Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 2

I’m not sure if it is in my head or not but I think I am going through withdrawal. Like sugar and meat withdrawal. Wait it’s only day 2, I am fine.  I did have thoughts of pizza and cookies today, that is just weird. But today was actually a good day. I still felt tired, I think that just comes from working a 10 hour day. My mental energy did feel like it increased, so maybe there is something to this meatless living thing.

Today I received the book How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. Surprisingly this book has a nearly 5 star rating on Amazon (4.8 out of 5). The book is based on how diet and nutrition can prevent and even cure some diseases. From glancing through some of the pages in the book, Dr. Greger does cover a wide range of illnesses. It is amazing how strong the impact food has on our body. Food will either kill us or save our life, we just have to choose to be smart about eating.

I am not sure how long it will take me to read this book, it is a pretty large book. However, since my family has a history of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure I will cover those chapters first. Although the doctors say that I am healthy today, I am very sure that I can get sick at any time. With the uncertainty of the way health insurance is going in the country, the more control that I can have over my own health, the better.

I still want a cookie. 

That was a random thought.

I decided to weigh myself tonight since one of my goals is to lose 15-20 pounds. Today I weighed in at 177.0. I want to hurry up and lose these pounds, but I want also want to feel better and run faster. So I am hoping with less weight, I will gain speed. I may gain lean muscle in this process, so I won’t focus so much on the number on the scale. The true measure will be my performance and my overall ability to decrease fatigue.

What did I eat today? Here it goes:

Breakfast: Kale, strawberry, blueberry, banana smoothie

Mid morning snack: Oatmeal with blueberries, handful of almonds

Lunch: Spring and Spinach mix with peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, red onion, garbanzo beans. Primal Kitchen greek dressing

Mid day snack: strawberries, blueberries, cherries

Pre workout meal: 1/2 cup brown rice, (vegetable stir fry) eggplant, peppers, baby corn, snow peas, broccoli

Dinner: 1/2 cup brown rice, (vegetable stir fry) eggplant, peppers, baby corn, snow peas, broccoli, 1/2 cup red roasted potatoes

Work out: Cross fit

WOD

Strength: Heavy 2 set jerk, I did 112.5

Metcon:

For Time:
18-15-12-9
Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups- I did modified ring rows (still working on that 1 pull up!)
DB Push Press (35’s/20’s)- 20 pounds
GHD Situps- Modified to 15 pound ab mat sit ups

Time: 10:10

 

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Healthy eating/Healthy living: Day 1

Lately, I have been feeling extremely tired. Well not lately as in recently, but lately as in all my life. As long as I can remember I have always had a consistent feeling of fatigue that never really seems to go away. It is frustrating. I am always sleepy and I could always use a nap. This is not normal. At least it should never be considered normal.

I have been to multiple primary care doctors, multiple times to figure out why the heck am I so tired. Every doctor in every state I have lived in all do the same thing. Run a bunch a labs. I give blood, they send it to the lab, the results come back normal. Medically there is no reason why I should be so tired. Thyroid check: normal. Vitamin D check: normal. B12: normal. Iron: normal for the most part. I do have the bottom range of iron levels, so I take a multi vitamin, and I guess I should be all better. I still have an unexplained sense of tiredness.

I have tried to change is my sleep habits, and actually go to sleep. Granted I am not the best sleeper, and my REM sleep is probably at a minimum. I hear everything when I am sleep and yes I still do have scary dreams.  Since sleep is important to keep a healthy mind-body balance I do try to get between 7-8 hours of sleep each night, even if it is not the best sleep. Going to bed at the same time, and waking up pretty much at the same time each day. Some mornings I even do have a greater burst of energy than others, yet I eventually end up the same, tired.

I hate being tired! It is actually more frustrating since I am back on the mainland. I work in an office all day. Since I no longer work from home I need at least 14-18 hours of productivity between work and everything else that I need to do during the day. I need to be mentally and physically present, which means I should not be tired. I have tried endlessly to fight fatigue with supplements consisting of vitamins, excessive amounts of  caffeine, and even GNC stimulants.  Nothing works anymore. I went back to the doctor, and luckily I am still healthy. So now I have decided to try a new route, I am changing up my diet, again. I am going to attempt a semi plant-based diet or vegan lite or just vegetarian, in an effort to raise my energy levels, and feel better overall.

