Run Fast, Eat Slow plus a bug in my eye!

I am 1.5 weeks post the Philadelphia Rock N Roll Half Marathon, back at running and training for the Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon and feeling good.  I owe you guys a race recap!  So psyched because I got a PR!  Special thanks to my best running friend Lauren.

I’m trying to tackle harder runs and incorporate more hills, which is pretty easy to do where I live.  Sunday I ran a pretty fast 8 miler with miles 2-3 being an uphill climb.  It felt amazing and it was definitely a runners high kind of day.

Today felt like this though…


Today I went out to tackle 6 hilly miles with a loooong and steep downhill at miles 4-5 and a bug flew in my eye at mile 1!  Ugh!  That bothered me for some time. I feel proud, I only had to walk for less than 1 minute.  

I also am beyond psyched because this gem of a cookbook was delivered today!  I heard about it on both the runners world podcast and the run like a mother podcast.  I can’t wait to try out some of these recipes.   I am going to try another recipe from Thug Kitchen tonight, a Beer Lime Cauliflower taco.  I’ll blog about that later.


Can’t wait to dive into this and share some family favorites.

Run Happy y’all!

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Happy New Month!

Hello August | via Tumblr on We Heart It.. Summer will soon end and once gain fall comes calling with it's crisp air and burnished leaves of gold.  TG:

Happy Monday everyone.  Today not only ushers in a new week, but a new month.  There is something magical about new beginnings.  A chance to start over, a time to make goals.  January 1st everyone is so set about what the new year will bring them.  I am not that excited about new years, I prefer to look at new weeks!  Making small, manageable goals ladders up to something phenomenal in one year.  Think about it.  If you made a point to make a small change every Monday- imagine what 52 Mondays of change look like!
Last week I was so happy I hit every one of my workout goals.  Sometimes it isn’t always possible and I see there are obstacles already popping up this week.  Preparation is key to success.
Back to goal setting for the week and month ahead.  Sit down with yourself and come up with 4 things you want to focus on this month.  Then actually write them down!  Pick one a week to really focus on, then the next week try to do 2, then 3, then 4.   For example, they may be things like:
– Drink 1/2 my weight in water every day (this one is my downfall)
– Log my food this week
– Bring my lunch instead of buying it
– Eat breakfast every day
– Eat fruits and vegetables every day
-Try a new recipe/new food this week
– Exercise 2,3,5,7 x this week (you choose!)
– Incorporate strength training into my week (especially if you favor cardio)
– Incorporate cardio into my week (especially if you favor lifting)
– Incorporate stretching into my week
– Give a compliment to a stranger every day this week
– Do something nice to someone without being asked (or thanked or expecting something in return)
New month, new beginning! Make a change and Sign Up for the Skinny Ms. newsletter! Never miss out on fitness tips or healthy recipes from Skinny Ms. #cleaneating #fitness #weightloss:
I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish!
Share with me, comment here:   What are 2 things you are going to focus on this month?

5 Things that Hold us Back from Happiness

For anyone who knows me, my number 1 pet peeve is excuses.  Not just excuses about exercise, but excuses in life.   I have always had goals for myself and when I see something I want, I ask myself- “how did that person get there?”  Then I make a plan and set it in motion.  You can achieve anything you set your mind to with determination, consistency, and a solid plan in place.

I think reading helped me keep that spirit and “can do” attitude alive.  Since I was little I loved self-help books like SARK Eat Mangos Naked (a favorite in high school).  Then, as I got older I found other books like “The Compound Effect,” “You are a Badass” and “Crush it.”  It never hurts to keep learning.

On this continual quest for knowledge and empowerment, I was introduced to a podcast called “The Model Health Show.”  A podcast I listened to struck such a cord with me, I decided to listen again and take notes.   99% of this blog post is courtesy of Shawn Stevenson’s Podcast from June 14, 2016- “5 Things that Hold Us Back from Happiness”  with my own little quips inserted here and there.

In Shawn’s podcast he notes a study from the University of London that states people are 35% less likely to die if they felt happy and content on a typical day.  Generally we are happy as children, then happy again as seniors but it is those in between years of the rat race that really wear us down.   I can totally see that!  Being a working mom with 2 kids, training for races, helping others, and trying to keep my family happy is no easy feat.

