breakfast

Changes and Challenges

I had another triathlon this weekend... but since my past 2 posts have pretty much all been about triathlons, I'll keep this recap short, ha.  This race was at the country's "Number 1 Beach" at Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota, Florida, about an hour south of Tampa.  It was gorgeous, although I would definitely want more waves if I was going to spend very long there.  But the sand and water were beautiful... you could actually see the bottom! For the race, I finished 3rd in my age group and was generally pleased with the results, although not elated.  This was a train-through race, meaning the only taper I did was a short workout on the day before, which in itself was still tough considering I'd run 9.5 miles the day before, a 30 mile bike ride, and 1800m swim.

This beach is on the Gulf of Mexico so the water was extremely warm, which doesn't really make for fast swimming.  It was also pretty choppy considering there weren't really many waves.  My swim split was awful so we won't even get into it lol.

The bike was ok- I average right about 21 mph.  Also had a fun little crash where the chick next to me didn't seem to want to move over during a turn and I had to slam on my brakes to avoid smashing into a car.  Couple scrapes but nothing remotely serious.

The run (to my surprise) was totally along the beach.  Ha, ok the beach is pretty and all, but damn.  The sand is hard pack, meaning its pretty firm and not hard to run on, but still not nearly as easy to run on as pavement.  I was able to hunt down a lot of people who were ahead of me from the swim and bike and ended up with the 6th fastest overall run split.  My average pace was about 6:38 min/mile which I was ok with later on once I found out how I did comparatively.

This was also my first race since I had been trying out a Paleo lifestyle/diet.

Now, I know some people may have issue with this: “you’re cutting out an entire food group”, “all fat is bad for you”, “saturated fat causes heart disease”, “cholesterol clogs your arteries”, ”you need grains!”, “you won’t get all your vitamins and minerals.”

While I am not a paleo hardcore advocate, I have done plenty of research, consulted with many people and experts, and will never push this way of eating on anyone else.  I can’t even say I’ll eat like this for the rest of my life- that would be absurd.  However, to all the critical statements above, I have plenty of evidence and research to refute:

While my diet will be lower in carbs, it will be higher in fats which are burnt as a fuel source.  I am also still including carbs in the means of fruits, squashes, and sweet potatoes… I could probably eat butternut squash fries or sweet potato fries every night and not get sick of it

Next, fat is not bad for you!  What is important here is where the fat comes from—all fat that is “created” is bad, i.e. trans-fats.  What is also important is your Omega 6 to Omega 3 balance.  Ideally, these should 1:1 or 2:1 but our diet has most people eating about 20:1 or much much more.  The fat should also be pure and come from grass-fed sources, not from grain-fed animals like is found in most commercial meats.  Remember, “you are what you eat eats”

It has also been proven that saturated fat does not cause heart disease.  It can be exacerbated, however, from things like processed carbohydrates and excess sugars.  I just heard of a study that “showed that saturated fat corroborates heart disease.”  However, this study looked at people eating Egg McMuffins with hashbrowns: White, processed English muffins, pasteurized commercial cheese, trans-fatty margarine spread, and potatoes made in vegetable oil.  I think we have a lot more at play here… plus, the saturated fat would have to come from egg, which is relatively not that high in saturated fat.

Speaking of eggs, I won’t get started on how many articles show that egg yolks don’t raise cholesterol.

Finally, I’m getting tons of vitamins and minerals from the fruit, vegetables, nuts, squashes, sweet potatoes, organic dairy (Most paleo diets leave out dairy, but I am still including it right now—but in organic and raw versions where I can find it), and grass-fed meats.  In fact, I’m probably getting more vitamins now since so many vitamins are fat soluble and my diet now actually has that fat to absorb it!

This is a tough one for me though—the adding of fat.  Since ‘”fat” is what spurred my eating disorder so many years ago, it’s still a tough bump for me to get over.  I am hoping as I eat this way and hopefully see only positive outcomes, that I can change my mindset forever.

Many people also think that paleo just means going low carb because it makes you leaner or lose weight or whatever.  This is what you will see in published studies on “what is the best diet” etc.  In fact, the reason for moving these grains—and most importantly wheat—are for the negative effects the reap on your body.  They have an impact in your digestive tract and cause many issues which I will go into in another post.—I’ve written enough as it is haha.

