#Chase2015: 7 Enhancements for Better Living

We’re already well into September, where exactly has 2015 gone? I am still asking that question. This year already my family has experienced a few additions. My brother got married and my sister gave birth to a second beautiful baby girl. To celebrate the new additions to my family, I decided to make a few positive additions and changes to my lifestyle:

Chase2015_edited

Here is my top 7 enhancements I have made to #Chase2015:

Using a Fitbit

My pedometer died on me and I was left with the decision of get another or invest in something a little more. I went to Target and using my Cartwheel app (which by the way it is my favorite app that saves me lots of money!) I got the more expensive one for a decent price.

Protein shakes

I have once again started drinking a protein shake on my way to work. It is sustaining and helps fuel me through the morning. I find that when I choose protein over carbs, I don’t like I used to and that is wonderful.

Panera

This quick on-the-go choice has the most healthy options I have found yet. The only downfall at this point is simply that it costs a little more. I can almost always find something to eat that doesn’t kill me in calories for the day. Favorite food choice so far? Turkey and Avocado BLT (minus the tomato of course!). Healthy and fills me up? Count me in!

Increase quiet time

I don’t always succeed at this one, but I at least try to set some quiet time aside to pray, meditate, or just practice being. That is a really hard one to strip yourself down so that you can really enjoy peace and quiet. I still am not all the way there yet, but it gets easier the more I keep trying.

Wunderlist

This is an organizational app that you can get through the Apple store (it is free). I can sync it to my computer, set up reminders that are sent to by email, and I can stay on top of my game. I seem to end up going in a million different directions and this helps keep me on task. So far in the week I have been using it, I feel more organized, more productive, and not so scatterbrained. They have pre-made lists like work, family, groceries, movies to see…as well as the ability for you to change and create new lists. I like also that you can create a network of others with this app. Add others to your network and help delegate tasks. I like using this as a shared network.

Writing skills

So, I am taking two writing classes. Yes, 5 weeks of pen and paper bliss. This is something that I have needed to do for my work and mostly to build confidence in my writing skills. I have moved into a creative marketing position so the need for brushed up writing skills is now needed more than ever. I am hoping this investment in my personal skills will help me achieve success.

Massage and adjustment

I have been getting wellness massages and adjustments from my chiropractor about once every 6 weeks. This is how I deal with my stress. I carry so much of it in my shoulders and when everything is off–it makes my demeanor, my mood, and my fuse short. While I can afford it, I have really tried to work on balance and these two steps have made a major impact on my emotional and physical wellbeing.

Over all, I feel better. I know that I need to work on balancing better and these 7 steps have helped me achieve more balance than I have had in a long while.

Despite stress still being there, I am managing it much better than I used to because of these small enhancements.

How are YOU enhancing your life?

Running and Learning: Half Marathon Progress Update

At the end of August I did something crazy: I signed up for a half marathon. Why is this so crazy? Well, because it’s 13.1 miles. That’s a long way and I hate running. No, seriously, I hate it. Even more than five months into training later, I hate still it. I’m still only able to run a little over a mile before I need to walk for a minute.

image1 (1)This training has taught me a lot, though. I’ve learned more about myself and my physical capabilities than I ever before. I’ve learned time and time again that my body is strong. It’s stronger than I knew. My original goal was just to finish the half marathon. Now, I can maintain a pace and set a time goal. Continue reading “Running and Learning: Half Marathon Progress Update”

Chocolate Banana Protein Shake

Here at Anchor Drop, we think eating healthy is important, but being healthy in your beverages choices are important too! Every Thursday, we will be spotlighting some of our favorite beverage recipes and concoctions for you to try. This week out of the gate we have a simple, yet guilt free chocolate special…

I love this shake. So much so that I have it almost every morning for breakfast – I’ve yet to get sick of it. It is super easy and nutritious; it keeps me going until lunch!

Banana Chocolate Protein Shake

Chocolate Banana Protein Shake Continue reading “Chocolate Banana Protein Shake”

6 Tips for Beginning Runners

I am not built to be a runner. I don’t have long legs and a great stride. I make running look hard. The truth is, it is hard. At least for me. I know a lot of people who it is not hard for. People who have been pounding the pavement for years like they were born to do it. I bet you know some of those people too. And I bet they intimidate you.

I used to be like that. I used to see people running as I drove past and thought, “I could never do that. I can’t run.” I was wrong though. I can run. I made a choice to try. I decided to put in the effort and work it took to become a runner. I still can’t run long distances, but I can walk/run/jog for a lot of miles.

