Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Hello world - I'm making the move!!!!

Over to Wordpress! It's way better over there!

So find me at www.thefitacademic.wordpress.com

It'll be worth the move - I promise!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Distance PR

First of all: Sorry - I am incredibly lazy in a hurry this morning, and did not bother to rotate the pics.....so turn your head sideways or something - you'll get it : )

Today I'm attempting a new distance personal record (PR). To date, I've done 7.5 a good handful of times (probably 4-5), but EVERY TIME, right around 7 miles I start dying and by 7.5 I am DONE! I've read that this 7 mile "slump" is pretty common. Today - I'm pushing through and doing 8! That's right - it's happening!

When training for half-marathons, you're always going to have some "long runs." It's really best that you learn what food works for you prior to these long runs, so you know what to eat on race day and there's no surprises! My standard go-to is Almond Butter Toast with half a banana and just a drizzle of agave nectar honey. (I couldn't find the dang nectar anywhere!!!)

The other thing it took me awhile to learn - you need to plan in extra time for digesting your breakfast! I used to just get-up-and-go in the mornings. That's okay if I'm just running a few miles, but for distance - not so much. So (for example), I woke up at 7:00am, ate my breakfast immediately, got dressed, & now I'm blogging - planning to actually leave my house around 7:30ish. Easy - see? You just have to plan ahead.

This weekend I went camping. I've been abstaining from most alcohol in the weeks prior to my wedding. I'm not drinking carbonation (including beer) at all! That poses a special "problem" for camping. Not to worry - it was freezing cold, so I brought some sugar-free apple cider. A little splash of liqueur & it was good to go!

Check out the awesome camp fire! Good times!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Soooo much better

I'd been feeling kinda run-down over the weekend. My voice was gone for almost 4 days!

Well, I'm feeling a lot better, but we'll see how I'm doing after this weekend! Yikes - everything is just a whirlwind!

It's important when life gets busy to focus on what's really important and prioritize your "to-do" list accordingly! It's easy to get caught up in the minutia.

I like to focus with yoga:

No that's not me - this is from a Google image search.

You know what's really cool? There's a whole channel, "FitTV" that shows tons of workout programs! Like - set the DVR and you'll never have to buy workout DVDs again!

Maybe this is old news - I haven't had cable TV for 4 years now & we just got it again, so this is something new I've discovered.

I started off my morning with a little in-home yoga. Good stuff.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More reasons I love fall

If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you.....I'm sorry. You're missing out.
This week I got their newsletter (on all recycled paper) and discovered they've brought back their PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE!!!!

Freaking delicious! Breakfast this morning features half of an "everything" bagel with about 1/3 almond butter and 2/3 pumpkin cream cheese. The pumpkin would taste better on a plain or wheat bagel, but the hubs-to-be (tee hee) really wanted "everything", so I relented. I used some AB because I'm about to go on a run and wanted the extra protein.

To be fair, this is really only 1/2 of breakfast. The second 1/2 is after I return from this mornings' 5.5 mile run and will feature a green monster smoothie with banana, pineapple, orange, strawberry, and SPINACH!!!! I need the extra antioxidants because I've been feeling crappy lately and this morning re-affirmed my worst fears when I awoke with a totally scratchy throat and my voice is almost gone! I have to nip this illness in the butt before it gets worse! I"m getting married in T-minus 3 weeks so this is NOT ALLOWED (on the other hand, I'm taking it easy on myself because getting sick now is SOOOOOOO much better than getting sick the week of the wedding.) It's important to listen to your body and do what's right for you.

Oh - and more Trader Joe's deliciousness.....I plan to have a cup of this later. Best Cider EVER!!! If you know me, you know I often drink calories (more than I should!) so it's my personal goal to only have 1 glass per day of this yummy juice until its gone.

my mantra: *do not chug* *do not chug* *drink slowly & enjoy* *do not chug* : ) It's just so tasty its hard!

