Wild One the Third

Living this life I call my own.

Archive for the tag “health”

Oh, America…

It was such a lovely day for baseball yesterday at Busch Stadium. Well, it was kinda hot and a little gross but since it was an evening game so it wasn’t incredibly bad.

Kyle and I only stayed till around the 6th inning. We had a long drive ahead of us and a walmart run to make. Also, it was kinda hot…. The Cards ended up beating the Dodgers 3-2 in the 12th inning.

For anyone who enjoys people watching, being at the ballpark is a nice post for just the occasion. I couldn’t help myself but I was just entranced by a family of five sitting a couple rows ahead of us enjoying the game. Now, before I go on, I know–we all know–that obesity is America’s number one health problem. I know that when you go to the ballpark, most Americans will enjoy a few overpriced beers and franks. I don’t know why, but it still shocks me to see when people who are overweight/obese scarf down the very items that have gotten them where they’re at weight-wise.

Back to this family, every single member was clearly over a healthy weight range. I’ve seen families like this before; it’s nothing new. Sometimes they’ll blame it on genetics or that they are big-boned. More often than not, it’s the lack of exercise and the unwholesome diet they consume that is the problem.

What really struck me was seeing the shape of the youngest member in this group, with the chubbiest of cheeks, chubby hand dimples, round pot belly…it was all there. Relatively speaking, she looked more overweight for her height and age group than a couple older members in the family. Start ’em out young, huh?

Seeing this bothered me so much. Why are you starting her out with this kind of destructive lifestyle at so young an age? I began to think about how it felt like for the little girl to be at her weight when most of her schoolmates are most likely within an appropriate weight range. I could imagine her running out of breath easily out in the playground–or worse, not even having the energy to play.

I continued to watch in disbelief as the girl so sweetly asked her dad for the bag of cotton candy sitting next to him. Without hesitation, he handed her a bag full of sugar and food coloring. The girl happily enjoyed about 2/3 of the bag, licking her fingers and all.

True, but sad story, folks.

I’m not sure why, but observing all this was just too much for me to handle. I honestly don’t know why it stirred up so much in me. It was probably pity. Pity for the poor girl who will probably have some serious health problems if nothing is done to better the quality of her food intake. She’s so young

This whole scenario made me value the effort I put into living a healthy lifestyle. It confirms that this is the best way for me to live my life. I just wish America would realize the importance of eating foods with nutritional value and the great impact exercise could have in one’s life. It would make a huge difference.

Oh, America…

I Am Unbreakable

CrossFit Women nailed it. This is an awesome piece that provides me with motivation to keep kicking but living the healthiest lifestyle I can possibly live. It gives me an incentive to even step up my game. It’s a good way to start the weekend–start it off strong! Winking smile

I Am Unbreakable

By: Lucas G. Irwin

Most people don’t understand, but you’re ok with that. For you, training is not a hobby or a social activity; it’s a way of life. Those around you say that you are obsessed, taking it too far and possibly insane. They can’t understand why you won’t eat birthday cake, why you bring Tupperware full of chicken to a party or why you go to sleep early on a Friday to rest up for a Saturday training session. But you don’t care. Their accusatory tones, sarcastic remarks and insults are merely cotton bullets firing at a titanium wall of perseverance known as YOU.

You know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that any negativity that surrounds you is fueled purely by jealousy. Jealous that you are capable of unconditionally committing to something that most cannot stick to for more than a few weeks as part of their yearly resolution. Jealous that you gladly embrace a level of pain, discomfort and fatigue that others cringe at the idea of suffering a fraction of. Jealous that you take time to count carbs, protein, fats and calories while they count their chicken nuggets to make damn sure their 10 piece isn’t a 9 piece. In short, they’re Jealous of YOU.

Ironically, all the comments, nagging and questioning that is meant to break you down a little, does just the opposite. Every negative word reminds you of how special and uncommon your mechanical allegiance to training really is, in turn, pushing you harder. So bring it on! Let them call you obsessed, crazy or insane and watch you get stronger with every word. The only one who can slow you down is yourself. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, you are both an immovable object and an unstoppable force……

YOU ARE UNBREAKABLE.

Good News or Bad News First?

Hello, Wednesday Thursday. I seriously thought it was only Wednesday. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Tomorrow’s payday, though. That’s a good thing for sure! Stick around for a story about that here in a bit. Winking smile

What I know for sure is a bad thing is not having worked out in a long while. Shameful, I know! No running since the 5k on Sunday and no p90x since I can’t remember when. It’s been around 5 days since I’ve done a p90x workout, which roughly translates into “oh man, you’re screwed.” I hate when you’re doing so good and then you fall off the wagon; it’s so difficult to climb back on. I WILL get a workout in tonight, though. I have to…my body needs it. Apparently this is what happens when you skip workouts and fall off the “workout wagon.”

