Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Motivations - Superbowl Week

So although we have another week here in New England before the big game, I thought some Monday Motivation should be sent to the Pat's and Bill Belichick....


(Source)
 Here we go Patriots! Run up some TD's on Sunday and make Patriot's nation proud!!

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Who are you routing for on Sunday? Giants or Pats?
Patriots :)


Do you watch football very often?
I don't watch it religiously, but I definitely enjoy a good game watching party with some good friends, so Superbowl is always something to look forward to, especially when the Pat's are in the running!
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Three Things Thursday - Running Dates, GoMo, protein pancake fail

Random, why yes, yes my title is super random, thanks for noticing!

1, Running Dates: I have been loving this little Tuesday night tradition my friends Jessie and Emma have started, where in we meet up, run around 4-5 miles, make a dinner we all contributed ingredients to, and watch Switched at Birth.  I am really excited and happy that they have taken me in.

This Tuesday we spent the evening's run in Jessie's neighborhood and made some delicious Italian seasoned turkey burgers w/ sweet potato fries and a yummy salad (oh and J and I had a spectacular Nathan's pickle!)

But only after we first toasted the completed 4.77 miles and dinner in front us with some Cupcake prosecco...

bubbly anyone?!
in really classy glasses :)

We then of course washed down dinner with some tasty no-bake fruit tart "pie"

we all agreed it was hideous, but the flavor? Insanely good!! nutty, sweet, fruity
2. GoMo: Have any of you seen/heard of this yet? Working at a technology company I usually start my workday reading various tech blogs of interest, and I came across this site the other day.  It is a mobile site performance tool offered on a very simple, yet free, premise from Google, called GoMo.  Essentially, they allow you to check what your current website looks like on a mobile device and how fast it loads on a mobile device.
I went through this with my own blog, and it is easy as 1, 2, 3...just go to the site HERE, plug in your website URL, and check out how your site as it stands today performs/looks on a mobile device!  Now, my blog is hosted on blogger, and all mobile/tablet optimization is done on their discretion, so I really have very little control over this, beside image choices and formatting, but it was still cool to check out how well Blogger is allowing my blog to perform - as mobile site access is growing like wild fire, and not forecasted to stop anytime soon.


3. Protein Pancake Fail: I have been trying to make some of Jamie Eason's high protein snacks and meals, but have not been having much luck.  The only thing that came out good was the turkey muffins, which I did no photograph #fail.  So I woke up Sunday, wanting to make Tripp some surprise pumpkin protein pancakes, you know the ones, Christina and Elle make incredible looking (and from what they say, delicious) pancakes. I on the other hand, failed terribly! The batter was incredibly wet, meaning I had to try to cook them in a small, single serving frying pan, instead of a bigger, more efficient cooking surface (because I needed to contain the batter).  I even tried to put in a big scoop of ground flax seed in there to try to thicken it up!

I did eventually get the pancakes to cook into pancake form and they didn't taste half bad, but they were not spectacular either (a little bland for my liking).


So instead of pouting and spending an hour making each one separately, I decided to turn half the batch into mini-muffins for snacks throughout the day!


They tasted sort of bland, just like the pancakes, and I should have probably cooked them longer than I did, because within a day they were all wet and kind of gross in the middles :(  It was like stale baked oatmeal...

So please help me!! What am I doing wrong?!! I did use liquid egg whites, instead of actual eggs, so maybe that was what made it too wet at first? Or is the batter supposed to be so loose and I am just not used to that?
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OK, so I lied...this is a four things Thursday post...

The Winner of my Everstride SportStick giveaway is lucky #3 - Elle @ Eat, Run, Sail :)


Elle, please send me an email (marquis.danielle@gmail.com) and send me over your address :) Congrats!!!
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What is your arch nemesis in the kitchen?

These Jamie Eason protein pancakes and bars are definitely mine right now!

Do you ever monitor the performance of your website, or think about how others see your site?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just Can't Get Enough...

of delicious National xx Days...just when I thought it couldn't get any better than a surprise National Pie Day, I found out it was followed up by National Peanut Butter Day today!!! That's right, Monday = pie, Tuesday = pb, this week = amazingness!

Well not total amazingness, as I started my day today by locking myself out of the apartment, I drive to work people - kind of tough when your car key is attached to your house key, and both of those are sitting on the kitchen table, while you are outside in the cold on the other side of the big, locked, intimidating door - who does that?!  I wish I could say this was a one time fluke, but alas, this happened back in the fall as well - I am just slightly absentminded when I leave the house in the morning (which is why I usually pack my gym bag and work bag - with a bonus if I actually put my keys in one of those - the night before).  Among making bfast (which did in fact include a hefty scoop of peanut butter!), putting away some dishes from the drying rack and putting my pie, made in honor of National Pie Day last night, in a safe carrying bag - I forget to grab the keys on my way out the door...innocent mistake, yes....stressful/unexpected/not really needed morning, yes.  I had to take a bus, to the red T, to the orange T, to the blue T to get my roommates key from her, (following?) then in order to avoid that again, I walked the 0.67 miles or so to the red T and then took a bus home - oh, and then I got in the house, grabbed my keys and headed out (in my car) to work - seriously?!

Anywho....onto happier thoughts....like...

How did I celebrate National Pie Day?! Well I had a challenge thrown into my pie baking, because there is no Tripp home this week to eat the leftovers (and although I like pie, I don't think my stomach enjoys an entire one in there in only a day or two) I decided to bake something for a running/dinner/TV show watching date I have tonight - only one caveat - the host, my friend Jessie is on a "no baked goods" challenge for the month of January, and if she makes it another 8 days or so, she gets to buy herself a soda-stream.  Because I don't want to be the one to crush her hopes and dreams, I concocted a "pie" that is all natural, vegan, high protein and "no bake" that I believe fits the bill.  Please let me know if you don't think this would pass - and you can't go by looks alone, because it definitely doesn't look all natural, vegan, and healthy!