Enjoy your Sunday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gorillas in the mist (or, um....desert)

As you may recall, I recently ran a race with a group in primate costumes, in an effort to raise money for an upcoming trip to Rwanda, Africa!!! With Halloween just around the corner there are lots of races where people run in costume so I thought this might be fun to share. My only advice: if you're racing for time, do NOT use a face mask! They obstruct views and require an awful lot of fussing. Otherwise, we had a great time!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall is here!!!!

Well I've been reading about cooler weather on blogs & facebook updates of friends. I have been JEALOUS!!!

But, the cooler weather is finally coming around in Tucson!

Today the high is 87, and the low is 60. That may not sound so great to those of you who've been in the 70s for weeks now, but I'm EXCITED to be out of the 90s!!! Woohoo!!!

This weekend I did my first ever race in costume!

A group of us grad students and faculty from UA got together and raced as primates in Jim Click's Run & Roll 5K. The race is to improve handicap accessibility in Arizona. We raced as primates to raise awareness of our Primate Field Course that's taking place in Africa this summer! Exciting!!!!

This morning to celebrate the cooler weather I decided on a seasonal breakfast: pumpkin pancakes! I actually ate two, but forgot to take the picture until I had eaten the first one. There's no real "recipe" - I just kinda threw stuff together.
In the mix:
-whole wheat pancake mix
-vanilla protein powder scoop
-appropriate spices (pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, ground cloves)
-a heaping helping of pumpkin!!!
-add water to desired consistency

Grill it up on a griddle until cooked through. I topped mine with a little scoop of dark chocolate almond butter (yuuuuummmmmm) and a sprinkling of chia seeds. Delish!
Look how I store my Chia seeds:

I need to get some more of these guys (hopefully for a wedding gift)

Maybe you'll recall that this week marks the first week of really gearing back up with exercise and dieting, right?

Well - so far, so good!

My biggest weakness is desert & post-dinner snackage. Well Monday I forced myself to have a banana with probably 1/2 tablespoon dark chocolate almond butter as a snack (and no fatty, processed crap). Tuesday I kept myself busy in the evening - went to a play immediately after dinner & by the time I got home my cravings for sweets had passed. Success!

Oh right - I'm also training for a half marathon (and mixing in some P90X workouts, too).

Here's the weeks' plan

Sunday: Core Synergistics & 5K race/run
Monday: Cardio X & 3 mile run (with 3 fartlicks mixed in)
Tuesday: 3 mile FAST run
Wednesday: Yoga X (in the evening) and a Shoulders & Arms dvd
Thursday: Legs & Back dvd & Ab Ripper X dvd
Friday: Kenpo X dvd
Saturday: 7 mile run

*I may switch around some of the workouts, because one of my BEST FRIENDS is getting MARRIED on Saturday morning!!!! I'm leaving for the wedding on Friday (and thus missing school), so I may do the 7 miler on Friday morning before I leave, and just plan to do the Kenpo X dvd from the comfort of my Grandma's guest room (that's where I'll be staying for the wedding). I'll keep you posted!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Updated Stats

You may recall that I've mentioned that my lab at school has one of those super fancy scales that sends electric impulses through your body to measure not just your weight, but also your BMI, % body fat, % water weight, and all types of other cool stuff?

This is kind of what it looks like - fancy, right?

Well my first weigh-in was August 30th. It was totally just for fun - just to see where I was at.
When September 30th rolled around i decided to see where I was at - and I was pleased with the results!

I have not been dieting nor working out extra hard, or anything else. I've been running and exercising, but nothing extra and nothing too extreme (not far distances, not too difficult, etc.). So basically I viewed it as a "maintenance" period - but here are my results:

August: 23.5; September: 23.4 = down .1
% body fat:
August: 28.6%; September: 27.5% = down 1.1 %

Now, these are very modest gains, but I was just so happy that I'm moving in the "right" direction without even trying! This next month I'm kicking everything up a notch, so I can't wait to see what my October 30th weigh-in will be like!!!

