Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wonderful Wednesday: Top Ten!

Good morning everyone!!!

I woke up early this morning thinking that I'd try getting my run in before work instead of waiting until the afternoon, I figure I've enjoyed some runs first thing on the weekends before. Um... it's really really cold out...and there was coffee... so I decided to blog a little this morning instead of venture out into the cold.

In honor of Wonderful Wednesday, I'd like to make a list of ten wonderful things in my life! All health related of course.

1.) Dr. Boyfriend
On out latest adventure date, tide pooling in Half Moon Bay
From providing endless support to answering all of my questions, Dr. Boyfriend is the closest thing I have to a coach in my own life. He has been training for about 14 years is an absolute wealth of information about training, nutrition, dealing with injuries. He keeps me honest in the gym, if he sees me sacrificing form for anything, he'll tell me. If I want to learn any weird exercise, he'll teach me. He'll make suggestions as to how I can make my workouts more effective. He keeps me laughing, smiling, and moving!

2.) Emily
Goofing off and "strong-manning" on the beach, how else do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
Emily and I have been friends since middle school, going on 13 years. (side note.... whoa) She is into this same healthy lifestyle as I am and is always willing to listen to me complain about cardio. If you ever see me on one of those machines in the gym and almost falling off of it because I can't stop texting, I'm texting Emily.

3.) Greek Yogurt
One of my favorite snacks: greek yogurt and a banana, hashtag optional.
Arguably my favorite source of protein. I will use greek yogurt almost every time I can. I will bake with it, cook with it, freeze it and eat it for dessert, put it in a smoothie, stir it into oatmeal, pair it with fruit, or just grab a spoon and dig in. It can be sweet, it can be savory... it's an amazing food.

4.) Coffee
Coffee in my beautiful Anthropologie mug from Michelle
I'm not entirely sure what my life would be like without coffee. It provides me with the kick I need to get moving in the morning, has the potential to lower risk of stroke, can lower your risk of dementia and Alzheimer's, but above all, it tastes great! Seriously, even if there weren't some amazing benefits to coffee, I'd still drink it for that murky bitter taste. Yum.

5.) Trader Joe's
Healthy lunch from TJs made in 5 min: rice medley + haricots verts (green beans) + turkey burger + goat cheese medallion

Another staple in my life. I'm in a Trader Joe's most days of the week. I work right across the street from one Trader Joe's which makes it very easy to get a healthy lunch if I didn't have time to pack one the night before. I can always find some incredible fruits and veggies...and not pay an arm and a leg! They also sell Fage Greek Yogurt at a better price than any of the surrounding grocery stores. Another favorite: mini heirloom tomatoes, they're heirloom tomatoes that are the size of cherry tomatoes!!!

6.) The Iron
Goofing off between squats on Mother's Day (leg day), I am proud to say that I have reached the point of loving the way my body looks!!!!!
I don't think it's a surprise to anyone, I love lifting weights. I love being able to see concrete numbers that go up week after week, or month after month. I love going into the gym, putting plates on a bar or grabbing some dumbbells, and feeling my body move that weight. I love being able to raise something half my weight over my head. I especially love being able to lift things heavier than myself off the floor. Nothing makes me feel quite as powerful and confident as lifting weights. I walk out of the gym much taller and feeling more accomplished than when I walked in. Think it's not for you? That's fine. But have you ever actually tried?

7.) Honey
Another go-to snack: greek yogurt + strawberries + raw organic honey (Trader Joe's)
Sticky-sweet and you can use it to treat a cough? Please and thank you. I love honey as an un-processed sweetener. I've used it to sweeten coffee before, back before I converted to the magical beverage that is black coffee, just stir until it is dissolved like you would in a cup of tea. You can bake with honey too, honey is often used as a sweetener in Paleo recipes, rule of thumb is 3/4 C of honey for each 1 C of sugar.

8.) Foam Rollers and Tennis Balls

My muscles are constantly sore, because of the aforementioned weightlifting, and knotted because of all the time I spend in front of a computer. I use my foam rollers (yes, plural) to give myself "massages" to help my muscles recover and to break up "adhesions" or knots. I have one "normal" foam roller at home, a Grid roller at work, and tennis balls lying around in each location.

Tons of the information about foam rolling is anecdotal, so take it with a grain of salt.

9.) California
This beautiful trail is a 5 minute walk from work, I love running here. There are tons of other runners and bicyclists, so I always feel safe and there is a river off to the right behind the trees. Absolutely gorgeous.
Silly, but my home state is wonderful for getting out and being active outdoors. We've got (almost) more trails, beaches, mountains, streams and lakes than we know what to do with. When I want to get out of the gym and do something outside, I'm never short on choices for beautiful backdrops for exercising.

10.) Freedom in the kitchen
Cookie bars, one of my baking experiments that turned out successful! 
My parents did sign me up for cooking classes when I was younger, mostly so I would be safe in the kitchen. But these cooking classes also inspired me to experiment in the kitchen. I'll use a recipe for baking (sometimes....... :) ) but I hate using them to cook. Baking is a science in that you're dependent on certain chemical reactions to happen so your cookies/cakes/bread comes out right, but cooking is an art. Since I have a strong background in the kitchen, I love to look in the fridge/freezer, see what is on hand and make a meal out of it. Some of my best meals have been made in a "well... I'm starving and don't want to go to the store... what can I make with chicken, these leftovers, and this vegetable."

Freedom in the kitchen comes with responsibility. If your kitchen isn't well-stocked with a variety of fruit, vegetables, proteins, fats, and other starchy/bread-like carbs... you're not free to do anything, you're limited by what you have on hand. Make sure you have a cornucopia of food available to you, or make sure you plan everything out for a few days and stick to that plan!

That's my list of ten wonderful (healthy) things in my life. Sound off in the comments, I'd love to hear what some wonderful things are in your life!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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