Healthy Habits

Can you believe it? It’s March? When did that happen?

Spring is almost here…or it would be, if I didn’t live in Ohio. But alas, it’s March 1st, and we’re expecting a huge snowstorm tonight into tomorrow. Have I mentioned I despise hate tolerate love snow? No? Right…because I don’t! Snow is pretty when all you have to do is cuddle by a fire with a cup of tea and a good book. Otherwise, I’d just as soon not have it at all.

Anyway…
I’ve been busy. Work, run, sleep. Repeat. Busy, but not doing a whole lot. I’ve also been making some pretty big changes in my life, and I’m terrified excited about them. Some you’ll hear about further down the trail, as they are both private and still fresh enough to have me a little on edge. But let’s talk about the new healthy habits I’ve picked up.
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Writing. Keeping a consistent writing schedule has always been difficult for me. I have a stack of product and company reviews I need to write, and that all feels like work. The problem is I love to write, and once I get going, I can feel the words flying onto the page with rapid force (hence this post). But it can’t feel like work. I started another writing project last week, a journal of sorts, that I may publish in the future. It’s related to that sensitive topic (Please forgive my cryptic prose. I’m not ready to be so exposed.) The point is I’ve been writing, every day for a week, in fact. To my surprise, it’s been quite easy to set aside ten minutes each day to write. Isn’t it amazing how, when there’s no agenda, we can enjoy the things we once loved? That is something I hope to apply to other areas of my life, and hopefully my running. I’m still going to journal every day with that project, but my goal is to post something here on days I don’t work. Some days it won’t be much, and I’ll try to work in those product reviews over the next few months.
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Nutrition. I’m continuing with my whole food plant-based diet, but just like anything, it needs a tune up. My job has made it easier by providing tons of healthy, vegan options, but, after spending a day at a grocery store, the last thing I want to do is shop. My healthy habit for March sounds easy. I’m going to start each day with 20oz of clean water. First, I’ve been waking with migraines lately, and some of that has to do with hydration, or lack thereof. I can’t control the weather, specifically the barometric pressure…trust me, I would if I could…so I’ll start with water. Second, I’m hoping extra hydration will help curb some of my appetite issues, including my new-found sweet tooth. It’s worth a shot. Sounds easy, right? Drink up!

So that’s it! I’ll have a running post up in the next few days as racing season starts up soon. I’m tapering (read: keeping my fingers crossed) this week for a 50k next weekend. That’s going to hurt a bit. Better save that tale for next time.

What healthy habits are you starting this month? Let’s hear them!

A note on drinking

I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of diet plans and products that promote quick weight loss. And, by now, you know how they accomplish that.

Water.

Most of us are carrying around excess water that can easily mean 2-5 extra pounds (maybe more) that we can drop at a moment’s notice and poof…the diet works! Right?

Wrong! Resume normal eating and drinking habits and the pounds are right back. But do they have to be? Is it possible we are over-consuming water and other beverages, and carrying that weight for no reason?

I used to drink soda…specifically Coke…every day. Two cans. The year I stopped, I lost about 10lbs easily. This was mostly because of the sugar I now wasn’t consuming, but I quickly put back a few of those pounds drinking my eight, 8oz. glasses of water each day.

Diet soda is an even worse offender. But it has the word “diet” or “zero” in the name! It can’t be bad for you! Think again. It’s a beverage with ingredients that have zero calories? It takes some magic to conjure that…usually in the form of FAKE sugar. And since this is the Eat REAL Food Challenge, we’re not going to touch that stuff. Sure…Stevia comes from a plant…and if you need to add sugar to your coffee, I’d much prefer you add that over white, processed sugar. More on that later…this is about drinks.

Most days I stick to two liquids: water and coffee. Sure…I’ll enjoy a beer or two after a good run, and I won’t turn down a glass of wine with friends. But no commercial juice and no soda. There are a few exceptions…if you’re a distance runner please drink what your body needs…but don’t miss the following article.

Tim Noakes, MD wrote this great book last year entitled Waterlogged. If you haven’t read it, you should. I’ve included a link to an extensive review on the iRunFar.com blog which discusses the main points. Warning, it’s long and somewhat scientific, but it addresses the main myths about hydration, specifically for runners.

So drink up! Just keep it REAL!