Friday, August 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pal-August Reveal!!

UGH! I had scheduled this for release on August 31st-early a.m.....obviously that didn't work. I'm sorry Theresa (and Lyndsey)!!!

I'm totally in love with the anticipation of Foodie Pen Pal. Coming home from work and having that box sitting at my door makes me a little giddy, I'm not ashamed!

This month my pen pal was a reader named Theresa. She's a midwest girl like me so I knew I would be in for a treat (or two). And when she mentioned that she liked to bake-2 thumbs up :-) Thank you Theresa for all the goodies.

The Lean Green Bean

I was lucky enough to get some homemade 'healthified' banana bread...with a few chocolate chips thrown in for good measure! There were also some great dried snacks, mango and sweet corn. Now most of us have seen, and devoured, dried fruit but the sweet corn was new to me. Deeelish-who knew!

There was also some Chai green tea, a Fiberful bar, and some raw almonds. I immediately emailed Theresa to ask where she got these almonds. I already snack on almonds regularly but these things were out. of. this. world. Seriously. They were plump and just a tad salty, as if they had been soaked in salt water unit they puffed up into crunchy little bites of bliss. I stashed them in my pantry and eat a few at a time so they'll last. (Remember, the hubs calls me a food sandbagger-I'm totally living up to it!)

Check out what I sent to Kristin of Diva Dog Bakery. I'm trying to include something local every time, but these parts are not known for their healthy fare (WV is the 3rd fattest state in the country!) so I hope the peppers I chose were ok. I'm excited to see what she used them in/on/for.

If you'd like to join the fun, here is some more info on Foodie Pen Pals...or just click the button above:
-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.

And just for fun...this is pretty much what my days looks like now. I'm loving every minute of it :-) Happy Friday everyone!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My New Training Buddy-Podcasts!

Some people swear by having a training or workout 'buddy', someone to hold them accountable either by meeting up with them or just talking about your workouts. I think it's even more common now to have virtual workout buddies. Through blogs, instagram, twitter, daily mile, etc. we can keep tabs on each other, but better yet-we can motivate each other!

Honestly, for the most part I enjoy my workout time as just that-mine. I like a good class once in a while but I've never met up with a friend for them or made running dates. I'm not against them, I just generally like to have those few precious hours each week to myself. Sometimes it's for blowing off steam, sometimes for quiet reflection, sometimes for thinking through a tough decision...and now sometimes even for learning!

I'm a voracious reader, I have magazines and books all over my house on all sorts of subjects-parenting, food, exercise, fashion, green living. I used to be one of those that read while walking on the treadmill (I know, I know!) but now that I run it doesn't work as well. In steps the podcast. I feel like I'm always the last person to get on board with technology trends and I know podcasts have been around for-ever, but I never thought I'd want to listen to people talk while I worked out. I was so wrong.

If you find the right one(s) it's kind of like watching tv with your eyes closed! You can really get into the subject, get 5 miles in and not really remember doing it! To me, that is priceless!

I totally went into this run doubting myself. I've never run 5 miles outside before and for me, outdoor and treadmill runs are two different beasts! I decided to run until my Garmin beeped for the mile marker and then walk counting my right foot falls 100 times, then run again until the beep. This actually worked brilliantly for me and I had a decent overall pace even with the walks. Week 3 of half marathon training in the books!

What also helped was listening to a podcast about running. I was really in the zone! So, without further ado-here are my new favorites (I use the stitcher app on my phone to play them).

  • Another Mother Runner -these chicks will be your new BFFs, great running talk with some side notes of the struggles (and hilarity) of motherhood. Oh-and they have super cute tops too!
  • Jillian Michaels-her abs face have made me buy so many magazines that I figured, why not? And I wasn't disappointed. With topics anywhere from losing weight to food additives to grieving a loss it turned out to be more life-coachy than I expected, but she's still very knowledgeable and I always learn something. 
  • Balanced Bites-any Paleo-ites out there probably know all about this site and the new Practical Paleo book. I don't spend a lot of time not he site itself (yet!) but I do like to listen. I crack up every time because somehow these two remind me of the NPR skits that used to be on Saturday Night Live, but only in the best way! Serious science alert here though, you may feel like you've been at a college class when you're done but the info is great. And wouldn't you have liked to be able to work out while in classes in college, what a great way to avoid the Freshman Fifteen?
I still love a good playlist full of high powered man-bashing songs (that's what the hubs calls them!) but this is good for a change up and just one more way for me to multi-task. Hey-I bet there is someone podcasting about that... 

