What makes a food bad or good? And other thoughts…

We are currently less than 50 days out from our family vacation, and I couldn’t need it more! I’ve never been one to freak out over needing to lose weight for a vacation. This is mostly because I try to eat healthy all year and quite honestly, whoever sees me on a beach in a bikini will never see me again so who cares. Seeing as I had Max 5 months ago, I have my mommy tummy going which is 100% ok with me. I do not consider being pregnant as a “before” status. I grew a baby. This world of Instagram that we live in creates unrealistic expectations, and I try to be gentler to myself mentally. THAT BEING SAID – I still want to be as healthy as can be and lately I’ve fallen into a lazier style for food choices. I’ve done a lot of protein powders, bars, and just whatever I can grab because I’m so exhausted. I still manage to squeeze it into my macros, which is the beauty of eating that way, but I’m not getting in as many whole foods as I’d like.

Max staying comfortable in there too long.

My baby and me, 17 weeks old

So until our trip, on Mondays through Saturdays, I’m committing to my old “bro diet” and then relaxing on Sundays. I really don’t mind eating this way; it just takes some mental strength for eating more whole foods and relying on processed protein bars. Meals have been pretty easy, and I’m learning that new combos can be quite delicious like this scramble I had this morning – egg whites, avocado, butternut squash, and lean ground turkey. I’m still sticking to my usual rule for macros for protein – .8-1.0 gram per lean body mass.

The part that is the HARDEST for me are the mornings when I’m up at 4:45am to teach boot camp. I still haven’t found my grove of fasting, having a small snack, or eating a full meal. I’ve tried all three and each choice leaves me equally hungry at 8am. I’ve tried just simply having tea and eating at 7am, I’ve tried eating Ezekiel bread and eggs with coffee, and I’ve tried just a shake. They all come with the same lame results – starving and tired. It’s still such a struggle for me because I’m not sleeping more than 2-3 hours at a time so literally the second I wake up I want SUGAR. Like bags and bags of cereal/bathe me in chocolate syrup type cravings. This is more proof that when you’re not sleeping, you’re not letting your body reset and get ready for the next day. One day I’ll figure out these early mornings, maybe when Emma is in high school! ☺
The purpose of this experiment from now until Hawaii is to see if macros matter more, or if really being diligent about not eating processed foods matter more. Now remember, calories are KING. I could eat 1,000 calories only of Twinkies a day and lose weight. Will I look and feel like crap? Of course I will. Overall, I’m hoping my old vacation clothes fit a little bit better, I have more energy, and I’m able to increase my carbs a bit to fuel some longer runs. While we are there, I have a goal of running 6-8 times out of the 10 days we will be gone. I don’t plan on running as punishment for what we plan to eat; I don’t live my life like that. I am going to eat some coconut shrimp on vacation, and you can bet your butt I will enjoy it. Running is going to be more of a meditation and a commitment to my long training ahead.
I think a lot of times we put food into categories or BAD or GOOD. Right now high protein is GOOD, carbs are BAD, fats are GOOD. What makes a food bad or good? The main breakdown of gaining or losing weight is a calorie surplus or calorie deficit. You could take a person and give them a serving of pasta at every meal, keep them in a calorie range lower than they need, and they would lose pounds. Am I a bad person for eating pasta? Do you hear that question? We are literally giving personalities attached to food. When you live in constant deprivation, you demonize these foods. “OH GOD, WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I EAT A SNICKERS BAR?” I’ll tell you…nothing. You’re a person. You’re a person with a metabolism, a digestive system, and the ability to make the next meal better. Sometimes you just really need a candy bar. Sometimes you are craving it for reasons other than hunger, and those reasons should be addressed, but that’s a post for another day.
My point to this is that you have to live your life. When you go on vacation, let it be that. A mental and physical break from your daily life when you can look around and not stress about what you’re eating, how much you weigh, etc. Truthfully, you’re already there. There’s nothing more you can do about your fitness level when you’re on vacation. So have a damn margarita, enjoy it, and then work your butt off in the gym when you get home. Don’t come home and regret not sharing an ice cream cone with your kid.
Here’s a look at the menu I have going for this week:
Side note – I am a terrible food photographer. Most of the time these are pictures of me dumping my food onto a plate from a container and saying to myself “Shoot! Take a picture!”
Breakfast:
2 whole eggs – I need the fat and Vitamin D for breast milk, 2 slices of Ezekiel bread or oatmeal.
Snack:
6 scrambled egg whites, 4oz of ground turkey, 1 oz. of avocado, 85 grams of roasted butternut squash. I have just recently started this combo, and let me tell you – it’s amazing!
Lunch:
100 grams of rice, 150 grams of broccoli, 5oz of chicken – How BORING, right? Not for me, I love this combo. I always feel so satisfied and full eating a serving of rice and veggies. Truthfully I probably eat WAY more broccoli than listed because – it’s broccoli. I’m not going to kill myself over it.
Pre workout:
100 grams of sweet potato, 100 grams of green beans, 3 chicken skewers (bought pre-made from Costco, all natural and so yummy!)

