Food these days

I just ate a WHOLE PACK of chocolate chip cookies, and they tasted SO GOOD. Sure, I didn’t mean to eat the whole pack, but also, I feel okay having done that. And that feels good. (Though I realize I should probably stick with the single serve cookies).

The thing is, sugar doesn’t bother my stomach. Gluten doesn’t bother my stomach. I know those two are pretty common no-no’s, but I have several food sensitivities, and those two things are fine. (Now if I ate 10,000 M&M’s and chased that with 20,000 pancakes, we’d probably have a problem, but you know).

Two of the most prominent sensitivities I have (and that are most often found in everyday food items) are dairy and soy.

I can eat dairy, but my gut definitely feels it. If I eat too much soy, it affects my hormones/emotions, so I aim to avoid it altogether. (Hence the dairy and soy free cookies I linked above. Mmm.)

There are also several little sensitivities that I have as well, like a lot of fruits and nightshade vegetables. But the main two, again, are dairy and soy.

Remember that sugar detox I did earlier this year, and how skewed my relationship with food was in the several weeks following that? This week, I finally feel like I’m back to a good place with food. Here are some of the steps I’ve gone through to get here:

Sugar Detox (rarely felt satisfied, though I felt other physical benefits which were nice)

Binge Eating (toward the end of the detox, and continuing for a few weeks afterward. I just couldn’t feel satisfied)

Tracking Food (in the MyFitnessPal app for a few days. This helped me simply observe what I was eating, and be more mindful about how much I was consuming, without judgment)

Counting Macros (on and off for a couple of weeks, to specifically observe how many carbs/proteins/fats I was consuming, learn about that, and be more mindful about it)

Letting Go (and eating without tracking or judgment)

Eliminating Dairy and Soy (my most common sensitivities)

Different things work for different people, and I think I personally needed to explore my relationship with food even just briefly in these different ways to get to where I am now.

I had eliminated dairy and soy before the sugar detox, but somehow, during those 3 weeks of no-sugar and following weeks of distorted eating habits, I had forgotten how to eat to feel good. What would I eat for meals? For snacks? I just couldn’t remember. Over the past few months I’ve been re-discovering foods that I used to love, that I had forgotten about.

For example, on Tuesday I suddenly craved a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so I bought a jar of store-bought peanut butter and a loaf of bread for probably the first time since that detox. I ate two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at work that day, and they were SO GOOD. And it FELT so good to enjoy it!

When I eat these foods like cookies and PB&J sandwiches (as long as they’re dairy free and soy free), I feel full and satisfied, but not bloated, gassy, or sick. When I’m eating foods like bananas, tofu, red peppers, cheese, all natural fruit snacks, watermelon, avocado, and a bunch of other random “healthy” items, I feel a level of discomfort—ranging from a sour stomach, to 4-hours of intense can’t-move-from-the-fetal-position-or-talk-or-think nausea (that’s avocado).

What I want you to know from this post is:

1. Every body is different, and every body has different needs/sensitivities. Maybe eliminating gluten or dairy or sugar etc. is for you, and maybe it’s not! I really don’t believe that there’s ONE way to eat to feel good (if I followed every healthy-eating-diet recommendation, I’d probably be dead. Yikes!) If you think your body could be performing or feeling better, perhaps try eliminating common allergens for a few days/weeks, then slowly reintroducing them back into your diet one at a time. This will help you see how your body reacts to each one. If you want to learn more about this, I recommend the book The Virgin Diet, which outlines this whole process. (Check your local library!)

You could also get an allergy test at your doctor’s office, but even then, the results won’t be perfect. I did a skin test a few years back, plus a blood test to double check a few of the allergens, and some of the things that came up don’t bother me enough to worry about, and some of the things that make me sick to my stomach didn’t come up at all! It did offer me a lot of insight (and confirmed some of the suspicions I had about dairy and soy, both of which I had reactions to), but eliminating then later reintroducing possible allergens is the best way to know your individual sensitivities.

2. I’ve been eating cookies and PB&J and I finally feel happy and satisfied, body and soul. That really was the reason I started writing this post—ha!

I should also note that I still have a green smoothie every day. I still incorporate a lot of vegetables and good things into my diet. I’ve been focusing a lot on hydrating well and fueling well, especially with all of my athletic goals I have this year. I’m sure that I will continue to refine my eating habits as needed to reach these goals. But for right now, I feel pretty good where I’m at.