What do you do to pass the time during your workout?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Word of the Day: Compromise

This post will be short and sweet. No fancy photo collages, no links to other sites just a lesson to myself. Compromise is good. Do it. Daily. Repeatedly throughout the day if you must.

I mean that as a noun, not a verb. So I'm not saying to compromise something-like your morals, but to make compromises-to keep your sanity. According to Webster: Something intermediate between or blending qualities of two different things.

I'm an admitted Type A personality-all the way. I like plans, I like to stick to plans, and I get anxious and edgy when said plans take a detour. Yes, I know, I'm no fun. The hubs tells me that ALL the time! But that is was me. The new mom me however, is quickly seeing that if I do not learn to compromise I will always be edgy and anxious and never truly enjoy anything.

Bottom line, get over yourself and get on with enjoying life (this is a lesson to myself remember-don't take offense!). Trade folding the laundry for 30 extra minutes of sleep, trade the clean breakfast you forgot with the leftover pizza you found in the fridge at work, trade an hour on the treadmill for a quick run up the (long, hilly) driveway so you can spend extra time with a baby who's firsts are passing too fast to count, trade making long posts to read in bed next to your favorite guy.

Setting the bar high is a good thing. Setting the bar so high that you are disappointed regularly is emotional suicide. Take a deep breath and say it with me...compromise is good. Feel better? I do. Now please excuse me while I follow my own advice!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Best Body Bootcamp Update

Well kids, we've made it to the halfway point of Best Body Bootcamp. Hard to believe it's been 4 weeks already. To me, this is the sign of a great program since I am anything but bored and I continue to see results. Tina just announced there will be round 3 (yay!) so check it out if you're interested!

This week we continued tempo workouts, but changed the counts holding the contraction portion for 4 seconds. Sounds like a short amount of time, right? I challenge you to do some squats like this-2 counts to lower, hold for 4 (no cheating!), 2 counts back up. Now do that 10 more times. And then do 3 sets of that. Yeah-no joke!

Running went really well this week. I completed the workouts as written-even though I worried about the 5/5 intervals I ran a full 4 miles at speeds I wouldn't typically attempt. That is what I'm loving most about BBB, it's pushing my preconceived thoughts of what my abilities are. 

It was 57 degrees and I'm still dripping with sweat-hot!
I've been saying for awhile that if I would just get out of my own way, I'd be further along with my half marathon training and I think this program is helping me do that. Thanks Tina!! I managed another 4 miler on Sunday as my cardio of choice, so back on track with the training program.

We also set 2 goals each week as part of BBB. I haven't really been talking about mine, and apparently I need to so that I hold myself accountable. I decided on a 2 minute plank a day. I did get 6 of these but in the middle of one I realized I hadn't started my timer and I'll be damned if I was starting over!!!

My 2nd goal was to hike from my basement office to the fourth floor via the stairs at least once a day. I chose this because there is only one bathroom in the basement and the only other one I care to use is located on the 4th floor. I drink a lot, therefore I pee a lot; there are at least 25 women to this one bathroom-easy goal to meet thanks to mother nature. And I must say it's getting easier (when I don't wait to long to go!)

The hubs and I also kicked off a challenge for us-30 days of Clean Eating. I generally eat this way, but there are a lot of non-clean convenience foods that make it into the house each week. The more educated I become about food and the food-like products we consume, the more important this becomes to me. Day 1 is in the books so I'll keep talking about our struggles and how we're coping throughout the month. I'm sure there will be lots of positives to talk about as well. So-help me out:

What is your favorite clean eating snack?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Beautiful Blogger Award

Oh yay! What a sweet thing to see in my comments the other day...Sabrina of Work It Miss Jackson nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award! It was awesome of her to think of me, she's tolerated my incessant questions about photos and apps and is kicking some major Best Body Bootcamp butt...check her out!


Anyway, here's how this works.
  1. Copy the Beautiful Blogger Award logo and post in your post
  2. Thank you the person who nominated you (but wouldn't you do that anyway ;) )
  3. Tell us 7 things about yourself
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers and comment on their blog to let them know
Pretty cool, no? Yes, definitely! So, without further ado-some Friday night randomness.

