on the bandwagon

Let’s talk about nutrition today, shall we? Everybody and their mother has an opinion about nutrition. It’s overwhelming and frankly it can be quite annoying when people push their beliefs on you, especially when there is no scientific basis.

Here is my motto that I am sharing ((not pushing)) with you. You are what you eat. Eat crap and you feel like crap. Eat naturally and you feel your best. And then there are people who eat fast food for every meal, feel amazing and live well into their nineties. That’s what we call an anomaly, folks.

I also like to tell myself if it wasn’t food 200 years ago, then it’s not food now. Put down the deep-fried twinkie. If you know me, then you know I love licorice. Were Twizzlers around in the 1800s?

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A couple of years ago, I use to give Lu a hard time for jumping on the Paleo bandwagon. Eat like a caveman? Who would want to do that when we have modern agriculture? You’re telling me a caveman would have turned town a cheese danish? I don’t think so. Plus the life expectancy of a caveman was probably around 30-something, and I’m looking to live three times that. It’s not a caveman’s life for me…

Or could it be? Here is the unexpected twist in this story. Lu and I are going Paleo. Yep, the hater has turned into the hated. As much as I dislike restricting certain things in my diet, I love the concept of eating food from the earth. Nothing processed. Ok, only a little something processed. We are making an addendum to include oatmeal and quinoa because this girl can’t go without either. Perhaps I should have said we are going Paleo-ish. Any true Paleo people out there will immediately call us frauds for adding a couple of grains into the diet. Haters gonna hate.

I don’t usually set limits on my eats (Oh, except for here and here… I’m a serial offender). But why not give this a try? It can’t hurt.

For those who don’t know, the Paleo diet consists of fish, meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, diary products, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. I hardly eat red meat so it’ll be chicken and pork for me.

You may be asking if there is a motive behind this madness. Or you likely don’t care. I’ve mentioned a couple times on this blog that I want to follow an eating plan during marathon training this year and the Paleo-ish diet is what I’ve selected. I’m not guaranteeing perfection from now until October but my plan is to stick with it as much as possible and see how I feel. I like how Paleo focuses on protein intake because that is what I am usually lacking and what my muscles need to recover. Don’t worry, I will still be able to carb load before long runs with the quinoa and oatmeal. And I’ll still take sugar fuel on long runs because running twenty miles without some pick-me-up is just downright wrong.

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Anybody out there following a Paleo-ish diet? Anybody want to jump on the bandwagon with me?! There are some hardcore advocates of this thing. What are you guys up to today? I’m purchasing a new pair of Pure Flow 2s later and I’m excited to see how they compare to the original Pure Flows. Hope you all have a great Thursday. Make it a good one.

xo, lw

 

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for the love of tennis

Wimbledon. The prestigious Wimbledon. It’s sprinkled with polo shirt-wearing, tea-drinking, pinky-finger-lifting proper folk. It’s a place where commoners and royals commingle for the love of tennis. It’s a place I want to be.

But these days, Wimbledon has turned into crazy town. Who’s watching with me?

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Nadal. Tsonga. Sharapova. Azarenka. All defeated. But the biggest upset of all was definitely my boy Roger losing in the second round to basically a tennis nobody. Fed hadn’t failed to reach a major tournament quarterfinal since Roland Garros in 2003. That’s a decade of advancing to at least the quarter finals… also known as world domination. Let’s take a moment of silence for this tennis player extraordinaire, Roger Federer. The man has won 17 grand-slam titles and has been the Wimbledon champ seven times. As usual, he was a gracious loser but he did admit this was a tough loss, “Got to get over this one. Some haven’t hurt this much, that’s for sure,” Federer said earlier today. I’m truly sad he’s out. Since we can no longer cheer on the Federer express, I’ll pull for Novak Djokovic, who is a stellar athlete. Winning this title should be a cakewalk for him now.

I love tennis. Tennis was my sport growing up. Here are some throwback pictures from my high school days. We were state champs. No big deal.

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I played in some tennis leagues in college. I met my husband at a tennis clinic. It’s a great sport and has had an impact in my life (dramatic much?). Who plays tennis? Who’s watching Wimbledon? What’s your favorite grand-slam to watch? Hope you guys made this Wednesday a good one!

xo, lw

Marathon Training: Week 2 review

Time for the first (of what will become weekly) marathon training update! Woop woop.

But before we get to the running recap, I have a confession. Please don’t judge me. I skipped a run last week. Let me explain… It’s hard for me to run more than three miles on a work day. I leave for work at 7am and get home from work in between 8:30 and 9:00pm.  After spending most of the day on my feet and moving patients, I usually have close to no energy when I get home. Excuses, excuses. I’m working on it! One of the things I’m considering is doing two runs on days I’m off work. I welcome your tips and advice.

