Tag Archives: nutrition

The Chobani Principle

Surround yourself with dreamers, doers, and believers. But, most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.- Sheila Gerald
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Nutritional benefits aside, Chobani tastes amazing!! It always pairs best with my other love, coffee (especially Starbucks)

 

 

I am Jessica and I have become a Chobani addict. I absolutely love their Greek Yogurt. In fact, to make it affordable, I buy it by the truckloads at Costco. I have been known to make special trips to Costco just to ensure that my supply never runs low. The highlight of my January was that both Target and Giant Eagle had Chobani on sale at different moments, opening up the opportunity for me to explore and indulge in the flavors not offered in the Costco superbox.

Upon opening up my Chobani this morning, (which by the way is a perfect pre-run food item) , and promptly licking off any excess yogurt that stuck to the lid (I am that person), I had a flash of inspiration. What if I approached everything in my life like I approach Chobani yogurt? It may seem like my daily Chobani obsession was easy to come by, but in fact, my relationship with it started very tumultuously.

I have always been a lover of yogurt and a calorie counter. Even when I was at my highest weight and was totally out of shape, I was still aware of every calorie that I consumed. I was never mindless about my destructive choices. That being said, I was locked into eating “Light and Fit” yogurt because it was 80 calories and fat free. I kept hearing about Greek yogurt and all of its benefits, and yet I just kept eating the yogurt that had little to no protein and that had artificial sweetners just because it was 80 calories versus the 140 in most Chobani individual fruit cups.

How many things in life do we get stuck on, even good choices, when something great is out there waiting for us but we refuse to even try? “Light and Fit” was a good choice, but Chobani has turned out to be a great choice. Chobani leaves you feeling full, the flavor is much richer, and it has more of all of the good stuff that your body needs. (I was NOT compensated at all for this post. In fact, nobody at Chobani even knows I exist.)

The Chobani principle, which I invented in case you didn’t know, has turned out to be a small step to a lot of big change. I had honestly never eaten Quinoa, Hummus, or a whole other host of body nourishing and delicious items before because I was stuck on eating “diet” foods and ate what was familiar.  It is an educational experience to learn that not  all health foods are diet foods. In fact, chia seeds have an enormous amount of calories and almonds are chock full of fat. There are a lot of good things in life, like calorie counting and watching what you put in your body, but there are even greater things like focusing on your health and achieving specific wellness goals. There are containers of Chobani in every area of your life just waiting for you to peel the lid off and give it a shot.

Can you believe that I used to cook and serve Minute White Rice for my family and myself? I am horrified every time I think of it. My 899 pound bag of organic brown rice that I buy at Costco tastes so much better, fuels our bodies, and the only change it required for me was to actually buy a rice cooker and realize that minute rice might have been a good choice for one season, but greater choices were out there.

FYI: Rice cooked in a rice cooker is infinitely more delicious that what is cooked on the stove or microwaved in some lab generated instant package.

I guess the point I’m getting at is that the Chobani Principle applies to everything. What paradigm shift do you need to make (for example obsessing about calories at the expense of true health and nutrition) that will take you to the next level? What products do you have brand loyalty to that might not be the best option for you and your long-term mind, body, spirit goals?

Paradigm shifts that I’ve encountered since turning 30:

  • I used to hate running and could never run even a mile—I’m now a marathoner.
  • I used to obsess about my weight all the while watching it creep up or yo-yo everywhere—–I now stay within a 3-5 pound range with minimal “extra” effort (I still count every calorie and run like a crazy person so I guess some of you think that’s way more than minimal “extra” effort, but it’s really not. It’s habit now.)
  • I used to think texting was horrible and didn’t even have it on my cell phone plan. I mean, why can’t you just call me?——I finally added it to my plan and now hate being called. Hooray for convenience!
  • I used to obsessively clean up every single item my kids played with and dragged out without concern of the stories they would tell their therapist about Type A mom one day—–I now wait until they are on the bus to restore the order I need or wait until Sunday night/Monday morning before I take everything they own and hide it somewhere. They actually are now allowed to play in the family room and have books and toys in there and their therapist can be regaled with stories of how cool and fun mom is instead of how she was obsessively cleaning 24/7. It’s almost like they live in their own home and have rights associated with that just like I do… Fancy that!!

As you can see, there are many ways to apply the Chobani principle. How will you step out of your comfort zone today to see long-term goals realized?