1.  Very few people have any idea what I do when I say that I'm an Industrial Hygienist. And no, it does not have anything to do with teeth. Look it up. It's not fascinating, but it pays the bills!

2.  From the time I graduated high school until just recently moving was an annual event for me. Sometimes just across town, but I was in perpetual packing mode. You would think that means I know how to get rid of unnecessary stuff-not true. I've lived in both peninsulas of MI, in OH, IN and now WV.

3. This is the 3rd house I've owned, but the first with someone else.

4.  I only planned to live in WV for a max of three years, but on my first day of work here I met the hubs and all that changed. Five and a half years later I don't see myself going anywhere anytime soon.

5.  I have a (sort of) secret desire to get certified as a personal trainer, and am becoming more and more interested in nutrition and how food affects your body. I once was overweight with a warped body image. I'm in no way perfect, but I love seeing other people realize their potential too.

6.  I'm a self-proclaimed daddy's girl and hope my daughter is too. Who am I kidding, she already is!

7.  I am not afraid to try any kind of food. Just don't tell me what it is first! I figure the worst that can happen is that you spit it out...and you may just find a new favorite! New to me this week-jicama :-)

Well, those were short and to the point, but now you have a few more tidbits of info on me! Now it's my turn to share some of my favorite bloggers with you. I'm somewhat new to this world so I don't 'know' a lot of people, but here are some I do, and some I just enjoy. All Beautiful!

Maren of Maren's Morsels-super sweet chic who was my first Foodie Pen Pal, never fails to  crack me up!

Kristin of Diva Dog Bakery-I sent her a Foodie box this month, I can't wait to buy our puppies some of her goodies! Plus, she has the most organized Pinterest page on the planet!

MaryKay of Life's Adventures-one of my BFF's whose running the Disney Princess Half with me.

Lyndsey of Hot Mama-my cuz and great friend, an absolute wealth of food/health knowledge. I'm begging her to do some more posts! 

Jessica of Chockohlowtay-OMG made over goodies. Making some of her protein bars this weekend so expect another shout out when they get devoured!

Meghan of Running Toward the Prize-fellow Michigander whose been giving me great Disney run advice.

Courtney of Journey of a Dreamer-I just started following her, but am already hooked!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gwyn's World: 10 Month Update

Ok-so I'm a few days late with this post, but hey, that's the life of a new mom right? Here's a random thought-when do you stop calling yourself a 'new mom'? Everything about her will be new to me so will I always be a new mom, or just until another one comes along, or just until I don't freak out at all the little things? Does that actually happen? Just curious.

If you want to catch up, here are G's other monthly updates:

We had our 9 Month check up with the pediatrician, Little G-as her cousins call her, weighs in at over 20 lbs now. See why I need Best Body Bootcamp?! Girl can eat too. I often have to be careful how much goes in front of her at once since she'll pack it in like a little chipmunk!

I just love how blue her eyes look here!
Still only 6 teeth, but I'm thinking I see the beginning of two more on the bottom. She's got a horrible little cold going on right now, all stuffy and snotty. It's the first sickness she's had so she's getting babied, of course. In fact, she's asleep in our bed right now, some cuddling is in order.

I've known that she's been close to crawling and/or walking for a few weeks now but because she works so hard at standing I really didn't know what would come first. Of course I told you already that she gave me a birthday present by crawling for the first time at Grammi's. She does it often now, but also works very hard at standing and cruising so I'm sure it'll be short lived. She likes to stop, sit back up and clap for herself, it makes for a long trek across the floor but a great video!

Time to practice my action shots!
Hmm, more firsts...her first real swing. They have some at school, but not like this. G seemed scared at first...until I pushed her higher, then she laughed hysterically. It seems like I may have a little thrill seeker on my hands. Finally, someone to ride roller coasters with me! She had a short-lived phase of sticking out her tongue, and can you believe I didn't get a picture of that?! Now she's into pointing. Maybe I'll catch that one!

One of my favorite things is to watch her 'dance', she just sort of bobs. It's gonna be even cuter when she can stand and do it! Oh-and the all out belly laughs, I just can't get enough of those. I'll make a complete fool of myself in public just to hear it!

