How do you bake your cake?

You know when you hear a reference or a certain quote twice in a short period of time? Oh, coincidence. Ha! I think not…the universe speaking up is what I say.

Yesterday I was in Book Club and we are reading Daring Greatly by Brene Brown which I read a few years back. It’s interesting to pick up a book like this again, I’m reading it with a completely different lens. At the beginning of book club we do a clearing. It’s a time where we go around the circle and give everyone the chance to spew about what’s impacting them on that day so that we can discuss the books content with a clear mind.

IMG_3695

I was 15 minutes late to book club that day. I hate being late. My inner perfectionist has an absolute conniption fit when I’m late. If I know I’m going to be late and I’m driving somewhere, I will stress and have anxiety the entire drive. I’m constantly worried while driving that I’m going to be late, even when I’m early. It’s not unlike me to call someone I’m meeting to let them know I’m going to be late, only to arrive right on time.

Well, I was late, so I was feeling very rushed and behind. When it came to my time for clearing, I just offloaded how overwhelmed I feel these days. I’m used to training for big races, I’ve done that for years. And I’m used to coaching my monthly one-on-one athletes. At times those two things, plus being wife and mom, really fill up my life. Well, throwing in my new coaching company RTTC has really taken things to a new level. I’m delivering much more content to my athletes these days and really stepping up the communication factor with them. At the same time I’m developing a new coaching product called IronTide which I’m totally jazzed about, but holy moly, it’s so much work.

DSC_5473

The nice thing about book club is that we are all trained to hold space for each other. This means nobody jumps in to solve my problems, they just listen, nod, and ask questions that might help me get to the bottom of what I’m experiencing and how I feel about it. It’s a really safe place to open up. Their questions and dialogue helped me to really drill down further.

” One of the most universal numbing strategies is what I call crazy-busy. I often say that when they start having twelve-step meetings for busy-aholics, they’ll need to rent out football stadiums. We are a culture of people who’ve bought into the idea that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us”          —Brene Brown

My entire clearing could be summed up as crazy-busy but my next question is “what if you are crazy-busy because your life is so full of everything you want in it?” I’m not numbing, I’m trying to SLAY LIFE. Is filling my life with what I want in there helping me to not deal with some of the hard bits? I guess, yes, but I often tell Troy “I’m overwhelmed by the awesomeness of my life.”

DSC_5556

Discussing that with book club and bouncing these ideas back and forth I came up with this: I think this stuff is like a recipe. Baking a cake shall we say. I have the right ingredients sitting on my counter. I’ve worked really hard to realize that I don’t need hot peppers or spinach in my cake. I put those back in the fridge. I’m looking at all the right stuff in front of me. But, I don’t have the ratios right yet. My cake still has a bit too much flour, it’s missing an egg, and I don’t quite have the baking soda, baking powder thing down because it’s either flat, or over-puffed.

This was such an ahh-hah. You can have the right stuff in your life and still feel out of alignment, out of whack, overwhelmed, anxious, and ready to throw in the towel. At times I just want to clear all the ingredients off the counter with one swift act of aggression.

 

Today I saw this tweet from Mary Beth Ellis that made me realize I had to post this blog because it adds another layer (pun intended) to the situation.

IMG_3694

Ahhhh, another cake analogy!

As I seek to get the ratios correct in my life recipe, I’m still looking at yet another obstacle, and that’s temperature and time. I can get all the right ingredients, and get them all in the right amounts and then the oven is too high, or too low, and I can leave that cake in for too long, to take it out too early, thus rushing or stalling the process. The possible pitfalls are endless, but thinking about things this way I started to get a little clarity.

This is life. LIFE IS NOW. It takes constant evaluation. If you wake up every day and endeavor to make the best cake you can, after some fixed amount of time you will probobly have a darn nice cake on your hands. If you however wake up every day, go into the kitchen, throw some ingredients in a pan, with little regard to what you intend, then the likelihood that you will end up with a cake in the end is slim, much less a tasty cake.

It comes down to knowing what kind of cake you want to bake, and waking up every day with that goal in mind. But then backing up enough to know that there are a lot of moving parts to success and it’s a constant experiment. It’s also about trying something, and then looking back and writing down the lessons learned and tweaking from there the next day.

DSC_5574

I realized I’m frustrated and overwhelmed because I wake up in the morning, get out all the right ingredients, put them together in ratios that I think is right, pop it in an oven that I think is the right temp, and my cake comes out a mess most the time. That piece of reflection from day to day is missing for me. I’m waking up the next day, and trying a different mix of ingredients, a different oven temp, and getting a different type of crappy cake. Where I am missing the mark is getting deliberate with what ingredients are too much, what are too little, and incorporating MINOR tweaks so that I can really see the outcome of those tweaks.

