Fueling for Fitness

This morning I woke up and was not feeling my impending tempo run. I had a 10 mile tempo on the plan for today and the grey, gloomy day was not helping my motivation. Any mileage over an hour I know I will need some extra carbohydrates in the morning. I woke up and threw two pieces of toast in the toaster. Topped with peanut butter and jelly because when would I ever eat anything else? This gave me about 45-60 grams of carbohydrates for my run which was perfect because I noticed the "wall" around 9.5 miles.

(gloomy...gloomy...gloomy)

My 10 mile tempo was attempted on the waterfront and I made it 4 miles out before being forced to turn around because of the ice and snow. It was throwing off my tempo times.

Tempo 1: 8:00

Tempo 2: 8:31 (see the picture below for what I was running through)

Tempo 3: 8:04

Tempo 4: 7:39

Tempo 5: 7:39

(this isn't even the worst of it)

The carbohydrates from breakfast got me through the run and when I got home I had some milk and a clementine. My body was so tired walking up the hill to class, but I was so happy to get there and finally be able to eat my lunch. I had leftover gnocchi, sautéed mushrooms and eggplant, and turkey sausage. It's such a keeper throw-together meal.

With long or hard runs I pay very close attention to the pre- and pots- workout fuel. Beforehand I always eat peanut butter and jelly toast, one or two slices depending on the mileage. Anything over an hour (~6 miles) I will have two slices for the added carbohydrates. After  I try to have chocolate milk or regular white milk with some fruit. The rest of the day I tend to eat pretty normally with an extra snack here or there (tonight included a few handfuls of pretzels with my wine). A few glasses of wine happened because I am in quite a funk lately. The sun needs to come out and stay out and melt all of this snow. Some days you just need to sip some wine and text your sister who is also your best friend. Missing my favorite winos: my mom and sister.

Today's dinner was a classic that I made last week and cannot get enough of. Quinoa + roasted vegetables + legumes + Trader Joe's Goddess dressing. The roasted veggies featured tonight were brussels sprouts, peppers and onions. A great balance and I love brussels sprouts.

I've been sipping the aforementioned wine while cooking banana bread for a breakfast date tomorrow and watching Gilmore Girls. Stay tuned for the review of the banana bread!

The Golden Weekend

I was once told that in the healthcare industry having the entire weekend off is called a Golden Weekend. This weekend has only just begun but I can already tell you that I love weekends off, although I do spend a lot more. I have been looking forward to this weekend for a few weeks now, ever since I found out about Boyden Valley's Maple Fest. It was like Christmas this morning because I was so excited. I got dressed to go for a quick run and walked outside and came right back in...nope not a good morning to run outside. There is a thick layer of slush on the ground which had become pretty icy too.

Molly and I met up around 11:30am and started the drive to Cambridge. Once we got to the winery all of the great memories came flooding back. We ran into Colleen right when we got there! I love running into people I know at great events that support locally owned businesses. Molly and I started our day with some BBQ from the Smokin' Butts BBQ food truck.  I got the pulled pork sandwich and added some maple and spicy maple BBQ sauce. It was so delicious! It also came with a coupon for 1/2 off a cider of your choice. Molly and I both went with the honey cider. I tried the bourbon barrel aged cider last year and loved that one as well.

After sitting down for lunch in the upstairs dining "hall" with its beautiful wooden beams, we headed over to the free maple tasting. We tried the maple creme liquor, the apple creme liquor, the maple reserve wine, a maple dessert wine, and their bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. I loved their maple syrup. It's so so so flavorful and a great thick consistency.

Next up we did the cocktail tasting. We had the pleasure of trying four different cocktails. A maple martini, a manhattan, a moscow mule, and a coffee flavored cocktail. The moscow mule was my absolute favorite. I love anything with ginger.