I give you my Nutty Crusted Fruit Pie Tart, inspired by a few different recipes over at Vegetarian.about.com

Not exactly the most gorgeous fruit tart pie I have ever seen, but from the tasters I snagged, it is pretty tasty!
"Crust" Ingredients:

  • dates
  • walnuts
  • slivered almonds
  • vanilla whey protein powder
Filling Ingredients:
  • fresh blueberries, strawberries, kiwi
  • fresh pineapple
  • DOLE pineapple juice
  • corn starch

There are no added sugars (just whatever occurs naturally in the fruit and w/e is in the pineapple juice) and there was no baking involved (just heating up of pineapple, juice and cornstarch and refrigeration of pie to solidify the crust and "glaze")

So what do you think, does it fit the "no baked goods" bill and is OK to serve tonight?

I am a little anxious to see how it actually cuts and serves to be honest! The crust is a little sticky/wet, but usually holds up pretty well as long as it has been in a fridge and is cold.
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Did you, or are you going to, enjoy some PB today? There are some huge benefits to PB, especially for athletes, Run w/ Jess has a great post all about it, including a smoothie recipe!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Motivations - National Pie Day!

My motivation this wonderful, cold, dreary Monday is brought to by RunnersWorld in honor of National Pie Day!  So get that run/cycle/lift in and enjoy a nice piece of you favorite pie, savory or sweet :)

Thank you Runnersworld.com

I might just have to bake up a pie this evening post spin/weights!


What is your favorite kind of pie?

I really love a good fruit pie, Strawberry Rhubarb was a childhood favorite, but now I don't really discriminate much - on the savory side, I am a lover of shepards pie - especially Mama Pea's version!



Friday, January 20, 2012

Food Talk Fitness Friday Mash-up - My Life Today

I am not going to lie, I have been thinking about my post from last Friday all week.  It was extremely hard to write, let alone publish, as there are so many people in my life today, that had (maybe still have) no idea what I have been through with my eating disorder.  I am sure that by coming out about my own struggles has brought light to some of my weird food quirks and reactions around some foods, or my anxiety over not working out in a couple of days, but it is still strange to feel so bare and open about this.

If a Dr. asked me my medical history even a year or two ago, I would have either left out the ED or whispered that I had "gone through an eating disorder briefly...but I am doing really well today" - the only truth of that statement is that I am doing really well today.  As I mentioned in my story, an eating disorder, whether diagnosed or not, is a life-long mental battle.  Yes there are resources and support to help you through the worst of it, the life-threatening part, but the triggers and addictive behaviors need to be monitored for life.  I am not saying you can't live a normal, happy life - I am living a very happy and fairly normal life, healthy life - but I still have backward steps and I still need to be mindful of my reactions to food, comments, and negative self conscious thoughts.  I am hyper-sensitive of women or men that look like they might have an ED, or if I see tendencies in another person, that I had struggled with myself - it is painful to see this and know what they might be going through, it is painful to not be able to help or to reach out.

Those who knew me throughout my struggle, or who have battled through their own, help me to remember how lonely and depressing that place was.  If they see me get nervous around certain foods or notice I haven't taken a rest day from the gym, they let me know, gently, how far I have come and to chill out, take a breath, and accept the good life I have now.

There are still fear foods- there are many foods, I limit, and in a way restrict, myself from eating and enjoying. There are also some foods I just can't tolerate anymore, because I have messed up my bodies systems so much - I experience acid re-flux easily, I get stomach craps a lot, and my bone density decreased.  I have a hard time eating some of the yummiest foods, like full flavor ice creams, actually cream in general, and red meat for a very long time.  I know a lot of the food I can't handle aren't that great for my body anyways, but it's the mental game that goes along with them that makes them a fear food, and it is the friends or family that I make uncomfortable because I avoid certain foods or make certain comments about the food/ingredients that makes my fear of them even worse.  I am still waiting for the day that I can go to a party and not neurotically evaluate everything in front of me for calories, fat, sodium, etc..that I can just be a normal 24 (almost 25) year old and sit on the couch and guiltlessly snack on a  bag of chips.

Don't get me wrong, I eat a large variety of foods now, including fear foods (french fries, fried food in general, red meat, nuts, cake/brownies, carbs in general) and my portions are not measly by any means (I mean some of my monthly goals have been to concentrate on more normal portion sizes because I have a tendency to go overboard) - it is the mental game that lingers, it is the judging I do to myself and the anxiety I feel after finishing a serving of french fries or ice cream.  I am  trying my best to get back to feeling good about what I eat, because 80% of the time I eat whole, clean foods and I should feel good about it and it shouldn't feel bad to enjoy a treat now and then, or spend an evening with friends not feeling totally bloated or negative about my body.  One of the best pieces of advice I received when I was finally letting in some help, was that you don't gain the weight over night - if you have a chicken finger, you aren't going to be 200 lbs tomorrow, you probably won't even gain a lb - it is about balance of quantity and quality.

Today my life is pretty full of positive reinforcement and support, I am stronger than I was mentally and physically because of what I have gone through.  I have my competitive drive back, my personality is back to normal and I have amazing friends, new and old, in my life.  I can run a marathon, I can dominate at boot camp, I can go out drinking with friends and have fun again, but I still have a lot of mental "baggage" to work through around the eating disorder, but I am getting there, and I am becoming more and more aware of the steps I take forward and back.   Some of the things I am writing about where I was seem almost silly to me now, and probably to some of the people that know me now and didn't then, as I don't show a lot of angst outwardly, but it is real.  If you saw me today, you would probably never know what I went through - and I hope that the people that continue to come into my life never have to see that. 