This requires a deliberate assessment of the now. What’s in, what’s out? What is the current ratio? Getting real with now is the first step before I can start experimenting in a deliberate and calculated way. And we aren’t talking about a cake, we are talking about life, and the difference between thriving and spinning my wheels. It’s not an easy assessment, but I think having my newly developed cake analogy is going to help me put some processes into action.

I’m wondering if this resonates with any other athletes who are balancing jobs, training, families, etc? What happens when you toss in an extra ingredient? Does your cake get all gross for awhile?

Angela Visit and Fun Food

This week has been so much fun. I’ve really enjoyed spending February at home. The beginning of this week Angela came and stayed a few days. This visit was particularly special to me since she and I don’t get to spend a lot of time together but always look forward to when we do. She was hot off a win at Panama 70.3 which was a great test for her early season fitness.

Angela and I met in 2010 when we were both coached by Chuckie, and have remained friends ever since. I trained with Angela a lot the summer leading up to my first Kona, and she was in Kona cheering and yelling at me this year for my 4th. She’s seen my progress and I’ve seen hers. We can really get laughing about the silly things we were doing 4 years ago. Climbing Longs Peak, riding up Mount Evans, her borrowing a road bike to win a race (okay, she got second, but she borrowed a bike). So many fun memories, and more to come.

Check out Ang winning Panama, her video is super cute she had a great home stay taking lots of footage!

 

I think one of the best things about spending some time with Ang is that we both just love to talk about the mental and emotional side of the sport. I get such wisdom from her, I’m always inspired to train harder when I’m around her. She’s such a professional, she keeps her performance in mind with every decision she makes, and that’s not just this year, but every year. I also like hearing about what it’s like to be coached by Mark Allen and Phil Maffetone. I have really enjoyed everything I have read by the both of them, books I go back to weekly for inspiration and guidance, in life and sport. Ang is like a little mini expert in this area, so I’m always picking her brain on these topics.

We recorded a video blog when she was here and it’s honestly my favorite one so far. It’s a little longer, just under 11 minutes, but just really good stuff. AND, the cat’s out of the bag…we are headed to Australia!!

 

Today, Katie came out to train and we had two really steady strong sessions. The masters swim today was INSANE. The temps were cold, but the wind was so wild that we had to put our heads in the water when we were resting at the wall or we would get a “brain freeze” headache. It was one of the coldest swims I’ve even done in the Greenwood Pool. Luckily Dennis gave us sets with very little rest. We did a set of 5×100 at the beginning of the workout at steady pace. Mine were around 1:37s, and my CSS pace right now is 1:36/100M. Then at the end of the workout we had to do them “5 seconds faster”. Which is more above threshold pace. I was really jazzed to descend them from 1:30 down to 1:27. I gave myself a little pat on the back. Getting out of the pool and running inside was literally the coldest 8 seconds I have experienced all year. I feel ALIVE!

photo 10

Katie and I had lunch and then came back and did some cooking. It was really nice to spend some time together doing something that we both really enjoy, that isn’t training!! We cook the same. If we don’t like the look of it we just start adding and dumping in things that we think will make it better. We had fun!

So we started with the Osmo Nutrition print out and went to town on the Protein Power Bites. They really turned out grand. I would like to cover them in liquid chocolate next time!

Then we went onto a bar recipe that Katie had called “Nick’s Bars.” We didn’t have 1/2 the ingredients so we just made stuff up and they turned out kinda dry but still tasty. Everything we made we were like “it needs more salt” and then we realized we are probably just low on salt from the days training sessions.

photo 9

Lastly we mixed up some of Phil’s Fudge. There are several recipes around for this one, as we found out later. We did the one that Paul put on the outstrip endurance blog. Phil also wrote an article on Lava Magazine with his fudge Recipe in it. It’s slightly different. We were so confused by this one. We got all the ingredients mixed and it seemed like it wasn’t working. The middle was this blobby mess and the outside was liquid like and wasn’t mixing in. We added more protein powder and more cocoa. Not much better. Finally we just put it in a loa pan and into the fridge and said “good luck.” 10 minutes in the fridge and then 10 in the freezer, we pulled it out to check on it….it was amazing! Exactly like fudge. I always wondered why Ang and Paul made so little of it, Katie and I had tripled their recipe. It packs a PUNCH!! Amazing. Next time Katie and I agreed we would coat the top in sea salt…yes, back to the salt thing!

Katie and I filmed a video blog. It’s silly, and fun!

 

So, I totally urge you to have faith, and make the fudge. It’s full of healthy fat and raw cocoa. This is not a Whole30 thing (plus your not allowed to eat dessert on Whole30), it’s got lots of honey, but it’s pretty darn yummy for healthy fudge. If anyone else has made anything off the Osmo print out, let me know, I’m curious to see how some of the other recipes go. Thanks!

