Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Super Awesome News!

My husband and I have adopted the best dog in the world!!!
He is the cutest most smartest dog ever!
          -says the most biest person here.

I was working on another article/post when I realized that I haven't shared quite possibly the most exciting news of this year!

We got Dr. Watson (Watson for short) in April of this year. We think he is a German shepard, terrier mix with maybe some rhodesian ridgeback thrown in for good measure (minus the ridgeback) as he has the same coloring and facial structure. So basically miniture german shepard!

 This was when we first got him-- look! He is SO small!!!!! AHH, he was about half the size he is now!
       He is sleeping with his rubber ducky here.

Watson LOVES to run but I can't run fast enough for him so I run him while riding my bike. This summer I got Watson a basket for him to ride in so that we can go on long rides together. He likes to run and explore in between riding in the basket!

This was taken in July and he has since grown even bigger! We love our pup and are training him daily-- Chris is better at this than I am!

Personnel File #003
Name: Dr. Watson
Age:  8 months
Likes: Running, digging, sniffing socks, trying to play with cats, licking people, throwing his rope, napping on laps, exploring instead of coming back.
Dislikes: Getting a bath and having nails trimmed
Skills: Carrying multiple toys, shaking a paw (left and right), sitting, laying down, high five-ing, crawling, and rolling over.

Friday, July 10, 2015

A Life In Balance- How To Do It All and Not Be Exhausted

 A Little Less Exhausted?!

A balancing act is a constant activity that one pursues. We juggle and jiggle to keep all of our activities and the activities of our children (if we have them) balanced. My Mom did an excellent job of keeping us well rounded. Not too much television, not too many after school activities, decent bed time, good healthy food. 

Life as an adult is a LOT more challenging. We get to do all the balancing making sure that we are well rounded- and hopefully not so when it comes to our waistline. I don't have any children and I am astounded at how so many people manage it all- I have a hard enough time dealing with the stress of maintaining my life, house, and body that I look at others and wonder how they do it? Well maybe it's a front and they don't do it as well as they would like. I think on some level, as adults we are all exhausted.

So how can we be a little less exhausted? How do we manage the stress and maintain a healthy immune system, a healthy brain (as in not loose all our marbles- literally in old age?), is there a way to not get cancer?

The key to balance and a healthy body is largely determined by food and stress. The kind of foods that you eat matter A LOT!!! I can't emphasize this enough. It can be hard being the only one at work eating a salad and having Jimmy say, "Oh I wish I could eat healthy like you". And you can't say anything because you know deep down that Jimmy really wants to be eating his fast food.

Not giving in to peer pressure and eating some of the brownie cake at work IS REALLY HARD and causes stress that a builds throughout the day with everything else that we deal with causing us stress too, till we cave and binge on something- this sucks, especially when we are trying to loose weight!

So how do we manage it all? How do we eat healthier, stay fit, and NOT get stressed?? We have soooo much going on!

I just finished reading wonderfully interesting book on adapotgenic herbs and I fully believe that everyone (unless you don't have to have a job and live on a beach somewhere awesome) needs to be taking to help achieve a better stress and inflammation level.

Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief by David Winston, RH (AHG) and Steven Maimes

What Are Adaptogens?

"There is a category of herbs called adaptogens that help the human body adapt to stress, support normal metabolic processes, and restore balance. They increase the body's resistance to physical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors and promote normal physiologic function." p.1

Adaptogens have been used for thousands of years in many other countries and types of medicine including Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Indian, and Native American.

Quoted here- sorry it's a tad long but so good!
"Adaptogens enhance general health and well-being, thus creating a positive overall effect on the body and mind. When used along with other therapies, they can help to positively alter the course of my acute and chronic diseases. 
  Adaptogens provide an anabolic effect. They strengthen the entire body by allowing the cells to have access to adaptive energy. They work to protect energy resources from depletion, thus working as tonics in states of fatigue and stress. This annabolic quality of adaptogens is especially important for people involved in athletic training and body building. It is also important to our bodies as we age and start to develop wasting of the muscles and become weaker.
   Adaptogens work at the cellular level to help the body cope with stress-related situations. As powerful antioxidants, they protect cells from oxidative stresss (free radical damage). They also affect the basic process necessary for the body to produce energy. The cells use a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as a major source of energy. Many adaptogens have been shown to enhance the action of cellular ATP and stimulate parts of cells called mitochondria to produce energy. Mitochondrial energy production is a necessity for physical sstrength and energy. 
   In addition, some adaptiogens also provide needed support to the liver. Among its may funtions, the liver promotes glucose production for cellular energy. Using adaptogens to increase funtional liver health can enhance energy, vitality, and well-being, and the removal of toxins helps the body to funtion more efficiently.
   Adaptogens have the ability to slow the biological aging process by reducing the impact of physiological aging factors- primarily oxidation and stress. Adaptogens help reduce wear and tear on the body, balance anabolic-catabolic (builing up/tearing down) activity, reduce inflammation, and reduce free radical formantion. As such, they are an important component to any longevity program. (See chapter 76 for more information on how adaptogens can slow the aging process.)"    p.49-50

