Struggling to find the Healthy Balance

This is going to get weird. And by weird, I mean personal.

I just read this blog post by Monique at Ambitious Kitchen about finding a definition for “being healthy.” I’ve read countless similar posts, all ending in the same conclusion: being healthy is about “balance” and “listening to your body.” You know, eat salads most of the time, but eat a burger or the cookie when you’re craving it. Exercise, but don’t overdo it. I love the message, but I struggle with taking it to heart. In all honesty: I don’t know how to find my balance, and I am scared to try to find it. 

One of the first posts I ever wrote was about how I can’t track my calories/macros/whatever on things like My Fitness Pal because I get obsessive. Recently, I’ve been super into finding the balance. I desperately want to attain this picture of “balanced health.” Of being the person who eats intuitively, has no shame in choosing the burger or the salad, and will eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m done. I’ve read most of Intuitive Eating, and the authors advocate for people to completely give into their cravings, allowing themselves to eat cookies for breakfast if that’s what they so please, while honoring their hunger, and eventually things will work themselves out and a more nutritionally balanced diet is achieved.  Through following the intuitive eating principles, I’ll be at my natural weight, my body will want nutritious foods, and I will find “food freedom.”

The thing is, I’m scared to take the leap. I’m scared to lose control of what I am eating. I don’t trust that I will eventually even out. I am scared that my natural size is bigger than what I am now. I don’t want to buy new pants, nor do I want to gain weight. Every time I begin to relinquish control and I try to begin my intuitive eating journey, I freak. I start over-correcting and only eating healthy foods again, or turn to that darn My Fitness Pal to start counting macros or something. I honestly do love a good salad, so I just tell myself that’s what I want all the time after a weekend of pizza and beer or whatever. I’m also worried that my weird restrictive tendencies have left me with a lack of self-knowledge about my hunger levels.

Anyway, why am I even writing about this? Well, I need to get my thoughts out. I want to live this balanced life, I want to have “food freedom,” and I want to see if there are others who struggle with this or have any advice. I find the blog posts and articles about finding this illusive “balance” so powerful and inspiring, yet I cannot bring myself to embark on this journey. I know it will require work. I know I will probably gain a couple pounds. At the moment, I stand at 5’8-9ish (jury is still out on the real number), and I am around 125 pounds, which, according to that dingy old BMI standard is normal. But we all know BMI is pretty lame. Also, and this may be a little TMI, I haven’t gotten my period since going off birth control in January, and I’m a little freaked about amenorreah. Thus, I realize I will probably gain a few pounds in this journey, and I have to be okay with that. I tell people all the time that the scale has no bearing on their self worth, yet I cant bring myself to believe that.

Additionally, I begin marathon training soon. I want to be able to fuel my body properly for that. I do not want to lose steam because I am not eating enough. I have read enough blogs to know that my appetite is going to increase, and I want to be in the right mind-space to honor my larger appetite. Not just during marathon training, but after as well.

Basically, this is where I’m at now. I want to find balance, I want to get over my food issues, I am just afraid of what could happen. I’m sure this is a metaphor for my life, TBH. I’m an anxious person. I don’t take risks because I fear the negative consequences. I like having control, and letting go of some sort of control on my eating scares me. I have to trust that things will work out, that my body knows more than my mind does. I think I need to start this now. School is over, I am just going to be working all the time (your girl has gotta make dat paper) and taking a couple classes this summer, so I might as well make my ultimate summer goal to be to find the balance. Maybe I won’t completely attain it, but at least get closer to it. Stop shaming myself for eating “bad” foods. Stop even ascribing labels to food. Just be neutral. Food is food.

Thank you, lovely human, for reading this long, rambly post. I appreciate you. If you have any advice on where I should start, or feel like you’re in a similar situation, or have been in a similar situation, or just want to say hi, please do! I’m sure I will be interspersing posts about this stuff throughout the summer (yes, I am going to post regularly this summer…another goal of mine), and I welcome any help or kind words.

