Motivation and the like

This morning was an exercise just in getting myself out of bed and out the house. Of course once I was out there moving, my hesitancy seemed ridiculous but gosh, I lie there just like a lazy ass trying to talk myself into moving. What is it about a comfy bed in a cool room with a warm comforter that makes it so tough to leave?

Ultimately, I did get up, I did lace up my shoes (Xero something or others), and I did cover 2 miles. Run 5 minutes / walk 5 minutes, then run 2/walk 3 x 3 and run 1/walk 3 x 2 because I still wasn’t home yet and I didn’t want to lower my pace any more than I had to. I may be a turtle but I’m a vain one. Also I owed my 2,019 miles in 2019 team some miles – but more on that awesome group later.

Once I got home and cleaned up, I knew I better do some food prep. Friends often ask me how I manage to eat as many veggies as I claim to (let’s just leave it at A LOT for now). Again, it comes down to motivation. I have to make it as easy as possible or I’ll grab the highest processed and unhealthiest food in my pantry if I’m hit with a fit of hunger. Here’s how I do it. I keep a HUGE – like, the second largest Tupperware size HUGE – bowl of salad in my fridge at all times. Here’s how I make it.

I begin with a bag of shredded, tri-color cabbage and a bag of shredded carrots. If you’ve got all the time in the world or you want to save a few bucks, buy it whole and shred it yourself. If you’re going to do that, make sure you don’t just get the palest cabbage out there – get out of your comfort zone and buy the big purple head! Personally, I find there are other things I’d rather spend time on (income generating activities) but hey, that’s me. Each bag is approximately 8 oz in weight.

Next I add a roughly chopped and washed head of green leaf lettuce. Sometimes I use red leaf or Bibb, but this is what I had and I like the flavor. You can choose romaine, spring mix, spinach, or really any lettuce you enjoy. The key is to use what you will eat. Seriously, don’t try to force yourself to eat something you don’t enjoy – pick the base that you will. And as long as I’m mentioning spinach, let me just ask – do you find it wilts more quickly than other greens? It’s not my fave for that reason, but I’ll use it in a smoothie any day of the week.

I don’t know about you, but I love a good cucumber. Not only are the flavors sweet and mild, cukes are extremely hydrating and as someone who easily dehydrates, I can use all that sort of help I can get. Begin by slicing the cukes in quarters lengthwise and then chopping.

It looks good so far, right? I think so, too. But what if you’re one of those people who just doesn’t understand the appeal of raw veggies and you’re cringing at this? Here’s a trick that worked for me when I began eating salads daily, and I still do it. Have you heard of an Ulu knife? I got mine on and it looks like this:

Chopped salads are all the rage – even a few fast food restaurants have begun offering them, with some places specializing in nothing but! Even if you don’t have an Ulu, it’s possible to prepare one but this knife is really game-changing. It makes it super easy to make a salad that is tolerable when you’re first beginning.

And finally, after chopping, I added my second favorite ingredient: blueberries. I always add some type of fruit – usually purple grapes – but I’m trying to eat more berries (yay anti-oxidants!) and blueberries looked good. A pint of washed berries topped this off very nicely.

When it was time to plate it up, I topped it off with some pumpkin seeds (my FAVORITE ingredient) and Napa Valley Naturals, Grand Reserve (4% acidity) balsamic vinegar and it was not only delicious but also filling. This salad will last for 4-5 days in the refrigerator, if we don’t eat it first. You can also add a starch like brown rice or black beans when you serve it and it rounds out a healthy, plant-based meal. The hubs is still meat-eating so he usually tops his with a meat protein of some kind. (yuck but whatever)

What’s your favorite way to add veggies into your menu? Do you have to trick yourself to eat them, or can you get away with just making them easily available as I’ve done here? I want to hear from you – drop a comment below and let me know what works for YOU!

New Year – Same Old Me

What do you know? It’s another year, another January, and here I am, making another post. This one’s not a “new year, new me” post because I’m still working towards fully plant-based (those damn Cheeze-Its keep f’ing me up) and I’m still working towards being a runner.  As a matter of fact, some friends and I have joined a Run The Edge/Run the Year 2019 challenge to do 2,019 miles as a team this year.  But that’s a post for another day.