What Adatogens Should I Take??

This is where I HIGHLY encourage you to get the book and read it as I don't have the ability here to impart of all the detail and information that you will need to make this decision. I will include a list here of all adaptogens and what they are generally used for, but this is not all inclusive. Adaptogens work better with one another rather than singularly- a fact that I am looking forward to experiencing! I just ordered my new adaptogens eluthero and holy basil last night! Yay! I have been taking ashwagandha for a couple years now and I do notice the difference in my stress level, but I do look forward to being more emotionally balanced and I am hoping the holy basil will help. Thank you for reading this article and I hope it helps!!

Nervines: Complementary Herbs for Adaptogens

"Nervines are nerve tonics that is, calming herbs that are mildly relaxing without the overly suppressant effects of sedatives. This type of herb restores emotional balance and nourishes the nerves and nervous system. Nervines help calm anxiety, heart, or gastrointestinal tract symptoms that are caused by stress, mild sleeplessness, irritability, and white coat hypertension. Some adaptogens also are used as nervines, including ashwagandha, eleuthero, jiaogulan, reishi, rhaponticum, rhodiola, and schisandra."

Nootropics: Complementary Herbs for Adaptogens

Nootropics are "especially useful for enhancing emotional well-being and promoting cerebral circulation. "..." The word nootropic is derived from the Greek workds noos (mind) and tropos (a bend) meaning 'acting on the mind' and is pronounced 'no-trp-ik'. These herbs are used to enhance memory, slow or  prevent the onset of age or Alzheimer's disease related cognitive decline, reduce oxidative or ischemic damage to the brain, and improve mood."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bikini Body Challenge Conclusion

So- ever have a week get away from you? Well it happens all the time to me! With so many things to do I often wish I had more hours in the day so I can achieve all my goals, projects, and fun! I love spending time in my garden which is so green and overflowing with potential friuts- it's amazing! I really hope I can spend a bit more time weeding this week! Thanks to my father-in-law, he has saved me so much time this year by tilling between the rows!!

This week I biked a total of 132 miles with my long ride being 90 miles! I have been so encouraged by my friends and family in achieving each longer distance as it comes around each week and each week I know that I can do it! Next Saturday I will be doing my 100 mile ride!! Whoo-hoo!!! I am so excited!!

Btw, I know I mentioned a couple posts ago that I was going to get a new bike, well, that got put on the back burner for a few more months, so I won't be riding the Hilly Hundred this year, but that's okay, there's always next year!

Anyhow, yesterday was the last day of my journey in the 14 Day Bikini Body Challenge, and while I didn't always follow strictly the diet- especially on my long ride days- I can only carry so much food with me! However, I have slimmed down and I am feeling confident! And I have a lot more energy and I am feeling far less stressed than I was while eating a less raw diet. Previously I was eating between 40-50% raw with far smaller meals and far fewer calories and I think that was my problem. In my efforts to lose weight I was consuming less calories but slowing down my metabolism by doing so instead of eating more raw food which has fewer calories and more nutrients, plus almost every fruit or vegetable out there helps to reduce inflammation- the main source of weight gain and chronic disease!

This morning to help aid in my recovery from yesterday's ride- inflammation wise (I am currently out of our curcumin supplement that Chris and I are on, so my knees have been aching more than usual-owey!) so I made the following anti-inflammatory smoothie to help my knees and the sunburn I got :(

V.I.Note!! If you have organic, all natural sunscreen, or any sunscreen really
I suppose, check the expiration date!!! It does go bad! I used mine yesterday and
while it worked okay, it didn't work as well as it used to- come to find out it
expired June of 2013! Yikes! So much for sunscreen never going bad! Haha!
Granted I probably should have re-applied more than I did- but who wants to stop for that!
Especially when you can still see the titanium dioxide! Common! It must still be working!
Right?-- So check your labels or you will end up with funny tan lines like me.