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to share this with you all, is that there are so many girls and guys alike, at younger and younger ages, that are going through their own mental battles, many alone, or are so far into the disorder that they don't know how to let you in....I want to let you know, it is so so hard to break into their cycle and rescue you them, they see it as their business only and think they are alone, but with some gentle support and perseverance, you could help them come up for air.  I have been there, I have sat alone in my bed, in my college dorm-room and cried myself to sleep, until I finally opened the door and let my friends in to cry with me.  I was getting help, albeit forced at first, for many months, before I let them in, before I let my own family in.  They stuck out the worst of it with me (or for me I should say) and helped me see who I had been and who I could be.

For them I am eternally grateful. Thank you for helping my life get back to normal and for helping me get back to me.

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If you know of anyone suffering, please reach out to them - they might refuse, they might get angry, but you cannot take it personally, you cannot give up on them.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

EverStride Review: Products to Keep my Skin and Joints Happy

So, I just needed to put this out there, I knew Blogger now allowed replies to to comments within the comment section, but I didn't realize that I had to click the reply link, I thought I could just reply to the email and have it show up as the comment reply (BTW Blogger, that would be a cool feature to add!).  Sorry to everyone I continue to inundate with emails, I will try to reply to comments now within the post (unless you like the emails and then I will continue to reply via email :) ).
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On to the purpose of this post...EverStride

We are all uber familiar with BodyGlide, icy hot, biofreeze, and the like...but now there is a new player in the field of protecting athlete's feet from blisters, hands and feet from cracking out of dryness, and cooling down painful joints and muscles.

EverStride is a company, made up of marathoners and other athletes, specializing in foot and skin care to keep your body in tip top condition, so you can perform at your best.  They were created after a group of marathoners had trouble finding foot care products that actually protected their bodies while training and competing - after one too many blisters and chafing incidents, they set out to design a foot-care line that really worked.

When the company's rep contacted me, and I had a chance to check out their mission and product selection, I was more than excited to try out their goods, the only hard part was picking which ones I wanted to try!! I chose to try out the Pro Therapy Foot Cream, Anti-Chafing Sport Stick, and Everstride Cooling Muscle Balm.
 In addition to those three, EverStride also offers a product for athlete's foot, sunscreen, and facial defense (to slather on when heading out in strong headwinds or foul weather).
The first thing I tried, as soon as ripping open the package, was the EverStride Pro Therapy Foot Cream - which although sounds like an odd product to choose first and be excited about, was one of my first choices to review! I have very dry skin, and my feet especially - the heels crack and I get a lot of wear and tear under the ball of my foot from friction while running, walking, jumping - being me :)  I was also excited about this because, although it is titled "foot cream", this is also a great cream to cure up the dry, scaly winter hands we all get...ok, ok, maybe just me?

Benefits from the Everstride site:

  • Helps Restore Dry, Cracked Skin
  • Helps Prevent Blisters and Chaffing
  • Helps Reduce Calluses and Callus Build-Up
  • Helps Relieve Aching, Itchy and Tired Feet

Pros:

  • Provided smooth hands and feet almost immediately after rubbing into skin.  At first I was worried, because the consistancy was a lot wetter and looser than I expected (TWSS) a moisture rich cream to be - I expected it to be thick and dense.
  • Absorbs into skin without much oil residue - which is a huge plus for me, I hate creams that leave an oily sheen and fingermarks all over the place!
Cons:
  • Smell: the smell resembled the smell of paper mache (flour and water, gluey paste)
  • Price: $18.99 per 1 - 6 oz. tube.  Granted, a little goes a long way with this product, but that price is hard to bite off the first time you see it.  
Overall, I personally think that if you are in need of the benefits of this product, and you are going to be consistent with its usage, this is worth purchasing.  I have been looking for a foot cream that is as efficient as it is effective, and this definitely fits the bill.
The second thing I tried out was the Cooling Muscle Balm.  As you may or may not know, I have been battling some pretty not-awesome muscle and knee pain.  A lot of times I will get really achy right before bed, which makes sense after being on my feet all day and finally taking a moment to rest.  Well I rolled this muscle cooling balm on my ITB and around my knee and woo-ehh was it an instant chill! It really penetrated the achy throbbiness I had been experiencing and gave me some relief to fall asleep.

Pros:

  • Works immediately
  • Let my muscles feel like I was actually icing them for a little while

Cons:

  • Not a horrible con, but it was a very strong minty smell, that was a little overpowering when trying to fall asleep.  If this were applied prior to a field hockey game or running, I am sure it wouldn't have bothered me at all.
  • Price: $16.50 for a 2 oz. roll on gel - this is a con, because in an online comparison, both Biofreeze and Icy Hot (my personal top of line competitors) were cheaper and for bigger amounts.
This is a great product for some quick, chilling relief from throbbing aches and pains, but for the price and availability, I would probably pick up some icy hot in my local drugstore.
The final product I used was the EverStride Anti-Chafe SportStick, a must-have for all athletes, regardless of sport or experience.  As the site puts it best:
This sport stick helps to prevent chafing on body parts you didnt know could chafe, not just your feet, but inner thighs, underarms and more. It also has been developed to prevent blisters, saddle sores, rashes and other irritants that are caused by high motion sporting activities.
We have all finished a run or a bike ride and thought, how the heck did my armpit get burned? Or how the heck did I make that spot below my chest start to scab (TMI?) I even used this for non-athletic activities...like wearing heels all day and avoiding a back of heel and pinky toe blister (ok, maybe it is an athletic fete).