We then split a wine tasting. Molly tried quite a few that she had been wanting to try and I tasted the blueberry again (I love blueberries), a black currant dessert wine, and a black currant based cider. The wine tasting came with a maple cupcake which Molly and I split. It was so rich in maple flavor, which was fantastic. We then ate some pretzels that I had brought rather than buying some sides from the BBQ food truck (i.e. maple carrots and cornbread).

Once we got home I headed to the gym to run 5 miles while watching Grey's Anatomy. Mentally this was challenging, but my legs felt great. I ended the night watching The Finest Hours which was filmed in the town next to mine and was so fun to recognize places!

________

Sunday I woke up at the ripe hour of 5:45 to fuel for my long run with Rebecca. Two slices of PB&J toast later and I was on the road for my run! It was a gorgeous morning and although it started out cold, there was no wind and lots of sunshine! I love these runs with Rebecca! I had negative splits almost the whole time too so that made me happy (stay tuned for a recap).

17 miles later and I ended at Switchback where I quickly ate a banana, chugged some chocolate milk and changed into yoga clothes. The brewery was a very chilly (although I was also sweaty), but the yoga class was great! It's exciting when you find an instructor who you really like and would love to continue to go back to. Marta (my neighbor) and I loved the class. At the end we enjoyed a flight of Switchback beers and I tried their new smokey beer which was great in addition to their IPA, brown ale and another ale. I decided to try the three seasonal beers because they aren't always there and the IPA I just really enjoy.

By then Marta and I were getting hungry so we went home to change before walking downtown. We tried Penny Cluse because breakfast food is always a good idea, but there was a long wait so we ended up at American Flatbread. I ordered a Conehead to start and Marta got a Bloody Mary. For our pizza we did half of the maple fennel sausage (hello, it's maple weekend) and half eggs benedict. Let me just tell you that their brunch breads are amazing. It was great to finally have time to hang out and catch up with Marta.

A few full days left me ready for a nap and I happily obliged. Now it's time for me to snuggle up and do some homework before going to bed (probably around 8:30pm...)

I also need to find some recipes that include maple syrup. Let me know if you know of any!

What I Ate Wednesday: Long Run

These are all my eats (and adventures) on the day of a long run. I woke up early to get some coffee and fuel before my run. Typical toast with peanut butter and jelly and a banana with more peanut butter. Double cup of coffee on the side. Enjoyed in my polka dot bathrobe.

My schedule called for an 8 mile easy run today. Rebecca and I met up at 7:30 and spent the next hour and a half chatting about this, that, and everything. I love our runs! Luckily it was slow today because the sidewalks weren't in the best shape. I guess that's winter in Vermont for ya. I'm just not used to it because we haven't had this much snow in a while (aka years).

After my run I came home to have a quick snack. I was hungry! I had an apple and a glass of chocolate milk. Let me tell you chocolate milk after a run tastes A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. You get carbs, protein, fluid, and sodium all in one. Talk about a perfect post-run food. Or just a perfect food.

Then I went cross country skiing for the first time in two years (in Vermont)! I went a few weeks back with my sister in New Hampshire, but I struggled with sticky snow then. Today was so perfect. Shining sun, not too cold, and great company. We haven't had much time to catch up so it was great. So glad Colleen had the day off today even if it was a quick trip! We spent an hour on the trails before going to get bagels.

Let's talk bagels. This week I went to the right place to use my coupon and was not disappointed. Colleen told me to try the Vermont Country bagel which is sesame, poppy, flax, salt, and fennel. The fennel added such a delicious, subtle flavor! I got plain cream cheese and some peanut butter on the side (try the combo). Sometimes I worry about the amount of peanut butter that I eat...but then I remember how delicious it is. I also needed some protein and since a bagel with cream cheese was free, just opted for some extra nut buttah. I'll be dreaming about this bagel for a while now...

I came home and showered for the longest time because I was so cold from running and then skiing. But it was all so worth it.