So here’s the deal I work out already about 4-5 days a week. My workouts are a mix of cross fit, running, and bike riding. I have done the whole 30 diet in the past, which actually worked out really well, and I have tried paleo a few times, now my diet is more paleo modified, and not strict paleo. Although paleo, and whole 30 are good diets, I think its time to give up the meat for a while and see if my body feels any drastically different.

Where does this sudden lifestyle change come from? Well, good question. From Netflix of course! After watching What the Health on Netflix, it had me thinking twice about eating meat and dairy. I had read reviews that of course say that this documentary is vegan propaganda,  hey it very well  may be because everyone in the documentary is a vegan. So yes, always take all marketing techniques with a grain of salt. Everyone has their own agenda. However, it may save your life. Meats have added hormones, and most plants also have added hormones, pesticides, and whatever crap is on food. We live in a world of pick your poison, because not much is good for you. Unless you can grow or farm it yourself, then do that.  I just know that I don’t want to take a pill for energy, I think my body can naturally energize itself if I treat it right and give it the right tools.  Some people can take a ton of time to take care of their car, hair, pets, and hobby collection, I figure why not take some time to take care of my body.

So today I am starting my journey to a semi plant based lifestyle. Yes I really did say semi planted based. Let’s call it a vegetarian/vegan mix. Why? Because I have not decided if I will give up eggs just yet. And I may actually include eggs into this diet at times. I am fine without milk, well because I don’t drink dairy milk anyway.  And this diet may not be a forever thing, lets just start with a 30 vegan challenge and see how that goes.

My Goals:

Weight loss: I would like to be able to lose weight, some weight, 15-20 lbs would be nice. iI hope weight loss is a benefit of going meatless.

Endurance: I am running the rock and roll half marathon in Philadelphia on September 17, 2017.  I have the next 60 days to get my body in shape for a new PR. My former half marathon PR is 2:08 and that is from my very first half that I ran in Honolulu 4 years ago.  If I can beat that time, then this plant based lifestyle may be a keeper!

Increased strength: I do cross fit, I cannot do a pull up.  I want to be able to do at least 1 pull up, If I can do 10…Awesome!

Energy, Energy, Energy!! I just want to not feel the need to take a nap every day.

My Weaknesses:

Sugar!!!! Yes I love cookies, and candy. I am addicted to sugar. Candy just makes me happy. I am giving up cookies and candy 😦

So here is your opportunity to follow me on this journey to a new paradise that is filled with health, energy, and food! I will write about what I eat, my workouts, and how it feels to have meatless meals. You will hold me accountable, thank you! Steak is good, but the thought of feeling less bloated, less groggy, and feeling great, makes me so much happier than eating steak.

Lets get ready, Day 1.

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Kale, banana, strawberry, mango smoothie

After workout snack: Apple

Lunch: Angel hair pasta, with basil pesto sauce (not vegan), with mushrooms, peppers, onions and spinach. On the side: Wheat flour wrap with garlic roasted hummus and olive tapenade.

Snack: Handful of blueberries

Dinner: Stir fry vegetable mix (eggplant, onions, baby corn, snow peas, broccoli, peppers) over brown rice.

 

Cross fit WOD:

5×1 front squat and 95% of 1 rep max- I did 135

3 rounds for time: 15 calorie on assault bike, empty prowler push 100m

The road to being Spartan Strong

inspration

The past few months have been nothing less than busy, with a hint of chaos. Life is always changing right? So as life changes, I continue to change with it. I started a new job and as I adjust to my new schedule I find myself tired. I guess that comes with working so I’ll take it. Now back to finding my normal. My normal as always would be crazy to others, but that is why I love it.

I have embarked on a new challenge, my next challenge is to complete the Spartan Sprint Race. Never heard of the Spartan Race? Well check it out here http://www.spartan.com. A spartan sprint is about 3-5 miles of obstacles, running, and challenging yourself in a way that you may have never thought was possible. To complete a spartan race takes physical and mental strength and I am ready for the challenge. I signed up for the August 2 sprint.