 

 

 

Use the Tools

Okay, today was an exciting day. First off, Michelle is doing great after surgery, things went well and we are excited to see what the knee looks like under all the bandages. She’s doing all her machines and being a good patient and relaxing, and taking her pain meds. It’s fun having her here and I’m glad she trusted us enough with her recovery. All is good for now! She’s got a long road ahead of her, but we are excited she’s now on the road! We video blogged today about being friends. It’s a sappy one, kinda cute too.

 

So, a kind of exciting thing happened today. Melissa Hartwig, one of the Whole30 founders emailed me last night to say that she was featuring my Whole30 journey on the Whole30 website today. She included a lot of the email that I sent her back when we were having the great “Whole30 debate” on my blog. I swapped a lot of emails with Melissa when I was frustrated at being challenged on my Whole30ness back about a month ago and I’ll admit that I got to a good place with all this, thanks a ton to Troy for his insight and lots of the comments you all left on this here blog. Food is controversial, that I definitely learned. So the jury rang in, and I think the verdict is that I’m not a technical Whole30er, and that’s okay. I completely agree, and I’m honestly proud of myself for not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. It’s in my personality when things get controversial and I’m being called out to just walk away. I’ve done this with relationships, so it was a sign of growth for me to be okay with the middle ground. Just being honest here.

Also, Melissa thinks I am a professional triathlete. She asked to look through my blog and for a non triathlete I totally get how she could think that. Those of you in triathlete-land know that I don’t have a Pro card, but that I could if I wanted to and I have qualified to do so. Most of you know that I have been trying to win my (amateur) age group in Hawaii for several years now and thus haven’t taken that Pro card. Also, just my opinion, but in order to win my AG in Hawaii I think it will take a mid to upper Pro pack performance to do so. Most pros don’t make much money although they are technically racing for it, that’s the reality of the sport. However, I think most athletes in my situation make the decision to go or not based on what will challenge them and keep them improving. My Hawaii goal continues to challenge me and keeps me questing for improvement. So, long winded here, but just an explanation for if/when you read this article.

whole30If you would like to read the write up you can either go to the main page of Whole30.com and scroll to the bottom, or you can click on the image below:

whole30V2

 

What I learned from this experience is that there are a lot of tools out there. Now more than ever tons of health minded people are putting their opinions about what health/development looks like out on the inter web. They are developing books you can read, programs you can follow, movements you can latch onto. I think this is awesome! I always want to jump on them! I’m a self experimenter at heart! In this day and age you can write a book, and then engage with the people who loved the book in new and exciting ways. You can create classes, programs, challenges online, twitter and facebook followings, and turn your book readers into your network of followers and advertisers. It’s getting pretty crazy…crazy cool! Whole30 has done it, the Happiness Project has done it, Brene Brown has done it, I can keep going here…. It’s everywhere in our “new-media” age.

I think this new way of reaching and engaging people is pretty neat, but to the individual, I want to stress that these are tools. I personally feel that health for each of us looks different. It’s like your favorite outfit (StitchFix is awesome by the way), it may be Classy Chic, but it’s a jet black collared top with impeccably tailored tan slacks and a set of black heels. It’s yours, it’s unique, it’s a reflection of your taste/needs. Someone else may have the same slacks, but not the same heels. We are each unique and your favorite outfit most likely will not work for me. You have to try things on, see how they feel, throw out the black heals and put on a tall pair of boots. Use the tools at your disposal, but know that you have a heart and a soul guiding you, that your intuition is uniquely you and is a voice that needs to be allowed to speak.

photo

That’s my take away from this situation. Use the tools in this awesome world, not to paralyze you, but to educate you. Take what you like, toss the rest. Give things a good college try and consider yourself and your life an experiment of one. In the end, it’s you that has to live with the decisions you made, so you need to make decisions that you can live with the consequences of. What I am really thankful for today is the level of engagement that Melissa at Whole30 was willing to have with me. She cared about my journey both personally and as a teachable moment. I value that sort of engagement. I adopted a lot of the Whole30 recommendations, and some I did not. I’m not going to do another “Whole30,” I’ve learned from that tool and will most likely continue to education from other tools in the future. I feel lucky that I live in todays world, I’m jazzed about the trajectory and about how many new subjects are finding a voice out there.

Sleep/Whole30: Day 13/14 – So Tired

Last night I was tired so at about 7:00pm I went and laid down in my bed to read for a little while. After about 15 minutes I fell asleep and woke up at 7:00am this morning. Yea, 12 hours of ZZZZzzzzzsssss. Trying to be a morning person is exhausting and eventually I knew a catch up day was in order.

