Wednesday, May 30, 2012

35th Birthday Surprise!

This past weekend was simply amazing. My dear husband surprised me with a weekend getaway to a lovely country resort in Hampshire for my birthday. He gave me 4 cards, each marked, one of four, two of four etc...They gave me hints as to where we were going with the fourth card revealing the big plans!

The whole weekend was like an English fairytale! I would love to say that I got up early every morning and ran and that I ate so healthy but the truth is that we slept in, I relaxed by the pool, had tea with scones, indulged in spa treatments and I truly felt as if I was transported into a Jane Austin novel. It was beautiful. Normally our vacations are go go go! But this one was so relaxing. It felt strange at times, as if I was just laying there doing nothing! I have to say I loved it!! :)

We spent most of our at the resort but we did go into London for a day to show Kayla a few of our favorite places and to eat Indian food of course! It was funny. We were so excited about going to our favorite Sri Lankan restaurant but we did not realize that they were CLOSED on Mondays! What? We came all the way from Norway just to eat there.....not really but it makes for a good story :) We ended up eating at a lovely Indian restaurant called Mela. It was great but we cannot wait to go back in December and visit our Sir Lankan restaurant, it is truly the BEST!!

While at the resort, my precious girl enjoyed the resort grounds and for some reasons the chickens were a big hit!! They had horseback riding, cycling and other activities but for Kayla, it was the chickens that made her day! I think one of my favorite memories was swimming with Kayla. It was her first time to wear the floaties!! She was spinning around and having a blast! I will never forget holding her in the water and seeing the look on her face as she was discovering new things and ways to swim in the water! What a fantastic birthday gift this was for me to see my little girl having such a great time.

For me, it was the spa which is divine!! One day my husband and I went for a walk out to the lake and as we were approaching there stood two waiters from the resort along with a picnic basket with flowers laid out for us. My husband told me he has arranged a private picnic for my birthday but it was not exactly as planned. It seems that his original plan was for me to go running, then come across the picnic out on the trails along with a red ribbon stretched across as a finish line. You see, I was set to run the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday which was my birthday but  as many of you know due to my knee/calf injury, I had to pull out of the race. My husband wanted to give me a "finish line" with my baby girl and him standing there waiting for me. As much as my husband planned the perfect picnic, he left the 4 meters of red ribbon at the house and therefore had to change the plans!! So instead he had the hotel place the picnic near the lake.....which was so lovely! I cried so hard when he was telling me what he had planned. It was the thought that made my heart melt. The fact that he thought of giving me the finish line on my birthday was just so sweet. It showed me once again his beautiful heart. He said in the end, it was a blessing that in the rush of packing for the trip he forgot the ribbon he had hidden from me as the day became not about the race that I did not run but about the celebration of what I had accomplished. I cannot tell you how special it was. I will never forget my 35th birthday. From the cake the hotel had for me upon arrival to the drivers that my husband set up to take us around, every detail was so special to me. I felt like a princess and so very loved. Here are a few memories of our trip. I will post more later on....

51 days to go...A new challenge is here!

A new month is approaching and I have big goals for this summer!! Before my most recent trip, I was logging my daily results on Spark and it helped me a great deal. So now, for the month of June and most of July, I am setting a new challenge! I find the simple, straight forward challenges to be the best and the ones that I can follow through.

In 51 days we leave for our cruise and I really want to work hard to reach a few goals before then. They are the following......

1. Lose 5 lbs
2. Complete 200 miles of walking, biking and running
3. Complete 2,000 military pushups
4. Log foods daily

That is about as simple as it gets. Normally, that would not be much of a challenge but for me as of late I find it easy to get side tracked so in many ways this is a huge deal for me.

Day 1 of 51 begins NOW!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Earth to Jen....

Correct me if I am wrong but I am in the middle of another challenge right? Ok, just making sure as I have been the worst over the past few days. I have not gone off the deep not worry. I had a couple of lattes made with light milk, I had peanut butter and I ate enough watermelon, honeydew, cherries and mango to last a lifetime. So no, I was not stuffing my face with bad food, I just failed to log and get in my greens as I wanted. changes today. I HAVE to get back on track. This level of laziness with my diet has to stop.

For today my foods have been.....a Vega shake with spinach, some orange and strawberries, and a few bites of my husbands oatmeal. Lunch will be most likely some grilled fish and veggies and dinner will be leftovers...not wanting to mess up the kitchen :)

For my fitness, I NEED to get my PT exercises in today as the back of my knee has not been a happy camper since the hike on Friday. I think I may have pushed it too much, but I think with a bit of TLC it will be ok.

Time to reset and refocus.....

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 2 Results and the plan for my next 10 day challenge! Eat to Live!! Who is with me?!?!