Also - I'm going to be adding some PICS - stuff I eat, places I jog, etc. so you can actually SEE what I'm up to!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Health & Wallet Plan

I'm setting a new "rule" for myself.

Originally, I wanted the rule to be that for the 30 days leading up to my wedding I would not eat out at all. Because foods eaten out somehow always pack 2 or 3 times the calories you are expecting (or even 4 or 5 times the calories!), it would be a good idea NOT to eat out leading up to the wedding. Plus, the rule would serve double-duty because it would also surely help out the pocket book!

But realistically, I don't think I can stick to it. We cook the majority of the time, but we do eat out about 1-2 times per week and I sooooooo look forward to those days. I need those days. So instead of cutting out dining out entirely, I have decided I will:
(1) Only go to restaurants who post their nutritional information online &
(2) Do not consume more than a "reasonable" number of calories (400 for food + 2oo for drink; drink only "allowed" if I've worked out that day).

I'd also like to decrease the number of days I eat out, but I haven't decided on a set number. Sometimes it helps to have concrete goals, but sometimes I worry that setting exact parameters can be hurtful, because if you "fail" there's always a mentality that you've just blown it & then the whole thing falls apart. I've talked before about how important it is to just jump back on the wagon instead of being discouraged and falling apart.

I've gotta run - more soon!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sick : (

Well, since my last post I've had a rough time!
I've been sick!

Luckily, I don't have the flu or anything really "yucky". In fact, I kept telling myself it was "just allergies" - but finally had to admit after some rather non-allergy type symptoms that I probably have a bad cold or something.

So, it's been hard to find the energy to do my normal workouts (much less find the time!), but I've been doing somewhat milder variations on my workouts rather than skipping them altogether. For example, instead of going to the gym - I've done a workout video from home, etc. Actually, I've done 2 workout videos this week (and I'm loving having cable again because FIT TV has 30 minute workout programs on TV - can you say DVR?!)

To try to get better fast I've also been taking my vitamins, and fueling up on protein and veggies with a green monster just about every morning this week!

Green Monster (my version):
-1 banana
- 1 scoop hemp protein powder (or berry egg white protein powder....I've been mixing it up)
- handful of pineapple chunks
-1/8 cup pineapple juice
-1/8 cup almond milk
-generous portion of washed spinach (like 2 cups maybe?)

Looks so gross.....tastes so yum! And I really feel like the antioxidants and vitamins from the spinach have been helping me in my sickness. Check out all the nutritional benefits on wikipedia!

Week's Training Plan (after modifications)
Monday: 6 sprint runs (usually I integrate these into a longer run a la fartleks, but not this morning)
Tuesday: workout video
Wednesday: workout video
Thursday: OFF (or evening 2 mile run, if it's nice out & I feel up to it)
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 4 mile jog
Sunday: 6 mile jog

So I'm going to keep fighting the good fight. Hopefully I'll be better by the weekend & be able to tackle this week's long run (6 miles) with no problem!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


So this week "life" has hit with full force!
My days are full with school, and my evenings are consumed with (1) wedding invitation assembly and (2) more school. I've not even been sleeping more than 6 hours a night (very unusual for me) just so I have time to fit it all in.

That being said, I think I've done pretty well - considering.
However, I have NOT been meeting my goals and that has to change.

Last week I switched some workouts around, but I got everything done.

This week I was able to run 3 miles on Monday, 5 miles on Tuesday, then although I'd planned to go to the gym on Wednesday and early-morning yoga today - neither of those events has occurred.
I'm going to try to get a workout video in this evening (although I'm supposed to attend another school-event so we'll see).

This is hard. I knew it would be. I just have to remember that I'M WORTH IT! Health and fitness are now a priority in my life and I need to treat them as such. Although I haven't been posting it, I'm still doing weekly weigh-ins. I was staying constant for several weeks, but this past Monday I was actually + 1.5 lbs. Not much. Nothing to "freak out" about. But, it's a warning signal that I need to watch myself. Watch what I eat. Exercise. And get my rear in gear!

