts, fears, failures, private lives, or prayers. Lend a hand!

When I went on my run this morning, because the morning was nice, there were lots of people in their yards trying to get a few things done before work, or people walking to their cars to leave and I tuned myself into my surroundings. Do you know that I heard 5 different languages spoken just around my subdivision on that one run? Literally portions of the entire globe are residing in my neighborhood. By reaching out to one neighbor, you could affect not only individuals, but families, networks, regions, and nations. There is no time to not live your life on mission. You can’t keep your distance and make a difference!

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We practice Meatless Mondays as part of our routine. This was last nights dinner. Besides the hours spent gathering a super fancy plate and place mat, this “Taco Salad” meal is super delicious and quick. A HUGE bed of Spinach with Tasty Bite Madras Lentils on Top (Purchased at Costco. They also sell this brand at Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s and other places but it is way more expensive there than Costco). You top the lentils off with organic salsa (Costco brand Kirkland of course), and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream. This is filling, amazing and less than 400 calories.

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Could my life be filled with anymore cuteness or greatness? I think this picture is evidence that it could not be.

Have you ever heard of part-time vegetarianism or Meatless Monday’s? Do you practice it?

What can you do today to serve your community, starting with your neighborhood?

Have you  noticed most pastors wish they were rock stars? Their favorite move is to sing loudly into the microphone at the end of service, even if that’s not their gift. I have observed this 87% of contemporary churches.