Go! Man-go!

1/2 Pineapple-chopped
1 mango
1 banana
1/2-1 tsp turmeric
1/8-1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C coconut milk or water
Ice cubes!!! 7-8

Blend until smooth and enjoy! 

This smoothie is great for anyone who is on the go! The turmeric has an active compound called curcumin which has many health related benefits but one of the best is reducing joint inflammation. I have been taking this as a supplement because I don't eat a lot of Indian food and it has helped immensly. I am always recommending it to friends who are complaining of their joints hurting- it really helps! 

The cinnamon in this recipe helps fight inflammation but overall, it's best for balancing blood sugars and keeping you on an even keel. Pineapple and mango are full of beneficial fiber to keep you full and clear out toxins! The bromelain in pineapple is a huge inflammation fighter! 

So here are a few of the meals that I had this past week.
On day 10 I had sunshine juice for breakfast and half a watermelon for lunch. I was only able to eat a little more than half of the container! Oh it was soo much, but it was soo good!

I read some cool information in my magazine the other day about watermelon juice- which I made for breakfast on Saturday before my ride.
'People who sipped watermelon juice before exercise were less sore the next day. "It's the only food that contains large amounts of L-citrulline, an amino acid that can improve oxygen delivery to the muscles," says Leslie Bonci, R.D., the director of sports medicine at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center...'
Fitness magazine June 2014

Dinner that night was spirilized zucchini! Yum yum!!

1 spirilized zucchini
1 carrot shreds
1 red bell pepper
black sesame seeds

1/8 C tahini
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp white miso

1-2 heads lettuce

1 yellow bell pepper

1 cucmber
2-3 mushrooms
dill and pepper seasoning

handful of blueberries

Dressing- it looks better than how it turned out, so I'll spare you the details.

Sesame Noodles

1 spirilized zucchini
carrot peels
2-3 mushrooms diced- set aside
2 chopped tomatoes
pepper and garlic powder
1/4 chopped yellow bell pepper

While chopping veggies, place diced mushrooms in small dish and marinate in the following dressing.

1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp raw soy sauce
2 tbsp orange juice

When mushrooms are soft (er), place them on top and pour remaining dressing on noodles. Mix and eat!!

Thanks for reading this rather lengthy post- I hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I did!
Have a great rest of your week!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 8 Bikini Body Challenge

Hey Everyone!! It is the end of Day 8 in my journey on the 80-10-10 Bikini Body Challenge by FullyRawKristina and I feel GREAT! I have soo much more energy in eating raw than I have in the past 6 months. 

My only issue thus far was on my really long weekly training ride (it gets longer every week- thus the training) and I was tired and my knees and back were really aching by mile 55 where as last week I did 69 miles no problem- yesterday's distance was 78 miles- which I overshot and did 81. I was able to finish but I was really feeling it. Today my knees still ache a bit but I think that eating raw REALLY helped with the inflammation caused by this ride- which was actually really flat- hardly any hills that were challenging.

My energy today was also impressive- granted I woke up really tired but I got going and (yeah, ok, I admit it- I had caffeine- from green coffee beans), with the raw food, I have had so much energy where as a few weeks ago I would have been so tired I would have come home after work and sat. Instead, this evening I made my dinner, juiced breakfast, made a smoothie for lunch, made raw cookies from leftover juicing pulp, made my hubbie some chocolate chip cookies, washed the dishes, and finished the laundry- oh yeah, and wrote this!! I have energy!! Hazaah!!

So after that run on sentence, here are a few of the meals that I have prepared the past few days! I haven't been strictly following Kristina's meal plan as I have been using what I have on hand by creating something comparable.

Oh-btw, thus far I have lost between 3-5 lbs! It's approximate because I didn't weigh myself at the beginning but I was around 131-132 and now I'm 127!! Yay!!!

Here is my dinner day 5- it's not what Kristina made but boy was it good!

Taco Salad

1-2 heads of your choice of greens- spinach and kale here
3/4 of one cucumber

half of 1 avocado
red onion diced
pepper- to taste
mushrooms- diced (optional)
olives- sliced (optional)

Taco Dressing
1/4 pkt taco seasoning
3 tomatoes-roma
garlic powder- large dash ( I put garlic and pepper on most savory dishes!)
small squirt of sirichi sauce

Place all dressing ingredients in blender and puree. Pour over salad and enjoy the heat!!