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I just felt like this pic of me eating a sandwich on top of a mountain fit well here

Other things that have inspired this post:

  • Cassey Ho’s (aka Blogilates) “How I healed from Metabolic Damage” video. (Full disclosure…I started tearing up while watching this…yup.)
  • The Real-Life RD’s blog. Robyn is an RD with a “more food” and “finding balance” approach that I really admire. I especially appreciate her WIAW posts.
  • Maddy Moon’s blog. This girl went from othrorexic fitness model to a beacon of food freedom hope. Super positive.
  • Fannetastic Food’s (and company, I just am a reader of Anne’s blog) new Joyful Eating program, which focuses on helping clients learn how to eat intuitively and find the joy, rather than the anxiety, that food brings. I am a strong believer in food being something that brings people together and is at the heart of a community, so the message really resonates with me. Unfortunately, I am the epitome of a broke ass bitch at the moment, so I don’t think I can actually be a part of the program. However, it is probably a great resource for someone who can afford the program and is in a similar situation as myself.
  • Sweet Tooth Sweet Life’s “How I’ve Changed” post about how she has found more of a balance in the 6 years she’s been blogging.
  • There are literally so many more inspiring posts, these are just what I’ve seen recently.

Again, thank you so much for reading.

-Julie

Linking up with Heather and Jill. Thanks ladies!

Hey, What’s Up, HELLO

I’m baaaaaaaaack 

Okay, but really, apologies for the 8ish month absence. Grad school started and this blog stopped. But you know what they say…absence makes the heart grow fonder. So right now I must be pretty darn fond of Julie and the Universe. Anyway, here’s what’s been happening for the past few months…

  • I ran TWO more half marathons!
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Harborside Half, classic post-race-beer-in-hand Julie.

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Double fisting because I PR-ed.

YUP, the first was the Harborside Half in Newburyport in November. I didn’t really train at all for it (though I typically do a 6-10 mile long run once a week anyway) and just wanted to do one more longer race before going into winter-race hibernation mode. I finished in about 2:09. Not my best, especially considering how flat the course was, but such is life. The second was yesterday, the Earth Run Rock Half Marathon in North Andover. Once again, I did not have a full-out training for this halfie (which I have begun affectionately referring to half marathons as), though I did make sure to build up to a final 12-mile training run over the few weeks leading up to it. My unofficial goal was to break two hours, but since I didn’t do much speed training and would have to break my previous halfie PR (2:07) by 8 minutes, I was not super optimistic. However, my pace has definitely gotten faster between last time I posted and now, so I didn’t think it was entirely impossible. In an effort to break 2 hours, I went out too fast and hit the wall hard at mile 10. Miraculously, I finished in 1 HOUR AND 56 MINUTES!!!!! I think I teared up when I saw the clock as I crossed the finish line. Even more impressive, I thought I was going at a snail’s pace by mile 12, and my slowest mile was still 9:15, which is pretty good in my book. This has also prompted me to finally want to invest in a Garmin or some sort of GPS running clock, please let me know of any suggestions.

  • I also ran a couple other races…

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The top picture was after a St. Patrick’s Day-themed 4-miler in March, and the bottom picture was after a 10k in October. My friend Alex never runs and ran that 10k with me (though she does hike a lot). She finished in like 1:05, which I’d say is pretty impressive for someone who doesn’t run. She’s gifted like that.

  • I went to Utah!
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Casual mountain views on the highway.

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Salt Lake: salty and pretty AF.

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Mountain chillin.

The aforementioned Alex worked at a ski resort in Utah over the winter (and is coming home today!!!!) so I visited in January. Basically, Utah was rad. Everyone is so NICE, which was super weird coming from Massachusetts (land of rude people in a hurry). It was absolutely beautiful. Also, I still can’t ski.

  • I cut my hair.
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I called it my “cool mom cut.”

2016: new me, new hair. I cut it on New Year’s Eve. I was bored with long hair. I go through this cycle every 2 years or so (cut hair…grow hair out…get bored…repeat). It was cute. Unsurprisingly, I’m growing it out now.

  • I am almost done my first year of grad school!

Too real.