So, what holds us back from happiness and how can we turn it around?  Here are his top 5 reasons (in no particular order)

1. Excuses.

This is probably why I loved this podcast so much.   Our primary excuses are usually work, money, and health.  Things are always so much harder when life isn’t going your way.   Tony Robbins said we all have a blueprint set for our lives.  For example, maybe your blueprint is you wanted to get a job, get married, & have kids before 30.   How would you feel if your blue print did not match your life condition?  What if you were 31 and single or unemployed?    It isn’t a horrible thing, but since your blueprint does not equal your life condition you may feel unhappy.   You have to be mentally aware of this and re-adjust your blueprint.  Maybe because you are single and unemployed you can travel the world and paint or volunteer for the Peace Corps?  The world is open and you are unencumbered.  Change your perspective and make the most of the life you have.

2.  The if/then syndrome:

If this happens, then I’d be happy.  If I get this raise, then I’ll be happy.  If the kids get into college, then I’ll be happy.  If I got this beach house, then I’ll be happy.  If I got this divorce, then I’ll be happy… This is what Jim Rohn calls living on “someday I’ll”.   We can’t wish our life away.   Live in gratitude.  What do you have now?  Sure, you can have ambition and work towards something but we need to enjoy the journey!

3.  Skip the Drama!

I never thought about this really before, but I absolutely love it.  Don’t bring the drama around you, don’t look for it, and don’t live into it.   *To do something for someone else, WITHOUT expecting anything in return is the secret to long lasting happiness*.  Oh My Goodness YES.   There is nothing worse than having to keep score, make sure everything is fair, and decide when to be nice to someone else based on how they have treated you in the past.  I am a HUGE believer that if I choose to care about someone, I will be there for them.  I will buy them birthday gifts; I will go to their events… I will be there for them whether they make the same effort for me or not.  I don’t measure my kindness or my happiness by how others treat me, but how I treat others.   Nit picking and living into the drama does not do me any good.  Maybe this is because I believe everyone is genuinely good at heart and everyone’s intentions are pure.  Even if that isn’t the case.  It makes me happy and I don’t want to turn into a cynic.

4.  Future/Past Paradox

Do you mentally visit the past to predict the future? It is a blessing and a curse to think externally.  People think past = future.  We need to see the beauty in our current situation.  If you still live in the past, you miss the power to change your future.    A challenge for you is to change your perspective and CHOOSE to show up differently.  Bring YOUR energy and happiness to the situation.  When you walk into a room brighten that room.  YOU bring the LIGHT.  Living in gratitude is a reflection of the good things that are happening at the current moment.  On a side note, I am LOVING the Instagram challenge #100happydays.  It is forcing me to find the beauty in every day.  Today it was eating a juicy peach.

5.  BELIEF THAT YOU DESERVE IT!

I am amazed at this one.  I remember watching “the Biggest Loser” last season and a speech Bob Harper gave to one of the contestants.  They were having a heart to heart and her biggest roadblock was her deep rooted belief that she didn’t deserve to be fit, to take the time for herself, to win etc.  Once she changed her mind set and told herself that she was worthy and she did deserve it, she started kicking butt!    Realize how much you do matter.  Enjoy the process, and overcome whatever challenges come your way.  You have everything you need to live a good life within you, they just may be dormant.  No one is better than you, but people may be different than you.  Be 100% unapologetic for who you are.  Like Sarah Jessica Parker was told in the movie “The Family Stone”  Let your freak flag fly!  No one will ever exist like you again and no one was like you before, so be the utmost you.

I just loved all this so much and it is great to be reminded again and again of these important points.  Now lastly, being happy doesn’t mean being stagnant.  You can have goals and be ambitious.  Heck, you should!!!  But, enjoy the process.  You deserve to be happy if you choose to be, and if you need to make some life changes, make them.

Have a great Monday.

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Weekly recap: 11 weeks till Brooklyn

I ran with a friend this week!!! What a difference a running buddy makes!  I also joined the #100happydays project to find beauty in every day.  I’m enjoying the mornings immensely.


Monday: 3 mile treadmill run, 11:33 pace followed by a 20 minute bike.

Tuesday: 2 mile indoor track run, 9:30 pace followed by weight/resistance class @ the gym 

Wednesday: met a friend!  5.3 mile outdoor run 9:20 pace.   I also started the #100happydays project!

#day1- enjoyed my first tomato of the season from my garden


Thursday: Rest, couldn’t make the 6am gym class.

#day2- worked so late, but daddy took the kids to the pool, met them for pizza.


Friday: 2 mile interval runs, 9:00 pace followed but lifting full body.  #day3- summer Friday off from work.  We swam for almost 6 hours!


Saturday: rest/walked in town, swam all day.  #day4, breakfast with Oma and Opa. 


Sunday: met up with my running buddy.  7.1 miles at 9:30 pace followed by biking in town with the kids.   Had to pick up dad at the canal after my run. 

#day5


Happy running! See you next week!