The scary part is that August 2 is only two months away and I really need to get into physical and mental strength to complete this spring. This is where I need your help. I am looking for a series of workout routines to get my body ready to climb a robe and jump over a wall. I workout regularly, but I really need and endurance routine that will help me build upper body strength.

So let’s have a contest. I am looking for an awesome, fun workout to help me kill this race. Send me your ideas on ways that I can get my body in shape for this race and I will pick the one that I like the best, and the one that I will follow for the next two months. If I pick your routine, I will send you a race code for a FREE spartan race. For real, save yourself money, and do this race! So send those routines to me Jenni C at jencwalton@gmail.com. If yours is picked, I will email you with a big thank you, and a race code. So let’s get to work athletes, we have a race to prepare for!

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My very slow and painful readjustment to winter

January has never been my favorite month, and today is a day that I wish I still lived in Hawaii. Yes, I still have those days where I very much miss Honolulu, and think maybe I should buy a one way ticket, get on a plane, and move back. East coat winter months are the hardest months to get through. The 30 degree temperatures, snow, ice, and frigid cold make me wonder, why did I move back east again? My insides are screaming for a beach! I need an outdoor run near an ocean in my life! I remember a period of my time living in Hawaii becoming spoiled that it was 80 degrees everyday, and since the sun was shining bright I never had an excuse to just stay home and sleep. Stupid me, look at me know missing those days. Ok I’m done ranting.

So even though this is my second winter back on the east coast I am still adjusting. I know I grew up in New York so I should be used to being cold, but let me tell you the truth, no I am not used to being cold. I live for activity, Hawaii gave me a love for the outdoors, my challenge now has become finding a way to take that love for the outdoors and translate it to east coast winter love for the outdoors. I run. Last winter I wasn’t able to run due to my broken leg incident. How do I run in the winter? I am looking for tips from all you winter active people out there. What kind of gear do you use to make winter running or hiking feasible? I need to go back to what I know, running, hiking, and an ocean. But since its not ocean weather yet, running and hiking will do for now.

Anyone know any really great east coast hiking trails? Please share the wealth of information about east coast outdoor activities. I feel like my next adventure should be a rock climbing adventure, but I will wait for warmer weather before hitting the rocks.

Until the weather warms up, I must continue to find my love for activity indoors. The positive side is that it is nice to go to a bikram yoga class and come outside to cool air instead of 80 degrees. And the more I go to bikram and cross fit, the more I realize that both my favorite workouts have somewhat of a cult like following. It’s ironic because as a person who is so unstructured in life, I find excitement in workouts that follow the most structured routine possible.

Every day is a challenge, but everyday is one step closer to something better. So east coast winter weather I am here to embrace your frigid air and snow storms, while running in the cold. My next challenge is to find the best winter outdoor active wear, any tips?

positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

Unemployment: The end of Week 1

Unemployment: Week 1 day 5

Its finally Friday! For some reason I feel relived that the week is over even though I didn’t have to go to work this week. Looking at it from my glass half full standpoint it is also a week closer to starting a new job. I went on an interview yesterday. Positive thought, yes people actually life my resume. Step 1, just get the phone call. I have never liked the interview process, but in order to become employed you must go on interviews. Wish me luck, of course I think I kicked some interview butt, but then again you never know the outcome.

I am learning a lot from this unemployment period in my life. I am learning the art of patience, and how to keep myself busy with habitual workout routines. I still wake myself up early, either at 5 or 6 am to go to yoga or cross fit. Yes, I am still doing bikram yoga, and yes I continue to enjoy self inflicted torture. Activity is my saving grace at this point, I wake up positive. Although I still have moments of frustration and extreme anxiety, I feel better once I have the chance to challenge my body through physical activity.

I am learning that once you lose a job, looking for a new job becomes your new full time job. Wow, it take a lot of time to fill out an online job application, and it can take all day. My advice to anyone looking for a job, plan out your day hour by hour. It is easy to get distracted while unemployed, but remember to keep the focus on the end goal; finding a job.

So my new life on the east coast now consists of yoga, cross fit, job hunting, and figuring out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I never thought the day would come that I would be 32 and trying to make sense of life. Well, that day is here. Again, wish me luck.

