Swim Smart, Ride Strong and Run Tough!

Triathlon training is in full swing, it has been a challenge trying to get all of my workouts in with working and taking care of Lily not to mention Ben has been studying for the past 2 weeks with finals. I have found a new appreciation for quality workouts rather then quantity.  I have found that my mental focus during workouts has become very strong and I am feeling great. 

Quality workouts include a little more intensity through speed or hills.  Training to me is all about developing mental toughness so when race time comes you have already had enough tough workouts that you can mentally handle a killer hill on the bike or run course.  Our bodies are capable of doing a lot more then we give them credit to do, but our brains will get in the way and tell us to stop far before we need to. 

One of my favorite mental toughness workouts is running or riding a hilly course outside in zones 3 and 4 near my anaerobic threshold or doing steep hills (incline 10+) on the treadmill for 1-2 minutes followed by flat running between hills.  I used to want to stop after the first hill and now I don’t get that feeling until hill number 5, it’s all about telling the brain “yes I can!”

Don’t get me wrong .slower base cardio work in lower heart rate zone is necessary at least 1-2 days per week typically following a hard workout day, this is usually a smooth swim or flat ride for me, running is high impact so I never use it on a recovery day.  BUT, .iIf time is an issue try some high intensity interval training for your intense cardio session, also known as HIIT training.  The workouts are hard but they are over quick!  Happy training! 

Lily’s first Easter

One year ago I was sitting in church with my big pregnant belly thinking about bringing my soon to be daughter to church the next year for the Easter service and today that thought came true.  My parents came in to town for the entire week and I used and abused them with holding, feeding, changing, babysitting, etc.  They seemed to love every second of it but I know they were exhausted every night.  Lily is on the verge of crawling and she is so active, it has been so much fun seeing her change and grow into her own little personality.

This morning I dressed Lily up in a pretty purple flower dress and packed the diaper bag full of toys to keep her quiet in church.  I was so worried about her being one of those loud cranky babies but she fell asleep on Ben’s chest after the first song.  She woke up just in time for the final prayer!  We were lucky! 

Easter has been a blessed day my Aunt came into town from Augusta to eat with my parents, Ben and I.  We are are full of good food.  Happy Easter everyone!

The Yarn gang minus three boys :-(

 Funny bunny!

 Funny bunny (doesn’t he look so excited?)

 I love to listen to daddy’s headphones!

 Bouncing off the walls!

 Nana is the best story teller

 Almost crawling – trying soooooooooooooo hard!

 Happy Easter!

 Mommy and Lily

9 a day keeps the flab away!

For the first time since Lily has been born people are finally telling me that they have noticed I am losing the weight I gained during the pregnancy.  I guess the old saying, “it takes 9 months gain the weight it will take 9 months to get it off,” this is definitely true for me.  I have to admit I had ambitions of getting my body back in 12 weeks, I had no idea how hard it would be to get back on track.  A combination of things helped me get back to training hard and eating clean. 

Lily started sleeping through the night (most of the time) : looking back the sleep deprivation was taking a toll on my metabolism.  I was craving carbs all of the time, I was too tired to workout the way I used to, and was just mentally exhausted.  Now that I am getting 6-8 hours of sleep in I have my energy back and I have been able to control my food cravings and kick up my workout intensity.

Triathlon Training:  As soon as I registered for Iron Girl it was like a light went off and my workouts started to have a purpose behind them, I was not skipping workouts anymore and I started getting competitive again.  Every week I get in 2 rides, 3 runs, 2 swims and at least 1 Pilates and 1 weight training session.  Before I was probably doing only 1/3 of that.

Now for the most drastic change – 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (ratio is 1 fruit to 3 veggies).  It takes some effort to get in this many servings of fruits and veggies/day but I have found that if I do I do not get cravings as much, I feel great and best of all the weight falls off.  The majority of my carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables now, this is probably the biggest change overall.  For the most part the only time I eat starchy carbs (steel cut oats, potatoes, pasta, rice, whole wheat bread, tortillas, etc.) is right after a training session, if leaning out is the goal avoiding starchy carbs unless you just worked out is a quick way to do it.  I am not an advocate for “low carb” dieting, I am a promoter of increasing fruit and vegetable intake and decreasing the amount of starchy carbs not eliminating them.

Here is a typical day at the Yarn house packed full of fruits and veggies:

Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 egg white, 1 c mushrooms, peppers, onions, spinach and 1/2 slice of pepper jack cheese scrambled together with a side of dark purple grapes. 

Snack: clementine and 1/4 c almonds or cashews

Lunch:  Grilled chicken over dark leafy greens, with carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes and balsamic dressing with another clementine

Snack (usually post workout): Smoothie – 1/4 c pomegranate juice, 1/2 c water, 1 c spinach leaves, 1 c frozen berries, and 1 scoop protein (add ice and blend)

Dinner:  steak fillet, 1 c roasted potatoes, zucchini, and squash (toss in olive oil with seasoning and roast in oven 45 min. on 350) 

The calorie content is around 1500-1800 depending on the portion sizes of meats, dressings, etc.

This 9-a-day is no joke- try it and you will see results!

Meat glue – really?! Our food industry is out of control!

Watch this video:

In a nutshell, some irresponsible companies in the meat industry are binding poor cuts of meat together with toxic meat glue, the glued meat appears to look like an expensive cut (so they sell it at the price of expensive meat) and the company makes a profit off of poor cuts of meat glued together…. YUCK!!!!  It has become apparent that money is more important than health when it comes to our food industry.  Our country as a whole has become insulin resistant with hard arteries due to the chemicals in our food. 

In order to feed yourself and family well, you have to be a detective to buy safe foods and supplements.  Let’s stop looking the other way and start investing in our health by buying all natural and organic foods and credible supplements.  Our government will only change when there is no longer a profit being made on mainstream foods.  I am disgusted with the dangerous measures taken to cut corners and make a profit, out health and our children’s health is at risk.  It seems like every time I log onto the internet or go to a seminar I learn about horrible strategies to make money but put our health at more of a risk in our food industry.  Stay educated and don’t ignore the writing on the walls buy quality foods and supplements and hopefully our voices will be heard.