*P.S. Photo is of a dairy-free and soy-free pizza I got the other day from Blaze Pizza. Mmm!! The allergy finder on their website is awesome. I indicated what allergies I have and it told me everything on their menu I could eat. It was AWESOME. And their crust is dairy and soy free, as is their vegan cheese (that’s always hit or miss with the soy). It was SO GOOD.

** P.P.S. This post contains some Amazon Affiliate links, which means that if you purchase these products through these links, I’ll receive a small % of the sale. Which is cool! So thank you if you do ever buy anything from my blog through these affiliate links!

I’m back!

Shin splint recovery continued!

I started feeling knee and shin pain on March 24 after a 6 mile downhill run. I was in denial at first, still cross training and throwing in a couple trail runs (softer surface) the next week, but at a massage appointment on March 31, my massage therapist confirmed it: shin splints. Gratefully, they weren’t TOO bad at that point, but the signs were there. I was determined to heal up as quickly as I could and get back to running!

I tried to do a bit of cross training (stationary bike, elliptical, strength training), but my legs were just tender, and not having it. I stopped. I did the things I shared in my last post (and a couple other things I shared in my last email newsletter). I rested. It was difficult. Stuff was also happening in my personal life and I didn’t have my normal outlet (running and exercise) to help me work through it.

I realized during a walk one day that I was feeling it more in parts of my knees, which made me even more nervous (shin splints I had dealt with before, but knee problems I had not). Even though I was concerned about my knees, it still felt nice to be able to narrow down the cause even more. Everything is connected, you know. So I started caring for my knees even more with KT Tape and icing—as opposed to focusing primarily on my shins, which were starting to feel better after the few days off.

While I was trying to fall asleep late one night, I picked up my phone and wrote out a training plan to still get the runs I wanted to in before my next race. I planned to take just over two full weeks off before starting to ease back into running (at the time of writing that plan, that still gave me just under two weeks remaining of no running). I looked at that training plan the next morning and was kicking myself for scheduling so much time off, but knew that this was still a wise plan to stick to.

*During this break, you should know that every day I was researching different races and training plans, getting excited to be back at it. Haha!

Last Monday morning—just a few days after I had written that training plan—my quads had a strange strain to them, but I still had the thought, “I’m going to run today.”

I didn’t expect this thought. According to the late-night plan I had written, I still had a full week of rest left. But when my intuition tells me something, I listen. I packed my running gear with me as I went off to work that day.

I can’t tell you how good it felt to run again. I chose a mostly-flat trail that I was familiar with, wore shoes that I knew my feet felt good in (I knew my shoes would affect my shins, knees, and everything else as well), took the pace very easy, and enjoyed every second. I had my good friend’s running playlist playing in my ears (a mix of gangster rap and alternative hits from a few years earlier, haha!), and the warm sun kissing my shoulders.

The next day I was on the ARC trainer at the gym. The day after that I did another trail run. Still taking it easy, still icing my legs after every exercise, still gently stretching and strengthening. But let me tell you, it feels so good.

I guess the point of this post is to tell you: your body knows best. If your body says “Something’s wrong,” then slow down and figure out what. If it says “I need rest,” then let your body rest. If your body says, “I can shake this out. Let’s give it a shot,” then it’s probably time to get moving.

In my limited experience, with any setback, I’ve always come back physically stronger, wiser in my training, and somehow even more enthusiastic about my training and the process than I was before! (And let’s hope that that experience proves to be true for every setback, in every area!)

It’s good to be back. I still don’t know what the plan is for this weekend or next week, but I’m grateful to be in this space of growth and potential.

Lastly, RUNNING IS SO MUCH FUN!! Haha

How I’m helping my body heal from shin splints

I feel like I haven’t posted much on Instagram lately because I am CRANKY about this injury—my first shin splints in probably 7 years. I’m quite bummed about it. I was in denial at first because they weren’t as bad as I remember them being 7 years ago, but my massage therapist confirmed it: shin splints (and thank GOODNESS they aren’t as bad as they were 7 years ago!). I’m pretty sure I know exactly what caused them, and I am moving forward with a plan to not only heal these shin splints (quickly, I hope), but remedy the cause of them by adjusting my training from here on out.