My wedding goal (which, BTW, is only 50 days from now) is to loose at least another 6-8 lbs. I know it's a weird number, but that's the goal. So - I've got to take myself from the "maintenance" stage back into the "loosing" stage. Which is hard! It requires changes - dietary and otherwise.

I will definitely keep you updated about my progress.

One of the key goals: you can start fresh ANYTIME!!!! Don't say to yourself - "oh, I'll get back into it next week." Don't even say - "oh, I'll get back into it tomorrow." No. Start NOW! It's never too late! Plus, all of these delayed start-ups only cause people to fumble more because it gives you chance for the 'last meal', a classic over-eating feast. No bueno people!

I'm recommitting myself NOW. I'm going to eat uber healthy starting NOW! No more over-indulgence. And my workouts? Well, I'm already loosing sleep at night. What's another 30 minutes to throw in so I can at least get a quick sweat session in!?! It's worth it.

You're worth it, too!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

This week is going to be particularly crazy. I mean, thank goodness for 3-day weekends, but the same amount of work still needs to be done.....just in a condensed period of time. Yikes!

Today I started off my morning with a 3 mile run. This afternoon we're going over to a friends' for a BBQ & I'm sure with all the inevitable snackage that will take place that I'll be happy I started my day off right!

Here's the rest of the week:
Tuesday - 2 miles fast + 4 sprint runs
Wednesday - workout video (got it from Netflix & it's just been sitting around for 2 weeks now!)
Thursday: OFF
Friday: OFF
Saturday: run 5 miles
Sunday: gym (cardio + weights)

I'm a little nervous about Sunday's gym day. I've been going to the gym with my lab-mate, Tommy who has immensely helped me with weights.....I mean, I don't even know how to utilize half of the crazy weight machine things the gym has. He goes on Tues/Thurs & this week is just not gonna work out for me to be able to go those days, so i'm going to have to go it alone.

I'm also hoping that Wednesday's workout video has some weight & resistance stuff. The DVD is the Biggest Loser: Last Chance Workout. I've tried their Bootcamp DVD before & absolutely LOVED it, so hopefully this one is just as good.

In other news, in exactly 2 months from today I'll be walking down the aisle! Time to really start watching what I eat & cutting back carbs in favor of more veggies!!! I'll be updating you all on my food progress, in addition to my workouts!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

BMI versus % body fat

In my lab at school we just bought one of the fanciest most high-tech scales I've ever seen before!

You have to use it bare-foot because it sends electric pulses through your body to tell you with great accuracy not just your weight, but the percent of water you have in your body (can tell if you're dehydrated) as well as your percent body fat and your body mass index. Amazing, right?!

You put in some info (your height, age, gender), then take off your shoes, step on, and it does the rest!

After being shocked and slightly saddened by my stats (no specifics, but I'm just "normal", not "fit") - I got over it & decided to use it as motivation to become more "fit." Yes, I've made great progress in the past few months, but there's still plenty of work to be done.

So, I looked up these stats you may find interesting (this is for women only)

Body fat percentage:
10-12% = essential for survival
13 - 20% = athlete range
21 - 24% = fitness range
25 - 31% = acceptable/"normal"
32+% = obese

Body Mass Index:
<18.5 = underweight
18.5 - 24.9 = normal
25 - 29.9 = overweight
30+ = obese

To find out your BMI, check out this site.
And your percent body fat can be found here.

In terms of my own progress: I've been keeping up with the exercise, but I'm still cheating somewhat with my eating. Definitely kicked it up a notch compared to where I was when I first got home from vacation, but I'm still eating more carbs that I should, for sure!

It's 65 days until my wedding & I'm going to allow myself these next 5 days to continue eating as I have been (that is, eating healthy, but also allowing a moderate level of snackage - generally on carb-heavy foods).

Once the countdown hits 60 days, I'm going to put myself on a strict low carb regime until November.