The lengthy sleep meant that I didn’t post a blog yesterday. And today has been a rough one. An unplanned rest day, some tears, and finally a ton of retail therapy. I feel like I can head to California tomorrow.

I did get a video blog up yesterday. It’s here’s, and you get to see Michelle for the first time since I’ve been video blogging!

Day 13:

My eating has been rough these past few days (read = boring). But I’ve kept to my goals. Tomorrow is a busy day with training and packing for California, I leave late tomorrow night.

I had a really pretty eggs/hash/magic dust breakfast yesterday. Magic Dust is a recipe in Well Fed Two. And she is right, it can go on everything. I thought it was tedious, but then when I get to sprinkle this yummy goodness on my eggs, it’s worth it.

photo 7

This is a lot of what I have been eating and it’s been boring the heck out of me. But I’m just trying to hold myself over until I get to Cali. If I make up a bunch of stuff it probably won’t get eaten. When I leave Troy and Annie tend to live on Chinese food and pizza. Not so healthy, I know, but they lose their cook, and Troy is a single parent, and I can’t blame him! Once I get to Cali, I’m in the hands of my mom…which means I just have to request it and she whips it up! Love my mama!

photo 6

I shed some tears this morning. I was so groggy and there were a few things bothering me, but mostly, I’m going to miss Troy and Annie, and I sat in the bathroom and had a big cry about it. I finally got over myself and engaged in a little retail therapy. All’s good now.

So my goals for California. Here they go:

— Remain upright…if last year is an indication, over the next 10 days I will ride about 700 miles. So number 1 goal is to remain on top of my bike, tires down, head up! And smile…that too!

— Don’t bonk…that’s another big one. I know that some rice is most likely going to happen, and I will definitely be using training fuel. But other than that I really am making it my goal to keep my 3 meals a day as Clean and Whol30ish as possible, no ice cream, or desserts, just keeping the nutrition focus up. That really helped my ironman recovery and I’m hoping it helps with training camp recovery from day to day.

— Keep Video blogging. I want to keep up with the 100 video blog posts, but I’m not going to be keeping up with the typing posts. So there may just be video blogs posted here, or they may not even be posted here, and just posted on Youtube. I’m hoping to show you all some beautiful places along the way. This is going to be hard, but I’m going to try. If you are seeing the videos only via this blog you can go here for my Youtube channel.

— Sleep 9+ hours a night. That’s a big one, and I know that Monday night it probably won’t happen. That’s the day I finish Coast Ride (125 miles of riding that day I think), then drive 4 hours back to San Jose, then have track practice at 6:15am Tuesday morning. But I’m already promising myself a catch up nap on Tuesday to keep up on my sleep.

— Video Chat 2X a day with home. I miss them so much when I’m out there, and many times we go a few days without talking because everyone is busy, but this time I’m making more effort to make sure we connect.

So, that’s my goals. I’ll try to get a few blog posts in but I’m not making any promises!! Hahah!

Today I video blogged about one of my favorite tri-life-hacks. A little conversation happened on twitter about it, so I thought I would share it with you. So sorry for cutting off the bottom of the basket but these Video Blogs are one time recorded and done! hahah!

Sleep/Whole30: Day12 – What side of the fence are you?

Oh my, so last night I slept from 11pm to 7:30am and I woke up feeling like a new women! I can’t believe how much the early rising thing was conking me out. Have I given up yet?….no! I’m still working on things. Danielle had suggested quitting electronics for 1/2 hour before and reading a light book. This totally works for me. I am going to incorporate this into my nightly routine from here on out.

Some interesting stuff has been happening the past few days. So a few days ago I emailed Whole30 to ask some clarifying questions about whether I’m a sham. I actually got a personal email back from Melissa (she is very sweet) and got to discuss several things back and forth with her. I’ve had some good clarity with her help.

I told Melissa about what I had been through, the good, the bad, what others thought, what I thought, etc. She said that she plans to use this as a teachable moment and is working on an article for Whole9/Whole30. She was very clear that they are not trying to foster an environment of exclusivity, but that they also have some strict devotees. She talked to me quite a bit, and asked me a really great question:

Would you say that you are a performance-driven athlete? Meaning that on the spectrum of having a health-focus (where your only goal is to make yourself healthier, even if it means performance suffers) and a performance focus (where you do things that may not be optimal for your health because they drive performance gains), you fall slightly or mostly into the latter category?

Understand that we believe there is no “right” goal or focus here, but that it’s important for each person to know where he/she shakes out on the health vs. performance curve. Where would you say you self-identify?

Um, I think you all can guess that I self identify as a “right wing” (hahahha), meaning I do things that may or may not be optimal for health because they drive performance gains. I’m definitely not in the camp that will do something healthier if it means performance suffers. This was a really good question to ask me and it helped me to really iron down some things.