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Shameless bragging in 3, 2, 1……….Both boys had parent/teacher conferences yesterday and both boys are rocking out in academics and behavior at school. Maybe I gave them just enough of my Type A to succeed, but not enough to cause psychological distress 🙂

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Step by Step

Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. (3 John 1:2 NLT)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA picture I stumbled across yesterday of myself with my cousin Paul 2 weeks before I started my mind, body, spirit transformational journey.
 

iPhone Fall 2012 to Fall 2013 Jess 607

Versus a picture of me this past summer (2013) with my beautiful aunt (You caught me looking at family photos yesterday!)

Today I had a reminder of how powerful habit is in our life. Besides celebrating Day 807 of my runstreak (which means for that length of time I’ve run everyday with no breaks), I had an interesting conversation with my husband. I don’t like to talk about our fasting a lot on the blog because I feel like that is a personal decision that we make to honor God in our lives, however, I feel that in the interest of exposing how I achieve my mind, body, spirit balance and how I am going about my “one word” for 2014, alignment, I thought I could let you in a little bit.

We begin each year with a 21 day Daniel Fast. I have spoken about it before in previous blogs, but you can also google it if you are unfamiliar with what it entails. We also fast at least one day a week, and in addition, kick off each month by fasting 3 days at the start of said month. The purpose of our fast is multi faceted, but one of the benefits of it is increased health and vitality.  It is not a magical spiritual, mental, or physical bullet, but step by step you grow in every area of your life and start to see God’s blessing increase with each new season of fasting and prayer.

Physically, there is no doubt that when you eliminate grains and animal products, your body isn’t using as much energy in the food/digestion area which releases it to execute more exciting uses of energy. I will be dabbling more into different food choices and detox strategies later this year that I will write about and keep you informed on, but for now, I just want to encourage you on the power of habit. The Daniel Fast is much more spiritual for us than it is physical, but you can’t separate the two. Some of my food detox journeys and research undertakings have little spiritual focus. They are just me pursuing the best physical and mental me I can be, but without a doubt, every time I’m my best physically and mentally, I’m also my best spiritually. It is a circle.

We ended our 21 days at the end of last week, and yet when faced with what to eat for lunch today, my mind only gave me the options that were “Daniel” approved. It was like I had forgotten that my typical egg sandwich was even an option or that pretzels weren’t “forbidden” foods. Am I cured from my cravings? I doubt it. When my mileage amps up the closer to the marathon we get, you better believe I’ll be elbow deep in all natural ice cream and other treats, but for now my new and reset habit system will allow me to further my health goals with little to no effort on my part.

Because I’ve been making good choices, good choices have become automatic. One decision for a cheeseburger won’t derail my life, because my habits are set. One busy day will not keep me from a life of bible reading and devotions because my  habits are set. There will be occasional steps out of the healthy habit train and that is fine with me. I’m in this for life. I’m not an ethical vegan or vegetarian and I have no known food allergies, therefore I have no real deep and meaningful reason to “deprive” myself.

The cool thing about habits is that once the correct ones are cemented, you don’t feel deprived, ever. Habit makes the automatic wise choice for you 96% of the time and that makes it possible to be “bad” the other times. See, there is no black and white. Gray is where the party is at, but your brain and body won’t let you “party” too much because it will desire to return to its setpoint or habit structure.

God created us for far more than we give ourselves credit for. We are generally so busy fighting our human nature with its impulses and temptations that we forget to lean into the momentum that God has stored up for us. God created our brains and bodies to embrace habit and instead of utilizing this amazing computer program he downloaded into us, we are constantly trying to uninstall the very thing that could take us to the next level.  We stop celebrating how far we’ve come and start seeing how far we have to go.

We label segments of our life into categories:

  • Black and white. Good and bad. Wrong and right. Cold and hot. Pessimism and optimism.

Could it be that many things we weigh ourselves down with mentally, physically, and spiritually were never meant to be categorized? Could it be that we have never embraced gray areas?

We stunt ourselves by not embracing the gray areas. There really is no good or bad. Something is better than nothing. Take it step by step. The reason this lifestyle change has stuck is because I approached it with the lens of legacy and the long journey.

Never stop celebrating how far you’ve come. Always build an altar of memories poised for praise (photos in this blog are to jog my memory and celebrate the journey). Sure there is still a long way to go. Sure there are still mental, emotional, spiritual and physical demons to slay, but what if instead of worrying about the unseen, we just baby step our way to the legacy we want to leave.