Cheers to the weekend! I’ll go back to searching for a way to earn steady income when the sun comes up tomorrow morning.

positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences.

Unemployment: Week 1

Unemployment: Week 1, Day 2

I really had all good intentions to write this post yesterday, but for some strange reason I just couldn’t get my thoughts together long enough to sit and write. Who would have thought that after becoming unemployed the ability to focus would become so difficult? Focusing should be a simple task, I have all this extra time that was once compelled by an 8-10 hour work day to do just that. But no, the ability to just focus is suddenly strenuous.

I used to think that not having to go to work would be great, and then I suddenly did not have to go to work. Yeah that is not so great. Well at least when you don’t know when your next paycheck is coming, not great at all. Unemployment is never easy, and never fun. Especially in the winter in Washington DC, I feel like the winter makes it worse. It is cold, dark, and gloomy outside, and I am trying hard to avoid using the weather as a representation of my life. But, at times it is hard. I am realizing that losing a job is similar to any loss that we experience in life. Loss is never easy, but I do feel myself going through the five stages of grief as described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. In case you never heard of the five stages of grief that can be attributed to a loss they are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

I am currently in my state of acceptance, which is why I have enough clarity to actually write about it. Trust me, getting to my current state was no easy process, it really did encompass the last six weeks of my life. But yet I am here. When I was initially told that our program was coming to a close due to lack of funding I hit a state of denial. I knew it really wasn’t going to happen, money would come, another agency would take over the program, of course they would because it was a really good program changing lives of youth in the District of Columbia. Yet, that never happened.

My anger was not about my own personal anger, it was the anger I felt toward the state of my clients and what would happen to them. As a psychotherapist, clients became attached and built relationships with me, then one day when I had to tell them that I am no longer going to be available as a therapist, that can be a devastating process. I did my best to end the client relationships in the best way possible, yet something still seemed unfinished. I wasn’t able to take them to the finish line of meeting their goals. I could just pass them on to someone else with the hope that the next person would have just as much compassion and empathy as I showed to help them get through. It was not easy, but it was done.

Now the bargaining was a quick stage to get through, although I am constantly bargaining with God for something, in this case it was different. There was a small hope that our program would survive or another agency would take it over. Sadly that did not happen. I just knew that maybe there were things that the team could do differently as a whole if given a second chance. Maybe we could be better at engaging clients or work harder for more positive outcomes. However, I soon realized that there was nothing else we could do, nothing we could change, the program was ending.

Depression is a rough stage, because I flip back to it every once in a while despite my best efforts to move away from it. Depression is difficult, depression is the realization that my job is gone, and until I get another I have to plan out every financial decision a lot more carefully. Depression is not having the motivation to look for a job, wanting to sleep the day away, hoping it is just a dream that I will wake up from, and wondering when is this state of constant anxiety going to come to an end. Depression is the inability to focus, and the inability to sleep through the night, the feeling to knots in the stomach, and wanting to avoid people because you know they will ask about the job search. What helps to stay away from depression? Well a whole lot of faith, mixed with positive thoughts, and knowing that this is a temporary situation. I love the saying “When you have a setback, God is already planning your comeback, and your comeback is going to be better than you ever imagined”. God has never failed me before so why would now be any different? I managed to survive 4 years in Hawaii while standing on faith, I can manage a period of unemployment knowing that God has my back.

Which leads me back to my acceptance, automatically the Serenity Prayer comes to mind; “Accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. I felt a period of relief knowing that my job was ending, something was telling me it was time to move on to another aspect of therapy. I cannot change the final outcome of the program, heck, it already occurred, but I can change where I work next, the salary that I want, and what type of work will make me happy. Life is great, it is unexpected, but it works. Life always works out exactly the way it was supposed to, at the exact time that it was supposed to. So no matter what happens keep living your best life. Stay positive, and stay true to yourself. God may not give us what we want when we want it, but He gives it to us RIGHT ON TIME!

Lucky for me, the US unemployment rate is now under six percent so I should have no problems finding a job, right? Keep the prayers going!

Positive energy, positive thoughts, positive experiences