So, there you have.  I’ll let you know how I progress, but don’t think I won’t still have some awesome recipes!  Here are some of the meals I’ve been making lately as well a bonus recipe video at the end!

What do you think of the paleo diet—are you for or against it?

Would eating this way really be any different, from a societal standpoint than if someone followed a vegetarian diet?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvb8Ecl5A54]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvb8Ecl5A54&feature=youtu.be

Touch and Go

I’ve officially been in Florida for over a full week now!  The longest I’ve been in one place for the past month.  That being said, I am flying to Nashville tomorrow for work for a few days and come back on Saturday. Anyone live in Nashville and want to meet up Friday night?  Or can recommend any fun things to do?  I’ve been having some fun here in Tampa too this first week and hopefully this weekend will be checking out a place called “Boing”—a huge warehouse filled with trampolines! I’m also finally getting a race schedule put together: it’s looking like-

  • July 10th: Moss Park Triathlon Festival—Olympic (might do the Sprint on Saturday too?)
  • July 23rd: Siesta Key Beach triathlon—Olympic
  • August 21st: Fall Triathlon Festival—Olympic
  • September 11th: The Nations Tri (in DC)—Olympic
  • September 18th: Mango Olympic Triathlon (MAYBE)
  • September 25th: Ironman 70.3 Augusta
  • October 1st: Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
  • October 9th: South Carolina Half Rev—Half Ironman (Probably)
  • October 15th: Men’s Health Urbanthlon Chicago
  • November 5th: ITU Long Course Worlds (Las Vegas)
  • Anyone up for a December marathon?  Somewhere warm!

Wow, that list is a lot longer than I thought!  Granted these are all tentative, especially back to back ones.  But I needed to get them all written down.

Training has been in spurts… it kind of goes like: 2 days of epic workouts followed by painful day of training as the previous 2 catch up with me ha.  This will get better once I can finally get settled any find people to ride and train with.  I did put in 40+ miles running this past week as well as some specific bike workouts and a little bit of swimming.  I’ve been hitting the pool in my apartment building (which is maybe like 23 meters?) for quick, short hard swims before work.  My office also has a “gym” so I’ve gotten in a few lifting sessions at lunch.

Oh!  And guess what—I actually ran IN THE MORNING one day last week and will have to do it again before my flight tomorrow morning.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about nutrition lately and a lot of research.  The “speech” function of my Mac is amazing and allows me to get through a lot more information since it reads it to me (#awesome) (yes, I just used a Twitter hashtag).  I’ve been researching the paleo diet a lot lately, and while I don’t think I will do it, I’ve been finding incredible information of the importance of eating fats—real fats like grass-fed red meat, egg yolks, butter, full fat dairy (cheese, milk, yogurt), and healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil.

This being said, I don’t know that a “diet” is the answer, but rather a cleaner way of living is the best option.  I don’t want to limit myself to giving up entirely certain foods—I’ve been there and don’t want to start rekindling any of my eating disorder behaviors; I still deal with enough of those as it is and it makes life hard enough.

If there are any nutrition topics you want to know more about or would like to see me write some post about, let me know and I will!   Send me any questions as well… and just leave a comment and let me know you’re here!

Katelyn Tweeted an article the other day about schools banning flavored milk in schools.  I have mixed opinions on this.  On one hand, yes its good, decrease the added sugars and unnecessary calories these kids are consuming.  However, by flavoring milk, nothing is being taken AWAY from the milk—all the vitamins, proteins, and minerals are all still there.  But by taking away the milk, won’t kids just be more likely to bring in soda or Gatorade and just find replacements for the milk?  Why not stop serving corn dogs and French fries first before taking away the milk?

What are your thoughts?

And finally, for some fun, here are just a bunch of random pictures from the past couple weeks!

 

Thanks for reading guys and I hope you weeks are off to great starts!  This blog is going to get revamped pretty soon so look for some really big changes!

  1. Best thing you ate or thing you did this week?
  2. Thoughts on flavored milk in schools?  And nutrition or triathlon questions you have for me?
  3. Let me know you’re reading!