I’ve decided to share some of what I’m doing to help my body heal—both to reaffirm it for myself* and also in case anyone else may need a little guidance in this area.

*Reaffirming it for myself because I’ve gone a little stir crazy about this. The last few days I’ve been so frustrated with my body, and frustrated that I can’t train and move how I want to. Part of how I’m going to deal with that is to actively work on recovering, and also hopefully find some good ways to fill my time! Hobbies or what have you. Still deciding exactly what to focus on though.

Here are some things that I’m doing to heal:

  1. I’m taking Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex pills 1-2 times a day, with meals. These pills are a part of doTERRA’s Deep Blueline, though they aren’t the exact oils in the oil blend or lotion (both of which I love too, by the way). These pills are taken internally and are said to help support muscles and joints, soothe discomforts, and contains doTERRA’s “Tummy Tamer Blend.” I’ve been taking it in place on ibuprofen for about 2 months now and have been very pleased with it. While I usually take it as needed, I’ve been taking it more regularly over the past few days in the hopes that it will help in my body’s healing process.

I will say, these pills are rather expensive, which is why I haven’t tried them before now—but if you’re on a doTERRA team, placing regular wholesale orders, and doing that whole thing, a majority (if not all of) your monthly order will be free. To me, this makes these pills well worth it!

P.S. These pills contain: Frankincense, Turmeric, Ginger, Green Tea (caffeine-free), Pomegranate, Grape Seed, Resveratrol, Peppermint Leaf, and Caraway Seed.

P.P.S. As always, contact me if you want more info on anything doTERRA, or on joining my team!

  1. I bought this roller stick to help roll out my muscles, especially around my shins. I’ve used a foam roller for quite some time now, but when my massage therapist recommended I roll out my tight calves and the area around my shins regularly to help heal and prevent future shin splints, I felt that this would be an easier way to do that. So far, I like it a lot!

  2. I’ve been adding collagen peptides to smoothies! Truth be told, I ran out of collagen peptides a couple weeks back, and had been using bone broth in smoothies instead, just because I had that available at the time. But I’ve since put in another order for collagen peptides. This powder is unflavored and can easily be added to smoothies, drinks, baked goods, etc. (I add it to my green smoothies every day). It promotes healthy skin, joints, bones, hair, nails, etc. 

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Of course, those three things are only part of how I’m healing from this. A lot of it is rest, some cross training, as well as icing my shins and knees multiple times a day.

If you’re in a similar boat, perhaps check out this article for some more recovery ideas (I’ve done quite a bit of research on this, but that article got straight to the point and gave great insights, I thought!). I also really loved the second half of this post by hungryrunnergirl (I love her) about how to move forward from running injuries.

Now here’s hoping my body heals up quickly!

House of Order, Part 1: Intro + Finances

“Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” (Doctrine & Covenants, 88:119)

A couple months ago I had the impression to create “a house of order,” and I kind of brushed it off because I am a single woman, living with roommates, and while I’m organized in some ways (making lists, keeping track of stuff at work, etc.), physical organization wasn’t something I was too concerned about.

(Also, when I thought of “house of order,” I thought of it in the context of a future home, belonging to either me as an individual, or with a husband and kids (hopefully); organizing toys, schedules, meals, and keeping a spirit of light in the home—all things that are either non-applicable or that I don’t have total control over while living with 2 other women who all have very different lives, schedules, and priorities).

A few weeks later I received the same impression but suddenly my view on “house of order” shifted. This time it became very applicable to the present—encompassing finances, nutrition, my daily/weekly schedule, cleanliness and organization, learning, and working toward goals. I tracked numbers, I kept written records. I didn’t do it all at once (so take a deep breath if you’re feeling overwhelmed, because I was starting to while writing it all out), but I started researching and implementing a new system once every few days. There was no timeline to this. I simply started working on a new thing, became familiar and comfortable with it, and usually within a few days felt like I could expand to more.

I want to share about this, because it matters to me, and because I feel like it contributes to me living an active lifestyle. I’m going to start with the area that I’ve probably been working on longest.

