Monday, February 27, 2017

Enjoy Life!

When I was a teenager, I knew a man who had a catchphrase*. He was a man that ran triathlons recreationally, wore suspenders casually, and was kind of a jerk. He also had swagger.  This man was a neighbor, and I often heard him use his motto when he chatted with my parents. He would always drop his slogan right before exiting a conversation, and the fact that he withdrew from public settings by using a catchphrase blew my mind.

Before this man moved to my neighborhood, I didn’t know that catchphrases could exist outside of commercials and cartoons.  Once I learned that mottos were up for grabs, I wanted my own.  I became determined to create a signature phrase.

I didn’t feel well-rounded enough to have a catchphrase in high school, and I wasn’t quite mature enough to pull off using my own slogan in college.  It wasn’t until 2013 when I created an anonymous blog that I decided the time was right for using my own motto.

I considered a few catchphrases, some simple and some complicated, before I settled on, Enjoy Life.

What Enjoy Life Means to Me

Life is short, scary, beautiful, and uncertain. I want my life to matter, and I don’t want to take life for granted.  I want to live a life that is gratifying AND filled with gratitude.  I want to always enjoy my life and I want you to enjoy life too.

I value happiness.
I value good health.
I value kindness.

My work and my hobbies revolve around my values. I believe that it is important to enjoy life, and I enjoy life because I strive to live in a way that supports my values. 

Happiness, good health, and kindness are special.  Treasures that make life worth living. I want you to value these treasures too, because if you do, like me, I think you will truly…

Enjoy Life!
(In short: be kind, be healthy and be happy.)

Peace out!

Miss Nutralicious

*I have decided not to share my neighbor's catchphrase in order to protect his identity, but think “Hasta la vista, baby”, “I’ll be back”, or “Here’s looking at you, kid” but even cooler.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Fitness Friday

I have a problem with blogging consistently.  For example, I published a grand total of four blog posts in 2016.  Four posts!  I guess this is an extreme example of blog slacking, but the point is, I need due dates and prearranged plans to help me blog consistently.  So, today I am rolling out my first regularly scheduled blog post. Introducing…

Here’s how this is going to go down:
   1. EVERY Friday, I am going to publish a fitness related post.
   2. For the first few weeks, I am going to follow the same template (see below).
   3. Eventually, I will conduct fitness challenges and demand that you get involved.
   4. I’ll be nice, I promise.

Why should you care?  I don’t necessarily stick to a conventional fitness routine, but for my entire life I have enjoyed being physically active and I have managed to be consistently fit.  I am in shape because I am not afraid to look silly or try new things.  I think I can motivate the loafers, encourage the folks that have fallen off of the fitness bandwagon, and entertain the health professionals.

Let’s get to it…

What’s new: On February 1st, I started a 40-day running challenge.  The goal is to hit 150 miles by day 40.  This is a challenge that my husband is doing at his high school (to clarify, he is a teacher and a coach, not a high school student). Today marks day #24 and I have done 92.25 miles, so I am right on track. If I make it the whole way, I get a t-shirt!

Changes to my routine:  I am taking a break from strength training and yoga until I complete the running challenge.

Running: Total mileage this week: 30 miles
Longest Run: 6.5 miles
Shortest Run: 3.75 miles
Craziest Run: 5 miles outdoors in sunny 64-degree weather…in FEBRUARY! It doesn’t get much crazier than this in Michigan.

Strangest Physical Activity Performed: I danced with a goat*

Most challenging physical activity performed with a 2-year-old: My daughter likes to keep me active!  This week, she challenged me with a slinky.  She likes throwing her slinky down the basement stairs, and she LOVES watching me retrieve it no less than 32 times in a row.   

Weirdest Food: Usually, this category will be reserved for unique healthy foods that have helped me keep my taste buds fit.  Typically, I will include foods that are a bit wild, maybe even trendy, that I have dared to sample so that I can share my outrageous eating experiences with you.  This week?  One big unhealthy word: CAKE.

When every person in your household celebrates their birthday in the same week, you are bound to eat copious amounts of cake.

It started with a birthday party sheet cake…

Then, because my daughter misinterpreted sheet cake as SHEEP cake, this happened…

And, even though a sheep cake is pretty unique, the winner of the weirdest food of the week goes to…

 The Neapolitan Cake!!!

That’s right! A 3-layer swirl of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry courtesy of my sister, the cake baker extraordinaire.  It was beautiful, insanely delicious, and weighed about 50 pounds.


Fitness highlight of the week:  I made it to day 24 of my running challenge without collapsing.