In terms of my workout plan this week - so far, so good. I decided to put off the 6 mile run until Saturday when I have some more time. This week has just been so crazy I needed to come in early to the office & there wasn't going to be time to squeeze it in.

Well thats it for now. Have a good one!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Check it out!

You need to check this out: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

This is a link to a website for The Primal Blueprint - a diet/way of life that is based on research (supposedly - I haven't read it personally) & focuses on eating & living the way humans have evolved to live and eat!

Here are the 10 basic principles from the book. Again - I haven't read the book, nor checked the researcher's credentials, but this sounds all very intuitive and makes sense to me.

1. Eat lots of plants and animals: nuts, seeds, meat, fish, foul, veggies & fruit. We've evolved to eat these things! (Careful though - fruit should be eaten sparingly & it's best to stick with foods that are in season!)
2. Avoid poisonous things: neolithic agents like hydrogenated fats & oils, including seed oils are dangerous and should not be put into our bodies! Poisonous things also include cigarettes, etc.
3. Move frequently at a slow pace: walk more! Move more! This is NOT about burning calories, it's about movement - getting oxygen into the muscles!
4. Lift heavy things: this translates to 2 full body resistance activities per week!
5. Sprint occasionally. This promotes human growth hormone (which gives you energy and makes you look younger!) It also promotes testosterone. Ancestral humans used to have to sprint on occasion (to avoid a predator or catch a prey animal)....we should too!
6. Get adequate sleep: no brainer!
7. Play, Socialize, & Relax. Humans used to spend much more time playing, socializing, and lounging around or relaxing than we currently do. To stay healthy and be balanced, we can't neglect this important part of life.
*How to multi-task? Make some of your PLAY stuff that is also going to help you stay healthy & exercised. Join your friends for a hike, play a game of tennis, or volleyball, go for a swim, etc.
8. Get lots of sunlight: be safe (use sunscreen), but it's a misnomer that we should stay out of the sun. We've evolved to have at least 30 minutes a day of direct sunlight to get the requisite vitamin D that we need. Again - be safe about it, but its' important to get sun light!!
9. Avoid stupid mistakes. Hello! Don't drink and drive, or other stupid things!
10. Use your brain! To age well, we need to use our brains! If you have a mindless job, make sure to stay cognitively active in another way! Get a hobby, play sodoku, etc. but just make sure to exercise your brain!

I got all this info from the cutthefatpodcast - I've told you about it before!

This weeks' training plan:
Monday: 2 miles fast run; 2 sprint runs
Tuesday: gym - weights, plus a little cardio (bike)
Wednesday: 2 miles fast run; 2 sprint runs
Thursday (or Saturday depending on how I feel): 6 mile run
Friday: OFF
Sunday: relaxation yoga for stretching/relaxation! : )

I know I've gotta get a 6 mile run in this week, but I haven't entirely decided if I'll go on Thursday morning or on Saturday. We'll see how I feel & how early I need to get to school on Thursday.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sleepy Saturday

I've been doing really well with my training plans - I'm pleased that I've been able to stick with it so well now that school is back in full swing. I just got home from a lovely 5 mile run around my new neighborhood.

I thought my move was going to put a huge cramp in my running style. Our old place was walking distance to a beautiful trail on the Rillito River that stretches on forever, with several bridges that allow you to make the path as long or short as you want (just cut across the bridge & head back home when you're done). I definitely miss the path, however, I'm really liking my new neighborhood runs more than I thought I would! The streets are really wide, there's tons of other joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, etc., & it just feels "homey." Since I've moved out of the parents' house at 18, I've lived in a lot of CHEAP places (read = scary, ghetto, unsafe). This is one of only 2 houses that I consider myself to have lived at that is housed in a SAFE neighborhood with home-owners rather than renters (generally home-owner neigborhoods are safer than those dominated by home-renters......no offense - I'm a renter!!!! That's just the truth though).

