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Flowers of the Week:

A purple spider mum flanked by white mums!

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In this episode of “SparkleTV”:

1. Nutritionist appointment

2. Half-Marathon Training

3. Exciting news!

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I had my second appointment with my new nutritionist this morning. My goals for last week were to swap out some of my soy milk consumption for something else, and I succeeded doing that with almond milk.

We talked a lot about meals and snacks and hunger and fullness. My “experiment” for this week (to be taken with a grain of salt) is to “eat as little as possible” at lunch, but still end up full. My lunches have been including lots of fruits and veggies, and while that’s great, I have been getting super full afterward, but forcing myself to finish because I was scared that I would get hungry immediately afterward. We decided I will have a fruit OR a vegetable serving with each meal and fit in what I am cutting out from meals during snacks.

It worked well today. Instead of having a Gardenburger-hummus wrap with carrots and almond butter AND a cup of melon, I just had the carrots and almond butter – and get this: I was full after the meal and I stayed full for three hours. When I got hungry again, then I had a piece of fruit, right before my run. I will update you all on the continued experimentation ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Today I went for a 3.5 mile run at about a 10:00 min/mile pace. It was very hard to force myself to get out the door and get running, but once I was, it was no problem and turned out to be a pretty good run.

I have a 35 minute tempo run tomorrow which I am ready and excited for. My plan is to go out with a plan to break the tempo run in two segments of 17:30 and take a small break in between, but if I feel good, to keep going.

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I haven’t been blogging as much because I’ve been “blogging behind the scenes”! Expect a brand new look within the next week!

Good night!

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Monday

3.5 mile run (10:00 pace)

My knees were hurting from my long run the day before, so I ran on trails in the park. I felt good after pushing through the first mile and was able to put on some bursts of speed. I could feel some minor pain in my knees, but didn’t think much of it.

However, that night my knees were really hurting. I had to limp up and down stairs. I had speedwork scheduled for Tuesday and struggled with whether or not to take an extra rest day.

Tuesday

90 minutes of Anasura yoga

I made the decision to take the day off. It was a hard decision to make, but it was definitely for the best. My knees started feeling better today, but I took it easy with running. I did do some extremely difficult yoga that including lots of flexibility and core work. Looking back, I’m glad I did this – the yoga work included lots of strengthening and was a much better use of my time than running, which could have possibly turned my slight knee pain into an actual injury.

Wednesday

3 miles on elliptical

It was pouring rain all day, so I decided to take my scheduled easy 3 mile run to the gym and did the elliptical just to give my knees some extra rest. I got an okay cardio workout from this, but my body is so used to the elliptical that it doesn’t do much for me anymore. It was a nice break for my knees though!

Thursday

4 mile pace run (9:10 pace)

I ran today with NO knee pain at all and had a great run. I’m so glad I took some extra rest. I really pushed myself pace-wise today, in lieu of doing speed work this week. It was definitely hard, but such a good hard. I was really proud to see my pace at the end, because it’s close to my all-out pace for a 5-K in high school; I’m getting faster!

Friday

Rest day

I had class/lab 10-3 today and an event for Phi Tau at 8, so I decided to just take it easy and rest in between. It was also a scheduled rest day. I didn’t feel any pain from Thursday’s run, just normal soreness.

Saturday

60 minutes of Anasura yoga

3 mile run (10:00 pace)

I did the tough class I did on Tuesday again, and again it was a workout! Yoga always makes me feel great afterward, and this was no exception. Later, I went for a short run through park trails.

Sunday

Rest day! I’m a little sore from yoga/running yesterday – a good sore though! I’m going to take it easy today and then hopefully back to my normal plan for next week:

Monday: 3.5 mile run
Tuesday: 35 minute tempo run
Wednesday: 3 mile run
Thursday: Rest day (yoga)
Friday: 3 mile run
Saturday: 7 mile long run
Sunday: Rest day (yoga)

What I learned this week:

  • It is better to err on the side of caution, listen to my body, and take an extra rest day rather than run through pain and risk injury.
  • Yoga can give me a great workout – and I feel great after doing it. It also helps with stress and is a good option if I am sore or need an extra rest day.
  • I am able to push myself. It hurts, but the rewards are so worth it.
  • Just because I don’t feel 100% on a run one day doesn’t mean I am “losing fitness”; I have to remember the good runs I’ve had in the past week too.

I’m ready to take on Week 4!

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Have a great Sunday!

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I slept until 11 this morning! It probably had something to do with my staying up until 2 a.m. delivering bids for the co-ed fraternity I’m involved with…but it was fun! As long as I get my 8 hours ofย  sleep, I’m happy.

College Tip:

Go ahead, stay up late and party! But not every night. Make sure to get your sleep schedule back on track as soon as possible by going to bed at your normal bed time the next night, even if you aren’t able to fall right asleep. Resist the urge to sleep in the next morning and wake up at your normal weekday time. This is what I do to get my sleep schedule back on track so it doesn’t become a cycle of going to bed and waking up later and later!

I started off the morning with a giant green smoothie.

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In the mix:

  • 2 leaves kale
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 Flax Pak
  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c soy milk
  • 8 ice cubes (I like my smoothies cold and icy!)

Per my nutritionist, I’m trying to sub out some of my soy milk consumption for another kind of milk – I chose almond milk. As you can see, I started slowly by doing half and half in my smoothie, but I really can’t taste the difference. I think for my next GM, I’m going to try a whole cup of almond milk.

On the agenda today is a long run and/or some yoga. I took the day off yesterday, but made sure to get in lots of fruits and veggies. I think it was a success!

I had:

  • 4 kale leaves (smoothies)
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup green peppers
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower
  • 1 c sliced carrots
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 2 cherries (my first time trying them!)

I can’t believe it’s Saturday already!