Pros:

  • Kept my feet and ankles chafe free in my gym shoes, high heels, and flip flops.
  • Kept my thighs, arm pits, and chest from turning red and irritated while working out
  • Doesn't leave a gross residue on my skin, and I didn't have an oily or sticky feeling by the end of the day
Cons:
  • Price, again, at $15.99 per 1.7 oz. stick it is the most expensive anti-chafing product online that I found.  The same amount for BodyGlide was almost $6.00 less on amazon.
My overall thoughts on EverStride products are positive.  I believe they make a solid, well-produced, and helpful product line for the active person.  They do appear to be on the higher end price-wise, but if your body, skin and face are worth it, for you, I definitely recommend their products.

And....since I enjoyed them so much, I really wanted all of you to be able to try them out for yourself (proof is in the pudding, right?).  So I am giving you all a chance to win an EverStride Anti-Chafe SportStick of your own!

How to Enter (please leave a separate comment per entry)
  1. Follow  @Ever_Stride on Twitter
  2. Follow  @Nello33 on Twitter (me:) )
  3. Tweet this giveaway (something like.... "I want to prevent the chafe with @ever_stride so I entered @nello33 giveaway for antichafe sportstick  http://happyhealthystrong.blogspot.com/2012/01/everstride-review-products-to-keep-my.html " )
  4. Like EverStride on FB - and let them know I sent you!
  5. Like Happy, Healthy, and Strong on FB and let me know how you protect your skin from chafing and dryness today!
That's 5 different ways to enter for your own anti-chafe SportStick and getting another step closer to priming yourself for your top performance!

You will have until Wednesday, January 25th, to enter! 

**I was give these products free of charge from the EverStride company, but the reviews and opinions on this blog are 100% my own
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

That Was Not the Plan...

First of all, I haven't had a chance to thank you all for your amazingly positive comments and support after the post I published on Friday, My Story.  I seriously am so touched by all of the comments I received both online and in person.  This is an unavoidable piece of my life, that I will have to live with forever, and live with some of the consequences and side effects for the rest of my life.  I was so scared and uncertain when I first wrote the post out, as many people in my day to day life, and most all of my online community, had no idea this was something I had gone through and continue to battle.  I don't battle it as fiercely as I did when I was in the thick of it, but some of the thoughts and fears are hard to beat and will always be in the back of my head.

I had a grand ole plan to write a follow up to this post from Friday, as I haven't stopped thinking of all of the lessons and consequences and tidbits, but then this happened:


I woke up this morning with a pretty uncomfortable head cold - and when I say woke up this morning, I really mean about 10 times last night due to the stuffy nose, mucus, and achiness.  So I am tired, achy, have dry eyes and a raging headache, and to top it off, I was in a team meeting today, all day tomorrow and then next day....
Yeah, that's what my upset, feel like crap, hunched over self feels like right now :(
So, hopefully I can get this written up tonight, or at some point during the day tomorrow.  There is so much I want to share with you all now that I have finally made the hardest part known.  There is so much I want to share so that if you are experiencing similar things, see a close friend or relative experiencing any of them, or, gosh forbid, catch yourself judging or questioning someone going through an eating disorder - you hopefully can feel more comfortable with it (it is a very hard ordeal to ever feel 100% comfortable with).

So stay healthy, get some rest and don't end up like those beauties of pics above :)

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Did you/Have you avoided the dreaded winter cold?

I thought I had, and then last night happened....

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Motivations - Back to the Core

In order to succeed in fitness, each athlete (no matter their trade) needs a strong core.  The core is not only the abs and obliques and a sweet 6-pack, in fact the abs are only a small portion of a greater system.  The core includes your hips, glutes, hip flexors, etc - all different muscles (complex and simple) that support and stabalize your spine and pelvis.


sportsmedicine.com states that:

The core muscles also make it possible to stand upright and move on two feet. These muscles help control movements, transfer energy, shift body weight and move in any direction. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back. Core conditioning exercise programs need to target all these muscle groups to be effective.

A "Core" is defined as "The basic or most important part; the essence" (thank you freedictionary.com) - so why not make more goals specifically around strengthening and supporting the core?  We work on speed, hills, upper body/lower body weights, cycling - and only sporadically do we include emphasis on core work.  

On Friday, my sports chiropractor asked me to take the entire week off to rest my legs, they are not seeing as much progress as he would like to see with the ART and graston techniques he has been trying, and he is thinking it is due to the fact that I am still training for my February half marathon while undergoing treatment.  I am obliging him with this request, because I want to see progress, I want to move forward with less aches and pain and in my legs.  During this time, I will be focusing solely on the core and upper body - I will not be doing moves that stress the hips and legs as much as the upper core - abs, shoulder girdle and low back.  

I was in awe of these two videos and am using their core strength abilities to motivate me to concentrate and focus on the core and staying off my legs this week.


The first is from an equinox blog post - where one of their own performs early morning flows with incredible grace, core strength, and skill: http://q.equinox.com/articles/2012/01/yoga-arm-balances


The second I found through Kara @ Mile High Maven (please excuse the title of the video- it isn't graphic, just hypnotizing - although I would not watch it in a conservative office)

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Do you dedicate specific workouts to your core strength, or do you just incorporate moves into your day-to-day workouts?


I try to attend core specific yoga classes and go through my at home Windsor Pilates DVDs occasionally.  It is amazing how many runners have weak hips though - so since my eyes have been opened to that through injury, I am trying to get more serious about it!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

No Sweat Review: I Know You Like to Think Your Shhh Don't Stank...

So a couple of months ago, I won a pretty smelly  awesome giveaway from Miss Katy, Fit In Heels - ok, the giveaway wasn't smelly, I was, and the giveaway was a means to cure the workout stank from my gym/yoga/running clothes.  NoSweat laundry detergent to the rescue!!