I also switched my rest day. I did increase Wednesday’s scheduled five miles to seven miles in anticipation that I might skip a run… I know myself too well.

Now to the recap. I am trying to push myself with speed on the shorter runs. I did June 18th’s run on the treadmill because it was rainy in Chicago. Sometimes I feel like I can push my speed harder on the treadmill than when I’m outside. Anybody with me on this one? Overall, I was satisfied with last week except for the obvious disappointment.

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There you have last week’s running recap. I started week three with a bang and had a great run this morning before breakfast. Now I better get my housewife on and clean up our apartment. Have a great day you guys!

xo, lw

sometimes i make strange decisions

Well today is Sunday, which means another long run.  This week, I had 11 miles on the agenda. I would actually consider an 11 mile run to be a medium-length run so I wasn’t feeling overwhelmed. I was looking forward to getting out and enjoying the nice, sunny Chicago weather.

Then I made a strange decision.

I decided to wear my lululemon running tights and head out shortly before noon on what turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year… So by strange decision I actually mean really bad decision… It was 85 and sunny and I was the idiot in black pants.

At about mile six, just after turning around, fatigue hit. My heart was fine. My lungs were fine. My muscles were fine. But I was overheated and as dried up as Amanda Byne’s career. It was brutal. I had to stop for water at least half a dozen times. Of course I got nervous that I was drinking too much water and losing too many electrolytes. I don’t bring fuel unless I’m going over 13 miles so I really had nothing to help me at this point except my will… and my momma.

My sweet momma came along for the ride and rode her bike while I ran. It was so nice having her there. I eventually stole a sip of her gatorade. Here is a picture she snapped during our return to the city. That little black speck is me. What a gorgeous day.

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I finished the run, albeit slower than what I would have liked. 11 miles in 01:44:00 = 9:27 min/mile average. That pace is about thirty seconds slower than my goal marathon pace but I’m not beating myself up about it. That time does include many stops at various water fountains. I learned today that there is a long stretch on the lake front, just south of 35th street, that doesn’t have a water fountain for about a mile and a half. I found myself cursing the city of Chicago for overlooking that little area. But I survived. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.
Who else did a long run today? Anybody do it in pants?

It’s time for me to get a new pair of running shoes. I love Brooks Pure Flow. What color do you guys like? Black or purple?

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I’ve been hydrating like crazy since I’ve been home to avoid a dehydration headache later. I hope you guys are enjoying this weekend and these lovely summer days. Make them good.

xo, lw

summer solstice

Happy Summer Solstice to you. Summer has officially arrived in the northern hemisphere. Chicago will have 15 hours and 13 minutes of sunlight today with the sunrise at 5:16am and a sunset at 8:29pm. After today we start the slow decent into darkness, as the days get shorter and shorter… But let’s not think about that now. Let’s enjoy these long summer days and warm summer nights. It’s finally going to be in the 90s in Chicagoland this weekend. Maybe I’ll roll my windows down and cruise to some Florida Georgia Line (loving that song right now. Who’s with me?). What are you doing to enjoy summer? Who wants to celebrate by getting sushi with me?

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While we’re talking about the elements, has anyone heard of a supermoon? A supermoon is the closest full moon of the calendar year, which means it appears bigger and brighter to the little people on earth. A supermoon will rise in the night sky this weekend. Keep an eye out for this lunar wonder.

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What have I done on this summer solstice morning? I woke up and did my training run before breakfast. I’m trying to run before breakfast as often as possible because I keep finding articles online that suggest exercising on empty improves glucose tolerance. After the run, I came home and enjoyed some of this:

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Those are scrambled egg whites with a veggie sausage patty, avocado, a sprinkle of feta cheese and cholula. I also mixed up one of my greenish smoothies. Good stuff.

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What’s happening in your world today? Hope you’re making this summer day a good one!

xo, lw

congrats, grad.

Many congratulations and felicidades to my hub, the big frijol!!

He graduated with an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business this past weekend and he did it with high honors. His dedication to the program was inspiring. Lu worked so hard day in and day out. He not only worked hard on his course work, but he also held several internships, began his own start-up with peers and was involved in multiple clubs on campus. What’s even more impressive? He did it all with a smile and a good attitude. Ok you’re right, I’m quite possibly his number one fan. But all bias aside, I can honestly say not once did I hear Lu complain about his work or displace stress on others. He just went on his merry way and got stuff done. I couldn’t be more proud of him. Congrats, Lu!

Lu’s mother, father and brother traveled to Chicago to celebrate his graduation. His cousin and grandma also came from Mexico to join in the festivities. Since my immediate family all lives in Chicago, they were around to party with us as well. We had a grand old time.

Let’s take a look at some pictures from my iPhone. One day, I hope to get a real camera. Like a Nikon (hint, hint).

Before all the hoopla, Lu and I went to dinner, just the two of us, at The Pump Room to celebrate. Cheers to the graduate.