I love the big, mature trees that shade the streets, & there's a beautiful view of the mountains, too. The only problem is that where I live is pretty boxed in....I have to really weave back and forth on streets to make up some mileage and even at that, I can only get up to about 5 miles (I'm boxed in by busy intersections that I don't want to cross while jogging). But, I've been looking at it as a good thing - I can pass by my house multiple times so if i need to stop in for a drink of water (or if I want to take Rocky just part of the way, then drop him back off at home), I can totally do that. Still - when my long runs approach I'll probably drive back up to my Rillito River path.

Yesterday we celebrated one of my lab-mates' successful dissertation defenses (which means he is officially a doctor!) Chris & I made plans to go play some doubles tennis on Wednesday, which I'm really excited about. We both played in high school & its been forever since we've gone and played together (I think the last time we went was last summer). Should be fun! Also, there's talk of starting up a just-for-fun weekly volleyball game. We'll see where that goes. I feel like we just keep making plans but I have no idea when we'll fit all this stuff into our busy schedules!!!

Speaking of busy schedules, I've got to hit the shower & hit the road to get some errands done!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rejuvinated : )

I love yoga! So wish I could be a yoga instructor, but it's just not in the cards. Luckily, I got a great deal on yoga through Tucson's Groupon a couple days ago (3 classes for the price of 1) so of course I snagged it. I've varied my workout plan a little from what I posted on Monday, but I'm quite pleased with how well I've done (and I don't stress about changing stuff around as long as it all gets done).
So Monday I did my 1 mile fast run
Tuesday I went to the gym with a friend who KICKED MY BUTT with weightlifting!!! I also ran another fast mile.
Wednesday I did a 3 mile relaxed run.
Today I hit up Tucson Yoga for their "Relaxing Yoga" class. I'm still quite sore in my upper body from the weightlifting & I thought this class sounded perfect.
Tomorrow I'll do my 2 sprint runs (sans the 1 mile, since I added it to Tuesday)
Saturday I'll squeeze in my 5 miles
And Sunday I may hit up another yoga (also unplanned).

Completely coincidentally I ran into a fellow grad student from my department at yoga this morning. He told me the Sunday morning class is AWESOME & I want to check it out for myself!

School officially started back this week & although things are already crazy (already coming early & staying late), I've done well to find time for exercise. It just goes to show that you make time for the things that matter to you. I've yet to miss a meal, right? ; )

During the beginning meditation in today's yoga class, the instructor said to think about someone we wanted to dedicate our practice to. Someone else who could use the calming, relaxation, mediation, etc. I sent my relaxation my sister's way (who has just as demanding a school schedule as I do). Find a moment for yourself today - for relaxation, meditation. And maybe dedicate your time to someone you know and love, too. : )

Monday, August 23, 2010

New week, new plan

Here's my plan for the week:

Monday: 1 mile fast run
Tuesday: cross training (gym) + weights
Wednesday: 3 mile run
Thursday: 5 mile run
Saturday: yoga
Sunday: 1 mile + 2 sprint runs

Over the past couple weeks (the second half of my time in Austin + the time since I've been home), I've been eating more processed foods than I care to, including refined carbohydrates (yikes!)

Today was the first day of school & I decided that I should start back up with my strict(er) food rules. So, I spent a good chunk of Sunday prepping my foods for the week. I like to wash, peel & chop up carrots & celery & place in ziplocks for snacks throughout the week (along with small portion size containers of almond butter & hummus for dipping). I also cooked some homemade chocolate chip protein bars that I found a recipe for online - Delish!! I find it so helpful to prepare foods for the week ahead of time. It definitely helps me to stay "good.'