Day 2 was another success. Everything is going well and I am happy to say that today is the FINAL day of my challenge. Tomorrow, I start another :)

It was a short 3 days and I learned a great deal.  My husband was impressed with the raw soup I made the first day and I found it to be relatively easy. The blending was a great way to maximize my nutrition and get in all the vitamins body needs. Now, having said all of this........I MISS MY GRAINS!!! The good thing about this challenge is that it forced me to lean on veggies instead of brown rice or oats for my source of energy and fuel. This was a very good thing. The key is now to find balance. I think the Eat to Live program is a fantastic example of a good mix of nutrient dense foods that at the same time allows me to eat the foods I love.

Before going into what my next challenge will be, here is a look at Day 2......

Breakfast - Vega one shake with kefir, strawberries, activated barley, banana, bee pollen, brewers yeast, GOL fiber blend, spinach and chia seeds. Veggies and fruit to eat - green bell pepper, apple and grapefruit.

Snack - Chia seeds soaked with flaxseeds mixed with fruit, almonds and kefir

Lunch - the second half of the morning shake

Mid day - Juice blend - Bok choy, celery, cucumber, parsley and ginger

Dinner - more of the flax blend from my snack along with another Vega one shake with veggies is my last day of this challenge and I will post the pics and details of my day later on but for now I wanted to lay out my plan for the next 10 days.

The challenge will begin May 17th and continue to May 27th....which just happens to be my birthday :)

10 day birthday challenge -

1. Start off each morning in prayer and studying God's word.  The only answers for this life are found through drawing closer to the Lord. They are not found in a magic pill, they are not found by a reaching  number on the scale, they are found through seeking God's plan for your life. I am learning this and I hope to grow closer to God through this challenge as I seek HIS will for my life.

2. Follow the Eat to Live guidelines for veggies and fruits, fish, grains, eggs, oils etc.

3. Limit bread to the Health Starts Here oils etc...and only 2 pieces a day MAX
4. Complete 100 miles of walking, running and cycling over the 10 day challenge.
5. Continue the pushup challenge I am currently on ( totals of 1,300 as of this morning)
6. NO honey or agave during the challenge. Only stevia
7. Log calories on the challenge via Spark
8. Drink at least 3 L of water a day
9. Continue TRX training and PT exercises - 3 times a week
10. VM green and earth daily

This challenge should be pretty easy for me as this is what I have been doing for some time now. HOWEVER.......I have been adding in honey and raw organic cane sugar to my foods, eating more grains than needed, I have been drinking organic skim milk, and I have not been strict with my VM green as I once was. I also have failed BIG TIME on logging my foods. I NEED to set aside some time every night before bed, or during Kayla's nap time to really make sure I am logging my calories. Just because you are eating healthy DOES NOT mean you are not eating too many calories!!! Remember, I have been in therapy for my running injury and I have not been putting in the miles I used to so I DO NOT need the fuel I once needed. Trust me, your weight can go up even with greens and the best diet IF you caloric intake is more than your burn each day.

I think when you lose weight and are maintaining weight loss you can get sloppy and lazy to a point. There is not that burning passion for weight loss that you once had as it is not really needed. BUT......if left unchecked, the weight can come back on and I am NOT going to let myself get comfortable as I have worked TOO hard for TOO long. Just because people are thin, or have reached normal weight does not mean you can eat anything and think you will stay the same. It takes a daily effort to ensure you are eating the best foods possible not only for a healthy weight that can last a lifetime but for longevity!!! What if you did not gain a single pound and yet you filled your days eating DIET food that was not feeding your cells the nutrition they crave?

Ask yourself this.....What is on your plate that will help you fight off cancer? What is on your plate that will help guard your mind from aging and what will keep your heart strong? This is what I am looking for. Not a tea that will make the scale go down or make my belly look flat. Not a fad diet that will make my clothes fit better and will give me the illusion I am losing weight when in fact I am only starving my  cells instead of nourishing them through proper nutrition.

No one ever said that this journey was going to end the morning the magic goal number showed up on the scale. The journey does not end.......ever....IF we are smart and we realize that the journey IS the reward!!!! What we learn from the challenges, the hard days where we feel like giving up. This is where we go from just someone on a diet to someone who is transforming from the inside out.

Just as this day will only pass us by once...this opportunity to truly nourish and restore our bodies will pass us by if we do not take a hold and really work on making the most of our health. Itt starts with what we EAT and how much we MOVE!!! Let's work on moving in the right direction....for a lifetime!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day One...

Fantastic day!!


Workout was 3.2 mile walk on the tread, followed by 10 miles of spinning on the bike and a short ST session.

My foods were amazing!

Morning Meal 1 - Apple and Banana mixed with milled flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds with Organic Kefir.

Morning Meal 2 - Vega One protein powder mixed with frozen berries, cucumber, spinach, bee pollen, activated barley, brewers yeast, kefir, lettuce and flaxseeds

VM green and earth

Post workout - Apple, Carrots, Banana and Almonds

Dinner - Raw Veggie soup - Boy Choy blended with parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, spices, lemon, spinach, onion, garlic, broccoli, cucumber, carrots and then topped with raw mushrooms, avocado and onion with hot pepper!!