One day at a time your habits will change to match your dreams and decisions that once stressed you out will become automatic no brain choices. How would it feel to  use your willpower for greater things than survival mode? What if instead of fighting food cravings and a lack of desire to exercise you could use your energy and will power to fight for social justice? Seem like a leap? It isn’t. You can do it. I did it.

My brain and my body were created for more than considering what to eat and what to wear. God put greatness in me and I’m going to live a long healthy life pursuing his promises, living out my purpose, and declaring hope.

When negative thoughts bombard your mind, say, “I am strong. I am well able. I have what it takes. I can do this.”-Joel Osteen

Lose Weight Fast

The discomfort of giving your best is less than the regret of holding back.

A lot has been going on in my life lately. My weekend started off with one of those days of sorrow topped with joy. We spent the day in Toledo Ohio at the Memorial Service of my 90 year old Great Aunt Dorothy. It is very sad to see her pass and know that her chuckle and ability to include everyone in everything and make you feel genuinely liked will never be felt again, but  celebration of a life well lived. To live to 90 years old and have spent 89 of those years living independently is a great story. She only gave up her independence 9 months before her passing due to some health issues. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I got that side of the families genetics instead of my Bentley side of the family, but so far I’m pretty much striking out since almost all of me is pure Bentley. If I keep running and living well though, hopefully that DNA will kick in and I will last well into my 90’s like so many of the Whitmore’s have.

20130612-114440.jpgThe boys at the memorial service behaving like champs and brightening the mood.

20130612-114424.jpgA small portion of the dessert table that I had to try. It was National Doughnut Day Friday, so I replaced the biblical mandate of eating Donuts on that holiday with a mandate to eat all chocolate products in sight. I had gotten out of bed at 5 AM that morning to get a 6 mile run in before we left for out of town, so I definitely had banked the calories for this.

On Saturday I woke up early again to hit all the Little League Games and get my house in acceptable condition for our friend who was coming to spend the weekend with us and minister at our church. I got my 8 mile run in and felt fantastic. Our rule at the Buckland home is that when friends come in from out of town we have to eat copious amounts of food in our quest to be hospitable, and all of the food must be delicious. By the time our friend arrived, I was more than ready for dinner, but something felt off. I decided to order a salad instead of the burger I usually order at Fat Head’s (the restaurant my husband thinks is necessary for each of his friends to eat at. He thinks eating here is as important as baptism, so you can’t argue with that). I ate my salad and just felt inordinately full.

I didn’t want ice cream after dinner, which should’ve been my first clue something was awry, but since we were going to Mitchell’s (another Cleveland staple and MUST eat), I couldn’t say no. Another glaring clue something was wrong should’ve been the fact I ordered a single scoop cone instead of my usual Sundae the size of a small toddler.

I woke up Sunday feeling lethargic, but since I had slept all of 3 hours the previous night, didn’t think much of it. I did my Sunday #runstreak 2 mile run, had a great church service, then went to another horrible for your body meal. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, you have to eat at MELT when you visit Cleveland. It was Jonathan’s duty of brotherly kindness to expose our friend to this place. I didn’t feel great at this point, but ate my meal and half of everybody else’s meal anyway because it’s just what you do at MELT and I thought I was just tired.

That evening I ate nothing at all. I even said “No” to ice cream when the guys tried to peer pressure me into partaking again. I just felt chilled, tired, stuffed, and not too great. I honestly thought it was from eating too much. I almost always gain like 67 pounds when our friends come to visit and I know how unhealthy eating destroys my body and my system, so I thought I am officially too old to indulge occasionally and it’s time to marry my new lifestyle 100% of the time instead of following my usual 80/20 plan.

Thankfully, or horrifically depending on your perspective, I have learned over the course of the last few days that it wasn’t what I was eating that is the problem, but in fact, my body decided to go on the WORSE DIET EVER. I got up Monday and almost passed out walking to my kitchen to start coffee.  This is obviously not normal behavior. I can run a marathon but I can’t walk to the kitchen, funny stuff. I felt so hot and so cold at the same time that I thought I was going to burst. I crawled back up to my room and just layed like a kid in bed. When I can’t make or drink coffee, it’s time to call the coroner. I was down for the count.

Because Jonathan had appointments that day, I pulled myself up, threw clothes on and took Gentry to safety town. I had already promised Reese that we would go to the YMCA for me to work out and him to have kids club, so despite my husbands plea’s, I took off.