I'm excited to hit up the gym tomorrow - it's only available during the academic year so I haven't gone all summer & it's really a beautiful facility. I've been missing it! Plus, now that school is back in session, this is the time for me to really prove to myself that I can stick with my (new) healthy ways even amidst the insane schedules imposed on those in academia. So far, so good! : )

I also just downloaded a couple cut the fat podcasts to listen to while I work out tomorrow. They're kinda amateurs in terms of radio performance, but their content is awesome & they really have a lot of knowledge about health & fitness. If you haven't already, I totally recommend giving them a listen!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Training Plan

This week marks my first official week of training for my half-marathon in January. I know it's a lot longer than typical training plans (starting 5 months before the marathon is kind of extreme), but I am starting by also mixing in a lot of cross-training & speed bursts, leaving long runs (anything in excess of 7 miles) until later (in fact, I don't break over 7 miles until the end of October).
This week starts easy:
Tuesday: cross-training (workout video)
Wednesday:2 miles of fast running (pushing myself)
Thursday: 5 miles at a moderate tempo
Friday: 2 sprint runs (sprint as fast/long as I can, break, then repeat)
Saturday: cross-training (apartment gym + weights/stretching)

I'll keep you guys updated on my training plan each week. I made this myself from copying ideas I've seen in several different training calendars and adapting them to fit my needs and my body's experience level.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Know your protein

Protein powder is something I'd always thought of as a "guy thing." Seeing it in stores brought back memory of my older brother in High School, holding his nose & chugging a water/protein powder mixture because it was too disgusting to drink normally.

But protein powder isn't just for boys anymore, lol. It's actually become almost a daily part of my diet. But you need to know what protein is right for you.

Here are some questions:
Are you using protein powder specifically for muscle strength and repair before or after exercises (if so, whey is good for you - it absorbs quickly!)
Are you using protein powder just so that you get more protein in your diet? (if so, whey is NOT good, because if left unused you just excrete it out through urination; But, all other kinds of protein would be good!)

What's your use for it?

You should also know that to be most effective, it's best if you VARY your protein intake. This way, your body doesn't "get used" to the added components of protein, vitamins, carbs, etc. You need to "trick" your body by keeping it mixed up. I use soy, whey, hemp, and egg-white protein powders, each with a different mix of the components I need most.

Also, make sure to check out the carbohydrates! I try to eat high protein/low carbs. A lot of protein powders, however, are full of carbs because they serve as an extra energy boost that big-time weight lifters, etc., need to get through a workout. I find that I get enough carbs just from fruits & veggies. I want my protein to be mostly protein!!!

So there you go. Don't be scared of protein powder. Chances are, you could use a little extra protein in your diet, too! If you're still just as confused as ever, I've found that the salespeople in LOCAL health food stores (not big chains like GNC, etc) are SUPER helpful & knowledgeable & can point you in the right direction for whatever would work best for YOUR body and YOUR diet!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Staying the course

Vacation is probably one of the hardest times to keep a normal schedule, so here are some tips that I've been trying to employ:

-Prepare for LONG days of running around. I have "adopted" a little mini-cooler from my Mom and pack it each morning with water bottles, almond butter, baby carrots, chopped celery, and a bag of pre-washed fruit. That way, I am always able to stay hydrated & to have healthy snack choices around so I don't cave at the snow-cone stand, the Tex-Mex restaurant, etc. It's also helpful because that way I don't overindulge at meals because I'm not famished from running around all day!

-Exercise EARLY. If you're like me, your day fills up FAST on vacation. It's constantly go-go-go and no stop until your head hits the pillow at the end of the day. No way I'm going to muster up the energy or will power to exercise then!!! So start the day on a positive note! Thank goodness my Mom has an elliptical machine upstairs - it's been a total lifesaver! But even without, there are plenty of low-fuss exercises: neighborhood jog, yoga session, or log into self.com & download any number of mobile workouts that they have available for FREE!!!

-Weekly weigh-in. I used to do a weekly weigh-in to keep me accountable for how I've been doing during the previous week. Since my weight has stabilized I've stopped announcing it to the world (although I keep doing it, just for my own benefit). But even if you aren't accountable to anyone else, its important for YOU to weigh-in regularly so YOU know how you're doing. This is especially important on vacations when eating and exercise habits tend to go out the window! I weighed-in this morning and *woo-hoo* no changes! Success!!