One of the hardest things for me was getting started. It was deciding to go from a walk to a run. But thinking back over it, there are some tips I have for people who want to start running.

Tips for Beginning Runners

life is a

Before you go:

Fun Gear. Fun and comfortable clothes you want to put on are key. Make yourself believe you are going to have fun. Or at least you are going to look good while you try. If you get the clothes on and lace up your shoes, you have won half battle. Now you are dressed and ready to look good!

Fun Music. Whether it is upbeat pop music, hip hop, rap, hard rock, country, classical, any kind of music that gets you going and makes you want to go, listen to it. There are many apps you can use, like Pandora or iTunes radio, or you can make your own fun playlist.

Stretch and Walk. Before you leave stretch! Look up stretches online if you need some suggestions. And do a warm up walk. Don’t just run, walk for a few minutes to get your body all warmed up and ready to move.

Pick a Program or Schedule. If you are looking for an easy starter program to help you get to running, try a Couch to 5k program. These type of programs will tell you when to walk and run to build up to doing a 5k (3.1 miles). Personally, I prefer programs that tell me just how many miles I should do to train for a race. For example I am now using a training schedule to get me prepped for a 10-mile race. It gives me three running days with the miles I should do and two cross training days each week. It’s a personal preference on what type of program you like. You can always experiment and see what you like.

Do Not Compare Yourself. One thing I did in the beginning was look at other runners and think “I can’t run as far or as fast as them, I must be doing something wrong.” But the truth is, my ability and fitness level is different than everyone else’s. You cannot compare yourself to anyone else. Just go out and do what you can do. And if that means you can only run two blocks and then have to walk, great. But keep going. In the beginning I could literally only run one block, then walk one block, and I would just rotate those. Now I can still only run about a mile, then have to walk for a little bit, and can run again. But I get my miles in. I do my training and I keep going.

Find a Partner. Like any exercise program, having a partner or someone to keep you accountable can be a benefit. If you need someone to say “Hey, get your butt up and do this!” then find someone to help you out and get your butt out the door.

If you want to be a runner you can do it. It is going to take commitment and effort, but if you want to do it, you will. And here’s a secret, those people you see running who look like they have been doing it forever, they are nice people. And they are encouraging. I have never met a runner that said, “you need to go faster” or, “you aren’t trying hard enough!” I have met so many who are encouraging and will motivate you to no end.

So give a try. Lace up your running shoes and get out there. What do you really have to lose?

Chase 2015

This time of year everyone seems to spend time reflecting on the last year and what they want to change about the year to come. I am definitely included in that. Having worked in the field of lifestyle change for many years, studied it in school and beyond, and being a nurse presently; I am more than aware of how hard change is for people including myself. I’ve read the statistics and how hard it is to predict if someone will stay with a change such as a regular exercise pattern. Let me tell you, the statistics are not encouraging. Change is hard.

Chase

Continue reading “Chase 2015”

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

I am a rules person. Rules make sense to me. I have a fond appreciation for order and organization. I think these reasons are why I enjoy math.

Math has a ton of rules and it has answers that are concrete. For me, it just makes things easier. When I started training for this half marathon, I decided to come up with some “rules” for myself – to make things easier.

Some may seem silly, but they motivate me and help keep me on target. I am two and a half months into training and so far, it seems that the rules are working!

So what are these rules? They are simple and short, but helpful. They are as follows:

My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training

Running #selfie: let's do this!
Running #selfie: let’s do this!

Continue reading “My 5 Running Rules for Half Marathon Training”

Week 3: Weigh in and Don’t forget the Cheese Puffs!!!

This week I challenged myself to eating healthier and providing myself with the healthy snacks to make this happen.  Also known as grocery shopping.  Because I had a coupon, I chose to shop at Earth Fare.  It is close to home and if I spent $35, I would get $5 off.  Seemed as though that would be about right.

I went into it with an idea of what I needed to get and just kind of winged the rest of it.  Bell peppers, humus, avocados, yogurt, crispy snack of some sort, apples, gelato, and a protein/meat if price allowed.  I branched out and did quite well.  I am trying two new flavors of gelato: Southern Butter Pecan and Pistachio.  I am branching out a bit.

This week was a hard one as I had an Expo for work to which we were at liberty of the facility catering for the day and in the evening we had a business meeting/dinner.  I was surrounded by candy, cookies, and all sorts of NO-NO’s.  I must confess, I didn’t log this day and I waited to dang long to have eaten.  I allowed myself to hit hangry; yes that is a word…in the dictionary.