20130612-114416.jpgG-Man Representing Safety Town

After 576 Days on the RunStreak I’m committed to the streak. I eeked out my 5K on the treadmill feeling like I was going to die and then skipped weight training. At that point, there was no arguing, something bad was happening. I will not tell you the other evidence of the stomach flu in my life at that moment, but let’s just say I had a very unpleasant day. I went home, showered, and didn’t move all day. At this point I had not eaten one thing since Sunday at lunch and was not only not hungry, but terrified of what would happen if I ate. I finally force fed myself a banana and some Sprite, but I had a fever of 101 and couldn’t budge.

So, if you want to lose weight fast, find someone with the stomach flu and get it really good. It is Wednesday and I’m still not recovered. My fever has broken thankfully, and I’ve eaten some chicken noodle soup and toast, but i have no appetite and my energy is nill. I am down 5 pounds from Sunday morning. I hate being sick, but if I can keep it off when I feel better and start eating again, that will be nice.

I have kept the #runstreak alive against all common sense and logic, but I have had to replace my 10 mile run this week and my 8 mile run with 2 mile slow runs and I pretty much have read that you shouldn’t resume any mileage until you can eat normally and feel strong. For now, I guess the only speed work that will be happening is a trip to the bathroom.

What are your lose weight quick tips?

When was the last time you were bed ridden? (The last time I was this sick was before my eldest son was born and he is 8 now, so I have a great track record for health and wellness overall.)

Did you celebrate National Donut Day?

Stray Saturday

Train — like an athlete. Eat — like a nutritionist. Sleep — like a baby. WIN — like a champion.

I like the above quote, however, those of us that have raised babies realize that this is not realistic for an adult. Babies snooze a lot and snooze deeply, but they sleep according to their own whims and at their own discretion. I may feel like crying from 2 AM-4:30 AM as an adult like a baby would, but it doesn’t work out too well for my schedule.

  • (I have totally felt like crying all night long lately as my allergies have been out of control and keeping me awake. I have even gleefully plotted the methods I could use to remove my eyeballs from their sockets.  I am taking Claritin daily, but it is struggling to keep up with the reality that my neighborhood looks like a winter wonderland, and no, it’s not from snow but from extreme pollen.)

I have a lot of stray and random thoughts today, so while I desire to change your life,  motivate you, and elevate you holistically, I’ve been taught a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Therefore, I decided to just let the stray mental bullets fly.  Mind, Body, and Spirit are all at work today. Hopefully you’ll catch something!

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From the rosebush on the side of my house. I’m pretty proud of the fact we didn’t kill them all, just most of them 🙂 What I looked like after a hot 8 mile run the other day vs. What I imagined I looked and smelled like. We won’t have a visual for what I actually smelled like.
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What I looked like after my 8 mile run this morning, and proof that I completed it despite the mental gymnastics. My pace was not great  because I did not get up and run at 5 AM before the sun came out with guns blazing.Don’t be jealous of how gorgeous I am here.

I completed day 565 of my #Runstreak today.

  • (You can join a temporary #runstreak by aligning with Runner’s World and their Summer Streak. Check out #rwrunstreak. One of their holiday challenges is how I got started on my streak and I had so much fun streaking that I have just never stopped!)

My question is how did 8 miles feel like 3 miles just a couple of weeks ago but feel like an ultra marathon today? Thankfully I’ve been in the running game long enough to know that the weather, sleep patterns, stress levels, eating habits, and numerous other factors all go together to decide if a run is going to be easy mentally and physically, or if it is going to be a struggle in one of those areas. The good news is that no matter how bad a run is mentally or physically, the endorphins produced do not discriminate and flow footloose and fancy free through your mind, body, and spirit and make you very happy that you did what you did and that you are accomplishing your goals one step/one run at a time.

We have been having a heat wave (I’m actually loving it. I’ve been so ready for this long winter to end), so this week between the heat wave, the high winds, the humidity, and all of the thunderstorms, topped off by my tight hamstrings, I have really been working hard at running smart. I am thrilled to report that my sever hamstring issues were obviously from the weed pulling (my theory was correct), and are not some super long term running injury. I have run three 5K distances, a 6 mile run, and two 8 mile runs this week that will be capped off by my weekly short “rest day” run of only 2 pre-dawn miles early on Sunday morning, which could be a soaker because there is a 90% chance of storms, but I don’t have treadmill at home and it builds character and the mental prowess you need to complete marathon training and actually finishing races. (If you would like to purchase me a treadmill,I will be your new best friend.)

20130601-135323.jpgProof that the meteorological reports in Cleveland are inaccurate a majority of the time. Left shows the forecast (0% chance of precipitation) and right shows the reality out my windshield (monsoon).