Goals for next week: Continue running, attempt mall walking, and eat less cake.

It has been a busy, fun and adventurous week!

Questions: What was your fitness highlight this week? Weirdest food: How did you keep your taste buds fit?

Enjoy Life!

Miss Nutralicious

*In case you need more details, I went to a goat show at a petting farm and my daughter volunteered me to dance with the star of the show.  It was a brief but vigorous workout.

FYI, This is the goat show host, not me. The star of the show is on the right.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A 2016 fitness recap. This is relevant, I promise.

Next Friday I am going to start a new series on my blog called “Fitness Fridays”.  In order for the series to make sense, I need you to know about my 2016 fitness endeavors and my 2017 fitness plans. 

Let’s recap…

After my daughter was born in February 2015, I made loose plans to register for a race close to her one year birthday.  I was really excited to start running again and I thought it would be a great way to get back in shape after having a baby.

Surprisingly, my daughter loved stroller runs as a baby, so I was in better running shape at the start of 2016 than I had expected. My unanticipated fitness level made me do something foolish.  I decided to try to cross “break 1:40 in a half marathon” off of my bucket list just fourteen months after having a baby.

Spoiler alert:  It didn’t happen.

Here’s what happened instead: My training went perfectly and I thought I had a real chance of running as fast as lightning (which is scientifically proven to be about 7:35 pace for 13.1 miles).

Then the night before the race, things went buck wild.
  • The weather instantly dropped from 45 degrees to 19 degrees.
  • My daughter picked MY pre race night to be, thus far, the only night of HER life that she slept zero hours.
By morning, I was freezing and exhausted.  I quickly grabbed my pre packed post race bag and waited for my brother (also racing) to pick me up.  My brother had three jobs; be on time (job #1 failed) print directions (job #2 failed) and figure out where to park (job #3 failed).

Fortunately, we made it to the race on time, found a parking spot half a mile from the starting line, ran to the start line in our winter coats, discovered that they didn’t have a gear-check, and hid our coats, car keys, and cash under a table in a picnic pavilion.

I am not making this up.

Positive side note: My husband and daughter came to watch me race! They drove to four different mile markers and jumped out of the car wrapped in blankets and waved every time I ran past them. My daughter yelled “ZOOM!” when I went by.  It was the best.

The Race
I ran as fast as I could.
It snowed. My glasses got wet. 
The sun came out. My glasses fogged. 
I tried to run without glasses. 
Not wearing glasses made me dizzy. 
I stopped no less than ten times to wipe the water and fog off of my glasses. 
Around mile 10, I realized I was running on 1-2 hours of sleep.

I finished in 1:45:19

Post Race
I scarfed down two bagels, miraculously found my coat and cash where I left them, forgot my post race bag in my brother’s car, drove home with my daughter and husband, and spent the rest of the day walking around like a zombie (I don’t do naps).

Now you are caught up to May of 2016.

May-December 2016
May: I didn’t let the dream die.  I decided to run another race in July.  I knew I could break 1:40!

June: My daughter’s naptime changed, she discovered she liked parks better than the stroller, it got to hot too run outdoors with a one year old. I decided to play at the park more and run less.

July: I put my half marathon goal on the back burner. I started lifting weights 4 days per week.

August and September: I continued lifting weights.

October: I though about doing a few long runs, but then killer clowns became a thing.

November: I just had fun.

December: I realized that without any real plans, I had managed to stay in shape for all of 2016.

Turns out, I enjoy being healthy and active. Goals are nice, but maintaining my health and having fun while I do what I love is better.

January:  Instead of making a specific new year’s goal with a measurable outcome (like every resource recommends), I made a simple but broad new year’s resolution to “maintain my fitness in 2017”.

Here’s what I’ve done so far this year:

  • I did 15 minutes of yoga per day in January.
  • I started the year with an average of 10-15 miles of running per week.
  • I quit lifting weights. (Hey, at least I’ve maintained my weakness!)
  • I started a 40 day running challenge on February 1st that my husband put together for his cross country team and I am still going strong.
I am doing a variety of things, I am maintaining balance, and I am having fun. Maybe one day I will break 1:40 in a half marathon and maybe I won't! The important thing is that I enjoy the journey.

Boom! Now you are caught up!

Starting Friday, I am going to record my fitness adventures in a regular series that I am calling Fitness Fridays.  It’s going to be fun, and I hope you will join me! 

Questions: Do you make specific fitness goals? Do you think exercise is fun or a chore?

Enjoy Life!

Miss Nutralicious