After showering I took up a spot on the futon because I was tiredA Could actually have used a nap, but instead found myself on Instagram (guilty pleasure) and then watching Chicago Med (another guilty pleasure). I snacked on some carrots as my hunger kicked in.

A few hours later I was hungry again (just go with it Megan) so I tried one of my granola bars, which had MORE peanut butter. I was going to have some soup and then thought of a yogurt, but I really wanted to try a granola bar. So I listened to my cravings and had one. I followed the recipe that Erin recently posted for Trail Mix Peanut Butter Granola Bars. I used steel cut oats, rolled oats, and wheat bran for the dry ingredients and maple syrup, mixed nut butter, and peanut butter for the sticky ingredients. Unfortunately I didn't pay close enough attention to realize these were "no bake" and when I didn't have coconut oil I subbed canola oil...which turned out to be too "liquidy" to hold the bars together. So I added a big scoop of peanut butter (probably 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons more)...more staying power! For my mix-ins I used raisins and chopped chocolate from my freezer. They certainly aren't as pretty as the ones Erin made, but it's a work in progress and they taste delicious so that helps. Now I have muffins, energy balls (still loving) and granola bars for snacks this week...Not to mention that I have been trying to have more yogurt for snacks...good thing I am always hungry because I am overflowing in snacks.

And now I am hungry AGAIN and thinking of what to have for my third...or fourth snack of the day. Listening to my hungry and not feeling guilty about it. Having some yogurt and feeling much better!

Originally my plans had been to be a complete bum all day before having to work this weekend. But lucky for me, Christine texted me. I couldn't help but get excited when she asked "What are you doing tonight???" Good thing she knows the way to my heart and was not suggested a wild night, but actually a girls night in. Just. What. I. Needed/Wanted.

I got to her house around 6:30pm. We had been tossing dinner ideas back and forth including whether to order in or cook. We decided it could be fun to cook and found a take out recipe that we could cook ourselves. Last week I saw these egg roll bowls while reading The Real Life RD's blog and I had been waiting for an excuse to try it! Although I hate cutting cabbage...it just multiplies...

Cooking with friends (in a big kitchen!) is one of my favorite things. Especially when you can gossip and drink wine in your sweats while doing it. I brought over a bottle of Apothic Crush that Christine fell in love with. I love all Apothic flavors, but Apothic Red will always have my heart. Christine had some other wine that was quite tasty! Any wine that calls the flavor "jammy" I have to try. I love jam...

Getting back to dinner. I bought some peanuts, scallions, and sesame oil this week at Shaws to inspire more ethnic dishes and let me tell you I am SO glad I did. The peanuts made the dish and I forgot how much I love peanuts, it's no wonder I love nut butter. Also, tip: look for sesame oil in the international section. By the olive oil the price is nearly double! Crazy, I know.

Christine and I were gushing over this dish. So much so that we both wanted more and nearly cried of happiness when we saw that it serves two. Thinking critically, the dish is almost all vegetables except for the meat. So we polished off this wok of egg roll goodness. With wine of course.

I'm being completely honest here with my eats and saying that even though I was stuffed, I did have chocolate. I brought over the Valentine's day heart that I bought myself and we tried a few of the flavors. Roman nougat is so weird...legitimately looks like bubble gum on the inside. And fruit and nut caramel is so dang chewy I nearly choked on it. Christine refused to try the orange cream. Seriously, who likes orange cream? I also had two homemade Reese's because...do I need a reason? So delicious.

We ended up just talking for hours and lounging on her extremely comfy couch. Next time maybe we will watch a movie...if we don't just end up talking again! Love friendships that are this easy :)

On my drive home I was stuffed and found myself craving all the fruit and vegetables on Saturday. Our bodies are amazing aren't they?!

Treat Yourself

Public Notice: Valentine's Day candy is on sale! GO... GET... IT!

(I actually traded those two boxes for a big heart box of assorted chocolates soon after...)