In summary: first semester I was super anxious and felt like I had no friends and no business being there. Had a couple breakdowns. Slowly made friends, realized everyone felt overwhelmed, got good grades in the end. Second semester: totally slacking but getting it done. Making better connections with friends. Working at a school as a guidance intern once a week, it’s pretty good. Basically, grad school is a crap ton of work, but you’ll get it done. My final paper of the semester is due on May 13 and I cannot wait to submit it. Let me know if you’d be interested in a more extended grad school post!

  • And finally….I SIGNED UP TO RUN A MARATHON.

Yup, it’s happening.

The reason I really wanted to come back to blogging is to have an outlet to discuss marathon training. You all have super great running advice, and I want to hear it all! My 2015 goal was to run a halfie, which I did (twice…but who’s counting?), and my 2016 goal is to run a…fullie? Okay, we’re gonna scrap that nickname and call it a marathon for now. I am running the Baystate Marathon in October in good ol’ Lowell (where I went to college, Rock the Hawk yo). I don’t start training until June, and I am thinking of following Hal Hingdon’s Novice 2 plan. I’m not entirely sure yet. I want a plan that has no more than 4 days of running because I would like to continue keeping up strength training and yoga, and anything more than 4 days of running just isn’t great for me. I am nervous and excited and unsure of exactly how I’m going to fit in training with grad school, work, and my 3-day-a-week internship. But I’ve always been an act-now-plan-later type of gal, so we shall see what happens!

Anyway, that was a rambly, 8-month catch up post, but that’s where my life is at right now! What’s up with y’all?!

Questions for you lovely humans:

1. Any Garmin/GPS watch recommendations? I love Run Keeper, but I think I am ready for something a little more advanced. I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, but I am willing to invest a bit.

2. Have you gone on any exciting trips recently? If you’re thinking of planning something, might I suggest Utah?

3. Have you run a marathon before? Are you going to run a marathon this year? Any advice?

BYEEEEEEE

Julie

Re-Sick: The Sick Daze Saga Continues

Okay, so, I’ve been a little MIA. I could totes blame work/school/homework, but instead I am going to blame my immune system. In my last post, I complained about being sick, and, well, I’m still sick 😭.

Honestly, I thought it was only a short little end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall cold. I had a sore throat and some sinus pressure for a couple days, and then it all kind of dissipated into a mild cough. By Monday, I was on the upswing and feeling way better. Enter: Tuesday. My cough got worse. I went for a run that I probably shouldn’t have. During my past week of sick, I continued working out, I went for 2 short (less than 4 miles) runs, but mostly stuck to strength-focused with little cardio Nike Training Club workouts. I always felt better after working out, but maybe it would have been better to just…not workout. At least for a couple days. Or just do yoga or something less strenuous than strength training. Ah, well, live and learn, right?

Since I am “re-sick” I finally took my ass to the doctor. He prescribed me an antibiotic and told me to get some nasal spray and Robutussin for my symptoms. Please work modern medicine, please.

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Rite Aid haul!!!!!!

The biggest issue with being sick is that it makes me want to do nothing. I don’t mean in the physical sense, obviously I was able to exercise, but in the mental sense. Working out requires very little thought, but homework requires a lot. Sinus pressure + piles of reading is not a good combination. Now that the sinus pressure is back, textbook reading once again feels like even more of a chore than normal.

I’ve also been making some food choices based on being sick. Obviously, Vitamin C is at the top of my list (even though the jury’s out on whether or not that’s helpful). So I’ve been munchin’ on some oranges. Honestly, fruit in general have been a go-to since it’s east to pack for snacks at school.

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I’ve also found myself eating more oatmeal in the past week. It’s filling, delicious, and doesn’t bother my throat (especially when it’s warm).

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Looks like death (kind of like how I feel), but it’s Chocolate PB overnight oats, so it tastes a lot better than death.

Smoothie bowls have also been consumed. Fruit nutrient power + smooth consistency + being relatively cold has been good on my throat as well.

