Tag Archives: lifestyle

5 Healthy Tips for the New Year

mainegirl2runs2017-1

Fit and Healthy- These are the two goals I am striving to maintain this year.  Fit and healthy will lead to stronger and sustainable running.  Ultimately, running is something that I want to continue doing well into my 50s and beyond!  Prioritizing what works for my health will help me reach my goals as a runner.

5 Fit and Healthy Tips

  1.  Yoga is a great way to improve balance, flexibility and strength!  Run. Run, Run,-Why can’t I just run and run?!  Over the years, I have come to realize, through minor injuries and set backs, that I must incorporate various fitness activities into my running routine.  Yoga is something that I can do at home or at a studio.
  • I recently had a chance to take a Yin Yoga Class  at the Freeport Yoga Company I learned that this type of yoga promotes stimulation of the connective tissues or fascia in our bodies.  As we age, it is important to maintain flexibility of the connective tissue by practicing deep stretches and staying hydrating!

2. Eat More Fish!  This is a great  protein to support health and recovery of muscles! Fish is a great source of Omega3s, vital to the health of runners!  I recently read this article on the many benefits of eating more fish, which include improved joint health and anti-inflammatory properties!

  • I have incorporated more fish into my weekly, monthly diet by taking advantage of this great seafood delivery service for more than two years now!  Salmon, cod, and haddock are three of my faves!  This company delivers conveniently, individually frozen fish to your door!  In less than 30 minute I am able to prepare a meal with Omega3 rich fish!  Try out SizzleFish today!!

3.  Food Prep- Okay, this may seem simple and basic and it really is, but taking the time to prepare food from scratch can have huge benefits on your health!  Cut out the prepackaged, processed junk and focus on just eating real food!

Tips for Food Prep!  Freezer bags are your friend!!

  • soak, cook and freeze various types of beans!
  • Prepare, bake and freeze healthy muffins!
  • Rice and quinoa also freeze well!
  • Stock up on recipes for Overnight Oats for breakfast and Hearty Soups for lunch and supper!
  • Capitalize on seasonal produce and roast fall veggies to toss in the fridge!
  • One of my older posts on Meal Prep/Planning Found Here

4. Invest In Your Health-Get your Blood Work Analyzed! Twice this year, I gotten a thorough blood work analysis through Inside Tracker a company that helps athletes dig deeper into their health through analyzing a number of key biomarkers in their blood!  The tests offer a more in-depth look at what our bodies need, as oppose to the basic, sometimes vague blood work done at a general practitioner’s office.  I wrote about my previous blood work analysis here

  • Optimizing nutritional needs based on results
  • Adjusting workouts and training to better meet the needs of our bodies
  • Takes the guess work out of what foods to eat and which supplements are necessary for our body’s best performance!
  • The Inside Tracker Dashboard can guide you in setting goals for your health and training!

5. Mental Health– Just as important as physical health!  This coming year, I am taking a “step back” each day/night from all the stresses of the day.  It is important to incorporate ways to relax and de-stress! Remember to find time for quiet peace, clarity and reflection.

  • Turn off the tv, cell phones and social media for some time each day
  • Keep a written journal and write to unwind and reflect
  • Celebrate the little things each day that bring you joy!  Remember to just breathe and exhale!

Cheers to a Fit and Healthy New Year!!  Find Ways to be your best self! -MaineGirl2RUNS

What are your fit and healthy tips?  Would love to hear your tips!

Running and Life: New Year, New Chapter

running-and-life-2017

This year I choose to . . . 

  • Reflect– If we are willing to stop, analyze and reflect on where we have been, then we can use those moments to gain perspective and move forward.  Reflect on what went right, but also be open to opportunities to adjust or change things that didn’t work.  Our ability to reflect allows for an innate awareness of ourselves that will lead to personal growth in running and life. Each day, week, and month, setting aside time to reflect and learn from ourselves.

“A journey, I reflected, is of no merit unless it has tested you.”
Tahir Shah, In Search of King Solomon’s Mines

  • Celebrate–  Be good to yourself.  Stop and celebrate the small achievements, instead of waiting for what you think might be the biggest achievement.  Celebrate the tiny steps that we take each day to change and improve in running and life.  These moments are far too often overlooked because they mean seem small or insignificant.  It’s refreshing to celebrate each step in the direction we take to train hard, race strong, and live life well.  Encourage and celebrate the achievements and success of others.  There is unmistakable power and strength when we celebrate not only ourselves, but others around us.

 

  • Aspire- Each new year is another chapter in this book of life.  The pages are blank, waiting to be filled with new hopes, dreams and adventures.  We have this great big opportunity to set new goals, goals that will make us stronger, more capable and confident.  Our goals don’t have to be huge, lofty out of reach goals, just focus on the series of steps that will bring us closer to empowerment and success in running and life.  Our goals should give us pride and accomplishment upon achieving that goal.

Discover a purpose that gives you passion. Develop a plan that makes you persistent. Design a preparation and motivates you to optimize your potentials. Do it because you love it!”
Israelmore Ayivor, Dream Big!: See Your Bigger Picture!