Motivation Monday- Finding your why

I’m pretty sure I wrote this before, but it bears repeating.  The VERY first thing I ask anyone interested in starting any health journey is “why.”  Why do you want to lose weight?   Sure, looking great in your clothes and fitting into those jean from high school is nice, but that won’t keep you on track.  Cupcakes and alcohol are way too good.

21X_Wk2_Day7_image

Most people know my story (and if you don’t you can check it out in about me section), but my why is making sure I am taking care of me so that I can have more energy and patience for my family.   I have 2 toddlers, I also work full time as a scientist.  I know that when I indulge too much and don’t exercise I am just a nasty person and my family gets the brunt of it.  I feel tired, bloated, sluggish and screaming toddlers make me lose my sh*t.

What also keeps me motivated is having other people help keep me accountable or incentives.  This week I have a private facebook group going.  We are all going to post every day something we are doing to stay healthy, whether that be a workout or a healthy meal.  At the end of the week I am raffling off a prize to a randomly selected winner.  The only rule to be entered into the raffle is to post something in our group daily.  If you need some extra accountability and want to meet some like minded people,  I would be happy to add you too 🙂

today is the day

I urge you this week to sit down with yourself, grab a piece of paper, a journal, a napkin, anything and be honest with yourself.  Why do you need to stay on track this week?  Maybe there is a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes in your family and you need to lose weight to stay healthy, maybe you need some extra patience for your kids, maybe you have a stressful week coming up and a few good sweat sessions will help make you feel better.  Endorphins are a powerful thing.

goal

Let me know your why in the comments below.  I believe in you.

Running to relieve Stress

To anyone I have interacted with the past 2 days, I’m sorry (especially to my kids and husband).  I don’t know what it was but I felt this enormous stress, like I could literally feel my blood pressure and any little thing made me want to explode. 

I think a big part of that was the past week I made the choice to sleep in instead of getting up early to workout.   I didn’t notice how much those hours exercising before the house was awake helped my sanity and set the tone for the rest of the day.  

First off, you get to admire the morning sky.  


Then, you get to enjoy your coffee, you can think, and you can envision how you want your day to go.

I’m training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon in October so I took myself at 6am to the Delaware & Raritan Canal for my run.  A nice easy 7 miles along the Delaware.  

Whenever I got tired I tried to remember all the things I’ve read on running

  • Don’t swing your arms
  • Lead with your heart
  • Pick up your feet
  • Don’t kick your feet out

Writing these it must sound like I have horrendous running form, not really but I tend to get sloppy as I get tired.  


Now it’s off to celebrate the two men I love most in this world (aside from my son).  My husband and my dad.

And family, if I start to lose it today, remind me of my run.  Everything is going to be ok.

Won’t Stop till Brooklyn

I can’t believe it, it is now official!  I registered for the Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon! 

I have been doing at home workouts exclusively for 1 year now.   While I got phenomenal results, it was time to get outside and switch things up.

A few weeks ago, my awesome sister in law invited me into her “summer running streak” group, in 3 weeks I logged 44 miles so I figured if I could do that I could sign up for a race.  Nothing keeps me motivated like a race date.    Super excited for this puppy, and yes I get excited to add a medal to my wall.

Brooklyn - Half Marathon

Now comes the hard part.  For me, it is scheduling in those long runs.   My husband works Saturdays, and my kids are 2 and 4 so I will either be headed to the gym for a date with the treadmill and Netflix, or an early morning Sunday before our family day.

Anyone else running this race?  Anyone interested in training with me?  I’d love to interact with fellow runners during the training.  It is always more fun to train with a friend, even a virtual one.

Fact Friday-Sunscreens (and why grading them isn’t always the best) 

With the kick off of summer last Memorial Day Weekend, I am sure a lot of us have seen (and shared) on social medial the yearly post put out by the EWG “Environmental Working Group” where they rate the best and worst sunscreens of the year.

While I think they have the best intentions, they still don’t have the resources to really rate these products where it matters.  Their methodology looks impressive, but there is one CRUCIAL flaw.  They look at the ingredients individually to make up their grading.  Although that is part of the puzzle, they don’t take into account the science and art of formulating a finished product.

When assessing a sunscreen, you need to look at the finished product.  The finished product encompasses the ingredients (how much of each ingredient), the process, stability (of the entire formula, not just the sunscreen actives), microbial robustness, SPF (UVA and UVB protection), irritation and allergy testing, then additionally irritation and allergy testing when exposed to the sun (ie photostability, phototoxicity, photoallergy),  product aesthetics (if it is goopy, oily, greasy, or whitening are you actually going to use it?) … just to name a few.