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PB & J Smoothie bowl: 1/2 a frozen banana + 3/4 cup(ish) frozen mixed berries + 2 tbsp PB2 + 1/2 cup(ish) unsweetened vanilla almond milk + handful of baby spinach + 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Of course, I can’t live without salad, so those have been a staple as well. Plus, I’m telling myself all the nutrients in the vegetables have healing power. Not sure how accurate that is considering now I’m on antibiotics, but nothing comes between me and my salads.

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Salad power, heal me!!!!!

So hopefully with the addition of antibiotics I’ll be on the upswing. Definitely not going to exercise today, and I doubt I will tomorrow. Hopefully by Saturday I can ease back into it with yoga. My focus is on NOT BEING SICK anymore. Secondary focus: posting more often. Getting sick totally threw me out of my school/work routine that I really hadn’t even gotten into yet. Sigh. I love a routine so that really sucks.

Okay, I’ve complained enough. What’s up with you guys?

P.S. I’m linking up today’s post with Amanda from Running With Spoons. Thanks for hosting Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

Questions for you lovely humans:

1. Have you ever been “re-sick?”

2. What are your go-to sick foods?

3. How much time off from working out do you usually take when you’re sick?

BYEEEEE

Julie

Sick Dazeeee

*Cough* I’m sick.

Me RN, only for real (source)

I went to bed Tuesday night with a mildly sore throat, and by Wednesday the sick had hit. I was working a double and just felt worse and worse as the day wore on. I came home at 5:30, slept until 7:30, ate, and was back in bed (with NyQull) by 10:30.

Thursday was my day off and I was going to get SO MUCH DONE. A long run, fix my headlight (which has been out for longer that I’m willing to admit), and go to campus to get my student ID, pass in some health forms, and explore a little. Sigh, even the best layed plans…

Instead, Thursday was basically just napping interspersed with eating.

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S/O to oatmeal, egg scrambles, and smoothie bowls for not hurting my throat and apparently being “foods that are good to eat when you have a cold” according to Google.

I have been able to workout a bit, as post-workout is usually when I feel my best when I’m sick. Both yesterday and today I fit in some not super intense Nike Training Club workouts. Sadly, running/prolonged cardio was not happening.

Today, I was a double at work once again. After 7 hours, I hit the wall (and the DayQull had worn off, also I’ve never taken DayQull before and it’s pretty awesome while it lasts). I felt so bad asking to leave early once again, but there were more than enough people on takeout, so my boss was fine with me leaving. I’ve never actually called out sick before, but I still feel bad even for leaving a little early because I’m not feeling well. Meh.

So, basically, woe is me. I’m sick and I don’t like it. I have so many things to do, but being sick just makes me want to do absolutely none of it. Fingers crossed that a low-key night and lots of sleep for the next couple days will do the trick. Sadly, I’ll have to wake up for work, but I have to be ready for my first full week of balancing classes/work/homework/life next week.

Oh, and speaking of homework….I should probably get started on what I have right now…but my sick brain is telling me Netflix is more important. OY VEY.

Really, I just have a cold and I’m being a baby about it.

Have a great weekend everyone, don’t get sick!

Questions for you lovely readers:

1. Do you workout when you’re sick? I try to because it usually makes me feel better, but I always keep it pretty light, some easy strength work, yoga, or a nice walk is what I’m into.

2. How do you handle being sick? Are you a “grin and bear it, it’s not that bad” person (I envy your strength), or a bit more, um, sensitive, like me?

3. What is one fun thing you have planned for the weekend? Let me live vicariously through you!

BYEEEEE

Julie

Friday Favorites: Peaches and Protein

Friday is upon us once again, huzzah! Not to mention, it’s a holiday weekend! While that doesn’t really mean too much to me, since I’ll still be working, 3-day weekends still are pretty exciting. Especially since it means my first real day of class is on Tuesday rather than Monday (thus, I only have one day of classes this week, siiiiick).

Of course, Friday = favorites, so here are a few Friday faves to ring in Labor Day weekend (and unofficially ring in fall…meh). I’m linking up with Heather and Jill. Thanks for hosting!