She is the driving force behind almost everything I do these days, and I imagine it will be that way for a loooong time. I suppose that's why parents have such a hard time with empty nests? Can't think about that now!

10 Month Update:

  • 20+ lbs
  • 12 month clothes
  • Crawling, almost pulling up
  • Eats anything you put in front of her (except pasta-still!)
  • Has a 'word' for Jack the puppy
  • LOVES: trying to walk, making people laugh, her reflection, music

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It's My Birthday and I'll Hike if I Want to

So yesterday was my birthday and I'm just gonna lay it out there. I'm 35! I'm not gonna hide it because I feel pretty darn good. In fact, I probably feel (and look!) better than when I turned 25. Sorry 25-year old Jess, but you were overweight and out of shape.

So how did I celebrate? I started my day with Workout C of Best Body Bootcamp-a superset circuit for time. I've just discovered health podcasts and listened to one about body image during this workout. It helped the time fly by and I learned something, talk about multi-tasking :-)

I continued the party by making the hubs go hiking with me. One of the great things about living in wild, wonderful West Virginia is that within a short drive you can do just that, to the top of a mountain no less!

I've been looking for a 10k to run this fall in prep for the half marathon coming up in February (Disney Princess here we come!). I came across a trail run near where we live that sounded way more interesting than a road run. I've never done one before (10k or trail run!) so I thought walking it first would be a good idea. Man, am I glad I did!

What a beautiful day we had to do it. The trail had a pretty steady ascent with some steep parts, and the first half was very rocky:

But up closer to the top it opened up to flat grassy areas. If the entire thing had been like this I would have been thrilled.

Those rocky areas tested me just walking. I am known to be a bit of a klutz, Whoops comes out of my mouth more times a day than I'll ever admit, and turning an ankle seemed inevitable at any sort of speed. Plus, it felt WAY longer than 6 miles. Of course I had a dead Garmin when we went to leave so all we had was a timer and a HR monitor. 2.5 hours and 555 calories later we were very hungry and tired.

I will admit to an ice cream indulgence-hey, it was my birthday!-but overall and healthy, active day. We discovered through text message that G had chosen this time away to start crawling for the first time. *pouty face* I guess that was my birthday gift, so the evening was spent trying to get her to do it again for us! Don't worry, lots of pics and stuff about her up next for her 10 month (gasp!) update.

Like I said, I feel better now than I ever have. Older people always tell you that you will, that you'll find yourself and get more comfortable with who you are-blah, blah, blah. But really, aren't they always right? And don't you always hate it?

Actually, I love it, and it makes me anxious to see what 40 will be like, because right now seems pretty darn good. If it gets better, I can't wait to get there.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Before the Crack of Dawn...

That's when I worked out this morning. Why? Because sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! I knew there was no way it was getting done this evening so I sacrificed a little sleep and completed the 30 minute progression intervals from Best Body Bootcamp. I think I would have pushed my speed intervals a little faster had it not been so early. Seriously, all I'm thinking as my short little legs go at 8.5 mph is "Don't bite it, you can't go to work with treadmill burn on your face." I'm not even close to kidding.

We are in Phase 2 now which includes push/pull workouts done at tempo speeds. This is new to me and in all honesty, is testing my patience! I like a tough, quick workout so taking my time is hard to get used to. We're lifting and lowering at a set number of counts (for example 3 counts up, 1 count down). I do admit that I noticed soreness after what I thought was an 'easy' push workout. Tina knows her stuff, that's all I'm gonna say! :-)

I've been pretty happy with my weight and am not really trying to lose any, but I actually have dropped a few lbs on this plan. I don't know if my routine just needed a shake up or if more concentration on weights vs. cardio was needed but something is working. Even though my runs are still not long, I feel strong during them and like I said, have been sore following most of the circuit sessions. 

One more circuit to go for Week 3 and my cardio of choice workout, the weekend run from the Jeff Galloway half marathon training plan I'm trying to following. 196 Days people. We're in full planning mode for the trip, and it's been frustrating. I need to find someone who has run at Disney to recommend accommodations. I'd love to stay right there, but hey it's Disney, and you pay for that. When I go for an all-out Disney vacay with G and the hubs I'm sure we'll do the whole thing, but not for this. At least I don't think so. Anyone know anyone?