20130530-215335.jpgI’m not sure how healthy this snack is exactly in terms of pure/clean eating, but it has been a go to favorite of mine lately when I want “junk” food. It’s not junky at all in reality, and it is sweet. There is quite a bit of fiber in each serving, as well as protein and it is decently low calorie. If you want a sweet crunch, check these out. They are a little on the pricey side, but too horrific. They cost about the same as a pack of Oreos, and if you eat the whole bag  it will  cost you much less calorically than a binge eating episode of cookies.

20130527-143501.jpgI’ve been spending a good majority of my life in Costco lately. I am seriously considering a move into the store. Our church is in a huge Summer Serve Initiative and I have been feeding just about everyone and their brother on the west side of Cleveland. I figure that a majority of Jesus’ ministry was spent around a table in fellowship with others, building common ground, and even showed us that the greatest thing we can do to honor is death on the cross is have communion, which involves the breaking of bread, I can model this and show my community appreciation with all of the goodness Costco has to offer. This is where we fed all of the teachers breakfast at the school we are holding our services at for no reason other than to show them kindness and let them know we are praying for them. I am loving our summer serve and can’t wait for all of the awesome things that will come of it.

20130601-135337.jpgMy husband getting ready to do an adopt a business summer serve project. With a pastor this hot, I don’t know why the entire population of Cleveland isn’t already a member of the Bridge Church.

20130527-143525.jpg20130527-143512.jpg20130527-143506.jpgLiving the mom life, raising intellectual super heroes poised for world domination. Here we are at an early morning school assembly to cheer Reese on and watch him get an award for Academic All Star.

20130530-215342.jpg20130601-135420.jpgIf moving to Costco doesn’t work out for me, I have pitching a tent at ball fields as a great alternative living arrangement. I have been spending numerous hours running all around creation at various baseball practices and games. Of course the boys would be on two different teams and in two separate age groups. That’s what being a boy in summer is all about though.

20130530-215350.jpgThings have been moving at warp speed lately, so thankfully, my work and church life piggy back with my mom life (Not that you can ever separate yourself into categories. You have to be all things at all times, but you get the point). I’m doing summer serves while earning mom points. The Bridge Church tee-ball team.

Where are you spending most of your time lately?

Any hot weather running tips to share? I will be sharing some of my tips this week as well as what I like to pack in my fuel belt. Liquids are a must for me in these temperatures as I sweat like a 765 pound couch potato. I guess I just have an efficient internal cooling system.

How to have endurance

Never hold your head down, never say you can’t, never limit yourself, and never stop believing.

myway_m
I was the inspiration for a children’s book illustrated by a great friend of mine Carol Dixon. She used pictures of me from when I was 8 to base the illustrations off of.

Today was one of those days where you spend almost the entire day thinking it is a different day of the week than it actually is. I’m pretty sure this has to do with the fact that Monday was a holiday, but a good solid majority of my day today I kept trying to follow the Tuesday agenda on my calendar and kept forgetting that I had numerous meetings and baseball practices today. Thankfully my Type A kicked in and I made all of my meetings on time and was able to complete my Wednesday projects. (I also spent quite a bit of time thinking of catchy titles to this blog with the word Tuesday in them. It’s a good thing I couldn’t come up with any.)

None of this is really too embarrassing considering my other forays off of earth onto planet Jessica are usually more tragic. For example, on Sunday I held up our worship team practice internally stewing because our sound guy had not yet plugged in my microphone. Finally, after a pretty substantial lull of me standing away from the microphone singing into the air and watching/listening to the band tune up, I came to the stunning realization that we use cordless microphones. It was an epic blonde moment. It would’ve continued unnoticed by anyone other than myself, except for the fact that my self esteem is high enough to be the center of a wonderfully hilarious punchline and moments like that really should be put out there for pleasure and enjoyment. In my defense, I was thrown off by a random cord laying on the floor unused. In our sound guys defense, we have had cordless microphones for a fairly lengthy period of time, so I should’ve put two and two together. I plead the 5th amendment and make my case for a hands free microphone.

20130427-151146.jpgCan you rely on God too much? Is religion really a crutch?

Running injuries are a favorite topic around the Buckland household. Jonathan has some sort of issue with his feet and calves that flares up when he increases pace and mileage and I have been dealing with crazy feet my whole life, even before I became a runner. I have extremely flat feet and I walk and run like a duck essentially. I have decided this is a badge of honor. Not many women can pull off a waddle with such gracious ease.

