Round 2 – Day 5

I anticipated the withdrawals and negative physical symptoms to be much worse. So far, Edmund and I have experienced very little. We’re lucky! The only symptom Edmund has experience is longing, lol. At work, he walked past a Subway and had to cry a little inside due to the smells. For me, my restless leg syndrome has increased. This is not fun! I have always suffered from on and off again RLS; however, it’s mild and normally happens only a few nights a week. On day 3, it was so bad that I sat in the closet crying due to the constant pain, exhaustion from lack of sleep, and aggravation. Last night was much better, so I hope it will only continue to decrease as my gut heals.

I’ve been doing some research on the benefits of juicing celery. I read an article stating that restless leg syndrome is more often than not a result of an unhealthy gut. Here is a link to the article.

Celery Juice Helps Restless Leg Syndrome

Here is the part that really got my interest!

It might surprise you to learn this, but restless legs can be triggered by food moving through the colon. Sometimes people develop a little bit of gastritis because of inflammation from bacteria. As the gas bubbles are moving through the intestine they can hit inflamed areas—little pockets in the lining known as diverticulosis that could be caused by old E. coli or streptococcus. These gas bubbles traveling past can trigger restless legs because there are countless nerve endings in our intestinal tract. To better grasp this, it might be helpful to know that the intestinal tract is like a second nervous system.

This is one of the most irritating and common causes of restless legs syndrome. Gas bubbles moving through the intestinal tract irritate the nerve endings in the colon that are connected to the lower half of your body, which can trigger sensations in the legs.

If clean eating and drinking celery juice alleviate my RLS, I’m all in!

I’ve found a website that states the top five powerful benefits of celery juice. Here is a link to the article if you would like to read it!

Food Matters – 5 Powerful Healing Benefits of Celery Juice celery-juice-header.jpg

According to the article, here is a summary of the top 5 reasons.

  1. Heals the Gut – Celery contains special nutrients in its fibers which are realized when the vegetable is juiced. These nutrients promote optimal functioning of the digestive tract by acting as a natural laxative and relaxing the nerves that have been damaged by unhealthy lifestyle and food choices.
  2. Strengthens the Bones – Celery is very high in calcium and silicon which help to regenerate and strengthen damaged bones. Celery is also high in Vitamin K which plays an important role in bone metabolism and protection against osteoporosis.
  3. Purifies the Blood Stream – Celery contains a particular compound called coumarins which promotes the activity of white blood cells and assists the vascular system. This helps the blood flow, reduces blood pressure and purifies the bloodstream.
  4. Highly Detoxifying – This magical juice is extremely hydrating and alkaline, making it effective for balancing the body’s pH level and neutralizing any acidity in the body. This, in turn, helps protect healthy cells and balance essential mineral levels, lowering the risk of heart disease, protecting bone density, reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, and helping to maintain a healthy weight.
  5. Anti-Inflammatory – Two special compounds in celery, polyacetylene, and luteolin, make celery an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. Luteolin is a potent bioflavonoid that has been shown to inhibit the effects of certain enzymes which activate genes responsible for inflammatory response. A study done by the Journal of Nutrition showed that brain cells exposed to this plant flavonoid showed a massive lowered inflammatory response. Luteolin shuts down the production of a key cytokine in the inflammatory pathway by a huge 90 percent! Therefore, drinking celery juice can reduce symptoms associated with arthritis, osteoarthritis, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, gout and more.

For me, I am most attracted to the anti-inflammatory part of it. I had my first glass this morning before my coffee with unsweetened almond milk. Truth be told it tasted horrible!! But, I won’t let that deter me. Mind over matter, right? I downed it like a shot and went on with my life. If it helps me run again pain-free and sleep better, then I will do almost anything!

Last night after work, Edmund and I went for a run. Well, Edmund went for a run. I ran a half-mile and then rode the rest of the time on my bike. My knee still hurts a little and I want to slowly get back into it. Fingers crossed that between the clean eating and celery juicing, my pain will slowly disappear and I will be free to run again! After our workout, whole30-chipotle-bowlwe went for dinner at Chipotle. They now offer Whole30 approved salad bowls! I loved it!! It has lettuce, pulled pork (carnitas), onions and peppers, tomato salsa, and guacamole. I never realized how good their guacamole was! It was so nice to not have to cook and deal with the cleanup! I can tell that this will be a goto!!

So far the meals have been pretty good. I feel amazing and have a clear mind! Last night I slept better than the night before. My takeaway note for the day – guacamole is WAYYYYY better than avocado! 🙂 Happy almost weekend!