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Once folks started arriving, we got our tourist on. We walked around the city – stopped at the bean and Water Tower Place. Lu went into Lego Land because once a boy, always a boy. We took a tour of the Chicago by bus. We ate deep dish pizza. We enjoyed this city.

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photo-67The graduation ceremony itself was probably the least boring graduation ceremony I’ve been to. They had two very good speakers, Eugene Fama and JB Pritzker. I was engaged the whole time. And the 800-some name reading went by remarkably quickly, too. I got a little bit sad when it was all over… (cue nostalgia)

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After the ceremony, we went to a tasty dinner at Bistrot Margot a cute French restaurant in Old Town. Then the youngsters went out on the town until t-h-r-e-e-a-m… I am not conditioned for that kind of partying. But it was fun. I ran into my bestie, Meg.

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We had such a wonderful long weekend and as with most things in life, it all went by way too quickly. Congrats to you, Lu. Now it’s on to the next journey as a guy with an MBA from the BEST business school in the world. ;-)

xo, lw

marathon training commences

Marathon training season has begun! I’m entering week two of my training plan, Hal Higdon’s intermediate 2. I used his novice training plan for my first marathon, and I feel like I can amp up the mileage this go-round. Last year my goal was to finish (and not cardiac arrest). This year I have a more specific goal in mind…  to finish in under 4 hours. Last year’s time was 04:20:17 so I’m looking to shed twenty minutes off, which sounds like a lot to me. But hey, we can do anything we set our minds to, right? We’ll see. Here is the plan:

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 10.34.46 PMI cheated last week, and I ran on the cross-training day. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not good at cross-training. Running is my jam. I just can’t get into the elliptical or other machines. But it’s important for me to find an activity that I enjoy, or at least tolerate, besides running. I’m planning on trying swimming soon. Our apartment building has a lap pool so I really have no excuse. Anybody have other suggestions?

I’ll be tweaking the plan just a little bit. I’m changing up the pace runs and making them tempo runs. Is that a bad idea? I feel like I have to do speedwork to improve my time. I’ll probably do fartleks during some of the mid-week runs. Hal Higdon incorporates speedwork into the advanced training plans but I’m definitely no advanced runner. I’ll just do a little bit of speed on my own terms and call it good.

The things I like about this specific training program are: Three 20-mile runs and only one rest day per week. Also known as, I’m going to work my butt off.

I saw the coolest infographic on HungryRunnerGirl’s blog the other day. It shows the changes that occur in the body with endurance training from this website. Very neat and motivating. I think my favorite adaptation is angiogenesis. It’s so cool that the body just builds more capillaries that link onto each other without spilling blood… The body is fascinating.

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In addition to the running plan, I’m going to follow a more healthy eating plan during the training weeks. Last year, I didn’t really pay attention to what I ate. We eat pretty healthily on a daily basis but I can do better. Specifically, I have to focus on getting more protein. I am always on a quest to get more protein. I have used the My Fitness Pal ap in the past to track macronutrients and I may use it again to ensure I’m getting enough of the good stuff. If I don’t put a conscious effort into eating protein, I could soak up carbs all day long. That does not a healthy diet make.

I’m excited that training season has started! It’s always fun to be working toward a specific goal. Who else is in training mode? Anyone out there doing the Chicago marathon? What training plan do you use? Happy Tuesday. Make today a good one!

xo, lw

atx

What up, ATX!! My college bestie, Haylie, and I were reunited for a long weekend and unleashed on Austin, TX to cause a ruckus. Before this trip, Haylie and I hadn’t seen each other since my wedding, and we were partaking in the world’s longest game of phone-tag. One of the greatest things about good friends is no matter how long you go without talking or visiting, once you’re together again it’s like nothing has even changed. I felt like I had traveled back in time to our college days in Boulder, as roommates. Except this time we weren’t renting an apartment from our Indian landlord who walked around with a bluetooth in his ear whether he was on his cell or not. This time, Rudy owned the house and a dog to go with it. I’m impressed by twenty-somethings who own their own homes. I feel like I’m about a decade away from owning a home… I digress. Back to Austin.

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The weather was absolutely perfect. 90s and humid is exactly what I wanted and exactly what I got. Bear in mind, it was in the 50s the morning I flew out of Chicago. I was craving summer weather. What I wasn’t thrilled about were the dozen mosquito bites I got. Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

Rudy and I woke up each morning and jogged along Lake Austin. It’s wise to go running early before the heat hits in full force. We may or may not have gotten in bed at 10pm each night so 7am runs weren’t that brutal. After the run we would walk over to the cutest coffee shop, Jo’s for some java and light breakfast. I loved our morning routine. One of the days we invited Birdie, Haylie’s pup, along for the run. I had no idea how difficult it is to run with a dog. Birdie was a maniac during the first couple miles tugging on the leash and attempting to chase random things. She wore herself out for the last couple miles, and we practically had to drag her toward the end. I found myself shouting words of motivation… Come on, Birdie! Almost there, Birdie! Then I realized I was talking to a canine. Jogging with a dog is hard work. Or maybe it’s just Birdie.