This month is going to test how motivated of a person I am when it comes to my workouts. It seems like I have an extra long list of things going on this month. So busy, in fact, that I won’t get to celebrate my one year anniversary with Kyle. Sad, sad day. Kyle had a crazy, fun trip planned out and I was so looking forward to an awesome vacation but I’m going to end up having to take care of big girl responsibilities around that time. Such a bummer! I had already gotten time off from work and everything! Ok, I’m done dwelling on how sucky that is. Hopefully we can go out of town for a weekend; go watch the Cards play. Better than nothing. Winking smile

So I’m ready for that pay day story. You ready? Open-mouthed smile

Ok so last week, I attended 2 days of training for my job. I work for a drug testing company by the way. We test for drugs present in peoples’ systems. I always get asked if I’m trying out drugs myself or creating drugs and testing them. Nope, just good ol’ running tests on urine samples and doing breathalyzers. Anyway, we had all the higher ups in town because of the training days. I took the time to talk to one of them asking for a raise. Now, I don’t feel like I’m the world’s greatest drug tester and that I need to be given more money for the fantastic work I’m doing. Although, that’s why most people demand raises, right? Usually, anyway. My case was different. I had found out that I had been getting paid slightly less than one of my male coworkers.
These are the facts:

  • Again, he’s a male
  • We do the exact same thing…same title
  • I got hired about a week before him
  • I work a significant amount of hours compared to him
  • I’m a female

Hmm…sexism, anyone? Well, what’s funny is that my coworker himself is the one that pointed out what that very scenario looked like. It’s true…it does look like it very much. It obviously wasn’t very fair at all but I wasn’t indignant about the matter in the slightest. I just knew that I had to speak up about it and bring it to someone’s attention.

I got to do just that. I feel like I got paid ten fold, though. After I talked to the regional manager, he immediately got a hold of the president of the company and explained to him my case. It was probably two hours after I talked to the manager that he pulled me aside from training to tell me what he and the president talked about. He said they agreed that I’ve been excelling in the company. They were impressed that they hadn’t heard a single complaint about me from any client or participant (as complaints and “throwing people under the bus” is very common in this touchy line of work)–only good remarks. He mentioned something about a need for people like me in other positions in the company, which I understood as possible “promotion” in the future…? We’ll see how long I last with this company  because of my schooling but that was nice to hear.

Here comes the exciting news, though! They felt I deserved a raise. Ok, good. On top of leveling me out with my coworker, they added a raise on top of that which they based on performance. Oh, wait what? I wasn’t asking for that…. On top of that, they agreed to give me back pay that would include the raise. What the f@&! Wow! Seriously?!?! It was way more than I was expecting. I wanted to hug the man but that’d be slightly awkward. I extended my hand and gave him a super grateful handshake, instead. I was so appreciative, surprised and proud of myself for speaking up.

So yes, I’m very excited for pay day tomorrow. It’s the beginning of the month. Got lots of shopping to do bills to pay already! Winking smile

Hope the rest of the week goes by well for everyone! Finish strong! Red heart

“Magic Seeds”

I have a new staple in my life. Chia seeds.

Ch-ch-ch chia. You remember that annoying late night infomercial, right?

Not what I’m talking about. This is what I’m talking about.

The little I knew about the chia seed was enough to make me want to look more into what makes this seed so much cooler than other seeds like flax. Flax is still cool, though. We’ll give flax seed one point. Chia gets two in my book, though!

I wanted to research more about why this seed was as “magical” as its been referred as. Do research. Always do your research. Always know what you’re talking about. I’m gonna go ahead and make that my motto now. Winking smile
With that said, I figured I’d share this wealth of knowledge that I, as I chia seed expert, now possess. Open-mouthed smile

Yeah, we think about chia pets when we hear ‘chia’  but what’s cool (and there will be a ton of cool things…heads up) is that the seed was used hundreds of years ago–way back before the the chia pet craze–by the Aztecs and Mayans as a way to keep up their endurance and energy levels while hunting. Ingenious sons of guns. They somehow figured out that the seed is filled with so many nutrients. It’s highly rich in soluble fiber, omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and it provides an abundance of antioxidants.

Each individual seed is surrounded by a case. When the seeds are hydrated, the coat swells up and turns gelatinous-like.