Hangry (adjective) : hungry and angry

I ate a Turkey sandwich with no condiments.  I drank water the majority of the day.  I did have a few cocktails in the evening as well as a glass of red wine.  We had dinner at a restaurant in Rosemont IL. called Carlucci.  Their brazen Lamb was delicious.  I had never had lamb before (…again branching out) and I would order it again.  If you are in the northwest Chicago suburbs, you should definitely check them out!

I decided to go on a run outside yesterday.   The Pufferbelly Trail has been one that I enjoyed attempting to run.  Running is a mental game for me.  I was able to meet 2 goals last night and being the dork I am, I rejoiced out loud!  ‘WHOOOO HOOOOO!’  I ran .88 miles straight at a good pace without stopping and by the end of the day I hit my 10,000 steps.  I was so happy.  You see, it is the little victories!

My week has been a blur.  Correction, what day is it?  Is it Friday?  Yes, I have been oblivious to what day of the week it was.  I have been forgetful and in an effort to me not forgetting, I have “my handy dandy notebook!”  (Thank you, Blue’s Clues for forever placing that phrase in my head…ugh) The list this morning?  Weigh in and don’t forget the cheese puffs!!!  And yes, exclamations were there.  I have to satisfy this inner fat kid don’t you know!

Week 3: height 4'8"; weight 101.5lbs
Week 3: height 4’8″; weight 101.5lbs

 

Week 2: Working on my Fitness

This past weekend was Labor Day.  I was able to work on Saturday and take a day trip Sunday to Indianapolis.  It was really a good mini-vacation.  Sunday morning, my bags were packed and then I met up with a good girl friend of mine.  We went on a walk.  Upon finishing our walk, she helped me finish a project of encouragement for a friend of mine.  She provided perspective and great company.   I must confess “Week 2” has been full of awesome discoveries!

Observations/discoveries of this week:
1. Earth Fare soups are excellent!  I tried the Chicken Chili and my girl friend bought the Kale soup.  The price was decent and I felt satisfied afterwards.

2. I branched out and tried a new smoothie.  Evolution Fresh Apple Berry is delicious.  I have seen this at the grocery stores.  It was a healthier snack than others I could have chosen.  Definitely recommend trying one.

3. I am starting to make smarter food choices.  This morning I was out getting some projects done before heading to work.  I knew I needed to eat breakfast, but simply had no time to make something.  Duncan Donuts was on my way to work so I stopped by and for $1.18 I bought a Egg White Flatbread.  It was a healthy option which gave my body necessary fuel.  I knew I would have crashed, if I didn’t fuel my body.

4.  I am working out with more intention.  It makes so much of a difference working out with specific goals in mind.  My mom and I both have been trying to get in the habit of eating better and working out.  While on Pinterest the other day, I was able to find a leg work out.  The first day upon completing this rigorous list, my legs were hurting!  This week I successfully completed the cycle once and I felt great!

5. I set and met my goals!  I set a goal to be able to run without stopping to a certain point on a usual route.  I have had trouble and have been making excuses for myself along the way and I finally said enough!  I finally did it!  I ran 0.7 miles and walked back.  I felt decent without over extending myself.

6.  I found water in a box!  Check this out:

http://www.boxedwaterisbetter.com
http://www.boxedwaterisbetter.com

On my way back home, I stopped and ate dinner with my cousins.  Both of them attend Ball State.  We decided to eat at their Atrium food court.  I found this little gem and thought it was worth a try.

All in all, I am satisfied with my progress.  I am finding a balance between strengthening my body, working on endurance and keeping my heart strong, and eating a more balanced diet.  I hope into this next week, I can maintain this steady momentum.

 

Week 2: height 4'8"; weight 102.5
Week 2: height 4’8″; weight 102.5

Reminders:
1. Don’t let your head get in the way of your goals.  Stop being a mental case and remember “YOU CAN DO IT!”

2. Working out, eating lunch and being in community with supportive friends helps tremendously in a persons over all health and well-being.

3. Chin up!  Don’t get discouraged if you have an off day.  Keep on pushing little engine!

Stay tuned….more discoveries to come I am sure…

One is the loneliest number…

… and you’re always alone when you’re early.

Annoyingly early. That’s me. I have to force myself to be late or even on time. Consistently, I arrive at my intended location 20-30 minutes early. Fashionably late? Never. You’ll find me sitting in my car forcing myself to wait until my clock says ten minutes until the event time, which I view as an appropriate early arrival.

