Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reminder: Giveaway ending 10/1!


Just a quick reminder that my first giveaway is ending tomorrow night! It is for a charm/necklace from I Declare Charms, they are beautiful and can be personalized!


Thank you SO much to everyone who commented and stopped by on my 100th post!! You can still get in--click HERE to enter and remember to tell your friends!

Wedge Wednesdays: the easy way out and Health Blogger Help!


This Wedge Wednesday is about the easy way out! Easy and delicious! I picked up a Rising Moon Organics, Pesto and buffalo mozzarella pizza, an apricot and almond Kind bar and some La Croix water! Yay for a casual and fun night at home watching the Biggest Loser and blogging! And this WHOLE weekend I had been craving a good organic pizza, so this hit the spot!!

Speaking of hitting the spot Angela over at Angie All the Way is giving away some Amazing Grass, check it out here!

Super Rare picture of the Wedge items IN their natural habitat...

I also wanted to mention a website that I have been reading a lot of lately and thought that my readers, you guys(!) would love and find very useful. The site is Health Blog Helper and was started by Matt who also writes No Meat Athlete.


Matt and the other guest bloggers at Health Blog Helper give us a run down of the ABC's of writing and promoting our blogs. There is a new series going on right now, with interviews from some of the top health and food bloggers around, it is SO good!! Reading other bloggers success stories is so helpful and inspiring and since I have only been blogging a few months, the advice is so valuable.

Matt also writes honestly about the best way for us to:
  • Improve our blogs readability
  • Increase traffic
  • Maximize the technical aspects of our blog and
  • Gives us general advice on the best way to use our blog so it is top notch!

It is definitely worth checking out, there is already a hefty backlog of great posts to comb through and if you have any topic suggestions or have a hankering to write something yourself for Health Blog Helper, contact Matt!

Happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why I work out #2


Why I workout:

  • To do better, feel better and look better than yesterday.
  • So that I will never have to wonder if I stopped working out cuz I got old or if I got old cuz I stopped working out.
  • I have to, unless I want to buy a whole new wardrobe.
  • Because I declare that I will NEVER have heart problems or cardiovascular problems from not.
  • Because I like the way it makes my legs look and on that same note...
  • It keeps my tattoo's the size they were when I got them!
  • Because I am capable of more than I can even Imagine...and once I imagine that then the bar moves higher!
  • Because I am called to run the race that is set before me, not sit my way through life.
  • I am fluid with mind like water and water flows...constant movement.
  • Because it is in me to better myself!

Happy National Coffee Day!


I love it! Today is National Coffee day! Shouldn't we be off work, sitting at a sidewalk cafe, in scarfs and fingerless gloves talking Kafka or Camus? Sipping our frothy drink of choice?

*Le sigh* Apparently not, but here is my little ode to the day--coffee it's how I roll!



AND here is a coupon for a free drink from Dunn Brothers! Click here to get your Free Cup-o-Joe!

Did you know?

Coffee 30 min before your workout can give you a boost!
Coffee before a workout may reduce muscle pain after.
Coffee may reduce your risk for diabetes.
Coffee can lift your mood and help headaches!

Cheers!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sleep Success!

I need sleep.

And this past week I did not get enough. And that is to say it lightly. When I don't get enough, things begin to unravel at the seams. I forget words and my life becomes a streaming game of charades, I forgo other healthy habits like drinking water because I am drinking jet-fueled espresso drinks, and I get crabby. Life is never good, for anyone when I am crabby.


Lately I have been envying people who are morning people and who get up early and check off things on their to do list before I hit the snooze once. I have always struggled to get up early, in my twenties I blamed my upbringing, I blamed my alarm clock, I blamed my metabolism, and I blamed my rowdy cats. Till one day my mother, the beautifully wise woman she is told me that what I needed was discipline to get to bed earlier, not get up earlier. A light bulb went on and I tried it: Success!! Here are some of my tips to keep you’re trip to dream land delish!