Endurance runners actually use these seeds because of their ability to absorb water easily, lengthening hydration and the retention of electrolytes. I’ve  actually been putting about 1 tablespoon into my 20 oz water bottle, squirting lemon juice into the mix and adding a little bit of stevia. It makes for a yummy and interesting lemonade.

Another cool fact about seeds…you don’t just have to eat the seeds plain to benefit from their nutritional value. They are so versatile and take on the flavor of whatever you combine them with. You can eat them in oatmeal, blend them into smoothies, throw them on peanut butter toast, even make jam with them.

I finally tried a recipe over at PowerCakes‘ blog. I’d been wanting to make chia jam filled power muffins for the longest time and I finally got around to making them. They’re relatively easy to make. I followed the recipe exactly…except I used regular flour instead of coconut as the recipe called for…but the batter turned out pretty thin. I threw a banana into the batter and mashed it up pretty good. That helped hold the batter a little more and resulted in super moist cupcakes!

Here’s the recipe. Find it here on PowerCakes’ site.

For the jam:
  • 1 1/2 C frozen or fresh fruit of your choice (I made mixed berry chia jam)
  • 1/4 C chia seeds
  • 1 T water
  • Stevia to sweeten (if desired…the fruit may already be as sweet as you want it to be)
Instructions:
  • If fruit is frozen, place in the microwave for 2 minutes.
  • Add fruit into a blender.
  • Pour blended fruit back into a bowl.
  • Stir in the chia seeds, water and stevia.
  • Place in refrigerator for 1-2 hours to cool off and thicken a bit.


For the muffin mix:
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1/4 C protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C applesauce
  • 1 C almond milk (any milk of your choice)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • A few packets of stevia (sweeten to taste)
    • Banana for a more moist, sweeter muffin
Instructions:
  • Mix all the dry ingredients
  • Stir in wet ingredients
  • Line a pan with cupcake liners and fill bottom with batter
  • Spoon chia jam into the middle (~1 T)
  • Smooth over the remaining batter to fill out each muffin
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 min

Such a delicious result. I’ve eaten them to power me before and after workouts! Thanks again, PowerCakes.

Have you tried chia seeds? Ever own a chia pet? Winking smile

Back to hitting the pavement

Sixteen days. I had let 16 days go by without going for a run at all. That hiatus was depressing especially considering that up until that last run, I had been doing well on my runs. Increasing my distance, keeping a steady pace. Taking a break from running that lasts that long is pretty hindering and initiates backtracking–so disheartening after having put in so much work and effort into my training.

Now, this unwelcome break wasn’t because I’m a horribly lazy individual. I blame this break in running to the fact that I suffered the most severe case of poison ivy I have ever had the displeasure of experiencing. Saying it was a nightmare, horrendous, pure torture from the Poison Ivy Gods does not begin to describe the agony I endured.

Poison Ivy Goddess: pure evil right there.

What was interesting is that I came into contact with the poison ivy on the day I would run my last run for a while–a Tuesday. I’m so glad I went on that run! But to nip any assumptions in the bud: I did not come into contact with the ivy during that run. Running would never do me like that. 🙂

The poison ivy didn’t manifest itself until Thursday. Friday came around, and I was full blown miserable. The swelling, blisters, oozing and rawness (gross, I apologize) lasted for a week exactly.  The unbearable rash was concentrated on the inside of my legs around my knees. The swelling and blistering affected my ability to bend my knee and walk, confining me to my bed. My legs were worthless. I was ready for the drying out process to begin. That part was just as miserable, though. The itching sensation that came from the drying of my skin and blisters was overwhelming. I lost so much sleep during this whole ordeal, tossing and turning, looking for a place of comfort that I never could find.

I thought my immune system had check out for a while when random rashes appeared on my arms, side and other parts of my legs. It was driving me crazy and making me incredibly paranoid. Is it ever going to end?? Horrible.

I’m thankful that the torture is over now. I’m anxiously awaiting for my legs to clear up from the unsightly marks the rash left behind.

Imprisoned in my bed–while my leg muscles atrophied (terrible feeling)–I realized I had taken running for granted. I had taken for granted having the freedom to get out and run to my heart’s content. Valuing the ability I have once again to do this has driven a desire to go running everyday, or as often as I possibly can. Don’t take running for granted again, Cindy. I haven’t made this happen yet but I know I’d be capable of doing it.

Determination will have to be my new best friend for a while.

How do you keep from falling into any workout lulls and coming back from them?

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