I always say “health first,” it’s something I really believe. But the truth is, what I mean is: when seeking to be your fastest self, think about health first. My health first comment doesn’t actually mean let athletics suffer to be healthier (kinda crazy to actually type that…but it’s how I feel). The truth of the matter is that competing in an Ironman is not a very healthy endeavor. If you do too many of them too quickly, you will mess yourself up. They are a performance goal. So when I dive down into it, I would say that I am seeking more health in order to have a performance advantage. And I truly believe that a healthier body is a faster body. But the “faster body” part is the goal.

FOR ME….

Let’s be clear here….FOR ME….

We can argue (successfully) that my hobby is inherently an unhealthy endeavor and that I could be doing much healthier things with my time/money/body/etc. like walking, or yoga. But given that performance gains in triathlon are the primary goal, I do think seeking as much health as possible within that framework, helps decrease the number on the clock at the end of the day. This is not something everyone agrees with. Many people feel that you have to get to a bit of a generally unhealthy place, riding the line between too lean, or too overtrained in order to get the best out of yourself. So far I have found the opposite to be true.

Today Whole9, the company that does Whole30 endorsed a book written by Stupid Easy Paleo that just came out called “The Paleo Athlete.” I emailed Melissa at Whole30 and told her this looked like something that might address some of my questions and she put me in touch immediately with Stephanie, the author. Stephanie asked me to read and review the book, so I will keep you all posted there. She did say that the book is not exactly written for the “super experienced athlete” but that I might still get some good stuff out of it. Either way, I’m excited.

Food today was great. I didn’t take photos, I’ll get back to that tomorrow. It was my last day with Kristi here and we were busy bees getting swims and runs in. She’s headed back home (sad face) and this week I need to get ready for my first training camp of the year, which is going to be pretty epic.

Breakfast was sweet potato hash with eggs, lunch was sweet potato hash with chicken, and dinner was left over chili, chicken, sweet potato hash, and I added in a head (I ate an entire head) of broccoli with some mayo (homemade) mustard sauce on top of them. Nom Nom!

Video Blog today is thanks to Erin, and I discuss some of my favorite cook books while wearing a hilarious green hat that kinda looks like a cross between and alien, and Shrek. I aim to please people…

Sleep/Whole30: Day11 – Just a Fantastic Day

What a great Sunday I’ve had! Working with Kristi in the pool today was a totally awesome experience. She has some shoulder issues and we are really trying to work on her form to alleviate the pressure on her shoulders. We made some nice progress today in that regard. I just feel so passionate about my athletes success, it’s awesome to see things click.

Sunday is schedule writing day and tends to be the most stressful of my week, but today I had more focus and clarity than usual. We had terrific office hours today and the crew asked some great questions about running track, ironman nutrition, and using 70.3s during their Ironman builds. It’s been fun, this year some of my athletes have put picking the races they are doing this year in my hands, so I have built a few yearly plans and I’m excited to see those get executed. All in all, really good stuff.

I had a great run today, it was on the treadmill while I had Kristi spin out her legs. I messed around with some different inclines on the tready and now I’m excited to incorporate some of that into my athletes schedules (insert evil laugh here). Many of their sessions stem from things I have done here or there through the years.

Food today was awesome. I made sweet potato/eggs breaky…the usual but without avocado because I didn’t have any. Lunch we went to Smashburger and I didn’t have the bun, but had sweet potato fries and the innards of the burger (patty, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and some bacon…just one slice).

photo

For dinner Kristi and I were coming home from the gym so we swung by and got Chipotle. It was more eating out than I usually have but it was all really good food, and when it’s good food I don’t really sweat it. I had a bit of a headache this morning, not sure from what.

I’m sucking in the Sleep30 department. I’m still not a morning owl. I’m trying but I’m still struggling here. Today I hit snooze. 4:30 just seemed so early and I flunked morning person school today.

Dina asked me if I could talk about inspiration and motivation on the video blog (every time I write v-log it gets autocorrected…..) and so I did.

Also, before I go, I want to chat a little about motivation. If you are doing something you love, like triathlon, and you are needing motivation to get out the door, or going through a funk, I have a little advise. First off, it can happen, it’s normal, you can get in a lull, but I will tell you this. Through the years I have learned that it isn’t really worth it to force it. If I am lacking motivation, I usually just don’t train. GASP! WHAT? SERIOUSLY? Yes, most of the time, if I’m just not feeling it, I skip it.

