Category Archives: Health and wellness

#35for35 – EVENT #1 Hot Chocolate 5K

Today marked the first day of a year in which I have committed to celebrate my birthday with 35 (yes, THIRTY-FIVE) events in one year. The only rule is that at least HALF of them must be competitive athletic events!

I started with event #1, the Chicago Hot Chocolate 5K race. Last year I signed up, just for the shirt and the goodies, and walked it. This year I was determined to run it. My awesome friend and soror Mikyra, who had just come off the Chicago marathon a month prior, agreed to help me pace it to finish in under 40 minutes… And we did it!!

This will be a fun year, with my actually birthday falling somewhere in the middle of it all, and with the fun ending with the 2015 Hot Chocolate 15K!! Stick around for the updates and feel free to suggest any fun (and reasonably priced) events such as rices, bicycle events or alternative sports that would be worth a try this year!!

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Training for the 3 Day 60 Mile walk

Snagged a photo with the city of Chicago behind me this weekend during an 11 mile walk from Logan Square to the Magnificent Mile. My legs are feeling it today!! Only a few more weeks til the walk!!

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Komen 60 Mile 3-Day Walk Preparation – Shoe Edition

This year will be my second time participating in the Komen 3-Day 60 Mile walk in Michigan (Metro Detroit area). While many people see the fund raising as the biggest hurdle (you have to raise a minimum of $2300!), there a number of other key preparation items that I probably could have focused more attention on. So for those of you who are also preparing for the 2014 walk in various cities, I will post a few entries with some of my tips, tricks and learnings. Up first – feet preparation.

Shoes are everything!!!

You’re going to be on your feet for HOURS. And not standing still, but actually covering a good amount of ground. It makes sense that you should have some awesome shoes on. I started out in a pair of Brooks Adrenaline that were easily 4+ years old and in “ok” condition. During my training I purchased a pair of super cute gray Nike shoe with pillowy cushioning. Didn’t work, and the biggest problem, not returnable after you try them. First lesson – buy your training shoes from a running store that allows returns. So I logged onto Road Runner Sports and tried:

New Balance – A sponsor for the walk, the sales team was helpful but every recommended style seemed to cut too high up my skinny ankles
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 – the new model of my trusty old shoe was a few versions past the ones I already had and the changes to the style left me “in between sizes”
ASICS Women’s GT-2170 – Many other walkers raved about this shoe but a mile into training I got shin splints. Twice.

After no luck, I decided (sadly 2 weeks before the walk) to go to the original Fleet Feet in Chicago and get “fitted” for a running shoe. There was a small line so I pulled a number and waited my turn. Shortly after, an athletic young lady came by and asked me about the event, what I was looking for, and then had me do some high paced walking on a treadmill and on the floor to analyze my gait. In the end, 6 shoes and 20 or so minutes later, we found a perfect pair, and they were PINK! The Nike LunarEclipse 2+ was the perfect shoe. I bought insoles but found it easier to walk without them. On Days 1 and 3 I wore the Nikes and on Day 2 (the shortest day) I wore my old Brooks.

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**Bonuses
A – I was given a tube of BodyGlide For Her just before the walk. I used it every morning and again at lunch – completely covering my entire foot with a layer of it.
B – I wore double layered socks each day. These Double Layered socks by Wrightsock aren’t cheap at approx. $11/pair, but they were well worth the investment. I bought 2 pair and washed the first pair after Day 1, wearing them again on Day 3. I have a larger foot (Size 10-10.5 in gym shoes) so I found it very helpful to use my fist and stretch the sock out before putting them on, otherwise they would tend to slide. During my training I tried socks by Nike, Puma, Under Armour (my second fav), Adidas and Wigwam. The Wrighsock won the battle on the longer distances.

At the end of 3 days, I had no blisters and my feet felt great!!

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Its Bike to Work Week in Chicago!!

Hope this doesn’t happen to anyone!!

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Shoes for the Komen 3-Day 60 Mile Walk

in 2012 I wore the Nike LunarEclispe 2 on Days 2 and 3 of the walk. For Day 1 I wore a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10 that I loved but after many years of wear I didn’t think they would survive Day 1, let alone the whole weekend.

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(My shoe pictured on the right)

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Like a Champ

Between leading tours at this crazy work conference all week and riding the rides all night at Disney, my FitBit is getting a workout! Check out my Wednesday stats….

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Lost my Fitbit Force band

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After a stressful week of hard core searching, I finally give up. R.I.P. to my beloved Fitbit Force. I am grieving. And thanks to the recall of only 1% of customers affected, I can’t replace it since there are none available in the stores. There is absolutely no motivation to take the stairs anymore. Even more so, I’m mad about all the steps I’ll be missing as I train for the 3-day 60 Mile walk in August!!

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My New Obsession – Wii Zumba Fitness Core

Bring it on 2013 – I’m ready!!