PEACHES

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There are few things more delicious than a ripe, juicy peach. They’re in season and therefore cheap at the grocery store right now, and I am allllll about it. Also, they remind me of when I studied abroad in London last summer. Not really because London has amazing peaches or anything, but my friends and I would always buy them from the little fruit and vegetable street vendors when we wanted a snack. Peaches bring me back, man.

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Land of the…peach?

LITTLE TO-DO NOTEBOOK

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I’m a to-do list freak. I write them all the time, usually on little pieces of scrap paper or Post-It Notes. I picked up this little notebook for like $2 at Target so I could keep all of my daily/weekly to-do lists and shopping lists in one place. I already have a weekly planner that I put all of my homework/when I’m working/when I have meetings and appointments, and this notebook is the perfect compliment to it. Organization FTW!

PROTEIN PANCAKES

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Still need to work on flipping them in once piece.

YUM. I love a good protein pancake for breakfast. I hadn’t had one in a while, but whipped this baby up on Tuesday morning and was reminded of their awesomeness. I use a recipe pretty similar to the Tone It Up recipe, but I use one whole egg instead of egg whites and a whole banana instead of just half. If I followed their recipe exactly, I don’t think I’d be totally full. On Tuesday, I threw some blueberries into the mix, and topped my pancake with a scoop o’ PB (word to the wise: maybe microwave the PB to heat it up a little before trying to spread it on the pancake…trust me on this).

Speaking of PB…

PEANUT BUTTER PORTION CONTROL

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If you’ve read any of my WIAW posts, you’ve probably noticed that I almost always have a spoonful of PB at the end of the day. I’m a little addicted, but it’s fine. The thing is, whenever I eat a spoonful, I usually end up eating a little more out of the jar, since it’s still open when I’m done. Recently, I’ve started putting the spoonful into a little dish, putting the jar away, and then eating the PB. It’s definitely cut back on my “oh just a little more” that probably ends up being another whole serving once I’m actually done.

“THE HILLS” BY THE WEEKND

So you’ve probably heard this on the radio (and if you haven’t, you’ve definitely heard “Can’t Feel My Face,” also good). It’s my jaaaaam. It’s a little risque, but whenever it comes on I turn up the volume start groovin’. I’m sure people in the cars next to me think I’m a weirdo, but whatevs.

UNFAVORITE: DISCONTINUED WHOLE FOODS SOY PROTEIN POWDER & BIOCHEM WHEY PROTEIN POWDER

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Goodbye old friend, I hate you, new friend.

Okay, so the Whole Foods brand soy protein powder certainly was not the tastiest or least chalky protein powder around, but it was pretty cheap (like $13ish for this container), didn’t have a lot of weird ingredients, had like 24 grams of protein, and was totally fine and pretty much undetectable in a smoothie. Apparently, all good things must come to an end, and Whole Foods discontinued their soy protein powder. Cue sadness. I had to find a quick alternative that met the cheap and good amount of protein requirements as I stood in the Whole Foods aisle. So after a solid 5 minutes of comparing different powders I settled on the Biochem Whey protein powder in vanilla. It was $20ish for the container, more than the Whole Foods brand, but less than many others, has 21 grams of protein, and a pretty short ingredient list. Sadly, it’s not great. It has this weird artificially sweet flavor that comes through in every smoothie I’ve made with it. It is sweetened with stevia, but I didn’t think that would be an issue since I use Truvia as a sweetener for many things. Maybe it’s not the stevia, but something else making it taste weird. Whatever the case may be, once I finish up the container of Biochem Whey protein, I will not be repurchasing it. Now, I just need to figure out what protein powder I should purchase.

That does it for today! What are your long weekend plans? I’ll be working, but on Saturday I’m headed into Boston for a friend’s birthday, which should be a lot of fun!

Questions for you lovely humans:

1. What is your favorite fruit of the moment?

2. What protein powder would you recommend that meets the cheap/pretty good amount of protein/pretty short ingredient list requirements? Seriously, I need all the help I can get! Totally open to ordering online if it’s not really sold in stores, too.