Well in the process of getting hooked up with my winnings, I got into a conversation with Shawna from NoSweat, and was offered the opportunity to be one of the NoSweat amabassadors (apparantly she could smell me all the way from Toronto!).  After reading a bit more about the product and the company, I graciously accepted, sending my schweaty workout tips and tricks to her for my profile (if you are feeling particularly curious, you can check out my profile HERE).


I couldn't wait to try out my first load of dirty clothes with some NoSweat thrown in, as I have a few pieces from LuLuLemon that are supposed to have the "anti-stink" properties in their fabric, but they still had a slight tinge of sweat from multiple runs, spin classes, and hot yoga sessions.
Hers

His
I mixed a tiny bit of my normal detergent with about 1.5 oz. NoSweat (it is recommended that for normal loads of workout gear and everyday clothes, you should use 2 oz. NoSweat and for heavily soiled clothes use 1 oz. NoSweat mixed with normal detergent), and my clothes came out bright and odorless, I was happy, so I did another load with the recommended 2 oz. - and again bright and stank-free - sold!  I honestly think that smell-wise, the recommended 2 oz. NoSweat alone works better than mixing the partial NoSweat and your other detergent.

The site offers a few good laundry tips for washing workout clothes and keeping then as effective, bright, and pill-free as possible.  I know sometimes it is hard to decide whether or not to dry workout gear, will it be soft enough with air dry, will it ruin the gear with the dryer? I thought they were pretty helpful, especially for those new to working out and new to working out in tech-gear/spandex/etc...

Useful Laundry Tips1. No Sweat works equally well on its own or as a laundry deter-gent booster to eliminate embedded sweat and deodorize all your clothes. For very dirty or muddy clothes, it is best to use No Sweat in addition to your regular deter-gent. 
2. Wash your gear on cold and air dry. It’s good for your clothes and good for the environment. 
3. Use No Sweat on it’s own to treat gear as gently as possible. 
4. Gear pills as it rubs other laundry in the washing and drying cycles. To prevent pilling, throw your gear in a lingerie wash bag then add it to the rest of your laundry 
5. For best results with pit stains or ring-around-the-collar, apply No Sweat directly to stains and let the product soak before washing.
Yes, that is correct, NoSweat is also a big help in taking out stains, such as those yellowing armpits of your favorite workout T's and tanks - and some of the testimonials even mentioned it being great for oil and other types of stains encountered in day to day activities!

Pros:

  • Highly concentrated, so you only need a little bit per load (up to 2 oz.)
  • Comes in natural and citrus scents, so nothing to powerful to distract you or make you nauseous while working out
  • Works to keep clothes odor-free
  • Affordable - $0.23 a use (for the bulk 4 x 2.95L case - 375 uses)
Cons:
  • Availability:  It is available online, but only in bulk (4 bottles/case) - you can get single bottles on amazon and in select yoga studios/gyms/bike shops/running shops/etc... - but the bulk deal is the best option financially.
I hope you guys will take a moment to check out the NoSweat site, why the product came about, testimonials (beyond mine of course ;) ) and ambassador stories.

**I was given this product free of charge from NoSweat, but all opinions and reflections are my own entirely.
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Do you use any type of detergent specific to sports and activities? 

I have heard of Tide's detergent with fabreze sport - but I have never tried it myself

Do you need to use the "free" (no scent) detergents?

My mom used to buy them for my clothes because I tend to get a lot of environmental allergies, but now I just buy what's cheapest at Costco :) I am really excited to get back into some "free" clothes washing with NoSweat!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Food Talk Fitness Friday Mash-up - My story

I have been putting this off ever since I started this blog, and since I knew a lot of other bloggers shared similar stories and it just was never the right time.  Well, going into a fresh new year, a year I will turn 25 (a quarter-century), the year I will get myself back to physically healthy, a year I will concentrate more on what the food helps me accomplish and less about the obsession - I told you yesterday that I couldn't do the detailed food log for a personal reason, and here it is.

My name is Danielle, and I am, and always will be, recovering from an eating disorder.  

Whoa, whoa...what?! But you ran a marathon, and you play field hockey, and you can do 50 push-ups without stopping - you're not weak...you're not insecure...well...I have found a lot of strength over the years, yes, but I can be insecure, I do still have fear foods, I do still get obsessed with how much I ate, when I am going to eat again and what I am going to eat during the day.  Many of you that have known me throughout this ordeal, may have had their own opinions or concerns, or saw the change in my first hand, and I can't explain how grateful I am to those who stuck by me through it and still support me today.  Many of you have met me post-recovery, may not have ever known I went through this...

It is much better now, than it was, but I still many times wake up in the morning thinking about what I am going to have for dinner - not what I am about to nourish my body with right now - I had already thought about that before going to bed.

It may be hard to believe, as I stand here, an avid athlete, average sized, talking about food and tasty drinks.  However, there was a time in my life, I wouldn't touch a drink that had calories, I wouldn't eat pizza, I wouldn't touch sweets.

I will start with my background, I grew up in the world of gymnastics, where body image was always present, but more in a jokingly way between myself and my friends on the team - there was no mandate that you had to small, skinny, toned - it was actually looked highly upon for you to have tree-trunk legs, power-house legs. I then moved onto field hockey and track - two sports where you can eat without much focus on the foods and within reason, amounts - I was running and sprinting and jumping and dodging for hours out of the day.  I was always on the smaller side, shorter - thinner, than some of my friends and even my own family (which caused a lot of fights among myself and my sisters).