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Financially

I made some poor decisions when I left a very stable (though emotionally draining) full time job in 2016 to pursue being a yoga instructor (with a very lacking business plan). I essentially lived off of savings for over a year and racked up debt quickly during the second half of that period of time. It could be much worse—I’m still surprised that I am not in more debt considering what I was working with—but debt is still stressful. Cutting back and feeling guilt for purchases is also stressful. Truth be told, I’ve held a lot of shame around finances for a long time.

My first step in a better direction came when I was invited to participate in the LDS Church’s Self Reliance Program, which was being piloted in the United States after having been used successfully in some poorer countries for a time. The program is 12-weeks long and consists of weekly small group classes. While there are four different classes I could choose from, I chose the Personal Finance class.

I loved the spiritual aspect of the class, and I learned that we can work with God to build up savings (an emergency fund), get out of debt, and be more able to lift up those around us through this—and that God wants all of those things for us! He doesn’t want us to feel burdened by this, and He also wants us to build the skills that come with being wise stewards over our finances.

I also started using the EveryDollar app to track my finances. I highly recommend this app, as it helped me to really see where my money was going and where I could cut back.

Getting spiritual again for a moment—I truly believe that when we do our part, God lifts us up higher than we could have on our own. When I began the self reliance program, I was working a part time job that I felt unfulfilled in and was not providing me what I needed financially. Over the past 6+ months since that first self reliance class, my role at work has grown and shifted into a position I love, with responsibilities I feel fulfilled with, and with greater hours and pay. It is a huge blessing, and I honestly believe it is as good as it is because I worked with God to make it happen, and I did what I could do on my end. Truly, truly.

My second step came a couple months after the self reliance class when I met Elisa, a financial planner. She offered to meet with me to review my finances. It was nice having this one-on-one time with someone who knew her stuff, had seen a lot of different situations already, and could give me insight and concrete ideas on how to continue to work toward my financial goals.

This is all still a work in progress, and I think it always will be in some way or another. But those are the tools I’ve used to become a better steward of my earnings.

Check back for more posts on how I’m creating a “house of order” soon!

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To find more information about and resources from the LDS Self Reliance Program, click here.

Utah folk! To contact Elisa and schedule an appointment with her, click here.

 

Image from @YogiApproved.

Transformation/Throwback Tuesday

I was searching my old-old blog tonight, trying to find old pics of me running to see how long I’ve had my running shorts, haha! (Turns out the oldest picture I can find with them is only 4 years old, but it feels like I’ve had them for longer! But I guess thank goodness I haven’t). But I ended up finding something FAR better.

On October 9, 2009 I wrote the following intentions:

For the past several months, I have had intentions building in my mind.
These are two of the ones that have stuck around.

  • Become a certified yoga instructor. Look for chances to offer the blessings of this practice to those who normally would not be able to afford going to an expensive studio.
  • Run a 10k, half marathon, or a relay race. Any of those will do. I just really like running.

So, basically, I’m thinking that if I publicly announce these things on this blog, I’ll actually get them done. And by the time I save up enough money to enroll in a yoga instructor training course, I’ll be about ready to do that! 🙂

crow pose, probably held for .2 seconds, october 2009. header photo, crow pose 2017.

I don’t remember writing these. I remember having thoughts that I’d like to become a yoga instructor someday, but at that time I only casually practiced, and mostly at home. I remember thinking it’d be cool to do a half marathon someday, but at that time, I only casually ran/walked some 5k races, probably just casually run/walking a couple miles some evenings to be ready to just finish that distance come race day.

You guys.

In 2014 I ran my first 10k, and then my first relay.

In 2016 I completed my 200-hour yoga teaching certification.

In 2017 I ran my first half marathon, then my second.

(Uh, also, p.s. Thank you to my parents for funding my yoga teacher training. That whole bit about “saving up enough money to enroll” didn’t actually come to pass. Whoops. Gratefully, practicing better money management is already an intention I’ve set and am actively working on, haha!)

You guys, I did these things. These dreams and intentions that seemed so far off, so unlikely, especially considering how little I was working toward them at the time. It makes me think, what other someday-thoughts have I had in my life (I can already think of some), and what would happen if I focused even a little bit more on working toward them? Writing them down? Being more intentional about my time and efforts in those particular areas of life?

Same questions for you. What intentions can you set today? What are those quiet someday-thoughts you’ve had? Then start making them happen.

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Header photo by Tiffani Berthold at The Station Fitness Studio in Orem, Utah!