Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Getting Back on Track

I think we can all agree that summertime can be rough on your diet and exercise plan.  Which is funny, since that it is the time of year that you are showing off the most skin.

On hot days, I just want to eat ice cream all day.  At the beach, I want to drink beers and stuff my face with chips and salsa.  But at the old, old age of 33 (soon to be 34), my body is all "no way Jose."

After a couple of long weekends down in LBI, I realized I was getting a little plump again.  Plus I had back to back doctors appointments which is never fun when they weigh you and then say "no more carbs lady!"

So I decided to give an elimination diet a try.  Don't get me wrong, this is not for the faint of heart.  There is way more that you can't eat, than you can eat.  But I have to tell you that after a week, I am feeling so good.  And I currently have poison ivy all over my body, so that is saying a lot!

I gave up alcohol, sugar, gluten and dairy.  I have been cheating and having yogurt every morning though.  I don't eat meat and yogurt is a big source of protein for me so there is no way I could give that up too.  I have also been drinking a ton of water because it is crazy hot on the East Coast right now!

I have been doing this for over a week now and I feel great.  My stomach is a lot flatter, my head is clearer and I feel a lot calmer.  Given the insane itchiness that I am feeling 24/7, that is a really big deal.  I also feel like I have more energy.  I was ALMOST able to keep up with Max!

You are supposed to do this for 23 days and then slowly these items back into your diet.  The only thing I really miss is my delicious goldfish crackers so this is probably for the best anyway.  Oh and wine.  I really miss wine!

I don't know what will happen after the 23rd day but I feel so good right now, so I really want to keep this going!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Summer Essentials

It is so hot right now.  I love summer but even I have been bitching about the heat.  I have an older home and we don't have central air.  I know that sounds completely insane but with all the house projects on the docket, the air just didn't get handled this year.

Considering I will spend most of my summer covered in sweat, these are some of my favorite summer products to beat the heat!

My number one staple is iced coffee.  I need my coffee to survive.  But fresh out of the shower, add in hot coffee, and I am instantly covered in sweat.  I put coffee and warm water in the french press and leave it in the fridge over night.  Instant refreshment!

We would not survive without ceiling fans.  I have them in every room in my house.  I turn them on in May and basically shut them off in October.  I seriously lurve them!

Apparently there is a weight limit on slip and slides.  After tearing ours last year, we just went back to the old fashioned sprinkler.  Last night I mowed the lawn and weeded.  When I was done I was literally DRIPPING with sweat.  I pulled out the sprinkler and it instantly cooled us down.

I just found this lotion and I love it.  It is really light weight and it is extremely cooling.  Heavier lotions make my face all sweaty.  So this is an amazing find!

Last, but not least, is this spray.  I just recently purchased it and I am completely in love.  It is so cooling and refreshing.  I carry it with me everywhere and just spritz my face when I feel really over heated!

I seriously love summer but I don't love being sweaty all the time.  These things keep me cool which basically keeps me sane!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Running Inspiration

In the last couple of years, I totally fell off the running wagon.  I just couldn't find the time but on top of that, I couldn't find my mojo.  Running used to make me feel amazing.  But now it is just kind of painful.  This really frustrates me because I really love running and more importantly, I love the way I feel when I am on top of my game.  

Unfortunately, running is about 70% mental and that is really hard to get past at times.  So I have been looking for some inspiration to bring me back to my running roots.

I found a couple of podcasts that I really enjoy and have been listening to those on my weekly drives to and from the Jersey Shore.  They make the trip go by so fast and I love listening to them.  

The first is Running on Om.  I am going to be 100% honest and say that Julia's voice and manor does annoy me a little.  But she does a monthly series with Lauren Fleshman called Ask Lauren Fleshman that I just love.  It is a lot of running chit chat but there is also a lot of conversation about writing, kids and just life in general.  It is really good and definitely worth listening to Julia.

The second podcast is Another Mother Runner.  The host, Sarah, is hilarious.  She is sarcastic and witty and a super runner, all the things I love.  I seriously laugh out loud the entire time I am listening to it.  

A recent trip home from the shore, that was very long (five fucking hours) and very frustrating, almost flew by listening to them!  Definitely check it out.

After hours spent listening to the these podcasts, I finally laced up my sneakers last weekend.  It was hot and very slow.  I hadn't run in almost four months which is way too long!  I had to take Max in the running stroller and frankly at 45lbs, that was probably pushing it on the weight capacity of the Bob Stroller.  But I decided to not focus on my time or speed and to just enjoy myself.  It felt really good and hopefully I can do it again very soon!

What inspires you to get back out there?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Taking Time Off

As most parents will tell you there really isn't any time off in this job.  The benefits suck and the pay is awful.  Yet we keep doing it because we love their sweet little faces!

My little monkey is definitely a handful and leaves me quite exhausted most days.  After our nanny quit in June, I had a week with no one to watch Max before the summer babysitter could start.  I did a hostage exchange and sent Max off to the beach house with my parents.  Thank god for them!
It was a huge help but it was also the mental break that I desperately needed.

Max and I are together pretty much 24/7.  He wakes early, goes to sleep late and never stops moving.  At almost 34 years old, that is more than I can take some days.  Add in work, the house, etc and I am seriously exhausted most of the time.

So I decided to use this time off wisely.  I normally would have filled up my days with to do lists and errands.  Instead, I worked out, spent time with my sister and relaxed in bed with some good books.   By the end of last week, everyone at work was saying that I looked amazing.  Apparently time alone can revive you that much!

I know that taking time off is virtually impossible when you are a parent but it is seriously necessary if you are going to keep your sanity.  Sometimes you get a whole week off like I did, other times it is just a trip to CVS with no one laying on the floor of the toy aisle crying!

Either way, by the end of last week, I felt like a new woman!  And it was amazing.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Alex Does Yoga

Back in January, I told you I was going to try a different workout every month this year.  January was all about Barre 3 with really great results.  February was dedicated to Yoga and it was an epic failure.  And after that the challenge kind of fell apart.

I was really into Barre 3 and honestly I was ok with that.  I had no wish to try other workouts.  I did have some variations in my workouts over the last four months but it was 90% Barre 3, 1% running, 3% BBG and 6% pilates.

But in June I got back on track and I decided to try Yoga again.  I am clearly a glutton for punishment.

I kid, I kid.

It actually went really well and was a little eye opening.  Here are my conclusions:

  1. It is impossible to practice yoga in the morning.  My body physically can't bend.  It is so painful it makes me want to cry.
  2. It does require more time.  I tried a couple of 40 minute practices but you really get more out of 60+ minutes.
  3. I feel a lot calmer.
  4. I actually feel stiffer after this month than I did before.
The last one is the most shocking, right?  I know I was shocked.  I have always had really tight hips.  Years of running have made it almost impossible for me to do moves like baddha konasana or upavistha konasana.  But I usually grit my teeth and force myself thru those poses.

After a couple of days on the yoga train, I noticed that while I was able to move farther than ever in these poses, when I finally came out of them, I could almost hear my hips creaking.  The same thing happened when I did any pose involving my hamstrings.  

I really believed that yoga would make my joints feel looser and more flexible but that didn't happen.  As frustrating as that is, I do feel a lot calmer after this month.  I am determined to do malasana without crying in pain so I definitely want to stick with yoga.  I don't know that I can do a full time yoga practice but it definitely deserves to stay in the rotation!