I RUN for Boston

16 Apr

There aren’t the right words to sum up my feelings about yesterday.  Regardless of whether or not you’re a runner, I imagine the tragic events at the Boston Marathon yesterday have affected you in a multitude of ways. As a fellow runner, I feel as if someone just attacked my friends (thanks Twitter for summing up my thoughts).  I was shocked and dismayed that something like this could have happened– at a place where elites, soccer moms, and senior citizens can come together to celebrate the sport of running together.  When I was little, I lived in the Boston area and my mom would always take me and my sisters to Heartbreak Hill to watch the runners, I was inspired by these runners and could never imagine running that far myself.  The Boston Marathon was always on my bucket list of races I’d like to do, but now I know that this is one I must complete because we must show whoever did this that we are not afraid of them.

As the running community grapples, alongside the rest of the world, with the ripple effect that this will have on the sport of running and beyond, a group of students at Boston College have found a way to honor those impacted.  They will walk the final 5 miles of the Boston Marathon route from their campus on Commonwealth Ave to the finish line area at Copley Square to finish the marathon for all those who were unable to finish yesterday. I think the symbolism is a beautiful sign of resilience.

One of the main reasons I love running: the community #handsoverhearts

One of the main reasons I love running: the community #handsoverhearts

I wish that I could join them in person, but being here in the DC area, that will not be possible.  Instead, in a show of solidarity, I’ve decided to take my own 5-mile run on Friday to “finish” the marathon for those who were unable to finish and to honor those who lost their lives or were injured celebrating one of the greatest human feats.  So who will join me on a run to finish the Boston Marathon on Friday?  Regardless of where you live, come walk or run those five miles with me and share your stories with the world. There’s no stronger statement we can send than to band together (even if it is virtually) and heal together.  As the BC student’s Facebook page says: “we decide when the marathon ends”.  Any runner knows that a marathon is the ultimate testament to human willpower: it takes blood, sweat, tears, and determination. I have full confidence that the running community (and our great country) will grow stronger from this experience and we will not cower in fear.

Running has always been therapeutic and healing for me.  I hope you will join me as we mourn and honor those impacted.  Stay strong my friends and to quote my fellow blogger Anne of fANNEtastic Food, “Let’s show the world how strong runners are. Boston – this one’s for you.

Image

Daily Motivational Quote

23 Feb

Quick and healthy meals for the time-crunched gal (or guy)

22 Feb
One last half before the big 2-5! ha!!

One last half before the big 2-5! ha!!

Happy Friday!  I’m headed off tomorrow to run the Rock’n’Roll New Orleans Half Marathon in honor of my 25th birthday next week! I’m so excited, I’ve never been to NOLA before, and it’s always so much fun to explore a new city!

So you know the feeling, you get home late from a long day at the office, you’re already fighting the couch & TV’s siren song and your inner battle between the part of you that wants to cave and the other half who’s telling you if you don’t go sweat, those office cookies you had for lunch are going to come back and bite you in the butt…literally.  You can’t even begin to process what to make for dinner; Chinese take out is sounding really good right about now: easy and cheap!  But that same voice in your head that’s telling you to hit the gym is the same one that’s telling you that high-in sodium and gods know what else, dripping in oil is the last thing your body (or brain) needs.  So what’s a mentally-exhausted, time-crunched gal (or guy) to do?  Below are some of my tried and true techniques to still eat healthy without a whole lot of fuss.

Step away from the frozen meals!!!

Step away from the frozen meals!!!

Buy ahead of time

I’ll try to figure out the weekend before what to have the following week. Then I’ll buy all the ingredients I need on Sunday and do as much of the prep work as possible, so come a weekday night I don’t have to think about a)what to make for dinner and b) stopping at a crowded grocery store to pick up the ingredients!

Make ahead of time

Drop that Chinese food!  Make healthy stir fry in bulk!

Drop that Chinese food! Make healthy stir fry in bulk!

Whatever you can make in advance and freeze, creates a simple solution to the “ I don’t have time to make food”.  I love to buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts in bulk. I then put 1 breast into a quart-sized freezer bag, pour enough marinade (I prefer homemade, but even simpler is to use a store-bought marinade or dressing, but watch sodium and sugar levels!) into the bag to cover the breast, seal, label/date and toss into the freezer.  So when I come home from work, I choose a marinated chicken, throw it in the sink to thaw and then hit the gym or whatever.  After I’m done relaxing, I just toss it in a oven-safe dish, bake it and voila! My protein is done!  Now all it needs is a salad or some roasted or steam veggies and I have a healthy meal that was super simple!

Make in bulk

If you don’t mind eating the same thing for several lunches & dinners in a row, then this is perfect for you.  I will double my recipe and then have leftovers for the rest of the week.  My favorite is making a double batch of turkey taco meat, then I can have a taco salad for about 4 lunches and 4 dinners!  I never tire of taco salads! YUM!!

And finally: K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid!)

This looks like a simple and healthy meal to make!

This looks like a simple and healthy meal to make!