I just don’t want triathlon to be about delayed gratification. I want to WANT to do it every day, and I think doing it when I don’t want to is the shortcut to getting burned out. So, I generally just skip a session when I’m not feeling the love. It means letting go of perfection, but then when you have some stellar races despite (and maybe because) you skipped some stuff, you start to realize, Oh, it’s kinda a little special secret in the sport. Bottom line is that most of us are plenty trained, but sometimes our mojo is overtrained. I work best when I value both equally.

Sleep/EatingGoodFood30: Day 9 – New Title Sponsor

2014 is a new year and for me brings a huge change in title sponsorship! Tribella Multisport is a Womens Tri Shop in downtown Denver that aims to empower and outfit all types of tri women in the Rocky Mountain Region. If you think “chick power” that’s Tribella. I was in need of a new trishop home and when I walked in the doors, James said to me, “you’re Sonja Wieck, I know your results and we want to be your new home.” It was a great offer and the more I got to know about what the shop currently does, the more excited I got.

concept

They support women. All shapes, all sizes, all ability levels, and all speeds. They partnered with Mile High Multisport coaching and help run a womens team built for women who are just getting into the sport. After spending some time in the shop I knew that this shop was in line with where I want to head, and they were ready and willing to support me in the ways that I need to get to the next level in my own performance. Also, they were just named Competitors best Tri shop for the Mountain Tri Region!

Plus, they have really cute cycling kits, which we women are interested it.

IMG_5450

IMG_5449

It will be a blast next year to get to know a new group of women in the Denver area, to support a shop that is helping to get more women into triathlon, and to wear a kit that screams “You go girl!”

IMG_4876

 

And to Tribella, I can’t thank you enough. Change is never easy and to have you guys believe in where I am headed and to understand the life that I have to lead to accomplish my big goal, that’s not easy to sign onto. I hope to represent the shop to the best of my ability this year. Thank you for believing in me!

Tribella Webpage

Tribella Facebook

Tribella Twitter

Today was a big day of training and combined with waking up at 4:30 in the morning has made for a tired little triathlete. On the bike at 5:30am, I think that’s the earliest I’ve ever been on the bike in my living room!

photo 4

Food today was lots of leftovers. Breakfast was the normal. No photo, too early. Lunch was so cute. I had just pulled into the driveway after a morning full of lifting and swimming and running and I was on the phone with my coach. So  I was sitting in the car talking and Troy comes out the front door with a plate of lunch all heated up.

photo 3

I ate that, and then I needed more food, because I was QUITE hungry, so I had some chili.

photo 2

That held me over to dinner where we attempted to clean out the fridge of it’s leftovers. So I had a hodgepodge of things. chicken cakes, cucumber relish, brussels sprouts, and sweet potato hash.

photo 1

I’m off to pick up one of my athletes Kristi from the airport. She flew in to spend the weekend with me so we can kick start the year, take a look at her swim form, and make tweaks that are needed. I’m so excited to have her here! I love it when my athletes come visit.

 

Sleep/EatingGoodFood30: Day 8 – Positive

Whew!! Well, let’s just all agreed that food is a HOT TOPIC these days, something that instills so much passion in many of us! I think it’s time to get this blog back to the basics, food, fun, exercise, smiles, etc etc.

I recently downloaded a book to my Kindle called “How Full is your Bucket.” I can’t say whether it’s a good book or not, being that I haven’t read it. Unfortunately it’s not at the front of my queue either. I’ve got quite a few to get through, but amazon sent me a link after downloading it saying that I had an “activation code” to take the “Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment.” I had no clue what this assessment is, but apparently they talk about it in the book.

It was 4:45am (more on that later) and I was looking for something to do so I clicked on it. The test took like 35 minutes and you answer like 150 questions (don’t quote me on the number) and at the end it spit out your “Signature Themes.” Each one had a little explanation and I have to say, mine were erie. So totally spot on. I could just hand them to someone and say, “This is me.”

Do you know what #1 is? Any guesses??

Positivity

Hahah!!! If you knew me 10 years ago this would not have made my top 10, but if I’ve learned anything these past years it’s that seeing the world around you as a bright place full of possibilities for yourself and others results in nothing but good stuff. It said:

“You are generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. Some call you lighthearted. Others just wish that their glass were as full as yours seems to be”

—Clifton StrengthsFinder

After reading the comments on yesterdays blog I can definitely say that you all see that in me too. I really thank you for all the kind words. I don’t “offload” too often, and I appreciate your reactions to my last post. Okay, ONWARDS!

So, sleep. My athlete Danielle, who I love a ton, and whom lives on Nantucket, emailed me yesterday. She is an X-night-owl turned morning-person and she emailed me some tips. They are the bomb and I’m going to share them.