It was the classic weight gain tale...college came and I embraced the free food I got from field hockey get-togethers and the dining hall down the street, or our discretionary dollars at the student center deli (you don't use them, you lose them). I hit the freshman 15 in the first semester...but I didn't even realize it - as I look back now, it is because I wasn't that big, just bigger than my normal. Of course my pants were tighter than ever and my shirts looked a little shorter and tighter in the shoulders, but I just chalked it up to getting more muscle in my legs and arms from field hockey.
At a highlighter party fall freshman year - the weight gain can be seen in face and arms
But then winter break came, and one of the first comments out of my own father's mouth was "You put on a little weight huh - must be all that partying at school" - now previously, this comment would have just brushed right over me, as my Dad is pretty blunt and I don't usually take his comments too personally - I used to be rational about them.  A week or two passed and I went to put on my favorite jeans, and all I heard was this ripping sound, I looked down and I had ripped my jeans from my thigh up the butt - he might have been right - I was a little bit bigger...and then a couple of days later I ripped the second pair of jeans - that is when my mind-set took a drastic shift.
Only positive of this time was my larger chest, but that was part of the gain.
 How could I have done this to myself, how could I have lost my self so quickly? I was the small, perky, athletic one...I am a huge researcher, so I started looking up everything I could about quick weight loss the healthy (DOES NOT EXIST), weight loss tips, how to drop a pant size or two in a few weeks....everything I could on dieting and what exercises burned the most amount of fat and calories. Around this same time, my best friend came home from boot camp for the marines - he had always been a little more pudgy, and he came home leaner than ever - that same time we decided to try being more than just good friends, and so now my boyfriend, a marine, was smaller than me! I made it my goal after these events, to get small, get attractive, get skinny.

Everything I was reading about exercise and weight loss pointed to running as being a high-calorie burner and an efficient way to lose the weight.  I had one problem though - I couldn't run a mile without thinking I was going to die.  2 or 3 miles felt like a marathon to me.  Even though I was in track and field hockey and active my entire life, I never ran long distances, I was a sprinter, a pole vaulter, field hockey is a lot of small sprints, gymnastics is a lot of even smaller ones.  So I did the logical thing, and I started logging miles on the elliptical, being too bored to do more than 20 minutes at first, but then gradually adding in more interesting intervals and working up to consistent 45 - 60 minute workouts daily.  I would try the treadmill for a mile or two and then move to the elliptical - then one day I could run 3 miles, and then I got it to 3 miles in 25 minutes, and then I got it to 3 miles+ in 25 minutes with sprint intervals thrown in - I had my taste of running and the post-burn feeling and I was hooked...

I started going to the gym daily, and getting obsessed by the number of calories or minutes I was working out. I would set a goal of 500 calories or of 60 minutes, and I couldn't stop what I was doing until I hit that goal.  I started taking step classes at the local Y because I read that those classes could burn big calories quickly.

I didn't see much change at first with working out, so I started seeing what I could do about what I ate.  I started counting general calories of foods, but nothing crazy - and I would cave and eat whatever the family was eating, and then go sulk in my room...then I started skipping out on snacks, and then it was lunch - but I never stopped breakfast.  In everything I read, eating breakfast helped you lose weight, especially if you get a lot of protein and fiber.  Eventually, it also became the only meal I ate carbs at and that I ate consistently.

South Beach was big around this time, and so I did what any cheap college student would do, and I googled everything I could on the diet, instead of picking up a book myself.  I took the "off limits" foods and put them on my own personal "off limits" list.   This list eventually came to hold all nuts, cheeses, full eggs (only the whites), red meat, bread, sweets, alcohol, carrots and bananas (too many natural sugars).  My meals consisted of Kashi Go Lean for bfast with skim or lactaid milk with berries, lunch was non-existent most days,  dinner was a small salad of raw veggies and about 1.5 - 2 oz. chicken.  I limited my eating to an item every 4 hours, if needed - if I wasn't hungry, or thought I had too much previously - I waited another couple of hours.

Looking healthy and strong still - this was the transition point from normal to too thin.
How, you may ask, did I get away with this when I had a college sport, a "loving" boyfriend, a group of friends, and a supportive family?  Well it was spring season for field hockey, which meant wearing a lot of baggy clothes for cold morning workouts. My boyfriend was back in North Carolina for training - and whenever he did see me, he would gush about how great I looked, even better than the last time we were together!  I became so withdrawn from my friends, that I really didn't leave my room - I had moved into a single bedroom after winter break, and it was isolated at the end of the dorms in it's own area - it was very easy to disappear there.  My family didn't see me much at the beginning of my disease - yes, I am now comfortable calling it a disease - and so they didn't notice too much.

But there was a lot, I had lost 20 lbs. in 8 weeks (135+ down to 115) - 5 more than I gained going into school, and most of it in the latter 4 weeks...but, I was still unhappy, I still wanted more, I still wanted that size 00, I still wanted thinner.

My secret lifestyle was safe until mid-spring, when the field hockey trainer took notice - she asked me to see her after practice for a regular evaluation, she weighed me and took my vitals.  I was at 114 lbs and my HR was lower than the average.  It wasn't the 114 lbs that was the issue, it was the fact that I had checked into preseason the previous fall with a weight of 126, and had looked to be bigger at the end of the season, and now I was more than 10 lbs thinner - I assured her that I was being healthy, just more aware of my food intake as I had noticed I put on a lot this winter and wanted to be in top shape for field hockey the next season.  She didn't buy it, so she went to my coach with her concerns over my size for a college athlete.  My coach spoke with me and I re-assured her that I was just getting fitter for the next season, she didn't buy it either - that is when my mom was notified...that is when I had to get sneakier...