Post workout/Dinner:
5oz of salmon, 100 grams of asparagus, 100 grams of roasted brussel sprouts, 1 cup of berries.
If I’m still hungry before bed, I have a TBSP of PB to keep me satiated. I also pack a quart size bag of veggies (peppers, snap peas, and cucumbers) and am sure to snack on those while I’m cooking to stop myself from snacking while hungry.

Remember that carbohydrates feed the brain and muscles. If you’re keeping track of calories and serving sizes, carbohydrates are very beneficial when working out and building muscle. Fruits and vegetables also have natural sugar and carbohydrates, but with that they have vitamins and minerals as well as an abundant supply of fiber to help keep you full. Until next time! I’m off to run!

Race countdown:
Disneyland Half Marathon – 154 days
Ragnar Napa – 218 days
Dopey Challenge – 279
Princess Half Marathon – 328
Tinkerbell Half Marathon – 406

Life and training updates

I realize it’s been PAINFULLY long since I’ve posted anything, but it’s time to get back in the swing of things and start journaling my training. I have many updates, one being the most important, and that’s MR Wentworth himself, our baby Max. He has managed to come into our lives and make it so full of joy and happiness we can’t seem to remember life before him. Emma says he is her best friend, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
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Thank you, Kathleen Curto Photography!
Thank you, Kathleen Curto Photography!

My pregnancy with Max was much easier the second time in terms of staying active and eating healthy. Having a two year old running around left me little couch time so we tried to make all of our activities active ones. Fortunately I craved pretty much the same things as I did my first pregnancy – bananas, plain oatmeal, and apples. Well….and the occasional mint chip but that was mainly left for the last few weeks. I was able to keep running until about 8 months, which really helped keep me strong. I even did a 22.4 mile race with my little nugget at about 17 weeks! My friends and I completed all three races for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend in 2016 – the 5k, 10k, and half marathon over three days.

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Now I sit here, 4 months postpartum, I am registered for a long list of races and challenges this year and next. I have many strength goals I need to hit because I lost a lot of It while pregnant, which is extremely normal but it kind of sucks at the same time. I somehow find myself registered for the Dopey Challenge again, and those of you that know me will laugh because we all know how THRILLED Ryan is about that! I joke, but he is the most supportive husband and without his faith in me, I don’t think I would have the courage to do it! On top of Dopey, I have the Disneyland half challenge, the Princess half marathon weekend (all three races) 2018, the Tinkerbell half marathon weekend (all three races) 2018, and the ultimate challenge – Ragnar Napa with 11 of my friends scheduled for this November.
Could there possibly be any more or better reasons to document all of this running? Tips and mistakes that I find along the way will be passed on to you as well. My goals are to keep my body as healthy as possible to avoid any injury, and have a blast along the way!
When Max was about 4 weeks old, I started back up with some heavy lifting (heavy at the time for being 4 weeks postpartum – nothing crazy!). Twice a week, my husband and I would take a class to focus on back squats, deadlifts, overhead press, and bench press and increased the weight each day. Once I felt strong enough with this class, we added in a third day and I started very slow jogs around the park by our house.

After having Emma, I had to use the Jeff Galloway method of running where you run for an amount of time and then take a walk break. I actually improved my best times overall by running for 2 minutes and speed walking for 30 seconds. I almost never get sore joints or overly fatigued too soon. Around 4 weeks after having Max I started by running a minute and walking a minute and just trying to go slow in order to really protect my joints. After having a baby and while you are nursing, your body is so pumped full of hormones it’s really easy to injure yourself, so be careful!
Since I only have until October 3rd to submit a proof of time for the Dopey Challenge, I really have to try to up my intervals and work on speed. Right now I can do about 8 miles with my 2:1 intervals (2 minutes on, 1 minute off) but as this week rolls around I’m going to try either shortening my walk break, or running for 3 minutes instead of 2. A lot about running is trial and error so if you feel yourself not being able to keep going or if you feel too tired too soon, play around with your intervals.

With two babies being at home with me, some days going to the gym feels like packing up and leaving for a European vacation. I’ve started to do the one thing I truly hate the most – HOME WORKOUTS! I’m thrilled to say I’ve actually come up with a few that are not boring, keep me focused and make the time go by so quickly! All I used were 20 lbs free weights.
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Run around the block once – roughly 2-3 minutes
45 seconds on, 15 seconds off of:
Split lunge with a shoulder press
Bicep curl to a shoulder row
Single leg dead lift to a reverse lunge
Tricep exstentions
Goblet squats

I did 4 rounds and finished with 5 minutes of abs.

I was extra lucky that day because I also managed to squeeze in 6 miles that morning. FOAM ROLLING….LOTS AND LOTS OF FOAM ROLLING!
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Race countdown:
Disneyland half marathon weekend – 163
Ragnar Napa – 227
Dopey Challenge – 288
Princess half marathon weekend – 337
Tinkerbell half marathon weekend – 415