I really wanted a heart of assorted chocolates. So I went out and bought myself one (begrudgingly because I wanted someone to buy it for me...oh well). And I did end up buying the wine that was in the same aisle because YOLO (for my mom, that means "you only live once"). It happened to be my favorite wine so I thought it was a sign. It was. Fate was calling me. Fate knows I like wine.

napa-mm2

(Take me back to my happy place...Napa)

I'm writing this to show that even as a future RD I still occasionally have disordered thoughts about eating. In high school and the first year of college I struggled a lot with disordered eating. I won't get into the details, but it wasn't easy and sometimes...actually more often than I like to admit...the thoughts come flooding back in. For example, today I did a lot of things that made me feel like I shouldn't go buy wine and chocolate (and then drink and eat said goods) even though I wanted to.

  1. I put off my run all day...and then decided it should be a rest day because I was just tired and the sidewalks were not looking good.
  2. I had chocolate for a snack today (usually I save chocolate for an evening snack).

  1. I have been very indulgent lately eating lots of cheese, chocolate, etc. and just eating more (hello, Megan, you are training for a marathon!)
  2. I have been a complete couch potato today (as you should since class was canceled...)

Why is it that these actions make me feel like I shouldn't have what my body (and mind!) really wants? Society. I am made to feel like I should restrict myself because diet culture preaches restriction. I am made to feel like I should alter my actions to reflect what I "should" do (whatever that means...) because society breeds comparison.

I struggle with comparison a lot because I am a twin. Imagine having someone who looks like you, but isn't you. It's impossible to not feel constantly judged. If others aren't comparing you to each other, you are comparing yourself. My parents always asked why my sister and I are so type-A and need to get straight As and be the best because they did not make us feel that way or foster that type of environment. The only explanation I have is being twins. We are set up to be competitive and to compare ourselves. Unfortunately I struggle with this more so I am usually the one comparing myself to Julie.

reunion-twins

In my mind she is taller (well this is true), she runs farther and faster (she also loves running way more than I do). She has a job, a boyfriend, and a dog. She has money and travels to exotic places. It's easy to get caught up and feel as if I am not enough. But I am just in a different chapter. I'm in graduate school. I'm still writing my future.

I "should" myself way too much. I feel that I should eat more fruit and vegetables. I feel that I should eat less chocolate (not possible as I sit here eating chocolate...). I feel that I should drink less wine (nope also drinking a glass right now). I feel that I should workout more. Blah blah blah. It never seems to end. But luckily I can filter these thoughts on good days. Other days I need a reality check and luckily my friends provide that.

We are all good enough. There is no perfect person. There is no equation of perfect actions. Be you. Be great. Be funny. Be smart. Be unique. Be you, whatever that means!

So even though I struggled with feelings of guilt today, I went out and I bought myself a discounted heart of assorted chocolates. I also bought myself that bottle of wine. Maybe I wasn't physiologically hungry, but emotionally I wanted the wine and chocolate. I wanted to treat myself. And even though I have been a bit more indulgent lately, I deserve to treat myself. It's not always chocolate and wine. Sometimes it's a new workout headband from Skida or a pink running watch(talking from recent purchases). Soon it will definitely be a new tea flavor from David's Tea.

Whatever it is, stop the "shoulds" and stop the guilt. Personally I know it's easier said than done, but it's a process. Intuitive eating is a process. Normal eating, especially after a period of disordered eating, is a process. Life is a process. Ask for help if you need it. Talk to friends. Talk to a professional. Journal. Whatever helps you.

You've got this. Don't beat yourself up. The world tries to do that enough. Be you. Love you. Because other people do too.

For me, I'm going to be aware of these emotions and let them float on by because I am happiest when I am content with myself. If the thoughts linger, I will journal or write here. I will also talk to my friends and ask for help. I also acknowledge that February is one gloomy, hard month and I deserve some slack...and extra vitamin D.

I'm off to bed without judgement. Tomorrow is a new day.