Summer break came and I was taking classes back home at a community college, so I had morning class and all afternoons free and a summer job at a local pizza shop during the evenings - I quickly found my summer schedule of class, gym, lay outside and study, work.  If I needed it, I would have a snack, but generally I didn't eat lunch.  I then would have a slice or two of deli turkey and some lettuce at dinner at the pizza place, and tell my parents I didn't need the leftovers they saved because I "ate" at work.  I was keeping detailed counts of my daily calorie counts and how much I was burning at the gym, so that I was having a deficit most days.  I wouldn't let my calories get around 1000 if I could help it.
My cheeks started to look gaunt, my arm & shoulder muscles were depleting (I was getting fuzzy hair on my face and arms), my chest and waist were thinning.
My frame continued to thin, my muscle continued to disappear, and my attitude was getting irritable and anxious - I was so deep in the mindset of anorexia, that I was blind to friends making comments they meant to be helpful and loving, but to me sounded mean and judgmental - so I stopped calling them, and stopped hanging out with most but a few close friends who I think were too wrapped up in their own things or too scared to say anything.  I went down to visit the boyfriend a couple of times, and each time he acted normal and happy to see me and couldn't believe how great I looked - he was the only one that really made me happy at that stage, everyone else was just jealous or mean in my mind.

FL fall 2006
My coaches were hypersensitive to my return to the team that fall, and I was given an ultimatum upon arrival to pre-season - I either kept my BMI at 18.5 or higher, or I sat the bench - to keep my BMI at that level, I had to maintain about 115 lbs. This meant I had to gain back a couple of pounds I had lost over summer, and at the same time I had gone through a messy breakup with the boyfriend.  I was not in a good place, but I made it through the season, although I didn't play much, I kept my weight as steady as I could - and once the season ended, I lost it.
  My 20th Birthday (left) and a toga party spring 2007 (right)

Over the next couple of months I spiraled down to 112, 108, 105, 103 lbs. At my lowest measured weight I was around 100, and I was facing some serious issues.  Mentally I was a mess, I still didn't see my disease as a problem, I still wanted to go lower on the scale.  

enough said.
At this time, about year after my downward spiral, I was hospitalized for low heart rate, they were afraid my HR would dip too far down while I slept.  This was one of the big wake up calls, and I started being a little bit more mindful of the health risks associated with the damage I was doing to my body.  I could actually go into organ failure and die if I wasn't supporting the pieces of my system that support my health and life.  The other came a couple of months later, when my parents and told me I needed to go to an in-patient help center, because they didn't know how else to help me get better.  This time I went without struggle, I didn't fight them, I went willingly.  The center wouldn't take me because I was not in dyer risk and my insurance wouldn't cover it.

My little sister and I at our older sister's graduation - tiny arm and shrunken face
I worked hard that summer to get back to normal, to get up to an acceptable weight/BMI for field hockey that fall.  I wanted to go abroad that next year and I wanted to be healthy enough to do it alone.  Gaining the weight was even harder, emotionally and physically than I had imagined - as you go through these fears of blowing up in weight, and going to the extreme opposite end of the sickness.  However, I pushed and I pushed and I gained the weight, just enough, and I played that fall - I still didn't play as much as I had freshman year, but I was well enough to play and that boosted my mindset to work even harder to get to go abroad and live without the fear of slipping back into the darkness I was coming out of.

 Summer 2007 - start of the road to recovery, and yes I tried to go blonde - not a good look all around


I did it, I got serious and spoke with a therapist, I started taking an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pill and  I got back to 120 lbs over the next couple of weeks, I spent 6 months living in Barcelona, Spain, I had the time of my life, and it was the first time in three years I had felt alive-energetic-daring.  I lost a lot during my worst months, my energetic personality, some of my friends, my ability to have fun, and above all, I risked my life.

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Fast forward 4 years and I am a runner, a marathoner, a loving girlfriend, a strong daughter.  I still have fears and insecurities, but I am a lot more confident and I am a lot more mindful of my habits and pitfalls.  If I feel myself slipping I catch it and I adjust.  My BMI has stayed around 20 - 21 and I at a pretty consistent 125 (sometimes less sometimes more).

My blog title came from this period in my life.  It was my mantra to get back to the old me.  If I felt overwhelmed or uncomfortable with meals or rest days, I would repeat these words "I am Happy and Healthy in my Strong Body".
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 I will do a follow up on this post next week, but I thought it was about time I shared my story and got it out there, depression and anxiety and insecurities are real and dangerous.  If you know of anyone that you might suspect slipping into such a mindset, please do try to talk to them, try to convince Publish Postthem to get some help or just even talk about it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three Things Thursday - Confession, Resolutions, and Training

Happy Thursday everyone!! I hope that you have been having a fabulous week so far, and are looking forward to a fun and relaxing weekend - I know am! I have been kind of go-go-going this week again, with some work, appointments, and last-minute activities with friends (Running/Dinner date Tuesday night and Celtics game last night out of the blue!) - that being said, I haven't had a chance to read or comment on a lot of your blogs just yet and I haven't had a chance to buckle down on my own posts (at least I left you with a great quote from Desiree Davila to keep you motivated and training!). So here is a quick Three Things Thursday to update you a little bit on the past couple of days (weeks).  Kind of random, but here goes nothing!

1. Confession: I am going to stop the 30-Day Food Journal challenge (if you had noticed it there previously, I have de-activated my page dedicated to my food log).  Although I feel slightly guilty dropping out so soon, as it is one of my January goals, but I have realized that this is not the most ideal challenge to get my head wrapped around.  I will explain the reasoning a little more at a later date, but let's just say, it brings up some old bad habits, that I would rather not re-visit.


I shouldn't feel like I am spending dinner parties with friends and family  trying to count how many calories - I have an idea of portion sizes and intuition on when I am full.  That was a lot of food on that plate, but I didn't eat it all and I stopped when I was full and happy.
 I am still keeping track of my portions, sugar levels and general calorie counts on my own, but I am not in dire need to cut out certain food groups, or cut back on/add more calories - I do need to cut back on alcohol consumption and sugars, but I do not need to put my food log information out there, and I am not at a point in my life that I need to keep religious track of my meals and snacks.  Personal choice - but one that needs to be done - for me.