  • (As a side note, the Sperry Topsider shoes are a gift from heaven. They are like wearing a tennis shoe in terms of comfort and form and are in fashion this season for some reason. Anytime a shoe is comfortable and in the remote ball park of fashion I am all over it. Usually I have to pass on shoe fads and just fill with coveteousness and envy towards ladies with dainty girl feet)

I will not go into too much depth with you on my foot problems because I don’t want you to have nightmares, but I will say that, as I mentioned yesterday, my hamstrings are super tight and this is putting pressure on my Achilles tendons as well as the tendons that run along the side of your leg and is making my calves tight. Add to that my flat feet, extra bones, and bruised toenails and you have the recipe for someone who will never attract a stalker with a foot fetish.

I know that I am not in injury mode yet, but I want to ensure that I get these muscle knots loosened up ASAP. Next week I start my pre-marathon training mode and I need to be in top shape for it. Since the Captial City Half marathon, I have been running about 30 miles a week to give myself an “off” season for a couple of weeks and to allow myself to “date” running again. Starting next month running and I will be engaged again jumping to about 36-38 miles a week, and then in July we get to work our way to marriage as I build towards 50 miles and beyond a week until the Akron Marathon.

Because of all of this, I used the pretty little head God gave me and actually chose to run on the treadmill. I needed a way to force myself to go slow and when I run outside my speed creeps up way to easily. I set the treadmill on the pace I wanted to go and just kept a steady rhythm for a 3.1 mile run and then went to a 1 mile walk. I pretty much always do a 5K on the days that I lift weights. (Until peak marathon training season where I run like 876 miles a day regardless of what is on the workout agenda or life calendar. It really is fun. You shoudl try it.) I also focused on arms and abs today and nixed the kettlebells and squats. You gotta know when to hold em and when to fold em. I will be foam rolling again tonight like a good girl while claiming this scripture:

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, (Colossians 1:11 ESV) (The bible has some of the best scriptures for use while running. Why would I run on my own power and strength when the Holy Spirit can give me a boost? Why would you sit on a couch and not become a runner when clearly we are called to push beyond our limits into his possibilities?)

20130529-125106.jpgThese are the vitamins that I am currently taking. I have low iron counts (and therefore eat about a 78 pound bag of ice everyday. I will probably have no teeth by the age of 40.) and no matter how hard I try or how clean I eat, I do know that there are probably a few vitamin areas I am deficient in. These Costco brand performance vitamins are some of the first vitamans I have taken that haven’t made me sick to my stomach and have legitimately made a difference in my functioning and energy levels. I love them. The other vitamins are from a huge free pack of things I was given to try and I really like them so far. I am going to be purchasing some Glucosamine and Condrotin like a 95 year old lady to help my joints and ease the mild discomforts associated with being a human gazelle and some Vitaman D. Dr. Mercola states that even if you exercise outdoors and spend time outside, if you wear any SPF it blocks the absorption of Vitiman D, add to that the fact I live where we see the sun 3 minutes a year, and I don’t want to risk the negative side effects of low Vitaman D. I haven’t had any issues so far, but know lots of people who have had serious health problems they found out later were a simple vitaman deficiency. I would also rather not look like the “Tanorexic” mom you see on tabloid magazine covers, so some SPF is definitely going on my face.

20130529-202544.jpgJust a few of my favorite people from my LifeGroup tonight. I teach a lifegroup at Dunkin Donuts and still haven’t eaten a single donut at any of my groups yet. I deserve a medal of valor.

20130529-202720.jpgA glimpse into the Foundations 101 afternoon group we had today. I pretty much spend my day hanging with amazing people and talking about Jesus. I also spend it surrounded by carbs and testing my will power. I had no goodies at Panera Bread this afternoon either. I’m upgrading from the medal of valor to the purple heart.

I apologize that I haven’t been posting pictures of the food I’m consuming. I know it has been a struggle for you, but this too shall pass. What is the best thing you have eaten this week? I had a Chipotle Chicken Bowl for dinner tonight with brown rice, black beans, tons of salsa and hot sauce and very light cheese/sour cream. I can’t do away totally with the cheese/sour cream, but I stress very very light to the person making my bowl. Chipotle is always the highlight of any week that it finds itself in.

What is your most annoying ache or pain?