This may seem confusing, so lets think about it this way.  Imagine you are given a list of ingredients like this:

  • butter
  • sugar
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla
  • flour
  • syrup
  • cornstarch
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • chocolate chips

  These are the basic ingredients in a chocolate chip cookie.  Now let’s grade them.  Butter is a fat, sugars make you fat, eggs are good for you (they are protein!) vanilla is natural, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda aren’t really necessary right? They are just chemicals, so they must be “bad.” Salt is bad and chocolate could be good if it’s dark chocolate…right?

Creating sunscreens is just like baking.  It is a science and an art.  Just with a different type of knowledge.  

Grades of ingredient matter:  To make this cookie, you aren’t supposed to just use butter, but melted butter.  Sugar is sugar right?  Wrong, this would call for packed brown sugar and granulated sugar in specific ratio.  Flour- hmmm, all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, almond flour?  They all will make the same cookie right?

The process is critical to your outcome:  I am sure we will get a delicious cookie if we just combine all these ingredients one after another in a bowl then bake it at any temperature for any length of time… No?

Getting the gist?  These ingredients could yield the most delicious cookie you have ever tasted, or it could yield something crunchy, chewy, burnt, under cooked, too salty, a fluff ball, runny, crispy… the possibilities are endless.

When we evaluate this cookie, the taste and therefore the performance of the cookie is LARGELY impacted by the levels of ingredients, how they are meticulously blended together, and the exact process for baking them.   If you want to find out the right levels of ingredients and the process to make this fabulous cookie, you can do so here.

Here are some of the possible outcomes using the same general ingredients.

These ingredients could also make a cake, cupcake, muffin, bread, or pancake….

Back to Sunscreens

When I looked at the EWGs list for the top 22 Kids Sunscreens I was a little shocked.  In one of them, they use sodium benzoate as a preservative in a leave on application.  Sodium benzoate is OK in a cleanser, but should not be used in a leave on.  Also sodium benzoate needs a low pH to be effective as a preservative (below 5), but minerals are stable at a higher pH (around 6.5-7)… so that right there sets off red flags for me on the stability of the product.

Another that scared the crap out of me was a high level of zinc and all other ingredients were natural oils… what the hell?  How does the zinc stay stable?  Does it just sink to the bottom of the tube?  No thickener, no emulsifier, no preservatives?  That is a sunburn (or allergic reaction) waiting to happen.

At the end of the day, this chemist would trust Coppertone, Neutrogena, heck, even Banana Boat with her skin.  These companies have a WEALTH of knowledge.  There are SO many people working on any one of these sunscreens to ensure that it is stable, provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, has the right level of preservatives to keep the product safe from contamination.  There are also toxicologist, medical safety officers, and analytical chemists making sure the product is safe and effective.  Oh yeah and most importantly, there are formulators and engineers (or the cooks) who make sure that it feels great so that you actually WANT to use it to protect yourself from the sun…

Because let’s face it, if you hate the way it feels (no matter what kind of miracle rating it is given) you won’t use it and what good is sunscreen if it isn’t on your skin?

That being said, there was good information on their site that is accurate, like their article on the 8 facts about sunscreens.

A major issue I have with all these small label brands is that since the cosmetic industry is not regulated (but hopefully will be soon)  they don’t have a set standard for safety & efficacy.  I don’t think it is intentional that this small brand used the preservative the wrong way, I just think they didn’t know.  What is scary is that it is on the market and the product is getting a high rating.

There is no harm in trying something new, but when it comes to something as big as sun protection.  I am sticking with the experts.  Do your research.

 

In case you were wondering, here are my favorite sunscreens:

For my kids:

Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50:  For beach days I love this sunscreen.  It goes on easily and rubs in quickly.  It has mineral sunscreen filters.  I personally don’t have a preference but my daughter has eczema.  The mineral filters are gentler on her skin.  My son is fine with either mineral or chemical filters. They both protect, just by a different mechanism of action.

Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50 - 8 fl oz

Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50 OR

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock SPF 60+, Stick:  I cannot stock enough of these sticks.  I have them in my diaper bag, my purse, my car, my beach bag, at daycare… My kids are 4 and 2 and they use them themselves.  They provide excellent coverage and my fair little kids have NEVER gotten burnt using them.  Even when we go to the beach for an entire week.

Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50- .5 ozNeutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock SPF 60+, Stick- .47 oz

For me: I have 2-3 routines… Daily, Beach Days, and Running Days!

Daily

Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 55: for my face.  I apply this daily, after the shower.  It goes on and rubs in quickly.  After a few minutes I put my makeup on.   If I am going to the beach, I still wear this but I just don’t put on makeup so I can re-apply through out the day.

Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 55- 3 oz

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55: For my body.  After the shower I put this on everywhere.  Once it dries (which it does in seconds) then I get dressed.  This avoids tan lines and smudging on my clothes and I am protected no matter what outfit I chose to wear.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 55- 3 oz

BEACH DAYS

Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion:  I can’t say enough about this sunscreen.  I have it in 30 and 70.  It smells like a pina colada frozen smoothie.  It goes on and rubs in quickly.  I love it and can’t live without it.

Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion- 6.7 oz

Coppertone Oil Free Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 for my beach bag.  My husband hates oily lotions, so this is a great option for us.

Coppertone Oil Free Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30- 8 fl oz

Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50:  I think I love Coppertone because it just smells like summer to me.  My mom used Coppertone for years.  I also like the way it feels and protects and I know it is properly formulated.

Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50- 8 fl oz

RUNNING/OUTDOOR SPORTS

Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30: I like this one because it stays put!

Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30- 7 oz

Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50: Not greasy as all. Fragrance is light Rubs in well. After applying, skin felt smooth and dry, not sticky or greasy. I couldn’t tell it was there. Sun protection is great.  Also like it in SPF 30.

Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50- 5 oz

In general, I don’t use sprays for my family.  I have a few Sport, ultra sheer, and beach defense sprays in my beach bag and by my back door just in case I need something really quick or to spray my back and shoulders towards the late afternoon on a beach day.  It is a personal preference, I feel more comfortable applying a lotion to my family because I know we are “covered.”

 

After a beach day, this is my guilty pleasure.  

Hawaiian Tropic Ultra Radiance After Sun Lotion 

Hawaiian Tropic Ultra Radiance After Sun Lotion- 8 oz

It has glitter 🙂

All before 8 am

Some days fly by.

Last year I attended a TED talk given my by company.  The CEO, Alex Gorsky, really is a phenomenal man.  He practices what he preaches and I felt (and still feel) so proud to be a part of his company.  He is super active, runs marathons and always participates in the yearly company sponsored triathlon.  He also needs to travel the world for business on a regular basis.

Something he said really rang true to me.  He said “I have no control over what the day throws at me, but I can control how early I wake up.”

Although I’m not a CEO, I feel the same way about being a working mom & wife.   Since I’ve started waking up earlier, I feel like I’ve added so much “free” time to my day.

Although it’s not glamorous.  Proof below.

Today we needed to get the kids up, dressed, and fed so I could be out the door by 7:30.

My run started around 5:45am, it was so beautiful out this morning!
I ran a nice 3.5ish mile loop around my neighborhood.  It was bright, it was the perfect themperature, the sun was shining through the trees, hardly any cars out… I ran into several deer though.  Those pesky buggers weren’t even scared!


I rocked out to some Britney Spears Pandora…


When I got home there was someone who had just woken up and was waiting for me by the door


Look at those sleepy eyes!

Before I could even stop sweating, we had work to do.  It was breakfast time!


Luckily, we made it out on time.  Kids fed and dressed, lunch packed for mom, shake in hand.    These kids don’t know how good they have it!  Breakfast was all set when Jimmy came downstairs.


Coffee and in my meeting by 8.  It’s lunch now… Is the day over yet?

It wasn’t fast, but it felt good.


Snapchat:  jessicaheidifit

Running through Summer

I don’t know about you, but I always have to switch things up to keep my fitness routine exciting.  If you don’t look forward to exercise, you won’t do it!

Last May (2015) I started my Beachbody fitness journey.  I did 21 day fix extreme, and over the subsequent year I completed a few rounds of extreme, body beast, hammer and chisel, and on demand challenge du jour.  It was last Sept/Oct. that I started waking up at 5am to get my workouts in and converted  part of my basement to a gym.  With warmer weather and the sun up so early, I can’t force myself to go downstairs so I have started running again!   I am considering registering for a half marathon (or 2) in the fall to keep myself on track.   I love sticking to a workout calendar/training plan.

Feels so good to get outside!


This morning I was doing an upper body workout downstairs and my daughter came down and said “mommy, its gorgeous out!  Why are you working out inside?”  Wise girl.  I will still utilize my “basement” gym because I have a new love for weight training, and it will only help my running performance… And sometimes we can’t leave the house.  I really don’t feel like running with 2 toddlers.


Questions for you:

Do you have any fall races lined up?  If so, what are they?

What is your favorite race distance?

Do you like running alone or with a running buddy?

I am thinking of creating a facebook group for people training for the same race… would you be interested in joining us?  The races on the table for me are the Philly Rock N Roll Half Marathon and the Brooklyn Rock n Roll Half Marathon.


You in?