To Party or Not to Party?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s hard to believe how quickly time flies…

Three years ago today I was celebrating St Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland with one of my best friends, Hannah

Two Years ago I was at Hannah’s brother’s wedding in Washington D.C.

Last year: The Southie St Patrick’s Day Monsoon Parade

This weekend marks the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Boston, and it guarantees to be a HUGE party weekend. We all know that I have a party girl side. If Boston is the promised land of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, then Southie is the grand messiah. South Boston is a predominately Irish Catholic Neighborhood, and the pride for Ireland runs extremely deep! The festivities kick off on Thursday, continue on into Friday, all day Saturday and then Sunday during the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Sigh. So many beers, so many calories, and yikes THAT HANGOVER!

Needless to say, this year I’m not looking forward to this year’s festivities with the usual vigor and excitement of past years. I’ve been feeling GREAT when it comes to my health, nutrition and running. The thought of completely falling off the wagon for a full weekend is less than appealing at this point. This weekend is so crazy that in my prime it took over 3 days to recover, at this stage, who really knows!

So here is my plan for this impossible to avoid partying weekend:

Friday – This is always a traditionally low key weekend since everyone is gearing up for two big days and recovering from a mid week St Pat’s imbibing (I will not be partaking in this) So I’ll be able to work out, chill out and catch up on sleep.

Saturday – I’m volunteering at the World Multisport Conference in Cambridge, MA at MIT for DetermiNation from 10am-12pm, then I’m planning on running around the Charles River (a hop, skip and a jump from MIT), head back home to good old Southie and figure out my strategy from there. Maybe it’s a couple pints of Guinness and an early bedtime?

Sunday– This is the real conundrum, I want to run the Southie St. Patrick’s Day 5k at 11am, but friends and fellow St. Pat’s enthusiasts are telling me that “it’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever had”. With the new development that my friend Lizzy is now running Boston in just over a month, she has offered me her number in this race. So why not?! Even if I end up over imbibing during the end all be all of St. Patrick’s day celebrations* I can still get out there and have a good time.

Moderation is key, and I think if I tackle this weekend with the right mindset I will still be able to get in the spirit, get my sweat (and hopefully race on),  have a couple libations and avoid a near death feeling come Monday.

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What would you do? Party all weekend and fall off the wagon? Or, stay in and be good? Is there a middle ground?

*Chicago Natives, I make this claim but I realize that your St. Patrick’s Day is a rockin’ good time as well. Someday I will have to experience it for myself!

Paying for Over Indulging

For the most part, I consider myself a healthy eater. I like to stick to whole grains, fresh, local ingredients and I’m obsessed with produce. My whole work day actually revolves around eating! I try my best to make good decisions, but sometimes I have a hard time resisting temptation. What makes it especially hard is the amount of sweets and junk food that filter in and out of my office. Oh, and the two award winning bakeries around the corner from my office? Those don’t help either.

So after a workoutless weekend, I arrived at my office Monday morning determined to be EXTRA good. That was until lunch time when a few of my coworkers went out and bought cupcakes for a coworker’s birthday! These aren’t just any cupcakes, they are melt in your mouth, LIFE CHANGING cupcakes… I resisted for as long as possible, and then decided to have a quarter of a cupcake, that can’t be all that bad, right?

Then, a an hour later, another quarter…then 30 minutes later “Oh, I didn’t notice this wonderful s’mores cupcake” Another quarter.

[Read more…]

The Three Day Cleanse

For those who know me well, know that I have always struggled with my weight. I am in no means someone that has every been “overweight”, but I always feel as though I have a few pounds to lose. Whenever I eat something indulgent and skip a day of working out, I feel it and it shows. I would kill to have a faster metabolism, but unfortunately there are some things we just can’t change. Enter, cleanse. I’ve always wanted to try a 3 day cleanse before, but I have always worried that it would make me sick, I wouldn’t be able to focus at work, that I would faint, etc. I never thought that I would find a cleanse that was something that fit my needs and my lifestyle. That is, before I had an emailed forwarded to me by one of my favorite running buddies, Kate.

When I think of a cleanse, I immediately think of the Lemonade and cayenne pepper master cleanse. My best friend Kaitlin did this a few summers ago while living at home and unemployed and saw great results. The length of the cleanse scared me, who could go without food for two whole weeks, YIKES! Plus, I had heard multiple stories about how dangerous it is for your body. NO THANK YOU. I’ve looked at other cleanses, but I really never found anything that jumped out at me. Until Kate forwarded me a short email with a document attached that said “I’m planning on doing this next week”, mmm. I opened it and the cleanse looked doable. Maybe I can actually do a “CLEANSE”. Check out the elements of the cleanse below:

What to Shop For

  • a grain: preferably brown rice or quinoa b/c higher in protein
  • 1-2 proteins: beans, hummus, nut butter and/orwhite fish (no oily fish like tuna)
  • A soup: miso soup, diuretic soup or veggie/veggie noodle/veggies bean soup of your choice
  • fruit: lemons and tart green apples, plus optional berries
  • some greens: salad greens w/normal salad veggies and/or cooked dark leafy greens (any)
  • 1-2 fat dissolvers: onion, ginger, red radish, daikon radish. work these in where you can. maybe on salad, maybe cooked in soup or with greens, maybe raw as snack.
  • baby carrots: or other raw veg for emergency snacking.
  • seasonings: a little sea salt, a little vinegar or fresh herbs are ok in small amounts. avoid spicy/peppery/sweet.
  • fat: olive oil, flax oil, nut oil or sesame oil in small amounts. best not to cook in oil – steam or water sautee, then add oil cold. you may really crave fat – feel free to dress your grains with oil and salt, this helps the cravings a lot.
  • sweeteners: if you are losing your mind with sugar cravings, add honey, maple syrup, brown rice syrup or agave nectar to your tea. if still losing your mind allow yourself to eat spoonfuls of that stuff –  you’ll be happier than if you eat a cookie
  • liquids – water water water of course. drink hot or room temperature if you need to – avoid chilling yourself, you may tend to be cold because of eating less fat and protein. any herbal tea you like is fine. I like the grassy ones on a cleanse – nettle, raspberry leaf, oatstraw, etc. green tea is best choice for avoiding caffeine headaches. avoid black tea and decaf coffee.
  • supplements – whatever is your usual thing. it can be good to add a green drink because it helps keep your blood sugar balanced – helpful while eating less fat and protein. easiest solution is to buy 3 bottles of naked or odwalla green juices, one for each morning

Day Before

Eat normally but avoid sugar, chocolate, dairy, alcohol, coffee.

It makes Day 1 of the cleanse less of a shock to the system if you already have 24 hours of clean eating before you start the detox.

Cleanse Days

  • AM – water, hot water with lemon, green drink and/or herbal tea
  • breakfast – apple w/ squeezed lemon juice and nut butter or hummus. Chew well. If still hungry add fresh berries, small serving of grain or cooked greens.
  • midmorning: water and tea. snack on raw veg, fruit and/or greens
  • lunch: grain, protein and greens (salad or cooked) of your choice
  • midafternoon: water and tea. snack on raw veg, fruit and/or greens
  • dinner: soup and grain (best to eat protein midday for energy, then rest from it in the evening before bed; try to eat before 8, see below)
  • evening: water and tea. try not to snack after dinner – stopping food well before bedtime makes it easier for your liver to detox overnight. but if you are starving/woozy, eat!!
  • Day After
  • Eat normally but avoid sugar, chocolate, dairy, alcohol, coffee.
  • More protein, fat and seasonings are fine, just don’t over do it, ease back in to normal eating.

Other Optional Helpful Cleansing Things

  • setting an intention for your cleanse: can be anything… lose 3 pounds… take 3 days to focus on myself… get rid of old X to make way for new X… whatever…
  • tongue scraper every morning
  • chew well and slowly
  • eat in a quiet, nonstressful place if possible
  • gentle exercise only
  • limit social engagements and running around
  • get enough sleep
  • hot water bottle on abdomen at night to help digestion
  • journal out any emotions that come up
  • send whiny emails to your girlfriends when cravings make you crazy
  • do grounding meditations and/or walk outside if you feel like you are getting too spacey
  • at end of cleanse, do a salt scrub, take a bath in Epsom salts and/or get a massage – all good for final toxin release

So after looking at my master marathon training, social engagements, work schedule, weekends away etc, I zeroed in on May 17th-19th. I picked these days because it was directly following the Heartbreak Hill Half and it was right before wedding season 2010 officially kicked off. I also felt it was a great way to rejuvenate my current weight loss goals. So why not?

Day One

Day one was, I’m not going to lie, tough. The half marathon the day before was difficult, and I proceeded to drown my sorrows and pain in a fatty brunch, chips and guacamole, and not to mention multiple Sam Summers. Not exactly the precleanse routine that was laid out on paper, oops. I was ok until roughly 10:30am, when I started getting very hungry. I had a reserve of strawberries and I allowed myself to have a few, thank GOODNESS this cleanse allows berries! Around noon I ate a salad of mixed greens, sprouts and onion along with a piece of Alvarado Street Bakery Bread (my favorite bread in the entire world, I actually used to have my mom send it to me in college so I could take it to the dining hall and make a sandwich with it. Crazy, I know!) with some humus spread on it. About an hour and a half later I was hungry, so I ate a small serving of carrots. Then, another half hour later I was hungry AGAIN, so I ate a few blackberries. I plowed through my work and left exactly on time so I could run home and make myself dinner, I was FAMISHED! I stood in my kitchen staring at a two pots; one boiling White Bean Tuscan soup, and then another cooking some quinoa. As soon as both were ready I put them in bowls and chowed down in record time. I was still a little hungry so I had a small bowl of greens. I tried not to think about food afterwards, and decided to head to my bedroom around 9pm and read to resist temptation to snack. About a page and a half later, I was out like a light. I made it through day one, yes!