Cleveland Marathon Special

“When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes”- Brennan Manning

Happy Tuesday, otherwise known as the new “Meatless Monday”. Yes my friends, yesterday was Memorial Day and it would have been a crime to let it pass without putting grill marks on a dead animal and ingesting said beast. I did buy the 93% lean ground beef, which literally had like no fat on it at all so I justified eating the 1/2 pound burger that my husband had handcrafted for me. I’m glad my husband appreciates a girl that can throw down a good burger.

Side Bar: That is one advantage to being married to a runner, you understand the bizarre running appetite and you will give each other frequent non romantic massages. Most men will not do this, however, since I’m willing to rub his semi repulsive running feet, he reciprocates by doing the same. If you are a runner and not married to another runner I feel sorry for you. We wear our knotted up leg muscles and gnarled feet like a badge of honor at the Buckland house. There is no shame or need to hide.

I will admit that I did enjoy myself in the food department on Sunday and Monday. There is something about holidays that puts me in the mood to eat things that I otherwise try to stay away from. If you know me or  have read my blog long enough, you understand the paradox I live in. My revelations about clean/healthy eating are balanced by my indulgences in the darker, shadowy sides of carb and meat cravings.

20130528-111950.jpg God bless America!20130528-112024.jpg Public Service Announcement: Be sure to not eat so much on holidays that you have to hug the nearest potty.

Indulging in a few treats, like ice cream and potato chips, will not make all of your hard work fly out the window or put you on a path to terminal illness if done correctly and by correctly I mean don’t be lazy.I put in a misty/rainy 6 mile run/1 mile walk on Monday morning even though I felt more like reading magazines and drinking coffee.

This run actually messed with my head. I literally thought at one point that it was actually Thanksgiving. The weather this weekend was cooler and more drab than it was on Thanksgiving week this year and while on my run, a pack of wild turkeys came out from an empty lot and proceeded to march across a major thoroughfare. I also saw numerous deer and very few people hanging around outside. Although I’m sure the turkeys were glad it was memorial day and not Thanksgiving, all of those hoping to have a major outdoor party yesterday were terribly disappointed in Northeast Ohio.

Finally-The Point:  I want you to know that if you register for the Cleveland Marathon  by May 31, it is only $50. This is a STEAL for a full marathon. Why would you not sign up for it immediately. I am so excited to run this next year. I have wanted to run in my city for a couple of years now but was unable to due to scheduling conflicts and other things going on. Please stop what you are doing and shell out hard earned money to torture yourself for 26.2 miles at the mercy of the bizarre weather patterns the lake brings to us. It could be 89 degrees or 40 the day of the race. How will you know unless you sign up and just do it? The culmination of my mother’s day gift and Jonathan’s father’s day gift was we bought each other race entries to this marathon. I can’t hardly wait.  Until then, I will focus on training for the Akron marathon in September that I’m already signed up for.

Side Bar: It should be ILLEGAL for runners to have to pull weeds. I pulled weeds in the rain yesterday (I know how to party on holidays) and today my hamstrings are tight as a drum and seizing up from bending, squatting, and stooping. I took my 5K run this morning slower, and ran by feel, then lightened up on some of my leg work at the gym because I’m not going to let my stone cut patio that requires digging and pulling weeds for days on end steal my marathon go. I urge you to reconsider a stone cut patio unless you can afford a landscaper or groundskeeper. It looked so pretty and enticing when we bought the house, then the reality of digging moss and weeds out of every little crevice and orifice semi annually set in. Round up only does so much. Consider yourself warned! I will be foam rolling today.

20130527-143454.jpgThe weather didn’t stop me from being crazy enough to bring a van load of 5 and 8 year old boys putt putt golfing Friday night. It was cold and they were all wild. I definitely earn the parenting gold star for coolest mom for that.

How did you spend your holiday?

What races are you signed up for? Sign up for one now. It is a constant motivational reminder that everyday is not a holiday. You need to get out and work for your goal and step away from the chips and ice cream this summer. (Except the 4th of July of course. I have that to look forward to next)

Stuff Happens

Ingredients for success – attitude, discipline, self-control, belief in yourself, willpower, be teachable, set your plan and no excuses, ever.

Today I ran 3.1 miles, just a little 5K, to keep the Run Streak alive and get my muscles ready for my strength training routine. I know that a lot of runners struggle with fitting strength training into their weeks, but I seem to be a little injury prone and strength training has greatly reduced my pain in running. Since I have been hitting the weights hard and consistently, I have had very little trouble with my Achilles, and muscle cramping on long runs has gone away (this also has to do with the fact that I have learned the art of fueling and hydrating). Most runners suffer from overcompensation injuries created by weak muscles. There are some muscles that you don’t use much when running, but are needed to be strong to support the muscles that you do use. The moral of the story is, some strength training will do you massive amounts of good. You do not have to be aspiring to Ms. Universe, and you definitely don’t want to bulk up if running is your goal and not your side note.