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We hit up a local juice bar, Juiceland, a couple of times for a fresh made smoothie. They were dangerously good but they cost a pretty penny. It was worth it. I’d recommend Juiceland for anybody going to visit Austin.

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photo-57Haylie wined and dined me each night. Of course, Tex-Mex was on the menu because it is a requirement to get margaritas and queso when one goes to Tejas. We also got some Mexican street corn. It was grilled corn covered in cheese and pepper… Heaven on a stick.

photo-59We went to an amaaazing sushi place, Uchiko. It was an experience. Rudy and I were having difficulty deciding what to order because we wanted just about everything on the menu. Our server had a keen eye for a pair of indecisive women. He quickly said, with our permission, he’d like select our dishes so we can sit back, relax and enjoy the evening. I had an issue with that at first. Giving up control of our meal? Things could potentially go very wrong. What if they brought out flavors we didn’t like? Not that we’re picky but everybody has a certain taste they prefer. At the same time, it sounded like a cool idea and he seemed quite confident in his ability to satisfy us so we went along with it. And we definitely made the right decision. He brought out dish after amazing dish. It was some of the best sushi ever. There wasn’t one dish that I would have changed. It was a delightful meal with even more delightful company.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take a single picture. Blog fail.

One night, we had a gathering at Haylie’s house with some other CU friends and Haylie’s family. We sat outside (got bug bites), played with the dogs, drank vino, and ate what turned out to be some of the best pizza I’ve ever eaten from a local place called Home Slice. Austin knows good food.

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It wasn’t all running, eating, and socializing though. I did do quite a bit of shopping… more shopping than I expected. There were many cute boutiques near Haylie’s house and downtown that got the best of me. I loved my purchases, and I don’t go shopping very often. Or at least that’s what I tell myself… I warned Lu that I couldn’t stop spending money and his response was “just make sure you’re buying cool things.” Love that man. (Yes, of course I buy cool things.)

I had such a wonderful time in Austin that I’m going back in mid-July. But that time I won’t be going solo… I’m bringing along the mister for another fun weekend in Texas. Lu has never been to Austin so he’ll get to experience that great city and spend time with our friends. I can’t wait. Who has been to Texas? Anybody taking fun summer trips? Hope you guys are making this Monday a good one.

xo, lw

happy father’s day.

Happy Father’s Day to all you Papas out there.

And most especially, Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Papa T. You have a kind and giving heart. Your dedication and work ethic are inspiring. I cherish the time we spend together… I am truly blessed to be your daughter. Thank you for all that you have done and all that do, dad.

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This year was an extra special Father’s Day because we had both papas in Chicago to celebrate. My papa-in-law, Esteban, is amazing. He is the life of the party, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. To celebrate the hombres in our world, my mom-in-law made an amazingly delicious Mexican dinner for the family. We got our red-meat on (this is Father’s Day. You gotta eat like a man.) and indulged in some beef tinga, guacamole, rice and chayote followed by a homemade strawberry pie for dessert. You best believe we all ate like kings.

After dinner we engaged in some friendly family competition in the form of Catch Phrase. That game is fun. Obviously, the ladies won. We ended our lovely Father’s Day with a lovely walk along the lakefront. For the first time in the history of Chicago, there was no wind on the lake. It felt so right but so wrong at the same time.

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I hope everybody got to enjoy this day with the fathers that they love just like I did. There is nothing better than family time.  Stay tuned for more frequent posts… Life has gotten in the way of my blogging the past few weeks! I have some catching up to do.

xo, lw

jet-setting

After a long three days at work, vacation commences.  I’m off to Austin, TX this afternoon to visit my best friend from college, Haylie. Several of my other college roomies also live in Austin so this will be like a little University of Colorado reunion. Here is a picture of Haylie and during one of her trips to Chicago. So excited to see this girl today!!

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For the next several days, you’ll find me poolside sipping on some margaritas, eating chips & queso and catching up with my girls. Ahh, bliss.

I had fun packing this morning and pulling out some summer clothes. It’s 90s and humid in Austin this week and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I usually hate packing but not today… I love me some summer fashion.

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After packing, I hit the lake front for an 8 mile run. It’s definitely not 90s & humid in Chicago today. It was about 60 degrees on the lake front with a nice breeze. It was crisp and refreshing. 8 miles in 01:06:57, which translates to an 8:22 min/mile average pace.

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Time to hit the shower and get ready to jet-set. Who has been to TX? This will be my third time to Austin. I hear everything is bigger there. Have a great day everybody!

xo, lw