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Biting into my first apple

Believe it or not – prior to 2011 I refused to eat an apple that wasn’t covered in some form of sugary bliss (with the preference going to caramel and peanuts). I never picked up and apple and bit into it. At least not at any point I could remember in my life. I HATED “naked” apples. Hated them with a passion. That includes apple juice too.

So imagine my negative surprise when I was told that apples were good for reducing the effects of acid reflux – something I’ve unfortunately dealt with for years. I decided 2011 would be the year. I would eat an apple. Every day.
The hard part was finding WHICH apples to eat. Since the peanut apples I love from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory are made with Granny Smith apples, I decided that was a good place to start…. here are my overall ratings:
Granny Smith (B-) LOVE LOVE LOVE the tart flavor, but I hated the “thicker” skin. I ended up slicing it most of the time, but when I tried to bite into it I just ended up scraping the skin with my teeth and spitting it out.
Honeycrisp (B+) Tasty and crisp, the skin is a little weird but not too bad. But the PRICE – OMG. $3.49/lb – which is easily running around $2/apple.
Braeburn (C+) Flavor is “ok” but the texture is not great. Too soft. A friend mentioned “grainy” apples and I’d guess this is what she meant.
Gala (C) texture is good, crisp is perfect. But the flavor… *turning nose up*
Pink Lady/Crips Pink (A) the CREAM of the CROP! I have been eating these non stop for 2 weeks straight. A coworker’s wife told me about them but he said he had never tried one. So I brought an extra to work and gave it to him. He loved it! And so did I! The price is ok, While Foods has organic Pink Lady apples on sale for $1.79/lb this week – time to stock up!
I found some GREAT information on the various types of apples from http://www.orangepippin.com/… check it out!
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Healthy Eating–Chicago’s Raw Food Network

I love McDonald’s – and I’m not just saying that because they pay my salary. The filet-o-fish, with a small fry and water is my usual choice, but sometimes I branch out and get a cheeseburger (no pickles, no onions) or Chicken Selects or the Crispy Chicken Club sandwich… or (gasp) a McRib when they are available. I have always been a fast food junkie (see pics below for evidence of my early love affair with Ronald McDonald) and realistically, deep down inside, I believe I always will be.

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That being said… my love for eating out and my distaste for working out, means I have to focus on one very important word – BALANCE. That’s right. I am one of those “eat what I want” people. But now that I’m 30 and my metabolism is about 75, when I eat out, I aim for smaller portions of fried (yummy), creamy (heavenly) and high fat foods (more fat usually tastes better)… and then I balance them with larger portions  and more frequent “meal swaps” with entrees and snacks that are of fruits and vegetables.

This year I decided to kick it up a notch and learn about Raw Food diets. No, I’m not leaving the work of meat and heat… but I was interested in learning more about food options and their benefits. So I went to Chicago’s guru of raw foods – Karyn Calabrese. Karyn owns 3 restaurants in Chicago, one of which is the city’s first raw food restaurant. You heard me. A menu full of uncooked items that will trick even the smartest of foodies. Poor Bobby took me to Karyn’s Raw Café for lunch, not believing me when I said there is no cooking – as the menu sounds like any normal boutique restaurant in the city. I ordered the “Ravioli” and he ordered the “House Salad”.

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Basil Scented Ravioli

Half moon shells (turnips) filled with macadamia whipped crème dressed with an Italian olive marinara sauce $14

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Karyn’s Famous House Salad

Shredded Cabbage, Hearts of romaine, red onion, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus sunflower sprouts, candied walnuts, and teardrop tomatoes caesar dressing on the side $12

 

The flavors were interesting. In some ways its all tasted like “salad”, just varying types of salad.  Overall it was good (though quite pricey) and we could “feel the benefits” as our stomachs digested all the healthy veggies shortly after.

We went on a Saturday afternoon and the atmosphere was nice and calm and the presentation was very pretty. We stayed after our lunch for a 2.5 hour presentation by Karyn herself on her lifestyle as a Raw Foodist/Vegan/Entrepreneur. It was interesting to say the least. We were able to try a few food items, and I’d just say, I’m not converted and only liked 3 of the 6 items. While those three items were really good, when we left, I was starving and begging for a carb. Bobby wouldn’t satisfy my requests to stop and grab a Big Mac, he felt it was too soon after we had educated ourselves, so we went by his spot and made some of the healthiest tacos you’ve ever seen. I’m definitely interested in checking this place out again, but it seems like I might have to save up, cause that lifestyle is NOT CHEAP!

My item of the day, since we’re talking about food, is the Cuisinart Pressure Cooker. I can hear you know… “What the heck is that???” (Ok, if you’re not saying it I am). I have no idea what this thing does but it looks AWESOME. The geek in me wants this on my kitchen counter now. I have never cooked most of the things it claims to be perfect for (gnocchi, pot roast, short ribs) but I bet if I had one I’d be a roast queen in no time!

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