I have noticed a great change in the way my body looks too in the year and a half I have consistently worked out at the gym to supplement and grow my running. I actually have abs now, which is a miracle. How many women do you know that look better after giving birth to kids than they ever did at any point in their life before they had kids? Yep, I’m one of the few. I just wish that I would’ve done this when I was younger so I would’ve reaped double benefits. I do have one recurring nagging running related pain/injury that I will discuss on a blog, but for now I want to address the very sad issue of……….

Runner’s Tan: A condition experienced by those that run outside. Runner’s tan includes a very distinguishable sock line, a glaring block on your arm where your sleeve once was, and a bizarre space right above your knee where your bottoms hit. In summary, I am tan from a blocked off space right above my knee, to a blocked off space right around my ankle. This is a very fashionable look when I am wearing a summer skirt and sandals.

Runner’s Face: A condition experienced by runners where your face is aging light years ahead of your body. I am fighting Runner’s Face tooth and nail. They actually addressed it in an issue of Runner’s World once. Because running reduces your body fat, your face tends to be thin and lean when you are a runner and you lose face fat the older you get anyway, which is why wrinkles and lines become more noticeable. What happens to runners is that their face becomes super thin and mixes with the sun damage from running outside creating a phenomena where they have the body of a 25 year old from all the exercising and the face of a 78 year old from the constant face jumping and thumping that happens when your feet pound pavement and the sun is scorching you. Last year I just made sure to wear sun screen, but this year I have a running hat. I hate wearing it. In fact, I have only worn it once, but I will start being faithful to it. It will keep the sun off my face and hopefully preserve my skin. I don’t want to have to choose between being fat with plush skin or fit with the face of a leather boot. This is a tough conundrum because I look better with a little sun kissed color, but I guess being cancer free and looking young is a higher trade off.

On a semi related side note, my husband Jonathan told me that someone introduced him to their boyfriend as having the most gorgeous wife they had ever seen. I about fell out when he told me that. Apparently they  haven’t been around very much. This lady said that I was 33 but looked 23 and was filled with an enormous amount of spunk and energy. I think I’m pulling off the charade 🙂

Does anyone else have issues with gym etiquette? Since I have addressed my strength training in this post, I will take a moment to say that I get super annoyed when people camp out on the nautilus type machines and take naps, read the newspaper, and have gossip parties. All of these things happen on a frequent basis where I go. In fact, today I had to skip an entire machine because it never came open. The guy sitting there on it wasn’t even moving or working out. He was chit chatting with three other people who were surrounding him. YES! The men in my gym are far more of a problem than the women.  I have overcome this astounding lack of good gym etiquette by learning more free weight and kettle bell work outs, which, in the long run, are more intense and better for you anyway. I also enjoy them more because you have more control over how you position yourself. I have seen increased results from moving some of my muscle groups to free weights instead of circuit machines. Regardless though, there are a few that I like that seem to be confused with lazy boy chairs or a chaise lounger because that is what happens when these guys beat me to the circuit. (In full disclosure I will tell you they are old and retired so that is why I don’t say much to them about their lack of movement. I do believe in honoring those that are my elder, allowing them to burn their 7 calories an hour,  and I am sure they need the socialization.)

20130521-212057.jpgSometimes stuff just happens. Sometimes you are trying to cook a good healthy meal and the little plants your kids have put together for you fall off the window ledge into your sink creating a fun mixture of dirt, water, and dishes for you to clean up. Sometimes when these things happen, the little boy who potted the plants for you starts crying and feels hurt and dejected. Yep, life can throw you dirt, but it should not throw you off. Just expect the unexpected.

20130521-212110.jpgHere I am practicing before church with some people from our worship band. The running keeps me fit to jump all around singing like a maniac without getting breathless and missing notes. Mind-Body-Spirit Our lives can be limitless if we could just grasp this concept of everything about ourselves and others being intertwined without end or beginning with Mind-Body-Spirt. Don’t focus on just one to the detriment of the others of you can’t and won’t grow to your full capacity.

Any advice on runner’s tan besides running in booty shorts and a sports bra?

What is your greatest advice for avoiding premature aging due to sun exposure?

Does anyone at your gym annoy you?