Commit To Being Healthy|90 days In

Tis healthy to be sick sometimes.


Henry David Thoreau

Lent began in the month of March and for forty days before Easter (April) it all about finding the balance between exercise and being healthy. Which would have been lovely if I did not start the season of Lent off sick! In the spirit of being healthy, well… some times the cold virus finds you, and takes you down for a few days. I am thankful every year I do not get the flu virus and with being vaccinated every year, this is the reason why I bounce back from a cold as well. It meant having to put my 5k training plan on the back burner for a week and half to make sure I was healthy enough to start back on it.

Being sick sucks! Having a hot toddy tea and reading the latest book on the royals made it better!

This month had been one of those going from two extremes; stress and peace. After enduring one extreme after another in the month of February, March started out with an extreme of snow still falling, to ending with spring sun. Gave the whole meaning of March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. Also another month of food with St. Patrick’s day full of the most unhealthy versions of Irish food and cheap green beer at restaurants. I some how made it through this month. Staying ninety days committed to making healthy choices is not a sprint, but a marathon at times. So here is the questions and answers to how the March- 90 days in all went down.

How Was I Successful?

With spring coming early in March, there were days when the sun was shinning and getting outside for a few hours helped with getting in the necessary exercise needed. With starting to train for my 5k this July, I started to go walking at least a few times a week after work.

Real authentic Irish food was made and consumed on St. Partick’s day instead the over hyped unhealthy food people associate the day with. This year I decided to make an Irish boxy with brown gravy to make my English Great-Nana proud, and Irish soda bread made with Guinness. May come across not even close to Whole30, but the ingredients are as wholesome as it get.

What Went So Well?

The fact there was a stretch of days of sunny warm weather in Seattle right before spring. After a few days of snow showers coming down, and the other crazy weather happening, just have a warm sunny day helped in getting outside for a few hours. With days becoming more spring like later in the month, the farm stands along the road started popping up selling fresh produce. Having a farm stand on my way to work and back home helped with those days when you need something healthy, but don’t want to drive to the grocery store.

What Didn’t Go So Well?

As I mentioned above, getting sick at the beginning of the month did not go so well. Getting older being struck down for a few days with a cold or flu just takes a whole lot out of you. Research as suggested when someone starts changing some of their unhealthy eating habits and looses weight, the immune system

Sick-in-office

I started to find myself keeping up with Whole30 plan slipping. When I came down with a cold, all I wanted was garlic bread, orange juice, and chicken noodle soup. Each of those are not completely Whole30 compliant, and feeling unwell I did not care! This I did not care went on for two weeks where I was fasting by not eating breakfast or lunch in order to speed up my weight loss. Great if you have a fast metabolism, but as we age or metabolism slows down.

What Can I do Differently?

Figure out how to balance all the stress happening all of sudden from work, and life. I am known to be a stress eater, so when times of stress happen it can derail me fast. With stress comes unhealthy sleeping habits and putting your immune system at risk of catching the latest virus circulating around. I realized taking my work home every night is not a solution to the mass amount of work needing to be done, and I need to set boundaries for myself to follow through on. With the days becoming longer and sunny, I should take a real lunch break and get outside for awhile instead of sitting eating my lunch at my desk while doing work.

Yep I maybe turning into a workaholic-please send help soon!

I believe this could be what I do differently next month. Stop stressing over not getting everything done in one day, and set boundaries in eating away from my desk. My mental health and sanity will thank me later for doing this.

What Motivates Me?

After the bought of sickness from a cold spreading around work, I decided to go through all my workout cloths and start fresh again. During a store closing sale, I picked up new workout bottoms to start training for my 5k run in July. Just putting these bottoms on gave the motivation to get out there an kick some butt! With three months to go before running 3.1 mile around the T-Mobile Park for a non-profit, and the fact summer is fast approaching, I need to be fit for all the hikes I want to take.

How Do I Feel?

I’m feeling the spring fever of a fresh start again. I noticed a little of weight has come off this past thirty days, but not nearly as much as last month. I feel better after being knocked down for a few days by a cold, and now with sun coming out, my goal of healthy habits started to really ramp up.

I Give Myself  4/5  Stars

Commit To Being Healthy|60 Days On Whole30

February is a short month, but judging by all the craziness happening in the short twenty-eight days, it seemed to drag on longer than expected. No, it was not getting bored with Whole30 meals, but the weather here in Seattle. What made February a crazy month was the two three winter snow storms that hounded the Seattle area. If you saw the post on the snowpocalypse you would understand why it was called an apocalypse. Sticking to Whole30 is hard when you really want to indulge in hot chocolate- real creamy hot chocolate- without falling off the wagon. Thank goodness someone figured out how to make hot chocolate Whole30 compliant. Other than shoveling snow constantly (hey exercise!), February was a month of dodging all that Valentines Days candy on sale or at work (and girl scout cookies too, ugh double whammy!). I somehow made it through without having the damn sugar dragon going on all-out war. Here is a recap of what commit to being healthy!

Progress Snapshot:

After all the snow shoveling I should have lost some weight. After stepping back on the scale after another thirty days, I had managed to loose 4.5lbs! Some of it had to do with starting to train for a 5k in July. Right now I have managed to average 10lb weight loss in two months.

How Was I Successful?

Have you ever struggled to drink enough water? I have! I came across an Instagram story by Brittney Aldean (Jason Aldean’s wife) talking about how she struggled with drinking enough water during her pregnancy. She recommended Liquid I.V. electrolyte drink mix as a way for the body to get more hydrated. Being the scientist I am, I did a little research and tried the stuff out for a whole week. I found it did help keep me hydrated during the day (science lab air can be very drying during the winter months) and did help in drinking an equivalent of three glasses with a single packet. The difference I found with Liquid I.V. does not taste like a sports drink, but more towards what Pedialyte taste like. After a month drinking the stuff I started to make a habit of drinking more water or tea to reach the eight glasses a day of water.

What Didn’t Go So Well?

All those Valentines Day candies on sale because of the snow storm. Yep, almost too a nose dives into a bowl of Hersey’s kisses and hugs because I need a hug after driving in the winter storms.

Also I noticed (TMI alert) I’m passing gas more frequently (not the stinky stuff) then before. This could be a side effect of my gut health being restored back to normal working order, and the rest of my body is still trying to catch up with the new changes. Who knows!

What Can I Do Differently?

One thing I could do differently is not stress about all the things I cannot eat! There has been times where the stress went through the roof when trying to find something to eat that was Whole30 compliant. I have to remember this is elimination diet of foods that are potential issues, and not eliminate natural flavor of the foods itself.

How Do I Feeling?

Feeling like I am slowly managing the sugar dragon, and making a dent into making a habit of eating healthy clean food.

What Motivates Me?

Image result for refuse to abuse 5k

I signed up for my first 5k run in a few years for July. Now $40 into this, I might as well get serious on being committed to being healthy if I want to run majority of this race.

I Give Myself  3/5  Stars

Commit To Being Healthy|30 Days On Whole30

For some of you reader may remember my failed attempt at committing to being healthy back in 2017. Then tried it again at the first part of 2018 and fell off the wagon after a stressful month in college. I bet you rolled those eyes when you read the title of this post! Alas! I have completed my fourth Whole30 (30 days total) and rocked it.

So here I am again posting about being committed to being healthy as a goal for 2019 instead as a New Year’s resolution (why? b/c goals are easier to obtain mentally). Also being in my early thirties means I no longer can eat all the crap my brain still thinks I can! Still, after meeting Melissa Hartwig two times at book signings (own all four cookbooks now with signatures!) I should put all those books to use). After all, I needed to put my old college lab coat to use, why not as an apron?

With my lab coat, and the Whole30 Slow Cooker Cookbook in hand, I started my Whole30 on January second (January 1st is just too hard after being sleep deprived) and went all the way to thirty days January 31st. Here is the rundown of all happened in a month.

A Partial Fasting For One Week:

You can say Whole30 is a partial fast because, in partial fasting, you generally omit a specific meal or refraining from certain foods in your diet. If you want to go further, you can work the Whole30 plan into a regular spiritual or prayer fasting routine. For one week during the thirty days, I decided to try my hand at fasting from intake of food between 8pm to 6am (you can say intermitting fasting as well).

Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

How Was I Successful?

Success for the thirty days was due to a little phone app by Samsung. If it was not for Samsung Health tracking my food intake, how many steps I took, how much sleep, weight, heart rate and oxygen saturation, it probably would have made the process harder.

What Didn’t Go So Well?

Well… recipe wise, there was one recipe that was a major flop. The Shrimp Boil recipe (p. 228) for the Instant Pot in Slow Cooker Cookbook turned out to be a lesson in why they call them New England Shrimp Boils for a reason. Maybe the slow cooker would be better, but this PNW girl will leave shrimp boils to New Englanders or the local seafood restaurant. Also trying to recreate Old Bay seasoning may contribute to the problem as well (I have no idea what Old Bay seasoning taste like).

Male First World Problems meme

I caught myself almost shoving pizza in my face about five times after work started ordering pizza to use up their pizza subscription service with the local pizza place. I resisted in the end! It has been hard trying to stay on track with food around the office at some point. Even the salad bar was not completely Whole30 approved!

What Can I do Differently?

Besides sniffing the pizza fumes, I could be more consistent in logging exercise. It has been hit and misses with logging in how much exercise I am doing a day. At work, it is hard to bring my phone into the lab to record all the steps I take for fear of having something nasty happen to the phone in my lab coat pocket. Next month I hope I will be more consistant in logging my excersise.

What Motivates Me?

The days getting longer as the days march closer to spring. Even in January there were days of sunshine here in Seattle! Getting out for a short walk during lunch at work motivated me to continue to on my journey of being committed to healthy habits.

How Do I Feel:

How I feel is a little better. I am starting to take back control of what I eat, and how it is effecting my overall health. I haven’t reached the “tiger blood” stage after thirty days, but it could be subtle compare to first time Whole30ers.

Progress Snap Shot:

I started the thirty days at 160lbs with a goal to get back down to 130lbs. By the end of the thirty days, I was down 5lbs. Now in the past Whole30s, I was averaging almost 7-8lbs. This time it was different. Thou 5lbs may not seem much from the past, it a whole lot more when the body composition showed inches lost around the waist.

I Give Myself  3/5 Stars

I’m still continuing onward on the journey of commit to being more healthy. I will continue to be doing another Whole30 (Whole60) in the coming month.

Tanzanian Adventures|Unexpected Hike

Updated 12/2017

Hiking in Tanzania was an unexpected adventure with a whole lot of people. I was talked into going on this hike with a whole bunch of people because we could have a view of Mount Meru from the top of a hill just behind the hotel. The said hike was to hike to the top of Suye hill before sunset. We did all make it up just as the sun was setting, and we all got a great view of Mount Meru and the rest of Arusha valley below.

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It all started with crossing the busy road full of crazy motorcycles and cars. Not something for the faint of heart in this country! The beginning part of the trail started up a steep muddy rock step between a cluster of houses along the slope of the lower part of the hill. Once in the tree line, it was climbing up the steep embankments with slippery mud clinging to our shoes, getting almost lost in the brush when the group was split up, and finding out the cobblestone path was not complete enough to take anyone to the top. It took around an hour to hike up this trail to the top to see the sunset over the valley and to see an unobstructed view of Mount Meru. The guide from the hotel said Mount Kilimanjaro could be seen from the top as well, but it was hidden by cloud cover and this was true for the whole time I was in Tanzania. Most interesting part of this hike was seeing two people living in the shack on top of the hill. Remind me of people living deep in the jungles of South America.

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Mt. Meru

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Now going down the hill was an adventure in the dark. I have never hiked in the dark, and hiking down this hill in the dark was not an easy task. What made it easier for me and those around me in the group was the headlamp I had packed just in case. Going down the side of the hill was a challenge with all the slippery mud on the steep parts, and the vegetation that liked to reach out to catch us as we passed by. People were slipping and falling at times. I even when down hard after I had told the people behind me to watch out for a slippery part. Slowly we all made if safely to the bottom with a few scraps, scratches, mud caked on clothing and shoes. It was worth it in the end! I earned the dinner back at the hotel, and it was one adventure worth going on.

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Hiking Rattlesnake Ledge

2017:

I have already done this hike before, but this time it seemed there was something different this time around. It might have been due to hiking in a small group of students at Northwest U, or I just knew the outcome of this hike. Either way, it was a better view this time. Last time I went it was in the middle of summer (the hottest on record), the lake was almost non-existent, and there were people doing stupid stuff up on the ledge. This time, there was none of this!

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The hike started out around 10am in the morning, and ended around 1:30pm. It took us two hours total to go up and down the trail; and hanging out on the ledge taking Instagram worthy pictures (most of the others are out-of-state people who never been, and so worth being a part of this for them).

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Then a few minutes hanging by the lake to cool off before heading back home.

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2015:

What to do when you don’t have a reason to be at Sea Fair? Beat the Interstate 90 bridge closure and go hike Rattlesnake Ledge trail with a friend. Early on Saturday morning a friend and I went on an adventure up Rattlesnake Ledge on a hot summer day (90 degrees!) to experience the view everyone talks about.

Boy was we in for a great view, just look at this view!

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The Ledge View

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Mt. Si View

We started our adventure with a forty-five-minute drive from Seattle towards the outskirts of North Bend. After a few minutes going around in circles in the small town of Tanner looking for the road leading up to the trail with a GPS that was having dumb movement, we finally got to the parking lot of the trailhead around 9am.

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Dry Lake Bed

Since the whole state is in a state of drought, there was a section of the lake bed that had dried up and you could trek across the lake bed to the head of the trail without going all around the lake. Starting up the trail at 9am is a good time because there was not a lot of people going up or down at this time. There were a lot of pauses along the trail for some water after the heat of the day started to come through the canopy of trees. The trail going up had switchbacks, steep inclines in areas, rocky and tree roots on the trail. There were times when my friend had to help me up with the steps made out of tree roots. Overall I made it up the trail without any incident.

I reached the ledge after an hour of hiking two miles up the trail. The view did not disappoint at all, and the sun made the perfect reason to bask on the rocks looking out over the valley below. The lake below was a beautiful bluish- green color with the banks very visible from the ledge showing how dry the summer has been. From the ledge, you could see Mt Si, North Bend, Tanner/Riverbend, Chester Morse Lake, Christmas Lake and Iron Horse State Park Trail.

11145235_10207759989504698_4474455020043415380_oAfter spending an hour on the ledge people watching and resting for the trip back down, I started to see groups of people starting to get crowded the ledge. We decided to start back down the trail after a few people started to push others out-of-the-way on the ledge. While coming down there were a lot of people starting up the trail to the ledge and a few people who were struggling with the heat as they hiked upward. I am so glad the both of us decided to go earlier because marching up the trail with people crowding behind you would not be a fun experience and the weather was getting warmer the longer I was on the trail. When we drove out of the area there were a lot of cars parked on the shoulder of the road and lots of people on or by Rattlesnake Lake.

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I hiked All The Way Up There!

After finishing the hike we stopped in North Bend to refuel ourselves and then head back home to cool off from the Ninety-degree weather.  Now I can check this one hike off my bucket list and try next time to hike up to Upper Ledge which is another 3.8 miles past the lower ledge.

 

Seattle Rock n’Roll Half Marathon

I did it! I finished my first half marathon (13.1 miles)!

As another fellow blogger at the same event said“It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fun, but yes, I finished.” I will not lie, it was not pretty! My finished time was forty minutes behind my expected time, but I finished and I’m proud of it.

The weather was….yucks. An overcast day with light rain showers through the whole race course. I was happy for once for the Battery St and I-90 express tunnels. A disappointment after hearing past Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathons had been clear sunny warm days.

The last two miles were the worst because at this point there was a stabbing pain in my left leg, and I thought at this point I had a large blister forming on my right bottom foot. Took a whole lot of praying for strength to get me over the finish line. The last 1/2 mile into the finish I had mixed emotion of pain, joy, and tears running down my face as I went over the line. I made it!

The bands were great along the course, and liked the Asian drum line band when heading down Rainer Ave. I have never been down in this part of Seattle before, and seeing it for the first time it looked like another city.

course map
Half Marathon Course

In the end the half marathon was an experience I will not forget, and I am glad to have finished it. I would have loved to done this in better weather, and maybe I will.

I imagine this is how I will feel after I complete mine :p:
So true now!!