Consistent timeliness has proven  itself both a blessing and a curse. I take pride in the fact that I can manage my time in such a way that it does not communicate disrespect or create additional stress for those I am meeting with due to a late arrival. However, in turn, it can turn very awkward, very fast, when it is just me and the host awaiting the “late” arrivals.

The tension of staying true to who I am (someone who believes that timeliness and promptness communicate respect) and not wanting to be a loner is something I deal with daily. When meeting someone or attending and event (or working), I view showing up when requested as a way of validating the individual/organization that invited me. In essence, I am saying through my timely arrival, that they matter, are valuable, and I respect them.

While studying abroad in Ireland in 2004 (how old am I?!), my view of timeliness = respect was disrupted. It was common to be invited to a family’s home after church for tea, and I initially jumped at the chance to experience Irish homes/families. In my mind, I would leave within ten minutes after the service ended, have tea for about an hour, and then be on my way to finish homework, etc. Well intentioned plans were smashed as I waited for almost an hour to even go to their homes, didn’t have tea for another hour, and ended up staying for FOUR hours. Forgetting that I had been invited into THEIR homes, I was upset that they weren’t respecting me by observing the time more closely. Throughout my four months abroad, I grew to appreciate slowing down and being accommodating in the reverse of what I was accustomed.

Although I can see value in assimilating into a culture, I see value in setting oneself a part as well. I’m an early bird. Always have been. Always will be. I have chosen to make modifications so that I do not arrive crazy early so as not to make anyone else uncomfortable, but me…sitting in the parking lot, waiting to go inside 🙂

Conclusion: No matter if you are consistently early or tardy, it is helpful to make a conscious effort to respect those around you and understand who you are dealing with – and to adjust accordingly. Just because you are always early or always late, doesn’t mean that everyone will accept that excuse. What are some things you can do to curb your earliness/tardiness? How obtainable is that goal in the next week?

The Year of THIRTY: Update

The response I received to my initial THIRTY post was tremendous (on Facebook and at work). I honestly didn’t think that it was odd to create a list like I did here., but many viewed it as a novelty and were super encouraging!  For the sake of keeping myself accountable and satisfying inquiring minds, here is a fleshed out version of the items I have done or am in the process of doing:

3. Grow my own vegetables – This year I planted Roma, cherry and grape tomatoes in pots on my patio. Planning on jarring up some bruschetta mix to carry me through the winter (and use as hostess gifts!)

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4. Read thirty books in varying genres. . . My list of completed books since May are as follows; “Wicked”, “The Giver Quartet” – “The Giver”, “Gathering Blue”, “Messenger” and “Son”, “BossyPants”

5. Learn to play golf…I have connected with three other people who will be taking me out on a 9-hole course to see where my future with golf lies.

6. Buy a bike and ride it . . . I love my bike! It is pink with big tires and a basket! The tires are flat though and my bike pump is plotting against me. 

8. Go berry picking . . . I picked Blueberries, Raspberries, and Blackberries.  Shoutout to “The Extraordinary Berry” and “Stateline Blueberries“!

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9. Do something once a month by myself that I’ve never done before: May: Took a real vacation. June: Started a job in the finance field July: Organized a baby shower August: Drove to Michigan, went berry picking, and ate at a restaurant by myself.

10. Wake up early on the weekends – this was a cheater one, I normally wake up early…I’m just making a conscious effort to be productive since I’m up!

13. Take my thoughts captive when I get upset that others are engaged, married, having babies, getting promotions, etc. and I’m not. – this one is hard. I’m the last one of a group of ten to be seriously involved with anyone, but I’m trying to be happy for them and content with where I’m at. 

17. Take a painting class – I shouldn’t quit my day job, but this sure was fun! Shout-out to “Pinot’s Palette!” 

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20. Participate in at least one volunteer activity a month – For the past two months, I’ve packed backpacks for kids going back to school!

22. Meet my neighbors -This can be awkward, but I’ve successfully met three of my neighbors this summer! One of them cut me off pulling into the neighborhood though and drives ridiculously, but I still wave when I see him and his wife out and about!

24. Learn French – Yay! People are willing to help me! Currently looking into purchasing Rosetta Stone.

25. Listen to and engage with people I haven’t previously – I had a lovely conversation with my benchmates at a park in Michigan, met new co-workers, mixed and mingled at professional networking events.

26. Take more walks – This normally happens on the weekend, but I am trying to connect with people in my neighborhood to do this.

28. Listen to voicemails – I have visual voicemail on my phone, so I normally just call people back…thus the incredible accumulation of messages. I’m staying on top of these now.

We would love to hear of the things you want to accomplish this year, please share!

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