1. She said I’m not waking up early enough! WHAT?!!! She said that 6:30 is not early enough to turn me into a morning person and that instead of going to bed early, I needed to focus on my wake up time and the bed time would take care of itself. She said 4:30-5:00am is when I need to get up. So last night, I set the alarm for 4:30am. It was horrible and I kinda twiddled my thumbs and ambled around the house from 4:30-6:30am, but I could see how this could be a game changer. But for now….it’s horrible.

2. No more electronics 1/2 hour before bed. This is a tip that is everywhere, so Danielle isn’t exactly inventing the wheel here, but having her reiterate it gave it a bit more clout with me. She said a nice solid real book before bed that is light in content is ideal.

3. Lastly, she also told me that bed is for two things….sleep and the other “S” word that is going to get me lots of comment spam if I repeat it. You know what I mean. So no electronics in or near the bed. But what about my cool little sleep app??!! No, says Danielle.

So, here’s to trying to use an early wake up time to help reset my bedtime. I’m going to give it a go, because the bed time thing isn’t really working as of now. Even when I get in bed early, the brain is racing and I feel rushed and pressured.

Breakfast today, at the ripe time of 5:30am was my normal sweet potato hash, 2 eggs and 1/2 avocado. I don’t think you all need another photo of that one, and I forgot to take one because it was so flipping early in the morning.

Lunch was yummy! I took the sweet potato hash and I put it IN the Chocolate Chili from Well Fed. Then topped with avocado. Let me tell you…total game changer! Really super tasty! Like it will make you forget that you ever used to put Fritos in your chili kind of good! I had some veggies on the side and also some toasted coconut.

photo 5

Also, there was some stress eating today. I ate an entire pomegranate in about 3 minutes. Like got out a spoon and just scooped the aerials into my mouth. Definitely not the wisest decision, but I still turn to food when I get stressed. It’s a fact of my life, I’m working on it.

Oh, have you seen the trick of beating a pomegranate with a wooden spoon? If you love them, but hate to peel them, check this out, it works like a charm. It works so good it’s almost sad to me, and it doesn’t require a bowl of water.

Dinner: Okay friends, let me just tell you. We had am amazing dinner. In Well Fed 2 there is a recipe for “Tod Mun Chicken Cakes with Cucumber Relish.” You can actually get a freed download of the recipe here on NomNomPaleo, just keep scanning to the bottom for the free PDF.

These were amazing, totally kid approved, Annie had 3 of them. The cucumber relish was really great too, so don’t skip that when you make it. My photo is not the best and they really didn’t last much longer than 3 minutes. I had seconds. One of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

photo 1

Last thing I want to mention. The Avocado Saver….can I please just elaborate on the avocado saver. Where has it been all my life. I love kitchen gadgets but not silly ones that you can just use your knife instead (says the girl who owns a vitamix, a food processor, a kitchen aid, and is begging for a mandolin and an emersion blender…but I digress). However at a grand total of $7.43 this baby is a real gem. It took me a second to figure it out, kinda had a blond moment, but you keep the side with the pit, it has a hole for the pit, and then it has a seatbelt to keep it safe while riding in the fridge.

It’s genius, and I love it. No more brown avocados. It really works.

Image

Here is my video blog for the day. Probably my favorite one so far!

Sleep/EatingGoodFood30: Day 7 : Well that was a downer.

Today I got a comment on my blog that kinda took me down a level. I’m no stranger to criticism, although I will say that through the years I have tightened my circle and I have learned to value criticism mostly from sources that I have a high level of trust with. My family, my coach, my close training partners, and a few close friends.

But today I had someone comment on this blog that really felt that I was a sham to the Whole30 concept, that by drinking Osmo I was doing a disservice to my followers, and that I basically shouldn’t call this a Whole30. And I’ll tell you, maybe I shouldn’t?? Although her words seemed harsh and critical towards me, I’m trying to think that if she spoke so harshly, maybe this means a lot to her, and so I’m trying to be sensitive to that.

With the Whole30, the authors of the book “It starts with food” are very black and white. The rules are the rules and that’s that. I also found the same thing on the forum, the moderators are of the same mindset of the authors (I guess we call them founders) of Whole30 and I remember seeing and reading a few posts of people talking about how if you weren’t 100% compliant you weren’t doing Whole30. If you had an accidental slip you were okay, but if it was intentional, you weren’t Whole30.

The commenter really called me out on my inconsistencies. And she’s right, I’m probably not 99% whole30, add the Osmo in and I’ll give myself a 82% compliance, heck if it makes her feel validated I’ll go with 35%. I surely don’t want anyone to feel angry or upset with my choice of number.

She found the spots where I wasn’t compliant and when I look back on those days and think about the sugar that was in my bottle to get through a 5 hour ride, or the coke I drank on the Ironman course in the midst of breaking the amateur course record, I was no longer a Whole30er. My choices were intentional.

