Wednesday, June 28, 2017

China Grove Main Street Challenge 5K

Will Run for Pizza and Donuts!

The China Grove 5K is one of my favorite 5K races!

  • It's in my town, just down the street!
  • It has a fun post-race spread of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Pizza Hut pizza and fresh watermelon!
  • The atmosphere is fun and family friendly!
  • It's at 9pm at night which I think is pretty fun!
  • Flat course! This means people come from far and wide to set PRs and it's very competitive!
Photo by Aaron Cress - Facebook The China Grove 5K Main St. Challenge 
This was my first race since my diagnosis of iron deficient anemic which had really affected my running - in fact, that's what prompted me to go to the doctor! My running got so bad that I couldn't even run half a mile at a ten-minute pace! I've now been taking prescription iron supplements for about two and a half months and have seen much improvement, however, I'm still not at my all time fastest, so I was very apprehensive about this race!

Thankfully, my age group is very small so I had a fighting chance. The weather was fantastic - about 70 degrees! I had some freeze dried fruit, an energy drink and endless amounts of anxious adrenaline to fuel my run. I started at the front of the crowd but many people passed me in the beginning as they always do. I particularly had my eye on one girl because I thought she may be in my age group and she looked like a runner! I gave it my all and about halfway through, I was cruising past a lot of people who didn't properly pace themselves (including my competition). I began sprinting when I felt the end was near but that was a little too soon! The cheers of the crowd actually really encouraged me! I couldn't slow down that close to the Finish line! 

I was SO EXCITED for a pace of 7:07 - my fastest by far since my issues with iron. My finish time was 22:05 and I was first in my age group. I love bettering myself and there's just some sort of adrenaline rush I get from running in 5ks and it's something my mom and I enjoy doing together!

Have you ever run a 5K? Would you run for pizza or doughnuts?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How I Survived a Week Without Sugar

One week, Seven days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds

Without sugar.

Wait, that's too easy. The internets tell me I must eliminate ALL sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and yes, even stevia) to really change habits, curb cravings and discover how my body reacts.

So I tried this once before but I crashed and burned! I made it one day and I felt miserable all day. What was wrong? Maybe I was just having a bad day anyway but I simply felt irritated all day and that was not fair to the people around me lol! So I quit.

However, about a week or so later, a #healthspo account on Instagram did it and I regained my motivation and determination. This time, though, I had a new mindset! I focused on the fact that this was my personal choice. I am in control. I am choosing not to consume these things because I want to be kind to my body. I want to see if I will feel any different/better. I choose not to consume these things versus I can't, I'm not allowed, etc. This shift in mindset seemed to make all the difference.

Some of the biggest changes I had to make:

Breakfast was: oatmeal with loads of stevia and nut butter that was sweetened

Breakfast became: eggs with potatoes, eggs with fruit, eggs with cheese and spinach, plain rice cakes with cream cheese and smoked salmon

I honestly didn't mind switching up my breakfast but I did find that having a few strawberries at the end made me that much more satisfied. It was like a breakfast dessert lol! I also discovered that smoked salmon (at least the brand I purchased) has sugar in it, however on the nutrition facts, it reads 0g sugar, so it must be a trivial amount. Since I had already eaten it, I let it slide. These breakfasts were perfectly satiating to get me to lunch.

Caffeine was: coffee with stevia, Monster energy drinks, diet soda
Caffeine became: cold brew coffee black

Well black coffee is not my favorite thing in the world, I much prefer the flavor of the cold brew. It did the job of giving me my daily dose of caffeine!

Snacks were: protein bars, protein ice cream, beef jerky which had sugar in the ingredients, yogurt with sweeteners in the ingredients, etc.

Snacks became: sweet potatoes with no sugar added sunbutter or peanut butter, popcorn, rice cakes with tuna, protein smoothies (fruit, coconut milk and protein powder with no sweeteners), natural almonds (watch out for added sugar in smoked or roasted varieties), larabars, kind pressed fruit bars and fruits and veggies

This was a bit of an adjustment but I actually found it easier as I went out of town for the weekend because I only brought appropriate snacks and didn't snack as much. I enjoyed getting to eat more fruits and veggies and larabars which I haven't had in a while. The smoothie was a little disappointing because it was far less sweet than my protein fluff but I guess that's the point lol!

Unsweetened Smoothie Bowl topped with Unsweetened Coconut, NSA Sunbutter and Cinnamon
Supplements were: creatine, protein, BCAAs and pre workout all sweetened with stevia or sucralose
Supplements became: NADA, yeah I just drank water at the gym!

Takeaway: I honestly do not regret doing this because I didn't notice any negative effects. I felt much better about myself knowing I was eating more vegetables and Whole Foods. It also really affected my habits, at least for now. I used to DUMP stevia in my oatmeal. I haven't had oatmeal yet but I'm hoping now, I will be able to be more moderate.  I'm not sure how many long-term studies have been done on stevia but too much of anything is too much. Also, during this time, I didn't notice any headaches which I get if I drink too many monster energy drinks or diet sodas in a row. I also drank a lot more water and I think this may have benefited my regularity in bowel movements. (TMI? Lol!) Besides that, I didn't notice too much of a physical effect. I'm hoping now I can find a happy balance. That's always the goal, right?

What do you think about added sugar and sweeteners and doing a "detox"? How insane is your sweet tooth?

Disclaimer: I don't think that this is something you need to do, it was simply an experiment I wanted to do to see how my body reacted. Eat yo sugar if you like!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday Finds!

Hey there! I've decided to share a few products, services, podcasts, etc. that I've been enjoying lately!

First up is a practical one: Yes to Cucumbers Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes (can be found at Target)

I don't know about you, but when I go to the gym (especially if I hit the StairMaster or bike!), I get SWEATY. I had bought some cheap facial cleansing wipes from the Dollar Tree but they just weren't cutting it. I felt like I might as well be using a dampened paper towel. I've also recently been breaking out in little bumps on my face so I decided to try something different. I haven't been using these long but they feel really good on my skin. They have cucumber, aloe vera, and other natural ingredients to cleanse and nourish your skin. I'm hoping the breakouts will stop!

Workout Apparel: Kitty Gains

Who here is addicted to buying workout clothes? I'm guilty. I just recently got a Kitty Gains crop top to workout in. It says "Purrfect Form". They have a ton of fun tops with different sayings and other cute apparel as well. Check them out: Kitty Gains

Next up is a new-to-me podcast: Girls Gone WOD Podcast

I've been listening to the Mind Pump Podcast for a while now and they recently did an episode featuring Joy and Claire from the Girls Gone WOD Podcast. I started listening and I might be hooked. They are very down to earth, relatable, fun and easy to listen to. They do Crossfit (thus, the WOD) but you don't have to do Crossfit to enjoy listening to them. They tackle real life subjects like anxiety, nutrition, and more. Give them a listen! Girls Gone WOD Podcast

Healthy Helper's Savory Banana Flour Breakfast Bread

I saw this originally on Instagram and was immediately intrigued. You may already know my love of NuNaturals products, and this recipe utilizes their Banana Flour. It's a flour made from green starchy bananas (i.e. not sweet). It's high in Prebiotic R2 Resistant Starch which helps grow probiotics. It's gluten free, has 3g of fiber per serving and 330mg of potassium. I happen to have some on hand so I'm excited to try this savory bread recipe! I need to get my hands on that Everything Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joe's! I think this bread would be great with some cream cheese spread on top! Yum!

What are your current obsessions, interests, and finds?