Evening shake - Boh Choy, cucumber, spinach, strawberries, Vega one, brewers yeast, activated barley, broccoli and kefir

Dessert - Chia pudding!! Chia seeds mixed with water then flax, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, orange, banana, apple and almonds added in along with stevia.

AMAZING DAY ONE!! I feel on top of the world.......

My 3 day challenge.....

My 7 day mini challenge is over and I did very well. I did fail to blog daily as I wanted but I will try and do better for this next challenge :)

My measurements are holding steady for the most part which I guess is ok but I wish they would go down! My arms and calfs have gone up slightly but I think that is due to my ST and hill work I began when moving to Norway. My waist goes up and down....normal for me. But it has not increased above the normal 1/2 inch up and down.

This next challenge is a SUPER short one. It is only 3 days. I will pick up another one on the 17th which will be for 10 days. But for now we are just going to focus on the next 3 days.

Here is my challenge. Now, keep in mind I am recovering from all the knee/calf stuff I have been battling so my fitness is DOWN big time from my normal routine. So I can eat fewer calories than when I was running all the time.  Just know that over the next 3 days I will not be heading out for a long 13 mile run while trying to maintain the challenge.....that would be crazy.

Here are my goals for this challenge.....

1. Daily VM Green and Earth....I always write this but for those wondering what this is, it is a greens product called Vitamineral Green from the company HealthForce Nutritionals and the second product is called Earth. More info can be found on their website.........

2. Eat ONLY fruits and veggies for the next 3 days.  NO bread, beans, cooked grains....just good fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. Obviously no meats of any kind. Miso and other seaweeds can be added in for a veggie soup blend with veggies but nothing else, rice etc...Frozen fruits and veggies are ok but added only with nuts and seeds.

3. Consume at least 3 green smoothies a day full of fruits and veggies along with these additives that I am allowing.......

Organic Kefir
Organic skim, almond and oat milk
Bee Pollen
Sun Warrior's Activated Barley
Brewers Yeast
Maca root power from HealthForce
Greens Plus
Chia seeds
Milled Flax, Pumpkin seeds and Sunflower seed blend
Flaxseed oil
GOL super seed blend
Vega one protein powder - a Vegan, gluten free and soy free protein powder
Vega smoothie infusion protein powder - a greens mix to add to your shakes
GOL Raw Meal - a Vegan, Gluten free protein power and meal replacement

4.  Aim for at least 60 mins of walking each day. I finally got a treadmill here so I can walk when it is raining outside.......which is often :) I will have to take a pic of my new gym here. It is really helpful because when it is cold outside I can still get a run in and I do not have to take Kayla outside in the Bob and I can run while she naps. Another plus is that I can use the treadmill for flat runs and speed work which is a challenge outside due to where we live.....on top of a large hill.

5. Aim for at least 30 miles of cycling at intervals between ST sets and my walking...this is part of my knee therapy.

6. Work on my yoga and my PT exercises for my hip and hamstrings on the TRX

7. Really focus on tracking my water aiming for at least 3 liters of water

8. Consume my green and Oolong tea.........and a bit of coffee and black tea so that I do not go crazy.......see, I am human :)

9. Document shakes and snacks with photos via FB to increase accountability.

10.  No honey or other natural sweeteners other than stevia.

I have NEVER and I repeat NEVER done a challenge like this!!! I have juiced and blended before but I have always consumed oats or brown rice and beans to go along with it.

I am excited and a bit nervous as well. The reason for doing a challenge is to take yourself to a place where you have never been. To step out of your comfort zone and learn new things, I am hoping to increase my knowledge of my overall nutrition and well being while on this challenge! I look forward to giving a good report and the end of this day! Wish me luck......Day one here we go!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Day 2....

Yesterday I did well although I did not get my VM green in..will be sure and do that today! 

Foods for today so far.....

Protein shake with Vega one, bee pollen, brewers yeast, cucumber, celery, apple, fennel, strawberries, spinach and GOL super seed blend. 

1/2 apple and natural PB 

Salad with beans, celery, red bell pepper, spinach, red onion, avocado, lime and seasonings. 

1 large grapefruit and tea...then more tea...and more tea ;) 

handful of grapes and raw fennel 

raw cucumber.....about 1 cup 

Have a super blessed day

Monday, May 07, 2012

May 7th Mini Challenge...

A very simple, back to basics plan for this week.

For the next 7 days....

1. Log and track foods, water and fitness. Something that I have not done in forever.
2. Juice or blend daily.
3. Take my VM Green and Earth Daily
4. Strive for 5 servings of raw veggies :)
5. Drink 5 cups of Green or Oolong tea daily

5/7 - Breakfast  - Oats and flaxseeds
Lunch - 1/2 avocado on carrot flax bread (no oil or sugar...similar to HSH breads from Whole Foods) with a salad...beans, bell pepper and salmon over lettuce with a homemade dressing.....tahini, lemon juice, hot sauce, hummus, Dijon mustard, ACV, raw cashew butter and spices along with Black tea
Snack - berries....strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries with Green tea and lemon

Will post the final results of today later on....