This post came about as I realized the comment I was posting on Facebook was so dreadfully long, it should have its own venue.  Voila – here I go.
I should preface this with “if you know me, you know I’m not a science junkie”.  I mean, I want to be but I just don’t understand or retain much of it. Let’s face it, I can write contracts around the science of things all day long but that’s specific to a technology or process, and then I immediately forget how it works and I move on. I’m not proud of that; it’s just how my brain works. There’s only so much room in there.

Now for all of my life I’ve had this notion – based in family stories and pictures and HISTORY <emphasis> and my cousins’ freaking awesome cheekbones – this notion that I had a significant degree of Cherokee DNA or blood from my mom’s side of the family. Also, thanks to seeing Dad’s DNA results, I knew to expect ties to West Asia (middle east region) and Africa, not at all unlikely considering Sicilian history.

Well guess what? That’s not how any of this works apparently. Who knew?? Obviously not me. Now of course they found out my dad is my dad – do you really think I’d be out here maligning my mom on a blog?? But guess what they didn’t find?  Not a single, solitary hint of Cherokee or Native American blood.  I feel a bit like Senator Warren must have, minus the spotlight and the nationwide degradation of character.  Also, they found nothing related to West Asia or Africa.  (no evidence of Moors pillaging and plundering found in me, thank you very much!)

What the DNA did reveal was: 52% France (yes, I knew I had my pa-paw’s eyes and apparently his white-washed blood too), 21% England/Wales (go Gran!), 13% Ireland & Scotland (there’s that Campbell blood coming to light!), 9% Italy (they specifically call out Sicily so here’s to figuring out where I got that booty from), and then 3% and 2%, respectively, from Germanic Europe and Norway.  Where did THAT come from? 

I’ll admit I was taken aback with the results, but let’s keep it in perspective. What I learned isn’t life-altering – it engenders more of a “hmmmm, that’s odd” response.  What if I’d learned one or both of my parents weren’t even MY parents? What if I’d learned something truly significant and life-changing? There’s long been an ethical debate around anonymity in adoption and donation of sperm or eggs. Personally, I have difficulty picking a side. Logically I want to resort to the confidentiality terms and promises made to the individual and agreed to be upheld by the facilitator of the transaction as well as the new parents, but there’s the emotional side that acknowledges you can’t create a whole PERSON without owing them some answers as to their creation. It all leads me to wonder how today’s technology, and the promise of what might be available in the future, impacts the willingness of people to participate in those transactions. The very transactions that offer the parenthood opportunity to otherwise childless couples and individuals may be at risk because of the fear of being pulled into a relationship you didn’t want for yourself at the time you agreed to it.

What are your thoughts on it?   

More of the same..

Despite my best intentions to work out at lunch and during the evening, meetings cropped up, resulting in my having to do resistance training and cardio in the evening. Goofing around online and just basically veg’ing out resulted in my starting the workouts later than planned. However, by midnight I was finished, showered, and sleeping. 🙂 All is well with the world!

I had a great lower body workout that I can somewhat feel today, though not as badly as the upper body felt the day prior.

Then I ran. On the treadmill. Again. Just over 2 miles in just under 34 minutes. Go me!

Running again

Today was a good day. My legs were super sore, and sitting down was quite uncomfortable (boy, could I feel those sit bones!), but it just felt great to feel my muscles again!! I woke up early enough to do some ab work, then immediately (this evenign) after getting the kids bathed, I ran on the treadmill for a bit. My legs felt good, although not as strong as I’d like. That will come in time. At least that’s what I tell myself It’s been two weeks since I’ve run, so I can’t complain much. Tomorrow I’ll run another 2 miles at lunch, then during the evening I’ll spend some time on the spin bike.

I finally found the courage to submit my name to the guy putting together our company team for the Texas Independence Relay. At this point, it seems I’d be the fifth runner showing an interest, but we’ve got plenty of time to add a few more. He’s hoping for eight in total. In order to do this, I’ll have to be prepared to run five legs of 5-miles each over a 2-day period in early March of 2008. I think that’s plenty of time to train for it, and hopefully the conditioning benefits of the cycling will work to my advantage.

Back to work for me. I’ve got stuff to finish before I drag myself into bed.

Today’s Workout
8 Minute Abs
10 Minutes Stretching
Running – 2 miles, treadmill