Day Two

If day one was a mountain, then day two was certainly Mount Kilimanjaro. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling refreshed, getting one of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in quite some time. Yet, it was only a matter of minutes until an intense headache took over my brain, ugh. I went to work, drank tea, had my apple with Justin’s almond butter and some berries…still a headache, ick! I went through much of the morning fighting back the headache, but it wasn’t until a lunch meeting (where I snacked on carrots) when I really felt like I was going to pass out. I experienced the same sensation for the next two hours, and I’m not going to lie, it was dreadful. It felt like a combination of caffeine and sugar withdrawal, not fun! However, around 3pm (just in time for another snack of berries) I turned a corner and felt better. Hooray! I went home, ate dinner and went to bed just after 10pm. Another day in the books, maybe I can do this!

Day Three

Day three, was significantly better than the previous 2 days, I no longer suffered through horrible headaches and felt as if I had more energy throughout the day. I ate my meals and found that my body was coping with the smaller portions better and no longer forced me to find berries to eat. I felt great! Over dinner I thought, why not extend this another day? I feel great! Day Three: I did it, and I’m showing this cleanse who’s the boss!

Day Four

I felt great the entire day. I went and weighed myself after breakfast and I lost three pounds, awesome! Feeling energized after work, I even went for a short run and did some yoga and core fusion exercises at home! I changed the dinner suggestion by having a salad (no dressing) and some tuna fish on the side. I morphed this meal because I do have a wedding this weekend, and I didn’t want my body to completely freak out with the introduction of non-cleanse friendly foods.

Post Cleanse Thoughts

This cleanse was a GREAT experience. I feel as though the withdrawal symptoms were not as severe as if I had done a juice based cleanse, which was great. I was able to center my nutrition plan and effectively avoid off limits foods, and I feel as though this will lay the ground work for great decisions during my jam packed schedule this summer. An added bonus was the weight loss, I really didn’t set out trying to lose weight, but I’m happy that the end result was a loss vs a gain. All in all, I highly recommend this cleanse. It’s a realistic and healthy take on a full body cleanse that gives you energy and enforces good eating habits.

Kim’s Lent Plan: Less Junk; More Gym!

I don’t always give up something for Lent, but this year I decided that it might be a good idea. When I have given up something, I’ve always found it to be difficult to adhere to my lent perimeters (no matter what I decide to give up!), so to make it easier I’m putting an emphasis on good health for the next 40 days. My motto is: Less Junk (Food, drinks) and more Gym (whether it’s running, a group exercise class, skiing, walking, lifting–whatever, it just has to burn calories!). So, if for instance, I decide to over-indulge on a weekend (which, quite frankly happens more than I would like to admit), then I have to go the gym and do more than my standard trip to make up for it. Now, I consider myself a healthy person, but I have been known to cave to the occasional cookie left over from the 2pm meeting, or a bagel loaded with cream cheese from the 9am client presentation–ICK. Or, one celebratory beer or glass of wine with a friend turns into six. Not going to say these events are never going to take place, but I’m certainly going to try to stay mindful of my actions.

The next 40 days I’m going to update my work-out routine, race schedule, and nutrition. My boyfriend has also given up junk food, so wish both of us luck on this quest!!

Good Bye Winter “Bla’s”!

So since returning from vacation, it’s taken a little bit to work back into daily life again–work, the cold weather, commuting and of course THE GYM. The first week back was pretty rough, for some reason I felt like I was spinning my wheels every time I stepped foot into the gym. I honestly think I was so resentful of the cold weather that I worked myself into a funk. One day was so bad that I went home directly after work, bundled up in sweats and blankets and rooted myself on my couch. It finally took my boyfriend to drag me to the gym! The instant I stepped on the elliptical trainer I felt like a new person. Who knew such a workout nut could be in a fitness funk?

Since the forced gym visit, I am happy to report, I have been on an upward fitness and wellness swing–hooray! Not only have I gotten back into the routine of attending weekly bootcamp class (ouch!), running on the treadmill, but I took a trip to Wholefoods and Trader Joe’s and stocked up on all of my favorite nutritions products (post to follow sometime this week.) It’s not that I ever pig out on junk food, but it’s difficult to stick to a healthy eating plan when eating breakfast and lunches out–yuck!

So the ground work has been laid for a great winter in the gym (and running outside when it gets above 40 degrees), I’m back on the nutrition bandwagon (hopefully for the long haul!) and now more exciting news, I have registered for my THIRD marathon! Yesterday at 9am I registered for the Chicago marathon and I am absolutely thrilled. The excitement of registering, along with my friends Michele (marathon compadre, who I have run NYC & MCM with) and Noel (Boston qualifying superstar friend!) bolstered me through a quick, but very intense three mile run that ended with me running at 8.0 in the last half mile. Take that winter blues, I’m fighting back!

It may not have been the prettiest route to optimal fitness and nutrition regimen, but I’d like to announce that I am BACK! I look forward to blogging about nutrition, books, training techniques more often. I’m going to hold myself to blogging in order to hold myself to my reformed healthy lifestyle. Until next time, happy running!