  • Endure- Strength is born from enduring the tough moments. Being persistent is following our heart, our dreams and goals.  From endurance comes fortitude and resilience.  As we endure the hard training, early or late evening runs and all those tough moments in between of “fitting it all in” , we are rewarded with that feeling of accomplishment that is so freeing and empowering.  Endure the hard days, those times when we must find the strength to push ourselves when faced with challenges that test our will.  Believe in yourself and your ability to find strengths hidden deep within the uncomfortable moments of our lives.

“Craving for the top of the mountain is a feeling to yearn for, an endurance we learn from.”
Goitsemang Mvula

Happy New Year!  What will be next for you in  this new chapter!

I’m excited to continue to connecting and sharing in this journey of running and life!- MaineGirl2Runs 

Meal Planning and Healthy Choices: Throw Back Thursday

Wow!  A year ago this month and this is how I was meal planning!  Sharing this post  again, because this is exactly how I am still “Meal Planning” and Grocery Shopping, one year later!  The emphasis is on organization and healthy choices to create a healthy lifestyle.

Originally Posted On January 5th, 2014!

Almost eight years ago, I began to take a closer look at the contents of my kitchen.  I became more aware of packaging and labels on everything I was purchasing for my fridge and pantry.  Reading labels allowed me to really think about each ingredient and hidden junk that is in so much food.  I became more critically aware of lists of ingredients that went on for two paragraphs.  Reading labels also led me to researching and understanding the companies behind the labels and brands.  These realizations started me down the path that I’m still continuing today.  I shop carefully, once a month, at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  I also piece in other items from my locally owned health food market.  

     Being able to grocery shop once a month requires a little planning, organization and time for prepping ingredients.  The work I put in once a month is worth it!  I’m a mother to one twelve year old daughter( my redhead), a runner, 3rd grade teacher, and wife.  Setting aside one weekend a month to shop saves me from shopping too often and relying on fast food.  I love having fresh, healthy and natural choices ready at a moment’s notice.

    It’s important to shop with well made reusable and insulated bags.  I drive an hour and a half to Annapolis to do most of my shopping.  The bags are packed with bagged ice or freezer packs from Whole Foods.  It’s much easier to shop for perishables in the winter months.  During the summer months I buy nothing frozen.  I carefully pack everything and put the A/C on high!!

Each month I restock my fridge with staples:

– lemons

– pink lady apples

– StonyField Farm or Organic Valley Whole Milk

– Califia Farms Almond milk

– Local eggs or Organic Valley Eggs

-blocks of organic cheddar

– Organic White Bread

– Bagels

Produce is key to healthy meals and snacks:

** I love the packaged produce from Trader Joe’s.  I buy natural and organic produce and when possible I buy locally.  The packaged produce is usually pre washed and chopped.  It does help with my busy “mom/wife duties” and teaching schedule.**

I also love Earthbound packaged produce.

Currently Stocked Fresh Produce: 

– baby spinach

-Kale ( Trader Joe’s Organic)

-Fennel bulbs

– Whole fresh carrots

-Fresh cut cremini mushrooms

– Fresh head of cauliflower

– tons of shallots

– large amounts of garlic bulbs

***On the counter -4 bunches of bananas***

– organic celery hearts

– seedless cucumbers

Frozen Produce: Multiple Packages

– Broccoli florets

– corn

-edamame

– sliced artichokes (Trader Joe’s)!!

-frozen fruit- blueberries ( picked over the summer in Maine), pineapple chunks, cherries

Also, in the freezer:

– Bell and Evans Organic Bonless Skinless Chicken Thighs (numerous packages)

– Boston Butt Pork Shoulder

– Nitrate and preservative free Bacon

– ground Turkey

-Bell and Evans Whole Chickens

Pantry Staples:

– Jars of Organic Tomato Basil and Puttanesca Sauce

– dried chick peas

-dried black beans

– various dried organic pasta

-Trader Joe’s albacore tuna in olive oil

– green and black pitted olives

– packages of almonds and peanuts

– jars of Trader Joe’s Artichoke pesto and Salsa

– Bottles of Cold Pressed Olive oil and Grape Seed oil

– Organic Brown rice

     This post highlights the items in my “well stocked” kitchen.  With these items on hand I’m always able to create healthy breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners.  

I spend time on Sundays preparing and packaging food for the week. I usually roast most of my fresh veggies with sea salt and olive oil on a baking sheet.  This allows me to have them ready for any dish! I buy my beans in bulk, then soak and cook them to place in containers or freezer bags.

 I am fortunate to have a Vitamix Pro 750.  I makes tons of homemade hummus, nut butters and blended juices/smoothies.

Important Tips:

– shop for all dry and non perishable items first

– Add in produce and refrigerated items

– finally, meat and frozen items

-Be sure to pack all “like” food together- it helps things to stay cold/frozen on the way home.

-Packing this way also makes it easier getting groceries inside the house and unpacked.

Last month I created a monthly menu.  It helped me to plan meals and it was great for letting my daughter and husband know “what’s for dinner?”!!

So. . . How does everyone else shop for groceries? Do you enjoy grocery shopping?  Any tips or advice to share?  What does meal planning and preparation look like at your house? This weekend I will share an update on what I am currently doing to make healthy choices!