3. Are you a to-do list/planner person?

4. Current jam?

BYEEEEE

Julie

Last Weekend of August + Weekly Workouts

Monday, Monday, Monday. Oy vey. Did you at least have a good weekend? I did! Hopefully the goodness from the weekend can spill over into this week, as I start to gear up for school (mixed feelings about that), fall, and getting into a normal routine once again (I am pretty excited about that, I’m a sucker for a routine, and that may be the most lame thing I’ve ever said). Here’s a look into my weekend!

On Friday, I grocery shopped and made a freaking bomb salad. We had a little leftover grilled chicken and deli turkey, so I sliced both of those up and threw them on top of spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, and mushrooms. I topped it off with some balsamic vinaigrette and enjoyed it on the porch.

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I worked Friday night, and then went out for a co-worker’s 21st birthday. She had a grand ol’ time, and it was fun to go out with work friends. It’s nice to see everyone outside of the work setting (and not wearing all black).

Saturday-day was pretty low-key. I woke up at 9:40 and had this urge to go to yoga. Of course, the class started at 10 and the studio is 15-20ish minutes away from my house. By some miracle, I got my butt into a “comfortable seated position” on my mat just a few minutes later than class started. Double miracle, the class wasn’t crowded at all, so I could just saunter over to the first empty area I found and not make anyone move around for my rude, late self. Triple miracle, this was one of the best yoga classes I’ve been to in a while. A lot of it definitely had to do with my mood, I was just so down to downward dog that morning. I also was able to get into bird of paradise for the first time! I realize this is probably a pretty easy, basic pose for most people, but I am literally the least flexible person ever so it was kind of a big deal for me.

Apparently, this weekend was the weekend of salads. I was going up to my friend’s beach house in York, ME for an “end of summer” party that night, and made a quick salad for dinner before I left.

Runny yolks + salad dressing = deliciousness

I also grabbed a random sweet potato when I went grocery shopping, and had that on the side. I made it in the microwave because I’m lazy, but I definitely want to get experimental with sweet potatoes as fall hits and sweet potatoes are everywhere I plan on cooking with them more.

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Sweet potato + pepper + smoked paprika + adobo = more deliciousness

I had a GR8 time at the party. So great that I didn’t actually remember to take any pictures, whoops. Let’s just say I drank some vodka sodas, hung out with friends, danced my butt off (Tay Tay and Nicki were on the playlist, couldn’t resist), and ate “slutty” brownies (brownies with OREOS inside, holy crap) and homemade pizza.

Sunday morning, I headed home and napped a bit (I wasn’t hungover, just tired), and then went to Assembly Row in Sommerville (a city right outside of Boston for those of you not really in the Boston area) with Maddie. Assembly Row is a new, super nice shopping area. While I wasn’t into a lot of the stores there (most of them were pretty expensive/for an older, more professional crowd than Maddie and I), it was fun to walk around on such a nice day.

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Not gonna lie, asking random people to take pictures of you is never not awk.

After we finished (mostly window) shopping, we grabbed dinner at a restaurant in Assembly Row, Earl’s Kitchen and Bar. Continuing my salad streak, I ordered the Santa Fe Chicken salad, which had grilled chicken, feta, avocado, black beans, corn, and greens with peanut vinaigrette dressing. OMG it was so good. As a salad connoisseur, I can definitely say it was one of the best salads I’ve had in quite some time.

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Mountain of great-salad-ness.

Of course, Maddie and I couldn’t not stop at JP Licks when there was one right in Assembly Row. I got a cup of PB Chip fro-yo (trying to be a bit more healthy since going completely crazy during my half marathon week). It was bomb, obvi.

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After getting home, I ended the night with a solid strength-training session at the gym. I felt like I could conquer the world as I was on my way home. I don’t always feel that way after working out, but it is such a great feeling when I do!

Speaking of working out, here’s my week of workouts. I didn’t really have a plan going into the week, I just kind of did what I felt like doing. While that was good for the post-half marathon week, I think I need to get back into having a weekly plan now that my life is going to get a bit more hectic.