All or Nothing

My legs are finally coming back to me.  Oddly enough, I was never super sore after Wildflower? Which actually surprises me since (a) It was a half Ironman! (b) It was the roughest course I’ve ever raced on, and (c) My post race nutrition was not as ideal as it could have been (in terms of timing.) However, what I’ve noticed as working before, was to go stand in the 63 degree lake water for 10-15 minutes and let the water cool my legs with the same effect as an ice bath.  Saying this though, my legs didn’t really have any power this past week.  This led to some shorter runs, a lot of elliptical, a lot of spinning, and actually, no swimming- even though swimming would have been the best thing I could have done.

I talked myself into taking more days off than I wanted to this week though. After being forced to take 2 days off after the race, I did 2 hard days with a mix of shorter running and a lot of cross training.  But then, for some reason I took another 2 days in a row off. Maybe I needed it after the race...maybe I’m a whuss.  However, I committed to myself that this would be a baller weekend and made sure it was.

Saturday was a: 9.2 mile run in 1:02:00, 30 minute bike, 30 minute spin, burpees and core work.

Then Sunday, I planned to go run for the first time in the morning... but when I woke up, it was too late to do the full workout, BUT instead of going back to bed, I went to the gym and had a great 60 minute lift instead!  I came home from this and had some “overnight oats” that I’ve been trying to do for a while.  I still haven’t gotten this perfect, lol, but I’m working on it.

This was a mix of delicious fresh organic strawberries, oats, vanilla protein powder, and 1 cup of Strawberry Banana Honeymilk

I think I should have used a little less liquid (or more oats) and apparently I should be using yogurt too?

I grabbed a quick nap and then headed back to the gym for round 2.  I ALMOST bailed on this....The lift in the morning really took a lot out of me.... standing on the treadmill contemplating.... but I remember all the guys that beat me last week and all the success I want to have this year and just started running.  I said, “get to 2 minutes and see how you feel”, “get to 5 minutes and see how your feel”.  30 minutes later I had run 4.51 miles and then continued it out 5 miles. I then did some cross training and finished with a BRUTAL spin class... On Sunday’s there is an awesome teach who actually knows what she is doing and every workout is very specific with an actual objective.  Then I jumped on the treadmill and ran another 1.8 to work on my bike/run transitions. Finished with some core and I was finallllly headed home.

Home to where my crispy tacos were awaiting me to cook them!

Monday, as sore as my legs were, the weather was gorrrrrgeous.  I actually went out alone on a ride for the first time--haha straight out and back do I wouldn't get lot.  On the ride I saw a circus (?) a woodchuck, and a place to get "the world's best fried chicken".  Got a solid ride in, then bricked a 4.5 mile run with some elliptical.  I took tonight off to let myself “get stronger” (recover) and be ready to get back at it tomorrow!

I also grilled these up earlier this week!

Mother’s Day made me remember something my mom called me out on a while ago.  She told me I am completely all or nothing.  Either I go to the gym and absolutely crush it, or if I’m tired I just skip it completely.  This isn’t a healthy way to live- your life needs balance between hard and easy days and tasks.

If I don’t go all out, I carry the weight of this with me until the next workout and really begins to tax me.  Read this amazing post by Lindsay and how to let go of these mental injuries.  Should everything be so all or nothing?  If I don’t push myself to my limits everyday, have I failed?  No, two-fold: from an exercise standpoint, your body can’t take that every day and if you ask it to do what it doesn’t want to or can’t handle, then you are doing more damage than good.  Pushing your limits is definitely the way to make progress, but one can’t do this everyday.

From the other perspective, what kind of a way to live life is it where everything is either black or white?  Most things aren’t that simple, there is no one answer, and there is no perfect solution.  You’ve go to craft each day as it comes to you and each decision is another chance at success.  I didn’t say “success or failure”, but simply success.  Just because everything was not absolutely perfect does not mean I am any lesser because of it or that the resulting outcome wasn’t still really good if we still deem that it wasn’t perfect.

But who the hell is to tell you or me what perfect is anyway.  Not to sound mushy or anything, but we are all already perfect and everyday are presented with situations to make right choices. Make the right choices--you’ll always be successful.

I’m off to Tampa on Thursday to find a place to live, so if you’re in the area or know anyone down there, hit me up!  There’s also a triathlon down there Saturday morning and I’m reallllly tempted to rent a bike and race it...

  1. How have you been successful this week?
  2. What weekend plans do you have?
  3. Know anything about Tampa?
And I thought this was hysterical:
P.S.  I've got an awesome crispy peanut butter chicken recipe coming tomorrow!  Assuming it works, that is....