 

References

Budgen, O. (2018, 09 18). 5 Powerful Healing Benefits of Celery Juice. Retrieved from Food Matters: https://www.foodmatters.com/article/5-powerful-healing-benefits-of-celery-juice

CELERY JUICE HELPS RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME. (n.d.). Retrieved from Medical Medium; http://www.medicalmedium.com/celery-juice/celery-juice-helps-restless-leg-syndrome

 

 

Whole30 – Round 2 Day 1

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And so it begins, Day 1 of Whole30. Thirty days of saying NO to what feels like everything! I had to push our start date to Sunday instead of Saturday. Due to work issues, I didn’t have the time to properly prep so Sunday made more sense. Right now, Edmund and I are drinking our coffee with no sugar and a nutpod. Nutpods are half coconut milk and almond milk. It’s not bad. This morning we weighed ourselves and took pictures. Yesterday I cleaned out our fridge and pantry. I threw away nearly 3 large-size garbage bags of food.

Here is a picture of our pantry after I took out all non-compliant foods! Mustard. That’s it, lol.

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Here is a picture of our fridge. I put all the foods we wanted to save in a bag in the back. 20190112_120919

Here is our fridge now. #healthiestfridgeever20190112_154726

We made a trip to Whole Foods Market and spent quite a lot of money. But, it’s for our health, right? The next 30 days, I will basically live in the kitchen, lol. Here is my meal plan for the week. Since we’re having so many restrictions, I’m really going to put a lot of effort into being creative with our meals.

Sunday –

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, bacon, and white potato hashbrowns

Lunch: Applesbees with a client. I plan to order a salad with grilled chicken. We are bringing our own Tessemae salad dressing.

Dinner: Chicken cacciatore with mashed potatoes

Monday –

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, Pico de gallo, and sliced avocado

Lunch: Sunday night leftovers

Dinner: Stuffed peppers with a pesto drizzle

Tuesday –

Breakfast: Same (I’m keeping breakfast simple since we wake up so early to run)

Lunch: Monday night leftovers

Dinner: Chicken sausage with veggie hash (cabbage, green pepper, onion, carrots, kale)

Wednesday –

Breakfast: Same

Lunch: Tuesday night leftovers

Dinner: Banger sausage patties with sweet potato mash

Thursday –

Breakfast: same

Lunch: Wednesday night leftovers

Dinner: Garlic zucchini noodles with shrimp (chicken meatballs for me – I hate seafood)

Friday –

Breakfast: same

Lunch: Thursday night leftovers

Dinner: Grilled steak with a garlic rub, lemon zest asparagus, and coconut milk mashed potatoes

Hopefully, they all turn out well. I am a little nervous about our potential withdraw symptoms. The last time I did Whole30, I barely felt any so hopefully, that is the same this time. I am also hoping that my knee pain goes away. If I find out that something I am eating is causing the inflammation in my body, I will never eat it again. I just hope it’s not cheese or beer! 🙂

I am ready to feel fantastic. We have a lot of races coming up and need to be in our ultimate health. Let’s do this – I’m ready!

It’s time for a reset!

Hi there! It’s me again. I know it’s been a while, but I’m back. I suffered yet another injury to my left knee (last time was my right). When I was running the Marine Corps Marathon 10k, I barely made it to the finish line. I couldn’t walk without Edmund’s help and I was in incredible pain. It’s now been nearly 3 months since my injury and I still have pain. I miss running and I need to find a way back to it.

Back in May of 2017, I did my first Whole30 Round. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Whole30 program, it’s basically a Paleo boot camp. 🙂 Our bodies are at their ultimate point when eating foods we were biologically designed to eat. I can attest to this because I’ve been through the process. You will never feel more alive than when you remove the processed foods and non-human foods from your diet. Here are the foods you aren’t allowed to eat:

  1. Dairy – no cheese, milk, yogurt, cream, sour cream, and butter. You can have clarified butter or ghee.
  2. Alcohol – Sorry folks! This is obviously bad for your body and there are no exceptions. You aren’t even allowed to cook with it. Goodbye IPAs – I’ll miss you!
  3. Legumes – No beans of any kind. This includes soy, tofu, miso, chickpeas, peas, lentils, and peanuts. For those of you who are unaware, peanuts are a bean, not a nut. #mindblown
  4. Grains – Say farewell to rice, quinoa, wheat, sprouted grain, corn, and rye! Peace out Gluten! Fun fact: Gluten is pretty much one of the worst things you can put in your body. Your immune system sees it as a threat and is constantly fighting it.
  5. Sugar – No kind of sugar whatsoever and this includes maple syrup, honey, stevia, and agave. FYI – If you transition to Paleo after your Whole30 experience, you can introduce natural sugars like maple syrup and honey as long as it’s not processed.
  6. Carrageenan, MSG, and Sulfites – Always read your labels. These sneak into almost everything processed.
  7. Re-created foods – You cannot use complaint foods and recreate non-complaint items. For example, you cannot make banana pancakes with almond flour, bananas, etc… However, on Paleo, you are allowed to do this.