  • Don’t drink alcohol before bed
  • Don’t drink excess water before bed
  • Set a sleep/wake routine and stick to it
  • Don't workout at least 3 hours before bed
  • Don’t watch TV, eat or do other things in bed.
  • Bed is for sleep and one other entertaining nighttime activity.
  • (my own personal tip:) lock kitties out at least a few times a week!

This week I am on a renewed mission to take care of my body and get enough rest!! I am also going to try going to bed very early to reset my internal clock once again!


This dappled light is what I get to see when I am up bright and early!! It is peaceful and I need more of it!

Tell me, do...what time do YOU get to bed and what do you see as the benefits?


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Unpeeled: A probiotic beverage!



I LOVE beverages! Coffee, Mocha's, cappuchino...wait. That's all coffee. Aside from coffee and water (preferably sparkling with a little zest !) one of the next faves is KOMBUCHA!!!

Kom-who-huh? I know, when I saw Kombucha in my local co-op I really wanted to try it but had NO idea what to expect.

Well, the lovely folks over at UNPEELED offered to send me a case of their good stuff to try!! And it is better than any Kombucha I have had to date!



Unpeeled is aged in barrels to maximize nutritional value! Free of any additives or preservatives Unpeeled doesn't use vinegar to aid the shelf life, it still lasts about 2 months in your fridge, but is missing that sour vinegar taste that some other popular brands have! If you want to drink Kombucha for your health, but hate that sour smell and taste, try UNPEELED, your mouth will thank you!


It is truly refreshing and a great way to aid in digestion and a natural detoxification process. I started drinking it to help with being good to and cleaning out my system and I really can tell a difference in how I digest and how my tummy feels over all.

Plus the citrus press is a lime-full little reminder of summer as we are officially and well into fall (aw!). It is made and distributed right here in Minnesota and is available in Mn and In Illinois!




Why a Probiotic Beverage?

Unpeeled is a 100% naturally cultured (kombucha) green tea with cold-pressed fresh crushed, raw ingredients, then barrel-aged to maximize nutritional value (probiotics) and to promote a fresh, crisp, smooth flavor.

Unpeeled is a naturally fermented beverage which provides a rich source of enzymes and probiotics not found in heated or processed foods or beverages.
Drink to your health!
Current flavors:
CITRUS PRESSED – Ingredients: Filtered water infused with live and active kombucha cultures, organic green tea leaves, prebiotic inulin fiber, ginger root, lemon, sea salt and cane juice (used for fermentation).
CRUSHED GINGER – Ingredients: Filtered water infused with live and active kombucha cultures, organic green tea leaves, prebiotic inulin fiber, lime, ginger root, lemon, sea salt and cane juice (used for fermentation).
There are more flavors to come...keep your eyes peeled for UNPEELED at your local grocery store and check here for availability!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Back in the saddle again


Happy weekend!! I have been easing back into my running schedule for the half marathon training after my weird setback with rhabdomyolysis.

This past week has been a hodgepodge of the distances and runs I am supposed to be doing and a little bit of rebuilding a foundation. Tomorrow I will do my long 7 mile run, again and not worry about time or even if I have to walk a bit! It's all for the love of the run.


my last long run 3 weeks ago!

How DO you ease back into a fitness routine or even scheduled runs as you work toward your destination? Here are a few simple tips for you to think about:

Set your goals- Set moderate new goals for getting back on schedule--write them down! Look at where you left off and what you were doing (the distance, intensity and time) and create a plan that is a little more lax than where you left off. If it's too much too soon, back off and adjust.

Plan ahead- Plan out your workouts! Recommit to the routine by getting out the calendar and writing down when you are going to workout. If you are feeing good and strong after the first two workouts see how aggressive you can be to meet your goal and yet not over do it. You maybe able to pick up where you left off.

Focus on doing- That is the key. For whatever reason you have had to take a break from your routine and your workout it can be a mental challenge to get back into it. The American Council on Exercise says that after 14 days, even elite athletes experience performance jitters and doubts. Whether it's doing a little and stopping, walking, taking a break or cutting it short, still get out and DO.

Listen to your body- be kind to yourself-if you need to walk or rest then do it. You are rebuilding muscle speed and endurance and most of all you are changing habits. Slow but sure will be the best way to gain your optimum performance in the end.