Resolutions: Wow this took a while to type out, mainly because I wasn't quite sure how to put it out there - but here it is, in black and white:


  • Eat cleaner, be more aware of food choices and feelings around food

Split Pea Vegetable soup Tripp helped me make Sunday - yum!

Homemade thin crust grilled pizzas are a great way to get in a healthy pizza fix - you have control of toppings and portions.

  • Log at least 1000, if not 1200, miles this year.  I am hoping to keep better track of workouts and running miles in DailyMile, as well as marking mileage in a calendar, so I can add this up easier weekly/monthly/yearly
  • Get and Stay healthy - I think many of you know I have been struggling with ITB and knee issues all fall, and some of the pain is still hanging on today - so this is going to be a big priority in the first part of the year, and I am going to work harder and smarter to stay healthy, once I get there.
  • Reconnect with friends and family - goes back to my January goals, when I think about texting a friend or calling someone later - I am going to make the time in the present - when I wait to text or call, many times I forget...why not make the contact when you think about it?!
  • Be on Time - I am notorious for being late to things (appointments, parties, movies, reservations), so 2012 I am going to focus on getting my booty there on time, if not early.  Being late and always rushing adds un-welcome anxiety and stress and makes some events a lot less enjoyable.
There it is, five attainable, yet challenging, goals to keep in mind this year - nothing big or extravagent, just real.


3. Training: I am running my first big race of 2012 on February 26 - the Hyannis Half Marathon.  I have mentioned it on the blog, that I am working on getting my weekly mileage up (safely) and then going to try to work on some quality workouts...well I will tell you, I had a phenomenal workout this week that I ended yelling "yes, thank you, yes!" at the end of!  I am feeling more confident in my speed and endurance these days and I pushed myself to a pace that engaged my mind to keep up with, but wasn't completely uncomfortable.

I ran a progression/tempo run, negative splitting and running the final miles (4 & 5) with 6:45 minute/mile splits...I was seriously beaming - and the more I realized the speed, the more will I had to keep it throughout the whole run.  After this run, I am a little sore on the ITB/knee - but it didn't hurt during the run and I am ready to get out and try to introduce tougher workouts (probably only once a week at this point and working up to two when I can get my recovery time down).

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Do you keep a food journal? What do you find the biggest benefits of the journal have been/still are?

Did you make any resolutions this year?

I almost didn't, because I am making my monthly goals now, and never really have tried to make/keep resolutions before (I have always been pretty active, eaten pretty balanced, and don't have any unhealthy habits I need to dedicate my year to breaking).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Monday Motivations - Reason #2034982098 to Run


Running is just you, the work you put in, and the clock. You can't cheat yourself. If you don't put in the miles, you can't go to the starting line thinking you're going to pull a miracle out of nowhere. You get out exactly as much as you put in. 

Desiree Davila 

Couldn't have put it better myself!! You get out, what you put in - so why not get some quality training in today!

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If you have one - do you start your workout schedule on Saturday, Sunday or Monday?

I usually start it on Sunday, just because I feel like that seems like a fresh-start to the week - but my marathon training ran on a Monday - Sunday plan...

Are you routing for Desiree on Saturday? If not, who is in your bracket :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fitness Friday - #HBBC Week #7 - Final Week!

Before you say anything, or think you might have missed something, yes, yes I did post twice in a day!! I had to get in my Fitness Friday post of course (at least now that I have made it public that I will be writing them!)

Well we made it! The holidays have come and gone, 2011 has been reviewed and filed away, and the final day of the HBBC, that Amanda so generously hosted, is today! I have had a pretty decent week of training to load into my final week's points, and I will miss having the accountability of this challenge, for not only workouts, but for stretching and getting in at least 7 fruits and veggies! Before I say good bye to this great challenge, I will leave you with my final week recap:
Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge
Thanks Amanda!
Saturday (New Years Eve):
  • Ran 7.3 miles (7.3 pts) 
  • F&V = 1 pt
Sunday (New Years Day):
  • Rest Day
Monday:
  • Ran 7.75 miles (7.75 pts)
  • Stretched: 20 minutes (1 pt)
Tuesday:
  • 0.55 miles run (0.55 pts)
  • 20 minutes stretching (1 pt)
  • 50-minute boot-camp (5 pts)
  • F & V = 1 pt
Wednesday:
  • 5.6 miles run  (5.6 pts)
  • elliptical 15 min (1 pt)
  • stair climber 5 min (no pts)
  • F & V = 1 pt.
Thursday:
  • 50 min. spin class (5 pts)
  • 10 minutes stretching (0.5 pt)
  • 0.8 miles walked (0.8 pts)
Friday:
  • Rest Day (not feeling too hot) - might get in a walk or strength later - will update if I do.
  • F & V = 1 pt.
Week Total:  38.5 pts.

So this final week of the HBBC wasn't my highest week (I slacked a little bit more than usual on the F&V's because we were trying to not grocery shop and that related to running out of fresh produce...woops!  I did however get in some decent mileage and some more stretching/foam rolling than usual! There is an 8 miler on the books for tomorrow - to round the week off at 22ish miles (my training week starts on Sunday)

So that wraps it up for the final week of HBBC!! 
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How did you do, did you participate? 

I remained middle of the pack, but that is ok with me - I got in balanced workout, family and friend time, as well as maintaining at least 7 fruits and veggies the majority of the days! 

Are you a fan or do you think you would pass next year?

I will definitely participate next year if it is going on and I am still around :)