It seems fitting to create a gratitude post for two reasons:
I am happy to be getting back in to the routine of blogging.
It’s holiday season. This makes for a good time to reflect and be thankful.
Gratitude works in conjunction with the spirit of giving (you know, because you’re busy giving thanks). It’s not a “what’s in it for me” mindset. At the same time, it not about being gullible either.
Well, without further adieu, here is the list:
Support: I am so thankful for my family, friends, associates, and acquaintances who enable me to not loose my marbles. I am also VERY thankful for YOU the reader!
Health: I am thankful for good health. Sometimes it seems like a hassle to make sure I sleep well, hydrate, eat a balanced diet, exercise daily, and meditate/pray/reflect. But it is worth it.
Career: I am a math teacher in an alternative school setting. It is a good fit for me at this point in my career. It has helped me develop a higher level of patience and tolerance that has transferred well into my personal life. This is my 12th year in the education profession. When I was a 19 year old kid choosing this career path, there were so many people (with good intentions) that persuaded me to choose another career option. I am still satisfied about my choice, despite my “busiest” work days.
(I believe it is a daily task to implement.)
Question: What do you have gratitude for? Take care.
Now that the school year has began, I am back into a lifestyle with less downtime. I maintained a baseline of fitness through CrossFit workouts. However, I am ready to mix it up a tad bit. The past few weeks, I finally made it my business to check out more of the active community in downtown Columbus, Ga. I live about 10-15 minutes away, depending on traffic.
I did the following:
Yoga on Bikes: A free hour of yoga at a bike shop with my favorite yoga instructor!
Bike Ride 20 miles with a multi-level/ability group of about 100 cyclist: I used my hybrid bike. I anticipated soreness the day after, but there was none!!!
3 mile run with a new running group: It is very nice to know that through functional fitness training, I can still comfortably run 3-5 miles whenever I feel up to it!
CrossFit has definitely toned me up. It has also made me see diet and exercise from a different perspective. Before, I was a vegetarian half marathoner. My mobility was poor. I was also sore the next day when I completed other fitness activities outside of running.
However, the cooling weather has me wanting to be back outside. I definitely plan maintain functional fitness at least 3 times a week. I enjoy the toned look that I have worked hard over a year and a half to develop. I am in the process of coming up with a plan. Stay tuned!
(Not the most flattering, but you get the PICTURE… Get it?)
By nature, I am a homebody. A clean house, full fridge, and Netflix is pure luxury to me. Yes. I know I am weird. That’s why you like me! Anyway, being sedentary is my kryptonite. It’s the monster that wants to get me.
(Sugar the Dog: “Mommy! I’m ready for you to walk me. Again.”
Me: “Girl! I already earned my benchmark steps for today! Okay, let me finish this coffee.”)
So my tactic is to take my pedometer readings seriously. For this summer, I have determined that I can always average 7000-8000 steps. This is how I am doing it:
CrossFit: At least 2000 steps.
Dog Walk: At least 2000 steps.
House Chores: At least 2000 steps.
Miscellaneous: 1000 to 2000 steps.
(Maybe I will average the magical 10,000 steps when I go back to work in August!)
Am I the only person that predicts the amount of steps the day before? By the way, be should be FitBit friends! I enjoy doing the competitions!
GOOD NEWS: It is a teacher in-service day, and also my last work day of the school year! I got the idea to workout during my lunch break today!
BAD NEWS: Today’s WOD is Murph….
Hopefully this trial run plays out well so that I could do this on other in-service days. For those that don’t know, teacher in-service tends to be chock full of meetings. This can make for a long work day, even though the hours are the same. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as a teacher (math teacher at an alternative school), I have always envied people with other jobs/careers that are blessed with this option. Seriously, even a lunch break power walk is out of the question for the average educator.
I changed my WOD workout time from 5:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. about a month ago. I plan to maintain this for days when students are scheduled to report to school. It takes prior planning and organization, but it works for me because it provides enough time for me to also (power) walk my dog and shower. Right now, I am getting up at 4:45 a.m.; but when the school year resumes I may choose 4:30. I would like to walk my dog first, so that I have time to put on makeup and jewelry.
(A little after WOD grub. I will drink the shake en route back to work, then eat the salad when I get there. Don’t worry, I have more food around if this isn’t enough.)