-Set (manageable) goals. I'm a big believer in goals for all aspects of life (career, health/fitness, even relationship goals are great!) But goals don't do any good if they're unattainable! Ease up a little on yourself when you're on vacation, but don't give yourself a free pass to do whatever! This week, my goal is to have 4 planned sweat sessions. So, just running around doing errands doesn't count (although they do make me sweaty!) Today I knocked out 1. I have another planned for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. That meets my weekly quota, and still leaves plenty of room for sleeping in (if that's even possible) and spending time with family!
Bonus: rope your family INTO your sweat session! My Friday morning exercise will be done with my sis-in-law, Jenna. I get to catch up with her while getting fit! Two birds, one stone! : )

That's it for now. Happy Summer, Y'all!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vacation fitness goals

How does anyone eat healthy and work-out on vacation? Especially when that "vacation" is going back home to be with family (at least, if you have a family like mine that loves to eat GOOOOOD *translate = fattening* food!!!)

So here's what I've done:

My weight has stabilized anyways, so I'm not really trying to loose anything. I'm still, however, making active efforts to eat well & stay active. So far, so good. My bridal portrait was this morning & my dress fit like a glove - can't wait to get the pics from the photographer!

I'm not going to lie - I love food & it's been a struggle to stay on the straight & narrow. But I feel so much better when I do - I'm sure it's the same for everyone else!

I'll keep you posted. I've got another 8 days in beautiful Austin, Texas! : )

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New plans

Over the next 10 days I'll be out of town (August 4-14th), so my blogging may be irregular. But, I've already mapped out a new workout plan of action for my return. I'm going to be training for the half-marathon in January, while also mixing in other cross-training type activities (and YOGA...I <3 yoga!)

So, blogging may be irregular for the next couple weeks, but have no fear. My return will hit the ground running. And that's what this blog is really about - health and fitness in the REAL world! Sure, I've been working this summer. But anyone familiar with academia knows that summer is a cake-walk compared to the regular academic year. Additionally, I'll be preparing for my upcoming wedding (in November!!!), so this is going to be probably the craziest/most stressful semesters of my life!!!

Stay tuned for my weight loss, health & fitness routines.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Long run story

I wanted the title to be, "Long run FAIL success" but it won't let me use srtikethrough text in the title.

This morning I got all ready for a nice, long run (it's been awhile since I've done a good long distance run): I had a big protein-infused smoothie, got dressed, applied sunblock, stretched, put water bottles, protein balls & energy gel in my running belt, & grabbed my ipod touch.....but where were my headphones?

After 30 minutes of frantic searching (i cannot do long runs without music & I need headphones for that) I had almost given up. I'd already taken off my shoes & socks & plopped onto the couch to look up the next soonest yoga hour from my local studio (Yoga Oasis has awesome "yoga happy hours" where they do an hour yoga class for $4!) but I was still discontent. Then, I thought to look under the couch and *hoorah* There they were!!

I'm stuck in a slump though. I cannot break past 8 miles. I plan longer routes (I look them up on runnersworld.com) & have even changed up my training: adding way more intervals, weights, resistance-type training that is supposed to aid in long distance running. But I hit 8 miles & I just can't do anymore! I cut through some shortcut & come home. I don't know what to do! That's certainly going to be a problem since I've signed up for the Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon in January!

I've got to look up some training plans & start putting them to use!

So I guess the long run was a combo failure/success.

Chris & I went out to a yummy lunch at a new place I've seen & wanted to try - Healthy Greens. Chris got a panini & I got a big grilled BBQ chicken salad. They were delicious (Chris thought better than Beyond Bread or Panera Bread), but they were pricey! $22 for lunch when we both just drank water?! Chris ate all his, but mine was at least big enough that I can eat it for an entire lunch tomorrow (I always get dressing on the side for this reason).

I think tomorrow will have to be Yoga Oasis. Haven't been in over a month since I'd been doing the 30 days for $30 at Bikram.