Above is my dinner (the salad) for Saturday, and I had the smoothie- which was made from left over juice- I used one of Kristina's recipes but I have discovered that orange juice by itself in large quantities contains too much acid for my stomach to handle. Upon drinking the original juice and starting my bike ride, I had to return and eat a piece of Ezekiel bread to balance out the acid :/So the above juice is the left over orange, pineapple and mango drink, plus 2 bananas and wheat grass powder that I had for breakfast on Sunday morning.

The salad dressing is composed of 2 tbsp cashew butter (I didn't have hemp seeds, 1/3 C water, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp beet powder (I just happened to have on hand as opposed to a raw beet- granted I have pickled raw beet that would have worked but this was faster. And shake-able.

This was dinner tonight. I got tired of the lettuce and went for one of my old favorites- 

Raw Spaghetti! 

1 1/2 spiralized zucchini
toppings of choice- red bell pepper, red onion, artichoke hearts, and black pepper are what I used tonight- I often love to use olives but I skipped them tonight since I used the artichoke hearts (no they weren't raw)

I also was a bit lazy and instead of making raw sauce I used organic pre-made spaghetti sauce.

The above jars contain tomorrow's breakfast and lunch. 

Sunshine Juice

4 oranges
5 apples (medium to smallish)
3 carrots

Juice and pour! Breakfast is served!! Lemon and ginger are excellent additions if you so desire.

Blue Moon Smoothie

Created by Penni of RawFoodRehab, it is one of my all time favorites! I made one and a half times the quantity of the recipe below to fulfill the 80-10-10 proportion requirements- or at least as much of it as I can eat!!

1 C frozen blueberries
1 C banana
1 1/2 C orange juice - I sub 3/4 C almond milk
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Blend and serve! Yummy!!!

I hope this helps encourage you to try going raw, or at least eating healthier by consuming more raw meals!! Have a wonderful day and stay balanced!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Re- Starting a More Healthy Diet

Over the winter I wandered away from being as raw as I used to be with healthy options that were more processed. I wandered away from smoothies and shakes in favor of soups that I bought at the store- a few I made myself but it's time to get back into the swing of things as I have been feeling slower and more tired- and I've gained a bit :(  
Darn cookies!! Why do you have to be so tasty!?!

To jump back into my high raw food lifestyle, I am doing FullyRawKristina's Bikini Body ChallengeIt's 14 days of eating fully raw in the 80-10-10 proportions. While I have been fully raw before and felt fabulous- and done weight loss raw plans before- none of them were the 80-10-10.
So this should be an interesting 14 days!

I am currently on Day 3 ( The program started June 1st but I started June 2nd.)  
Day 1 was pretty easy but I started to get a detox headache in the afternoon.
Day 2 was difficult and I do admit that I cheated a little-- sneaky cookies! Whaat! How did that happen?! I still had the detox headache and did my workout anyway- although I was much slower than usual as I felt like it was taking a lot more energy to get it all done. The headache dissipated around 4pm but it may come back- we'll see...

Day 3- there was plenty of food- too much really, which a couple of my friends at work were like "what are you drinking?", and "what is that?" so they got to taste my smoothie for lunch which they really liked too! 

The smoothie I made for my lunch was a little different than Kristina's recipe as I didn't have 5 oranges, only three, or any cilantro-- but it tasted great- and it is super thick! Packed full of FIBER!!! So much fiber... fiber fiber everywhere!

Every morning we drink 32 oz of lemon or fruit water to get the plumbing going, followed by a breakfast juice, a smoothie lunch, and a fruit appetizer with a salad dinner.

My Lunch Smoothie

3 Naval oranges
1/2 a pineapple
1 peeled and sliced mango
1 C de-stemmed kale
Pack into blender and blend until smooth and serve (or as smooth as your blender will allow you to get it).

I personally am having a hard time understanding how Kristina eats soooo much food!!!! It's super filling and I couldn't even finish the smoothie! I drank the glass for lunch on my way to work and had 3/4 of the jar for my snack. The salad was more than enough for dinner- it looks deceptively small in the picture.

Anyhow, another day down! I will post my progress periodically- weight loss has yet to occur but I really hope it happens! I admit I'm a tad bit concerned considering the quantities I'm eating... Guess I'll find out!!