I am really impressed with how Apple itunes Podcast have evolved. I listen to several on a daily basis. I tend to do this when I get home to tidy, cook, and dog walk. It enables a smooth transition from work to home life.
I increase the speed of the podcast of those that tend to talk slowly, have a regional drawl, or doesn’t require deep thought.
Here is a list of podcasts that I regularly listen to. What do you all listen to?
Rubber band Apple:I am sure I am the only person that did not know this, but once you put a rubber band around a chopped apple, it will stay in tact without browning. I use this hack a lot during the school week and days with a lot of errands. I pair mine with raw almond butter. You can find it at Whole Foods or grocery stores like it. I go to Fresh Market.
Waterlogged App:I actually only use the alert part. I have it set to remind me every two hours to continue drinking water. Sometimes it is annoying, but it is helpful for those moments where I need to be reminded to drink up! Oh yeah, it is free.
Frugalwoods: If you are like me, and low key take pride in striving to be (COUGH) frugal, check out this website. These are regular people, like us, that work hard to live a financially smart lifestyle.
Peas and Crayons: No need to reinvent the wheel of healthy eating. Each Wednesday, dozens of bloggers post about what they eat for one day in “What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW)”.
It is my third and last visit to the gym for the week! Right now, I am CrossFitting 3 times a week and pairing it with a long run on Saturdays. I am running with the Galloway running group in my town for a March half-marathon race. I haven’t decided on which race, but there are lots to choose from. I am leaning toward the Auburn (Alabama) Classic Half Marathon.
On a positive note, I feel like I have nothing in common with many of the New Year’s Resolution crowd (NO SHADE)! Over Christmas break , I did my completed the same plan (3 CrossFits and 1 long run), and was selectively indulgent. I am pretty consistent throughout the year, even if I travel out of state (see reason in the “about” page). The only difference is that I have incorporated drinking a gallon of water each day. I don’t drink it from the jug though, I just pour it into a Tervis cup.
I am still going 3-4 times a week. It doesn’t get easier to go there after a long day, but I am somewhat programmed to make it happen most of the time. I am still learning new skills and improving my form. Last week in particular, I PR’ed a 125 one rep front squat. When I get some free time, I need to update my profile picture. Yeah, the one where I was dead lifting 100 pounds for my one rep max. My highest now is 150 pounds.
I am also taking in more protein than I used to. When I started in late March this year, I wasn’t eating meat. I now usually count on eggs, whey, and chicken to help me with this process. It’s made me a better cook and a frequent dishwasher. It takes a good bit of planning and organizing, but it’s worth it. I cook to sustain myself for 3 to 4 days. Right now I eat food prepared from home about 85% of the time. I don’t many cravings that result in overindulgence, but that may be a result of proper planning.
(For some odd reason, I was craving Reese’s Pieces. I decided to make due with a few spoonfuls.)
The idea of running 3 to 4 miles still sounds okay, but I can’t believe I used to train for half-marathons as a hobby. Wait even better, I can’t believe I ran a 26.2 marathon. Also, when you consider the gear needed to run to that much, I break even, financially, between the two fitness activities.
I dabble with the idea of doing a competition. Just dabble. As I get stronger and leaner, the idea becomes more realistic. I like the idea of putting if until this summer when I am off and have lots of time to focus on training and recovery.
I am still on the food prep kick. At this point, It takes about an hour on Saturday, and about 30 minutes on Sunday. The number one benefit is that it has lowered my grocery bill significantly.
I almost always go through 2 tubs of raw spinach each week for smoothies, salads, and eggs. For whatever reason, I only went through 1 tub this week, and the other tub was at risk of spoiling. I can’t have that happen. A tub of spinach is about 5 to 6 dollars in my area. So I put it in my blender with some almond milk, poured it in a ice tray, and in to the freezer it went.
(2 cubes will go into the blender for 1 smoothie)
I also had baby carrots that also had a few days left before the expiration date. I don’t like feeling pressured to eat anything. Like spinach, carrots have a complementary taste in juices and smoothies. I googled around and referenced this site. So we will see how frozen carrot cubes will play out this week in my smoothies (I will keep you posted).
(I used carrots, water, and my blender. If you make stocks/broths this process could work for you as well,)
WARNING:Prepare food that you look forward to, or else food prep will probably be counter-productive.