MONDAY: Rest

TUESDAY: Hot yoga

WEDNESDAY: Total body strength at the gym

THURSDAY: First post-half marathon run! 3.4 miles (8:47 pace) + PopSugar butt workout (that wasn’t very challenging, probably won’t do it again) + Caroline Jordan ab workout (that was very challenging, probably will do again)

FRIDAY: 3.8 mile run (9:04 pace) + Blogilates “Booty Booty Booty” workout (one of my faaaaaves) + Blogilates 5 minute ab workout

SATURDAY: Hot yoga

SUNDAY: Total body strength at the gym

PS: I’m linking up my weekend recap with Erin from Her Heartland Soul. Thanks for hosting!

Questions for you lovely humans:

1. If you could put together your dream salad, what would be in it? Honestly, I may just be on the post-Santa Fe Chicken Salad high, but I think that would be it. Maybe I’d throw in some tomatoes and red onion as well, but that was darn near perfect.

2. What are some sweet potato recipes you’re into? I like easy 🙂

3. Did you watch the VMAs/should I watch them? I missed them last night. I love my girl Milerz, but are they actually worth watching? Should I just check out the highlights?

BYEEEEE

Julie

Workout Time of Day, Does it Matter?

Morning, afternoon, or nighttime. Does it actually matter when you work out? Recently, this has been weighing on my mind a bit. As the weather cools down and the only feasible time to run isn’t ass-o’clock early (literally the only good thing about the weather cooling down, stay forever summer, I’ll wake up early if I have to!), I’ve been noticing my workouts have all been being pushed to the afternoon or evening. For some reason, it seems as though working out in the morning is held to some sort of higher standard. Sure, I found that my long runs seem to work best in the morning, but I rocked out a super sweet run (first one post-half marathon) and butt/ab workout today at 5:00. I had originally planned to do this workout at 7 AM before work, but when my alarm went off and I was not having it, I knew I would have a much stronger workout if I just held off.

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Morning run vs. evening run. The views are pretty no matter what!

I am by no means swearing off morning workouts until next summer. Nor am I shaming religious morning-workouters (I realize many people need to workout then or it’s not happening, or they’re just morning people). I love getting my workout done in the morning and having the rest of the day to live my life. Like I said before, long runs (after toast and coffee) seem to work best for me when done in the wee hours of the morning. And, of course, there are days where literally the only time I have to get in a workout is in the morning. On those days, I get my ass outta bed and onto the pavement or into the gym. However, sometimes a morning workout isn’t going to happen, whether I’m tired, have something else to do super early, or am planning on going to a class in the afternoon/evening I know it’s not always feasible to fit in a workout before the day truly begins.

Sometimes staying in bed is the best thing for the zen. PS: Pls buy me this.

Anyway, why am I writing this? Honestly, I just wanted to get my thoughts out there. Yes, there are a lot of pros to working out in the morning, but if you know you can get a workout in later (one benefit of an early morning workout is that life is less likely to get in the way), then workout whenever the heck your heart wants! Yeah, yeah, some people say your metabolism is increased if you start your day off with exercise and blah, blah, blah, but if you were to do the same workout at 7 AM or 7 PM, you’re going to burn the same calories and reap the same muscle/endurance/whatever benefits. Additionally, if you’re super tired in the morning, you probably won’t end up working out as hard as if you had given yourself the extra hour or two of sleep and exercised later in the day (for example, I totally wouldn’t have run as hard at 7 AM when I was super tired than I did this afternoon, so I ended up getting a better workout). Really, you’re doing your body a solid by getting more sleep + getting more out of a workout because you’re not dead.

And for the times when a workout has to happen in the morning and you are soooo not down, maybe this is helpful?

Okay, so that was a super random, semi-stream-of-consciousness post. Basically I just wanted to put my thoughts out there, and see what others had to say, which brings me to questions for you lovely humans 🙂 :

1. Morning/afternoon/night, do you typically stick to one time frame or switch it up depending on your schedule for the day? I probably workout in the morning 50% of the time, and then split between afternoon/night depending on life.

2. Do you feel the same “mornings are superior” vibe around working out? Am I just crazy (probably)?

BYEEEEEE

Julie