What can you eat? Whole foods! Foods that our bodies were designed to eat and thrive on. Unprocessed meats (no added sugars or preservatives), vegetables, fruits, eggs, seafood, nuts/seeds, coffee (black or with a compliant creamer), most oils, clarified butter or ghee, andddd that’s it. 🙂

Most of you are probably thinking that this sounds like absolute craziness and is beyond impossible. I promise you, it’s not. Once you get through the first 1-2 weeks, you will feel more alive than imaginable. Your mind will be clear and working at it’s best. Most people (including myself) report less or complete lack of depression and anxiety. You will have limitless energy and your mood will feel on top of the world. Your skin will glow and you will sleep like a baby! Just like the Whole30 book says, it’s just 30 days!! What do you have to lose?

I am going to utilize my blog to document my journey. I hope it inspires others to take the 30-day challenge to change your eating habits and jumpstart a healthy lifestyle. I am going to be completely honest as far as how I am feeling, my good/bad side effects, and my meal plans.

Here is a link to the Whole30 website if you would like to buy the book or research the program. I highly recommend reading the book. You will not be able to put it down!

WHOLE30

My start date is Saturday, January 12, 2019. The night before will include a farewell to IPAs and pizza! 🙂

 

 

It’s been so long – 6 month update

SmartSelect_20181024-145351_InstagramI can’t believe it’s been 6 months since I’ve last posted a blog. Life has just gotten in the way. In May of 2018, I developed bursitis of the right knee. It was extremely painful and caused me to have to stop running for 12 weeks. I had to go to physical therapy and rest. It was TORTURE! Running is my stress-reliever and my release from life. It was downright depressing. I had to stay off Instagram because all of the running posts made me jealous. I also struggled with a lot of negative emotions and self-doubt. Nevertheless, with patience, help from my awesome man, and cross training, I was able to start running again.

This weekend I am doing my first race since my injury. I am doing the 10k event at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. Words cannot express my excitement. It’s also my first time at our nation’s capital. I just pray I make it through with no pain! The weekend after that, I am running my first Ragnar in Napa Valley. I am even more nervous about that. Last minute they changed my leg distances to 6 miles further than before. If I can make it through both with no injuries, I will be incredibly happy!

Napa

I am now constantly fearful of injuring myself. I haven’t been cross training enough because of lack of time. In addition, I still get knee pain here and there. I can’t help but feel super negative sometimes. It feels like so many runners never are injured and don’t have to deal with the pain I do. I cannot see how I could ever get to the point of running a full marathon. However, these are all normal emotions. I know everyone experiences injuries at some point; it just feels like my body isn’t where it should be. One day at a time.

Cruise PicOn a positive note, life is good. I stay busy with two full-time jobs, school, running, family, and friends. I’m really lucky to have a boyfriend who loves and supports me through everything. My family is my rock and my friends are a family I’ve made. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the stress of life. I’m most certainly guilty of it. I really try to find the time to feel gratitude and take the time for myself. Running is my therapist. I wish I were running right now!! Hello FALL! 🙂

Enjoy the good moments in your life

Life is good for me right now. I can’t remember a time when I was happier. My life is full. I think it’s important to enjoy these moments in life. Because there have been times where I have felt true despair and grief. Now I am so grateful to feel such effortless happiness.

I am training for my first half-marathon. I am at the point where I can run a 10k without stopping. Each week until my half-marathon race (June), I am going to increase my mileage by 10%. I have also increased my running to 4 days a week. 3 days I pull back and run anywhere from 3 to 5 miles each day. The last day of the week, I run my long run with my 10% increase. It has been working out quite well. My pain is decreasing and so is my average heart rate. My average pace is slowly increasing; however, speed is not my main concern. I feel the best I have ever felt. Physically and mentally. Why hadn’t I found running years ago?

I need to incorporate more cross training and strength training. UGH!! Why is this so difficult for me? I DO NOT EVER want to do anything besides running. Not to mention that I have very little to no free time. I really need to force myself to. Even if it’s a bike ride and yoga once a week. It would make a world of difference.

Tomorrow my love and I are going for our normal long run in a new location. I will post pictures on IG. Sooooo looking forward to it! Happy weekend!

Running is a constant journey

Running is a journey. Every day it feels like I learn something new. At times, it’s also an emotional rollercoaster.  Some days I feel fantastic and run 4.5 miles with ease and other days I struggle through the first mile. I notice that the healthier I live my life, the easier it is to run. My body feels less heavy and filled with more endurance.

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I am training for my first 8k in a few weeks and am excited about it! Having a race on the horizon keeps my training on point. After that, at the end of March, I am doing my first 10k. I want to keep going and going. September I have a Ragnar planned and I want to within the next few months do my first half-marathon. However, I have to keep telling myself, one day at a time. I have an obsessive, OCD planning side to my personality. My brain never stops.

