I talked last time about the running challenge that Joe and I participated in 3 years ago. We both felt so strong, confident, more fit, and amazing after completing that challenge and knew I wanted to do something again in the future. I didn’t know what I wanted to do or what I would come across to peak interest. I toyed with riding my bicycle, swimming, or hiking long distance but had no plan. This spring I came across the one I knew was right for me. The Great Cycle Challenge. I have already started it. I will ride 200 miles during the month of June, challenge myself and raise awareness and funds to fight Kids’ cancer. For some of you this may be no big deal. For me, this is huge. I had not ridden my bike in at least two years and the weeks prior to the start, it rained almost everyday. Add that to my already very full schedule, and I found that there was no time for a work up to the rides. In order for me to ride 200 miles this month, I will l have to ride at least 7 miles every day or 10 miles 20 days during the month. I started on Friday morning with my first ten miles and second on Sunday. It was challenging because there is so much to learn. This is only partly about me. I want to know what you are doing to challenge yourself this summer? Do you want to be more fit or healthier? Find a challenge or join me.
A few years ago, Joe and I learned about a challenge that neither one of us were prepared for, yet we got excited and decided to make a go of it.
We ran a 5K a day for 50 consecutive days. While we had both run a 5K here or there previously, we found neither of us were conditioned to go that distance for that many days. All the running articles I had read prior to that said that one should not run for more than a few days at a time without a break of some sort. This would allow your muscles to recover and in a perfect world, they were probably right. We did it anyway.
At first, it was more difficult than we expected. We didn’t give up. We pushed through. Some days we ran together. Most days we didn’t. I’ll further explain my journey. I decided midway through that I should start a detox. This made going that distance a little more difficult. I walked those 7 days, but I always went the distance. While my time was never a worthy record, it was worth every minute of every day I ran. By the time I got to the end of the challenge, I found it to be a wonderful experience, a great place to ‘go’ and I learned a whole lot.
Here are some of the things I learned.
There is always time to run, even a slow runner like me can go the distance. It’s not about time, at least it isn’t for me. My time did improve by about 8 minutes.
Be prepared. I have four children and this challenge was during the summer and I prefer to sleep in during the summer rather than get up early, much less to run. This meant I had to fit the 35-45 minutes into my time around the summer time activities. I kept a bag with my shoes and running clothes in the car. I’ve run while they are in the dentist chair, getting a hair cut, at the pool, while my car was being serviced, in many parks, University of Maryland, Virginia Beach UNC Wilmington, and so much more.
Food is fuel - as i mentioned, in the middle of this challenge I was inspired to detox and what a difference it made in my recovery. I was still sore but much less. I learned how to fuel my body with whole, real food. It ate clean proteins, lots of vegetables, some fruit and probably 80 oz of water per day for me. BTW, I still eat this way.
Supplements can help - one supplement in particular i credit to the faster recovery. as part of my detox, i amped up my intake of the antioxidant/anti inflammatory supplement called OPC-3. combining this supplement with the proper food help bring the inflammation in my calves down to a quiet discomfort instead of the screaming tightness i had been experiencing.
My body is so strong. and exercise is a great way to relieve stress and take away the blues.
Diet and lifestyle changes dramatically change quality of life.
Guess what I did on days 51-54? Yep, I ran a 5K. It had become a habit. I get my exercise in other forms these days and I found a new challenge for this summer. I’ll tell you about it in a later blog.
Challenges are a great way to push yourself to the next level. This challenge was the what I needed to change my body, and lifestyle, creating a healthier me. And I love feeling good, looking good, and being healthy.
If you or anyone you know is struggling to make healthy lifestyle changes, I understand your fears. You have to love and believe in yourself. AskAnnamarie and I’ll do what I can to help you succeed in your challenges.
April 10, 2018
Gratitude is my on my mind today and for so many reasons. Several years ago Oprah had a guest author who spoke of her book on abundance. Part of the author's approach included becoming aware of and writing in a gratitude journal, just a few things that one might be thankful for each day. I did this for a long time and it did help me to recognize all the good around me. I do not journal it in the same way today. I do take the time each week/month to reflect on those things and people I am grateful for, and why, and get a good sense of the power that lies in it. I am also reminded that it is all from God.
What might you find yourself grateful for today?
Here’s an article on the power of gratitude and it’s positive influence over you.
Yep, I can hardly believe it myself. Although I’ve not ever snubbed kale officially, I am surprised at how much I now like it. One of the biggest reasons is because of the way it makes me feel. And I’ve been testing this for a few weeks now, so I can say with some certainty that it is the kale.
I made a kale salad, recipe will be on bottom, about 6 weeks ago for a pot luck luncheon at my friend and mentor’s home. She is also my weight loss coach and trainer in business. So, when I prepare a dish, in my mind, I must choose wisely and want to make it extra good for us to share. When I arrived, I was feeling sluggish and tired. It had been a long week prior to the luncheon and I was beat. I finally sat down to the potluck and heaped a large portion of my kale salad on my plate along with some other scrumptious choices from our lunch. Almost immediately, I was feeling energized and clear headed. I figured I just needed food in general.
Fast forward a week or so later. My family had the benefits of leftover kale salad upon my return and my husband and 13 year old daughter found it and enjoyed it in the fridge. They liked it so much they asked me to make more. I obliged. I packed it for lunch one day while out on appointments and found the same feelings of energy and clarity come over me upon eating it. I have since enjoyed this salad several times. I almost always have it made for us to enjoy at home and to go.
I wanted to know why this little salad was packing such a great powerful rush for me… I did some research.
Of all the super healthy greens, kale is the king.
It is definitely one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence and when prepared well is, in my opinion, delicious.
Kale is being called “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” Here are ten great benefits of adding more kale to your diet:
1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat.
One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.
2. Kale is high in iron.
Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
3. Kale is high in Vitamin K.
Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants.
Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food.
One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support.
Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
7. Kale is high in Vitamin A.
Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
8. Kale is high in Vitamin C.
This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
9. Kale is high in calcium.
Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility
10. Kale is a great detox food.
Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
The above photos were taken about 8 years apart. It didn’t take us 8 years to lose the 125 pounds of collective fat, just that long to take the picture. It took us about 2 years to get from here to there. We use a lifestyle approach to weight loss and now weight management.
There are four parts to living this lifestyle. It is diet. Not in that four letter word that most folks think of as a temporary way to eat, but the sensible way we approach eating. We have learned, and teach, that we have to fuel our bodies with good food. Now having said that, I'd like to share some of our everyday meals with you.
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February 1, 2018
There’s nothing more important than taking care of yourself on a daily basis.
This is one of my daily activities for self care and that of my loved ones. We are healthy and stronger because we take these daily. Isotonic form is unique and certainly the best delivery system available. Ask Annamarie about it.
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