Have you done a "Destination Race"? How was it?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Weekend in MI

Wow, it's Tuesday evening already!! Where have the past 4 days gone?! I guess 2 of them were spent on the road so that explains a lot...G is a great traveler. Thank goodness!!

I have been on a family/friend visiting overload! I arrived at my parent's house Friday afternoon and in a few hours my best friend/cousin was making us a dinner full of goodies from her garden. She is way too smart for her own good and is a fountain of information on the effect food has on your body. My mom and I are now armed with some new information that is likely to make the men in our lives cry for their soda and candy! ;-) Sorry guys! Hopefully after I get the chance to visit some of the resources she provided and maybe make some changes I can pass the info on. Needless to say, there was no BBB workout completed on Friday. Oops.

Saturday morning I ran a 5k as my "cardio of choice" workout. It was part of a local event called the Pig Gig, betcha can't guess what kind of cook-off they have! We got a medal stamped with a happy pig running through finish line tape just for participating- awesome!

I hope you realize the goofy pose is a nod to the Olympics!
It was a humid morning, thank goodness the race was on the water so we had a breeze. It was a nice route but I have never been part of such a messy start. They didn't separate runners from walkers and had children runners all mixed in so I spent the first half mile trying to get around people and into a groove. I finished in 31:48, not even close to my goal time. No excuses though, I wanted to stop and walk several times but didn't. I'll take that as a victory.

Saturday afternoon my mom, G and I drove to visit with my old colleagues from Indiana. I literally felt like I spent the majority of the weekend in the car. Good thing I like mine. And apparently so does G. She became a big ham over the weekend. I guess there was a swine theme!

My Dad and I golfed on Sunday morning. I was feeling pretty rusty since I didn't play at all last year (a belly full of G probably would have gotten in the way!) and only once so far this year. It was a really nice course though and we just enjoyed being out there. Then we visited with my brother and family. I got real lazy with the pics on Sunday-sorry!

In between those adventures I had my mom do BBB Workout C and core with me. She's a trooper, even though she accused me of trying to kill her more than once! I love being up there, but it's good to be back and get to my usual schedule, I'm a real stickler for a schedule! I'm excited to be starting the next Phase of BBB and I plan to make some more detailed updates during this one.

Until next time Michigan :-)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Road Trip!!

It's time for another trip to MI to visit my lovely family. Only this time it's just me and G. Girl's trip!!

Just in the past few days she's become increasingly stubborn and all about G. As in, this is what I want and I want it now and I'm going to scream at you when you disagree. We were planning to drive overnight tonight so she'd be asleep for the trip but some last minute changes have me getting up SUPER early to leave tomorrow. Can you say caffeine??

That means this evening was filled with unpacking for 3 and repacking for 2 and I didn't get my workout in. Hopefully I won't be too exhausted when I arrive tomorrow to do Workout C, even if I don't get to the cardio part after.

Best Body Bootcamp Week 2:

Monday:  Workout A plus HIIT-awesome once again. I thought I'd get more reps to fatigue during the second week, but it was the opposite. I'd never done HIIT on the elliptical before but it kicked my butt. In a good way.

Tuesday:  Run intervals on treadmill-3.6 miles

Wednesday:  Workout B plus steady elliptical cardio-My goal was 2 minute wall sits. I got one (out of four!) Progress is progress right?! My gluteus are definitely feeling it today! Oh yeah, and core.

Thursday:  OFF

Friday:  Plan is for Workout C plus core. Maybe an evening walk with the folks and G.

Saturday:  Run 5k race. Shooting for under 30:30 finish.

Sunday:  Golf-I always walk when playing with my dad. And I'm horrible so there is a lot of walking from one side to the other...and a lot of searching for golf balls!

It's a big, busy weekend of fun with the fam in MI. I can't help but wish every time I have to make this trip that I could blink my eyes and bob my head like I Dream of Jeanie and just be there. 8 hours is a long time in a car, and it's likely to be longer on my own with a 9 month old! Please send me all of your patience, I may need some extra :-)

Then I'm excited to start with BBB Phase 2. Tina sent us the plans already and I know it's going to be a whole new kind of hurt. Gotta keep those muscles guessing!

Big weekend plans? Do they include some QT with your favorite peeps?