And I keep telling myself, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. This is so good for you, even just trying is so good for you, don’t be a perfectionist. My personal motto is “Health First” and I felt like I had taken a huge step in the right direction.

So where am I going with this? I just want to be really clear. You my dear “followers,” I love you all, but I am not posting for you. I am so glad you are finding health (if you are) or entertained by my posts (which you may or may not be), but I am not prefect, I am not ever going to be, nor do I desire to be. I am a work in progress and I always will be, and I like that. I will continue to do what I think is right for me, my family, and my endurance goals, no more, no less.

If you are 100% compliant I give you a huge pat on the back. I’m so proud of you for your achievement, you go!

If I have confused or befuddled any of you, if you feel the victim of “disservice” I will tell you this now, I am not an expert, I am a girl, who likes to be outside, and likes to try to get a little healthier every day. I am not the owner of Whole30, I’m just a girl, making food in her kitchen, posting it on a blog that she writes so she can look back on her life when she’s 80. That is all.

If you want to know the details of Whole30 and how they want you to eat pre/during/post workout then YOU go read the book. I’m just going to be over here, doing my Health First thing.

Breakfast: the typical. Sweet Potato Hash with eggs and avocado.

photo 3

Lunch: Some left over burger patties, sweet potato with ghee, veggie salad, and avocado. Yes, heating up my burger patties overcooked them, yes they were chewy, and yes, I ate them anyways!

photo 2

Dinner: I finally made the Chocolate Chili from Well Fed (not 2…the original). It was really good, but it did have to simmer on the stove for 2 hours which I didn’t quite plan for! I topped it with some sweet potato, and avocado, and had a bowl of veggies on the side.

photo 4

I had recorded a Day 7 video blog at the pool today, but after having a conversation about Whole30 with Troy I asked if he would record a little conversation with me. I just watched it and I want to share it for my Day 7 Video Blog.  My husband is incredibly shy, and so I am rally thankful that he let me do this. Love you babe.

Sleep/Whole30: Day 6 – It’s so ON

Last night I went to bed at 10:30. Ug. Troy said I fell asleep at right about 11pm, so a little better as far as sleepless eyes shut time. I’ve decided I’m going to try to do a gentle movement of the bed time. So tonight I’m aiming for 10:15, and then I’ll keep moving it up. I am going to keep with a 6:30 wake up time though.

Lots of training today and I thought it would make Whole30 a challenge but it actually worked out quite well. I’m finding more and more that a recovery drink after more of my sessions is helping to make a successful Whole30. I had 4 training sessions today and I had Osmo recovery after 2 of them. It really helped hold me over and then when I had my next meal it hit the spot.

We went out to breakfast today, like at a restaurant…on a school day. Living wild, I know! But we were all up early and so we got Annie ready for school and then went out to eat. It was such a treat. We went to a pancake place and I was able to have a scrabble that had eggs, spinach, and sausage in it. It had a few little potatoes on the side, which I ate, and instead of a side of pancakes, I got a side of fruit. The sausage was home made in-house and I knew if it had sugar in it, I would know within minutes. No headache…no sugar! I was shocked, and stoked!

photo 3

It was a busy but productive morning, I got some grocery shopping done and a ton of food prep. Then I headed out to swim. Upon getting home I threw together such a good Whole30 meal. Some sweet potato hash, some mixed veggies (jicama, tomato, bell pepper, cucumber) with salad dressing on it, and 2 of the Salmon Patties from last night. This meal did not disappoint. Take note how much taller Troy is than me….

photo 2

I actually had about 90 minutes of free time today. Whew! What a luxury after the last few days. I explored the web, and transferred all my food blog entires to my big, hairy, long-term blog (if you are reading this you successfully made the switch). Then it was time to get on the hog. Then off the hog and in the weight room, then out of the weight room and onto the treadmill. What a day!

Once home, I was hungry! I had a recovery drink, but I wanted real food. We had lots of prepped veggies but no meat, so I mixed a pound of ground bison with some Wildtree Chipotle Lime Rub and some Ranchers Steak Rub, made it into baby patties and cooked it up. Baby patties cook really quickly and are tasty, try is sometime! I had some sweet potato with ghee, half an avocado (to remind Jordan to eat more fat) and some of my veggie medley. So satisfying. So much work, but so worth it!

photo 1

Today was a really great day, I’m so happy to be back training again, even if it seems like the climb back up the mountain is daunting. It’s not like I haven’t been here a million times before. Mostly, I am really thankful that I have my health, and that my body functions like a well oiled machine with very few hiccups. That’s not something a lot of people can say, and I don’t take that for granted.

Video Blog #6 – moving right along. Does anyone have any ideas for things I should discuss or explore on the video blog?? I could use some help, I have 94 more of these to do (Eek).