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Product Review #1: Flax Paks by Carrington Farms

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I was so excited to find these because I do not have the time or kitchen machinery to buy whole flax seed and grind the amount I need each time I want some, and I don’t want to buy a huge bag of pre-ground flax and leave it in my fridge because I’ve read that this can lower the nutrient level. These Flax Paks are a great alternative!

I pour a packet of flax into my smoothies most days to give my body a source of healthy fat and to give my smoothies a slight nutty taste. The taste isn’t very noticeable, but it makes the smoothies a tiny bit less smooth. I personally don’t mind it though. I think that these packs would also be great mixed with oats, sprinkled on top of a salad, or with fruit and yogurt. The company says to make sure not to heat them above 120 degrees to retain their nutritional content.

Look at all the healthy fat! And 2 grams of protein too, in this tiny little pack!

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This is how much flax is in the pack, poured into my blender in the GM-making process.

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The final product! (1 banana, 1/2 c strawberries, 1 c soymilk, 3 c spinach, 1 Flax Pak, 8 ice cubes)

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Product Review #2: Gardenburger GardenVegan burgers

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First of all, the ingredient list: Bulgur Wheat, Water, Textured Wheat Protein, Cooked Brown Rice, Onions, Mushrooms, <2% Vegetable Gum, Wheat Gluten, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Garlic Powder, Salt, Natural Flavor, Spices, Annatto for color, Olive Oil, Caramel Color, Soy Lecithin.

While the list is longer than I’d prefer and has some things in it that I’m not crazy about (artificial coloring, ‘natural flavor’, soy lecithin), I think it’s pretty good for a vegan ‘burger’ alternative. I like that soy is last on the ingredient list because this makes this a non-soy protein food. I try to only eat soy protein (like tofu) for a meal two or three times a week.

Next, the nutritional lineup:

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Now this is pretty great. 9 grams of protein!

These burgers can be cooked on the stove-top or in the microwave. I have been microwaving mine for two minutes. This results in a nice crisp gardenburger. I was afraid at first that it would be soggy and gross, but it was actually great! I could taste the brown rice. I love my garden burger with some garlic hummus!

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The Farmer’s Market was great! They didn’t have my kale though, so I had to pick some up at the Co-op. I had lots of splurges today: crepes, nutella, and pizza! Theyย  were yummy and worth it, but I’m going to make sure to get lots of greens in tomorrow!

I’m in the process of getting a contest together, so stay tuned!

Good night & wish me luck on my quiz tomorrow!

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Today I had a great run! I decided not to do my speedwork on the track, but to do more of a tempo run instead. I did a 4 mile loop and pushed myself pretty hard – I was so excited to come back and calculate my pace, and it was 9:10 per mile! That’s a great pace for me, considering my 5-K pace is around 8:15-30.

I also took a chance and wore a workout shirt that I literally bought 3 years ago for “when I’m skinny enough to wear it” – well, enough with that! I wore it today and at first I was a little self-conscious, but by halfway through my run, I was working so hard that I didn’t even have time to think about how I looked! When I got back from my run, I felt great and confident – not because I am finally “skinny enough”, but because I am proud of myself for pushing myself.

Run Stats:

Time: 36:42

Distance: 4.00 miles

Pace: 9:10 min/mile

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Lunch was a yummy Gardenburger hummus wrap with carrots and almond butter and three little pierogies my friend made yesterday. I had a yummy GM to drink.

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Come back tonight for:

1. Flax Pak review

2. Gardenburger GardenVegan review

3. A surprise product review

And more!

My mom is driving up to visit me today, so we’re going to go check out the Farmer’s Market in the next town over and go out to dinner.

‘Til tonight,

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Good evening! And I mean that – my lab only lasted one hour, so I had an unexpected extra three hours in my day! I did the most productive things I could, of course: eat, read, and blog.

The rest of today’s eats included a GM I made in a rush right before lab. It contained 1 banana, 1/2 c strawberries, 3 cups spinach, and a little over a cup of soy milk. For dinner after lab, I had my vegan pasta dish with chocolate coconut milk ice cream and a gluten-free cookie for dessert!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop at the Farmer’s Market today. This means that I’ll actually have to go buy my kale at the store! Boo. I snuck in my workout at 4 today, a quick 3 miles on the elliptical. Boy am I sore from yoga yesterday! I’m going to do the video once more this week, but I have to wait until I can move my arms again ๐Ÿ˜€

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Tonight I want to talk about something that I don’t give enough thought to: arch support in my casual, non-workout shoes. Truth be told, I am a terrible example. During the day, I’m either wearing flat flip-flops or a pair of Converse – neither of which has any arch support at all. If it’s important to have arch support when we’re running, it just makes sense that it would be important the other 90% of the day too! I know that walking around in flat-soled shoes contributed to my shin splints a couple of years ago, and here I am today, wearing the same kinds of shoes!

But the problem with a word like “arch-support sandals” is that it does not sound all that attractive. I may be superficial, but I would prefer to wear a sleek black sandal than some clunky “arch-support” shoe with canvas straps all over the place.

Luckily, I don’t have to choose between fashion and good-for-my-body shoes! Here are a few pairs that not only support your lovely legs and feet, but are also quite stylish ๐Ÿ™‚

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Archy Zebra by Moszkito

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Senise by Merrel.

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Lusaka by Born

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Stunning by Earth (I also like a lot of their other shoes – very stylish! And supposedly they “burn calories with every step” – like April said, “I donโ€™t know if these sandals really work but I wear them everywhere just in case!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

and

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Julia by Think!

Now I have to go about ordering myself a pair! I’ll let you know what I decide!

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My dad and I outside the Notre Dame at sunset in Paris this past March

My dad and I outside the Notre Dame at sunset in Paris this past March