It’s so much easier to manage 1, 2 or even 3 ingredients than 15.  Unless you’re a professional chef or have a competent sous chef, a weekday night is NOT the appropriate time to try out a new recipe with some 20-odd ingredients.  Simple ingredients=quicker prep & clean time=MORE GLORIOUS FREE TIME!  I pick a protein and a veggie (or 2) to make a quick and healthy meal.  I keep the prep simple and try to use no more than 2 dishes, but it’s even easier if you cook all your ingredients in the same pan/pot/tray.  A crock pot is great for this, you can turn is on in the morning on your way out the door and then you get home and you’ve only got clean-up duty!

So that’s how I manage to cook simple meals that are nutritious and filling without spending 2+ hours in the kitchen every night!  Save the fancy meals for your Saturday nights!  What are you favorite tips and tricks to save time in the kitchen on a weeknight?

Is your job killing you?

19 Feb Don't let your day start like this!!!

I know it’s been far too long since I last posted anything, but the holidays ate me up and spat me back out and then work has just been nonstop. So apologies! Speaking of work, I want to focus today on the thing most Americans find themselves doing for prolonged periods of time everyday…SITTING!!!

Our body was designed for movement!

Our body was designed for movement!

I, like many Americans, work a “standard” 8-hour/day desk job that involves sitting for hours on end at your desk with little to no movement.  This is especially bad because linkages have been drawn between prolonged periods of sitting and an increased risk for many health issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol etc.

The human body was designed to move…a lot.  So while it’s great that you may be exercising for 30 minutes to an hour every day, if you then proceed to plop down on your couch or chair post-workout for majority of the other 12 hours you’re awake, you could be counteracting all that good you just did.  So how do you continue to move while at work or home?  Read on for what I do to keep moving on the job!

Don't let your day start like this!!!

Don’t let your day start like this!!!

If you live within a safe walking or biking distance of your office, job, kids’ school, etc., instead of wasting  gas (did you know that Americans waste 1.9 billion gallons of gas per year in traffic?), leave a little earlier and hoof it to your destination.  It’s a great way to keep moving and you don’t have to waste hours of your life stuck in traffic!  In 2007, commuters in urban areas spent an average of 47 hours a year stuck in commute traffic, imagine what else you could do with those hours!!

Walking or biking is also a great option for those who take public transit, especially if you’re cash-strapped (like yours truly), it saves a heck of a lot in metro fares and helps you avoid the sweaty crush of rush hour on public transit.

Bonus– if you are able to walk/bike your kids to school, you will be instilling positive lifelong habits in them.  Now I get that in this modern age, having the ability to walk or bike everywhere is probably not practical or safe for everyone, but if you can, isn’t it worth the extra time?  I sure think it is!

18fitness.600

Wouldn’t you just love if you were able to walk all day? I know I would!

Now, let’s say you’re at work and you’re not lucky enough to have a super health-conscious organization which would provide you with a treadmill desk, then how do you stay moving?  I use several tricks to get moving throughout the day.  Firstly, I ditched my desk chair and bought a cheap 75cm stability ball from Amazon and use that to sit on throughout the day.  The minor movement helps me from feeling like a bump on a log, but doesn’t’ interfere with my work productivity.

I spend a lot of my day reading health reports and studies, so when I’m doing that, I like to jerry-rig a standing desk by stacking some large books under my monitor and stand while reading.  I will also stand or pace while on phone calls.

Take your meetings outside!

Take your meetings outside!

Another way I get moving is instead of calling or emailing a colleague who is just down the hall, I take a walk to see them, not only is it nice to have some face to face interaction, it’s a good opportunity to stretch the legs.  When the gang just needs to get out of the office, we try to do walking breaks instead of coffee runs.  When we just to need to vent or gab outside of the office, we much prefer to take a nice stroll around the White House (weather permitting of course) instead of spending 5 bucks for a calorie-laden Starbucks.  It’s a great opportunity for bonding, fresh air, and getting the blood circulating again!

When the drama ends, your movement begins!

When the drama ends, your movement begins!

The movement doesn’t end once you get home!  Next time you’re watching your favorite TV shows, get up and move during the commercials. Do whatever you feel like, but some good ones are push-ups, sit ups, marching in place, jumping jacks, or squats.

These are just some easy changes that I use in my life every day to stay active all day, long after I’ve finished my workout.  How about you? What things do you do to keep moving all day?

Image

Daily Motivational Quote

31 Dec

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

voxifit

The Voice of Fitness Blog

Sorta Ginger

Ramblings of a Quasi-Redhead

The Better Man Project

A man in progress. One day at a time.

L-Jay Health

Nutrition and Fitness

Lavender Parking

Enjoying Life One Post-Race Pint at a Time

Medal Slut

Ticking off local races one medal at a time.

The Weight Loss Counter Revolution

Dedicated to giving you the truth about your weight and weight loss.

Eat.Live.Blog

...and do it all again!

Tyler and Lisa Brown's Flow

Flow: an authentically happy state of engaged activity that supremely interests you, challenges you, and occasionally makes time melt away

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 376 other followers

%d bloggers like this: