Friday, March 28, 2014

Healthy Living: Family Edition

Good Morning, everyone!  I have some wonderful Friday reading for you all, just in time to get us ready for a healthy, spring weekend!!  My new cyber friend Caitlin (love the internets) has graciously offered to share with everyone her secrets as to how she balances being a Mom- taking care of her family and herself without going nuts, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.  Enjoy!


OK, I’ve got it all figured out. I will make myself a delicious chicken salad for lunch. It will have home-grilled chicken with my special recipe of spices, fresh tomatoes, boiled eggs, red cabbage and oil and vinegar for dressing. For the kids? I’ll just pick up McDonald’s. Wait, what? This is a terrible idea. Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t just for adults. It’s for kids, too. I know that they get a lot of their ideas about food and exercise from me. But, if I let them believe there’s a double-standard between what adults should do and what kids should do, they’ll grow up with bad habits. The fact is that health is, and always should be, a family affair.

Healthy Household
There are so many good reasons to have a healthy family. I’ll start with me. If I eat right and exercise, I am healthier and happier. I get sick less often. I have the energy to do fun, active things with my kids. If I’m in shape, I’m more likely to encourage my husband to get going, instead of just putting on another movie and becoming couch potatoes. If we like to eat healthy and be active, our kids will see that. I make it a point to get my exercise in before my day starts. At the very least, I’ll do a quick workout video in the basement. Over the years I’ve accumulated a small library of workout routines from Beachbody. Some are only 25 minutes (like the new T25) and others up to an hour. If we lead by healthy examples, our children will be better off.

Group Dynamic
In the past, I have tried to adopt lifestyle changes alone. It is so much harder. Everyone else is pigging out on junk food while I sit there with my protein and vegetables. Actually, since I learned how to really cook, they are the ones left out in the cold. The food I make is totally awesome, and it just happens to be healthy. I decided that instead of joining them in their misery, they could join me in living. This past week I made a new chicken dish that, to my surprise, was a favorite for everyone! We eat well together, and we exercise together. That way, no one is left out, and we all keep each other motivated.

Stay Simple
That doesn’t mean I’m not still crazy busy, though. I have a lot to do as a busy mom! So, I try to keep our lives as simple as possible. On days when I know I won’t have much time to prepare dinner, I get out crock pot and have dinner cook itself. That way, by the time my husband gets home dinner is ready with minimal effort. And, it smells so good that no one wants to go out to eat. I patently refuse to overschedule my kids’ activities. They need time to just run around and be aimless, and so do I. That time, actually, is some of our best family fun, and it is almost always active.

Reasonable Indulgences
We like to eat well as a family, and sometimes that means we want a treat. We try to make the best of produce as it comes out year-round. We always have a variety of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables that anyone can grab from the counter or fridge. Kids don’t care if it’s healthy, so long as it tastes good. In the summer homemade ice pops are my go too. They’re full of healthy fruit and yogurt and perfect for a hot day. For birthdays, we go to the cupcake store or grab an ice cream cone. It’s OK, and we don’t feel bad about it because we do it in moderation.

Getting the family on a healthy track can seem like a lot of work. But, I found if I model the right behaviors and encourage everyone else to get on board, it’s not so hard. They see me healthy and happy. A healthy happy mom makes for a healthy happy home.

Agreed 100%.  Great way to kick off the weekend!  Let's get in some playtime outside and some fresh spring veggies.  Have a great weekend!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Johnny's ROTG 2014: Ultra fun

What??  Two posts in one weekend?  I know it.  I''m frightened too.  I guess when kiddo gets up a happy lil guy and wants to play by himself at 5am...mommy can write a blog post.  Funny how that one works.

So, this past weekend was the annual kick off to the Rochester racing season - Johnny's Running O the Green 5 miler. I've run this race through a variety of different life circumstances - the blizzard of 2006, a nice fat PR in 2009, training for Ironmans in 2010 and 2011, and preggo as all can be in 2013.  My PR on this course is 37 minutes, which I knew I really had no shot at beating (even though I feel super fit, right now ultra training is suiting me more to distance, not speed!), but I was hoping for a solid run after weeks of beating my body up with back to back weekend long runs.  I had a goal of a sub 8:30 pace, with a long shot goal of breaking 8 - why?  I have no idea.  I haven't done any kind of speed work in months, and my long runs hover around a 9 minute pace up until about 13 miles but hey, dream big go big, right?  Right.

race morning came with temps at about 30, with some slight wind gusts.  Greg and I got up bright n early (thanks Rob!) did the coffee/banana oats deal, popped an Imodium (learn from the Rochester half debacle!) and were out the door by 7:30.  My cousin lives about 5 miles from the race site and adores Rob, so we dropped him off for some play time and made our way to the race site.  (I would have pushed him in a stroller, but this race sees about 2500 people and it was kinda cold.  Need to find a fun spring 5k for some Rob and Momma playtime!!)

I adore this race.  It's flat, fast and the structure of the course allows for you to see everyone faster and slower than you,a sit does a turnaround halfway through.  So for about a mile and a half I get to see all my Roc runner friends- makes the time go by, and I get all amped for the season!  I found a few friends pre-race, got my hair sprayed green, and before I knew it, it was time to go!

Slightly blurry mile 4 pic, courtesy of my friend HBO!
The congestion at the start line is typical, but thinned nicely.  Took about 20 seconds to cross the line, another half mile to dodge people that seeded themselves wayyyy optimistically, and i was off. Crossed mile 1 at 8:30, feeling good.  Greg and I ran together for about the first mile, then found our own paces.  One thing long running has taught me this year is how to pace and push through, and I've really cut back on my walk breaks (I used to favor a steady 9:1 run/walk ratio for an 8:30 mile, now I've found my 8:30 pace comfortably to maintain.  ironically, the run/walk is much better for an ultra.  I'm special like that).  Any who'sers, I stayed steady at 8:30 for about the first 3 miles, grabbing a quick sip at the one aid station. I ran for awhile with my tri friends, then tucked in for the last mile.  Mile 4 - 33:12.  I knew that I would most likely hit that B goal, as the last mile was downhill.  I turned up the gas a bit, sailed through the final mile, and crossed in 41:17, for an average pace of 8:16/mile and good for 20th out of 121 in my age group.  Sweet.

Post race, I grabbed a bagel and some water. stretched for a few, then headed out for another 5 miles to finish my longish run of the weekend.  #Ultraproblems.

Analysis?  I felt good.  My legs handled it well, my lungs are not cut out for an 8 minute mile for more than 5 miles right now :-).  What can I say?  I'm a mule!  I enjoyed the race (Did NOT enjoy the fact that the parking garage decided to charge this year without any warning.  Lame.) and am ready for the next race - Spring forward 15k in Mendon, next Saturday!)

Run on, run on.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lets get it started in here!

Wow.  Two weeks since a blog?  What is wrong with me??  Well, ok, there's a list, but hey, I won't bore you with that.  One of my avid readers (I love my Uncle), requested a 'damn update' - so here goes!!

1.  Rob is awesome.  Duh.  He is also teething.  So even though my little man is the bestest thing since sliced bread, we are all dead frickin tired.  No joke.

(That's passed out.  I did not kill the kid).
2.   In light of making lemons out of....ya know....I've developed a teething biscuit recipe.

Easy Teethers

3/4 cup ground oats
3/4 AP flour or WW flour
3/4 cup baby apple juice

This is not a genius recipe - it's a adaptation from a zillion baby recipes I found with teh googlez....but its super simple.  Mix all 3 until a sticky dough forms, then shape into balls.  Place on cookie sheet, slightly flatten, then bake at 350.  Let sit for 10 minutes so they slightly harden.  makes about 2 dozen, which lasts us about a week.
They aren't gorgeous, but they are pretty natural, cheaper than mum mums ($4 a box WHAT??) and kiddo loves em.  Of course, he eats dirt, so I'm not sure his palette is the best judgement :-)

Aside from baby, work and trying to keep us in clean clothes and food...I'm running. And running some more.  Mind the ducks is 7 short weeks away, and I've been logging the miles!  I owe a Johnny's race recap (spoiler alert - no PR but I hit my B goal yay!) but it's been going really well.  Even though my time is limited, I feel like ultra might be a good fit for me. Yay.

And now, onto the weekend!  What's on your agenda?  I have 3 back to back days of 2 plus hour runs, a Euchre party (so cool am I) and hopefully a girls night.  Woot.  Have a great first spring weekend!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014


Holy canoodle, someone's a whole month older!!  Buddy, these months are just flying by.  I can't even believe it.  Seems like just yesterday you were my little turtle, and now you are such a little man!!  I love EVERY. STINKING. MINUTE. of it.  I just can't even believe what a cool little guy you are and how darn lucky I am to have you in my life.  Ahh, enough of that sappy crap.  Lets talk about how cool YOU are.  K? Let's DO IT.  

Size - 20 pounds (ish).  No weigh in this month, but that's our good ole scale estimate.  You are chugging along so nicely, right smack dab in the middle of where you should be.  Lovin' your little baby chubbers, which is exactly where you should be!!

Likes:  The world is your oyster, little dude.  You have started pulling yourself up like a champ, and even have stood by the table a few times!!  Woot woot!!  You still love jumping in your jumper, but you also adore sitting and playing with your cars, your steering wheel, and your rings.  You are getting to be a champ at picking things up with a pincer grasp (we are in such trouble) and you babble with the best of them!  We've heard a bunch of mamamamas and dadadadadas, but as brilliant as we know you are, we do know it's still babbling.  You also ADORE the water.  Bath time is now a time for playing, and you get so mad when it's time to get out!  You also LOVED your swim lessons, and are such a fishy!!  You are still quite the little ladies man, and you charm the pants off anyone that comes your way.  

Dislikes: Cuttin' teeth.  It's a nasty business, but someone has to do it.  You have two full chompers now, and you are such a champ about it. Some nights are rough, some nights are good, but aside from super snuggles and gnaws, you really do well with the teething.  We feel for ya, buddy.  

Sleep: Good nights and bad nights, buddy.  We keep truckin along.  You do pretty darn well with the nighttime now (still one solid wake up, sometimes more but not much), and naps are good days and bad days.  You still are 99% of the time a happy little kid, and you're hittin all your milestones well.  Guess that means it's all good!

Eating: My little nomser, as always!!  You've started dairy this month- you love yogurt and cottage cheese, and any fruit we throw your way.  You also love your teething biscuits, which mommy makes for you (ground oats, flour, and apple juice).  YUM!!!  You still tank down the milk, and hopefully you will STOP BITING MOMMY.  It's not funny, dude.  

Pulling up to standing - go little man!!!
Pincer grasp- You are picking things up like a champ!!
"Solid" - teething biscuits and cereal.  You eat ALL the foods!  
Sprouted two teeth - sharp little *#&@^.  Yikes.
Swim Lessons - You are SUCH A FISHY!!  We adore the pool.  This bodes well for you, dude!! 

Best Moment: Our swim lesson was so freakin cool buddy.  No fear at all.  Dunk me, let's kick and splash, I'm in.  We are going to have so much fun playing in the water, buddy!!!

Looking Forward to: Warmer weather and starting up our runs again!!  Woot woot!!  Time to start training for another Mommy Rob 5k!