Cross-training is your strength! If you can cross train during your time off or injury that is best. But even if when you start to workout again and your feeling it's too much, cross-train! Bike or walk if that run is too hard you will feel better about yourself.

For me? Tomorrow I am NOT going to time my run...I am just going to go and do my best and not worry about time. I am doing speed runs during the week and have nearly another month of all my training till the big day! I am also going to walk if I need to and bring my fuel belt to keep me hydrated. I am just going to keep moving.

Speaking of moving, Mom is here this weekend and we may hit the zoo before the big run tomorrow. I don't think I can convince her to ride my ten speed next to me. But we did go rip it up at church for our wild Saturday night!

Here is mom and I at church tonight!



Part of my story..

September is Recovery Month! No not recovery like rest day or recovery socks, but recovery as in the process of recovering from or being treated for substance abuse.

But really we are all recovering from something--some of us from many things. Relationships, hurts, disappointment, that last job, last BF, last all nighter. Celebrating this other Recovery Month gives people the opportunity to voice their story and tell their triumphant journey of hope toward wellness, so... here is mine.

Truth be told, I am not in a recovery program, but if there were a 12 step program for coffee or shoe love, you would find me there! I did quit drinking almost two years ago, and with more than a little help from the big man upstairs. Yet I have not been involved in any recovery program. Up until now, my issue has been between me and myself and God.

I drank and rabble-roused like most every normal 20 something I knew, but I was still cutting my teeth at 23. I didn't drink or go out in high school or even when I turned 21 like most people. My family has a history of alcoholism in it so I steered as far away from the stuff as possible.

When at 23 I had my first beer, the results were far from what I expected. I did not stumble drunk from the table after one or even two and that was where the danger was. For me, the alcohol went from something I assumed would immediately turn me into a ranging drunk, to something that was very harmless. That was my great deception.

I didn't really look all that different on the outside from the antics of others that I knew, at least at first. I was a goofy happy drunk, one who wanted to sing karaoke and make friends at parties, one who often was the life of the party. I would have one, two or 5 too many on any given weekend and threw back a few too many at holiday parties or weddings.

But who didn't?

Then, after getting into (and 2 years later, getting out of) a bad relationships the way that I "used" alcohol changed. I was unhappy in the relationship and both myself and the other person began to use it as a means of escape, to feel normal and to cope. After the break up, I used it to escape more and more. Finally after so long of doing that, it simply became the way I was: drinking almost always led to getting drunk.

I felt horrible in the mornings, and not just hung over but I felt guilty. Did I remember what I said or did? Did I say something stupid or become emotional in a situation? Did I embarrass myself? I HATED that these questions ran through my mind. I always felt negative, embarrassed and guilty after drinking. And after a while, it didn't even matter the amount. The feeling was associated with the act and I couldn't escape that.

I was doing what I was used to and comfortable with and despite some nights that I really regretted, was my behavior that of an alcoholic? NO WAY! That was not me... I mean, what I was doing was fully accepted in society and even a norm. 3 or more drinks every other Friday wasn't quite channeling Meg Ryan from when a man loves a woman. I was with my friends, sometimes we all had too much. It couldn't be that problematic...could it?

Forget the labels Drunk, alcoholic, teetotaler, sobriety, straight edge, even recovery. I started to evaluate what problem drinking really was.
Plain and simple.

Did I have to go around hiding bottles of vodka in the night-stand to have it be a problem? Did I have to drink before starting the day to have it be a problem? Did I have to wait till I got the shakes, a DUI or lose friends for it to be a problem? No, it doesn't always have to be that extreme or look like that. If it was a problem for me and the life I wanted to lead, the person I wanted to be and was working toward, then it was a problem period.

Here I am dressed as my favorite drink for halloween--
I won a bottle of rum in the contest!

At this point in my life, I was conquering Weight Watchers, getting back into running and focusing on my faith. Drinking was one HUGE road block in each of those roads. There I was trying to be as healthy as possible yet drinking to excess every weekend! This, did NOT fit girls.

Aside from the crazy caloric intake a night of heavy drinking can dump on your body, my emotional use and abuse of drinking was the unhealthiest part of the habit. I didn't want to hide my true emotions anymore, I didn't want to bury the hurt of failed relationships and use the booze to escape the person I was and didn't like.

So I quit.
Twice.

I quit for one month and then eased into it attempting to stick to a 3 drink max. The problem was for me after the second or third, my judgement was shot so 3 turned into 1o and I was back at square one.

When I finally quit for good, I basically white knuckled it for the first 3-4 months. I hadn't really thought of going to an AA meeting for help or support. I just knew that if I wanted to be true to myself and live the way I was meant to, drinking was not an option, for me. I had relied on alcohol for a lot of things and being emotionally vulnerable and real with those around me and even myself was terrifying and very hard.


One day, after about 3 months of being dry, I started to feel more like myself than ever. I felt like I did when I was in High School: funny, goofy, sassy, smart, an individual. I felt more alive and real, happy with myself than I had in 8 years. Over the next few months I really started to see other areas of my life getting better and gaining more meaning.

This coming January 2010 will be my 2 year anniversary of getting my old self back after an eight year hiatus with alcohol!

Some things in my life changed, I came back to somethings that I had forgotten and some things that no longer worked or made sense fell away. Over all I started to see that my life was my own and I could shape it anyway! My path is not for everyone, but I know I am on the right path and am so blessed to be in safe keeping even through so many detours and past so many roadblocks.

I would really love to visit a meeting sometime and I am sure that when I do, I will write about the experience, how I felt, and any deep revelations or fears that rear their ugly head. SO, that is my story, at least the tip of it. But recovery is a topic that is dear to my heart because of what I have experienced so I wanted to share it with you.

Here is a great website with some thoughts on drinking in moderation and being safe when you do drink!

Cheers!


Friday, September 25, 2009

100th Post AND I Declare Charms Giveaway!!

WELCOME TO
MY


FIRST!! I need to say thank you to the deeply and importantly talented designer, Ms. Jenna Bowar for creating my NEW LOGO!! Simple, hip, very much my style, I am so happy to debut it today!! You can check out her other work HERE! and give her a jingle if you need design work!

Five months ago, a friend who knew I enjoyed writing suggested to me that I start a blog. I said, "Meh, that's not really something I see myself doing." But I had never really LOOKED at a blog before, save for Sally's GEM of a fashion blog at Already Pretty. This fit girl needs some SERIOUS matchy-matchy help. Still, I know I have something to say just like so many people out there. I feel my voice is distinct, empathetic and clear and if you met me in person you would learn--it is also loud.

So I did it, I started a blog. It didn't take me long to think of a name. The sass and spunk in the phrase FIT THIS! and its similarity to fitness was the tongue in cheek fun I was looking for and the girl? Girl that just had to get tagged on. So, this mouthy, receptionist with an affinity for animal print clothes, a pink bedroom and an addiction to coffee is saying what she has to say. I am calling the shots and calling myself a writer, finally! I can say that with a smile and with authority....

I am a writer.

AND

I love fitness.

I want to encourage and help other busy, hungry, sleep deprived, mouthy women (regardless of occupation) who loves fitness. Those who are eking out workouts after the kids are in bed or before a busy day at the office, those women who seek to have a balance with food and fitness. Who are searching for meaning in what they do and how they live. I want to encourage these sugar and spice women to be true to THEIR voice they know is there and powerful. That is why I am here. Once I started writing and posting, it was the most natural thing in the world!! An edgy fun, DIY place to write and get out there. And here I am , at the 100th post--I am SO excited!

AND SO FINALLY...... My first Giveaway!! (GIVEAWAY OFFICIALLY CLOSED) I am thrilled to say that the lovely gals over at I Declare Charms are offering up one lucky winner a necklace of her choice!! They sent me one with my phrase of choice on it: "For the love of the run, 13.1" because at the end of the day for me it comes down to the LOVE of the RUN. My times will fluctuate, my weight could change, my knees may give, my workouts sometimes come second to life, but I do over and over. I do it because I love it.

If you don't know about I Declare Charms, here's a little info:

  • Your charm will be made with a custom cut sterling silver disc which has been hand cut, polished and stamped with the name or word of your choice.
  • Standard charms can accommodate up to seven letters. Larger charms can be made for longer words. We can also stamp two lines per charm if you choose.
  • The charms you see in the pictures are just ideas for you. We can make any word, on any charm- on any necklace or bracelet!

So, here is how you ENTER TO WIN!

2 Required Entries

1. Visit I Declare Charms and have a look around! Leave a comment and let me know your favorite charm style or coolest item you saw!
2. Become a follower of Fit This, Girl!

Additional Entries! (up to 4 MORE!)
1. Tell me what inspires you in life!
2. Leave a comment letting me know what you would like to see
MORE of or new on the blog!
3. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet this Giveaway using:
@fitthisgirl 100th post giveaway! Visit http://bit.ly/1nCoUY for chance to enter and win!
4. Mention this giveaway on your blog and link back here!!
~Individual comments for each entry. Each comment is one entry.

The Winner will be selected by Comment number using an amazing random generating number machine and announced next Thursday, October 1st at 7pm Central time!! Almost a FULL week, so pass on the word and THANK YOU for reading and stopping in. Your support and words of encouragement mean the world to me and Good Luck!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wedge Wednesdays: Indonesian Salad with Peanut Sauce

Once again, I have made another fabulous recipe from Jennette Turner and her work for the Wedge Co-op in creating easy dinners!! This one is ESPECIALLY Good!! It is an Indonesian Salad with Peanut Sauce.

Since this was one that Jennette sent me to try (and one of a few sample meals at her website ). SO, I am not going to type out all the ingredients and instruction as it is all listed below. Click to enlarge the recipe and it is the perfect printing size!!



For starters, I browned my chicken using my Misto gourmet oil sprayer which I LOVE! My mother bought it for me as a gift last year and I use it everyday.

It sprays a light even amount of olive oil (or your choice of oil) on your pan, salad, baking dish, what ever ya got. It uses regular olive oil, nothing fancy or expensive and you just put it in, give it a few pumps and spray.


Here are all the ingredients for the salad set up! Looks nice and green! The recipe makes four servings and I made the full lot, even though I am one single gal! I only used dressing on my portion for the night and put the rest of this, dry, into a ziploc. Voila! Salad all week!

Instead of roasted peanuts, I used roasted cashews. I have been on a cashew kick lately and I LOVE them. I have been putting them in everything and even dumping them on my apple sauce or the Haagen Dazs Five if I splurge!

I LOVED chopping and tossing and prepping the salad, but the REAL fun came with the dressing. The closest I have ever come to making my own dressing was a Raspberry Lime and oil mixture I threw in a bottle and shook up. It was good, but little to no culinary effort. This was something I felt that I could be proud of!

(The measurements are not accurate in the picture, there were 4 tablespoons of Peanut Butter and the garlic was minced etc.)

The brownish granular stuff is the Sucant, a dry unprocessed granular sugar cane product made from concentrating, evaporating, and drying sugar cane juice. It was very good!

When I walked into The Wedge, it was the only item I didn't even recognize, luckily I got sucked into the bulk foods for some dried fruit and there it was!! I can't wait to experiment with it more!

Vintage hand juicer cameo!! Only because I love my vintage kitchen items so...


This is the finished dressing, I just mixed it into the glass bottom of the juicer for easy storage! It was SO tasty! And there was more than enough for all 4 servings, believe me!

To deviate from the recipe a bit and for a dash of spice in my life (or sweet in my life) I sprinkled a little coconut on top of the salad. I had tiny shavings, but when I was at the store, saw large curly shavings that I can imaging would be even better on the top of it! I was a nice touch and I felt, again all culinary and stuff.

Finished product! I devoured the salad!! A few of my favorite parts were the aromatic blend of the cilantro and fresh mint. I never use fresh mint and vow now, to find reasons to. The salad was so fresh and just the right blend of sweet and tangy! I LOVE garlic too and the strong minced garlic in the dressing was perfect in combination with the sweet and fresh of the greens.

It took me a little while to prepare everything, being (did I mention?) a single gal, but something like this would make a great date night in for a couple to do! Spend sometime chopping and chatting away and it would go much faster than with just lil ole me feeling very Julia-esque.


Speaking of...have you seen Julie & Julia yet?

I have not and am desperately hoping for some handsome man who loves coffee and chic flicks to take me, maybe this weekend? I wonder if there are any to be found on a sweet giveaway somewhere...

recipe Copyright © 2000-2009 Jennette Turner

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twittering away...


I have been blogging for nearly three months!!
It is SO much fun--I really am enjoying it and loving all the people that I have met and things I have been able to experience. Thank you all so much for following me and encouraging me the way you have.

I post a lot of first person items, like instruction, how to's and even essay style posts. Some fitness fashion and product reviews thrown in, and I am looking forward to even more interesting and personal posts coming up. I am very excited over the opportunity to share even more with you in the next stage of this little project!

Friday the 25th will be my 100th blog post and I am planning something super fun, so be sure and check back in!!

Think... anticipation and Tweeting. Are you following me on Twitter? You should!!



Monday, September 21, 2009

Faith and Fitness

I have a very strong faith, it is the kind of belief that really does impact my daily life. For me, it gives meaning to the mundane and purpose to actions that would otherwise seem empty. It gives me strength and courage to step out in life and do what I feel I should do and it literally gives me the strength to do things I want to do, like stay fit and take care of myself.

How are faith and fitness connected?

For me, it starts with who I believe God is. Over and over he is called our strength, our sustainer, our rock, refuge, he is called the great physician and one of my personal favorites:

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the
strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalms 73:26 )

You see, it doesn't say that he will GIVE us the strength of our hearts and give us our portions, it says that HE is those things.

Strength for what? Do I think that God is why I love weight lifting? Well, not directly, but he is my strength. I go to him when I am run down, tired, emotionally (and yes physically) and he renews me. I read his words, meditate on who he is, talk with him and ask him to help me do what I should --and he strengthens me.

Am I still tired? Needing sleep and motivation?
Of Course!!

But the days when I don't feel strong and yet I get through, sometimes better than I could have imagined, I know he was my strength, I didn't do it on my own.

He is a refuge too, which is what? A place of shelter, relief, and aid. I run to him when I need to rest!!

We ALL know just HOW important rest is to athletes! What if we had no rest days and had to keep adding miles and miles daily? We would breakdown and not be able to workout, run or bike anymore! Our bodies would fall apart from injury, fatigue and overuse if we had no rest, no refuge.

When the world is moving too fast, when the people are relentless and the problems that are hurled at us are too many we can take our rest day and find rest in him. We can bring all our sadness, our frustration and pain and say, "Here, take this! I can't handle it and I don't want to try!" And he will. Stop right now and think about your life and about eternity. What matters?

God and People.

Think on that as you find your rest in him and pass along all your worry. You will find that refocusing your perspective will rejuvenate, encourage and build you up, just like a fitness rest day puts a bounce back in our step. Having a resting place and rest day is vital to our getting through and not just barely, but getting through as WINNERS in this race! Those are a few thoughts on who God is and why he is a part of my daily life and workouts. Being my strength spiritually bleeds right over into being the strength of my life and my heart. There is more of course, this is that tip of the iceberg--but I have to save some for ya!

For me, the ideals in my faith and my fitness are deeply intertwined. The values and goals I have in fitness come from a deeper place and have a deeper meaning in the journey of my life. I am encouraged every time I write about what I experience and every time I strive farther, harder or even have to start over. I know that my provider, my rock and my strength is standing at the finish line waiting for me cheering me on and THAT is what keeps me going.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Late Night Poetry

meteor shower


it was 6am when the stars stopped falling

but we had just begun, coming home

to the hibernating house in the bluffs

shuffling back in our winter wear

wine ruled our veins.

Spilling from the sky we sparkle and collide

milky downy kisses as we try to hide

deep in the quilted cave we hear

church bells chasing the twilight away.

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Disclaimer

Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.