When is the best time to run? Morning, afternoon, or evenings? I go back and forth. I enjoy a good morning run because the weather is cooler and it gives me energy throughout the day. It’s hard to find the motivation though. Sleep for another hour or get up and go run? Quite often, sleep wins. Today I went for a morning run since I had to work late last night. It was serene and peaceful. I feel fantastic right now. I also love evening runs. After a day of being stressed out from work, I crave that running release. Although it can be hard to find the time after a busy day. Afternoon runs are great but the weather can be hotter and since I work, it only works for me on the weekends.

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Where is the best place to run? The gym or outdoors? I like running at the gym because I have strength training and stretching options available. I like running outdoors because it’s just more fun. I do both. However, if I were to choose my favorite, it would be outdoors.

Finding the time to run can be difficult as well. I work a full-time job, volunteer part-time for another, take classes at the local college, and try to fit in a social life. It can be hard to manage. Nevertheless, that’s life, right? Above everything, it’s important to find the time for yourself. Be good to your body. Running is beneficial in so many ways. It’s good for your soul.

All I know is one thing, I will never stop running. The natural high received is better than anything I have ever experienced. I can’t wait to see my progress. I am curious to see where I will be a year from now. Maybe running marathons? We shall see.

 

ONE DAY AT A TIME

It’s amazing how depressing it is to have an injury. It has taken me quite some time to get back to my normal training schedule. There were days when I felt like I would never get back to where I was. I just kept telling myself, one day at a time. I slowly started running a half mile, full mile, and then two miles. I am at the point now where I am running a 5k every other day. My goal is to be able to run a full 8k by the end of February for an upcoming race. I feel like that’s a realistic goal. With slow training, cross training, and stretching/yoga, I should reach that goal with no further acquired injuries.

I have surprisingly become addicted to treadmill running. I think it’s because of the lesser impact on my body. However, I really do miss the scenery. It’s just more convenient to run at the gym. I have cross training and a stretching room available for immediate use after my run. This weekend I am going to run somewhere beautiful. Maybe somewhere new. I am very much so looking forward to it. Living in the Tampa Bay area provides the perfect backdrop for a run. The ocean is so calming and yet magnificent. I don’t think I could ever become jaded enough to not appreciate the beauty of where I live. Although truth be told, I am ready to live and run in the mountains!  I want actual seasons!

Since starting this blog, I have actually inspired quite a few people to run. This makes me happy. This is the main reason for creating this site. I want others to find the peace I have found from running. I want others to love their body and within doing so love themselves. Surround yourself with people who are like-minded and uplift rather than drag you down. You only have one life. Live it to the fullest. RUN! Trust me, once you get past the initial endurance building, you will be addicted! If you are looking for an accountability partner, reach out to me. Having someone who supports and understands your process makes it a whole lot more fun of a journey.

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My first injury

Running is absolutely addicting! I was getting to the point where I was running almost every day. I couldn’t get enough. The natural high I receive during and after a run is indescribable. Admittedly, I wasn’t doing any cross training or stretching. Big mistake. I was running one evening after work a couple of weeks ago and hurt my groin muscle. I was barely able to get back to my car. I gave myself a week or so off to allow my body some rest and to heal. Slowly, I have been running again. I feel like I am finally back to my old self! I have been forcing myself to run every other day only. In between, I am doing Zumba and bike riding. I also do a 30-minute runner’s yoga YouTube video after every run. I really have noticed a difference. Today I ran 2 miles with no pain!!

At this point, my biggest challenge is weight lifting. I have no desire to lift weights. I find it to be super boring and quite honestly intimidating. Until I decide on a gym to join, I will utilize Yoga for strength training. There is so much to learn about running and fitness in general. I am so looking forward to experiencing my running journey. It’s hard to believe that I used to hate it!

Running heals the mind

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I have struggled with anxiety my entire life. It’s something that I have learned to live with. I notice such a drastic improvement when I live a healthy lifestyle. The anxiety nearly disappears. I am a firm believer that how you treat your body directly impacts your mind. Running has freed me from this life-altering restraint. I love to put on good music and run next to the bay. All of the stress from the day melts away. For that brief amount of time, you don’t think about anything. I crave that momentary release.

 

Random thought of self-reflection

I change my mind a lot and I am stubborn. My amazing mother would tell you, I also like to learn everything the hard way. Side note: this is why I don’t have any tattoos and should keep it that way. Some days I want to run 365 days straight. Then some days I want to just focus on increasing my distance. Some days increased speed is more my goal. UGH. Why can’t I just focus on one thing? Running is such a process. It’s hard! But, the feeling I receive when I am finished is absolutely priceless! It’s a high I have never experienced! So, one thing I have learned is to take it day by day. Just always keep running! Keep seeking the high!