For those of you interested in trying out the raw food lifestyle, this is a great opportunity! Check out Kristina's videos on youtube.com/fullyrawkristina!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Healthy Eating Makes a Difference

I recently posted an update about my personal life. My mom recently had ankle replacement surgery and her recovery is slow but steady. To prepare for her surgery she needed to loose a little bit of weight and decided to try the Ani Phyo 15 day Fat Blast, raw food diet that I reviewed here about a year and a half ago. 

In my last post I listed several "hard core" physical events that I am planning on participating in this year and next and I want to make it known that when I was a teenager I NEVER would have imagined that I would be doing ANY of these events. I hit puberty and got fat. My family is heavy. I was heavy. I have worked hard to loose weight and maintain it. Raw food has played a huge role; being vegetarian has been a large part of it. Learning how to balance what, and how I eat was probably the most important thing I have ever learned because it has influenced every part of my life.

I say this because several years ago when I went vegetarian and got into raw food my family didn't understand. People I worked with didn't get it. And now, years later, my family understands that high fructose corn syrup is the devil. I was talking with my mom and she was telling me that my uncle has decided to go vegetarian and will switch over in about a month- this is a big guy who loves his meat! Who also has several health issues.

I realized today that my eating healthy, the changes I have made, have influenced and will continue to influence, the people around me. My co-workers know that I eat healthy, and while I am skinny, it's because I eat healthy (and workout) that I'm skinny. I make it clear that I am not blessed with a high metabolism. I can not eat whatever I want and have no consequences.

So here are a couple recipes to try that will have those around you going, "what is that?", "man that smells good", "what are you eating"?

Miso Soup for One

1 tbsp white miso
1- 1 1/2 C water or veggie broth ( I like to use the concentrated veggie broth- I add about 1/2 tsp for one serving)
1 spring onion chopped
1/2 C peas
1 tbsp wakame
pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste

Put on stove top, stirring to dissolve miso. When heated through, serve! Super easy and filling! The other great thing is that you can add any veggies or seasoning you want- you could do corn with taco seasoning and mushrooms, or carrots and potatoes... be creative!

I made this shake at my parent's house and my Dad loved it!! 

Pear-an-go Shake

makes on large serving or 2 small

1 pear, chopped

1 C mango
3/4 C cottage cheese
2-4 pkts stevia, to taste
dash of almond milk to blend

Mix till smooth and pour!

Thanks for reading, I hope to become more consistent in my posts this year than I have so far- biking and work takes up a LOT of time!! But really I just have to manage my time better :)  
All the veggies are planted in the garden now so see you veggi soon!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Time Flies: Personal Life Update

It is amazing to me how quickly time passes overall and how slowly it can slog by in a day. I have been meaning to post a couple recipes on here for several weeks now and between life and laziness it hasn't happened. 

My mother recently had ankle replacement surgery and I went to help her out for a week afterward- for her time is moving slothfully slow as she is non- weight bearing and gets to spend her days sitting and wishing she could get about and do more. 

At work this past week I felt like the more I tried to get done, the longer everything took to get accomplished. 

The past couple years I have gotten into long distance bike riding- a style called touring that is more about distance than speed (mostly). It's aim is mostly for cross country travel. Last year I hit 50 miles in a day or a half century.

I am currently in my third week of training for the century ride I want to do this year- hopefully more than one when all is said and done! I am planning on doing the local Goat Ride- it is in four parts of different distances but when all four are done it equals 116 miles. Training has been going well-- except that it has been VERY windy here in Indiana making the miles pass by extremely slowly at times. Part of the problem is my bike. I have an old bike. It is very sturdy and has three speeds! It also weighs about 30 lbs! (yes I just weighed it!) Super sturdy!

My ultimate goals for this year are:
  • A half-marathon
  • The Goat Ride, August 9th: 116 miles
  • The Hilly Hundred, October 10-12th: 100 miles
I would love to try to do a century and a half or even a double century before the season is over as I am hoping to do RAIN (165 mile Ride Across INdiana) next year.
My ultimate goal that I came up with a couple years ago was to tour ride down the west coast. I thought that by riding a lot that I would be able to gain the distance that I needed to build the endurance to ride 50-60 miles a day. This is only partially true! I have learned a lot this year and plan on a more active training module this year and next. I hope to be able to do the trip next fall.

Soon I will post a pic or two of my old bike and my new bike- I am hoping to get it this week!
I will post again soon- no more slothfulness for me! Winter is over and this bunny is hitting the trails!