Week in Workouts

December 20th, 2013 | Posted by Erica House in Fitness | Health | Life - (14 Comments)

Workout Wrap Up

 Dec 20

Can you believe it …. a two-a-day! I had a great run Tuesday morning then asked a friend who is training for her first race if she wanted to get together for a quick run after work.

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I’m so not a night runner it felt totally strange, but it was nice to have a run buddy! Doesn’t she have the cutest dog ever?

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We ended up going downtown for some wine after (in our gym clothes tyvm) and despite being home by 9:30 I was dragging the next day. #OldLady

I’ve balanced out some awesome workouts this week by going off the deep end with baking. It all started with simple snickerdoodles I made to impress the guy I had just started dating (I think it worked.) On Wednesday I whipped up some sweet & salty potato chip toffee cookies, and a snickers cheesecake with oreo crust. When I go – I go big.

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Fresh out of the oven I preferred the cookies, although I will be adding way more chips next time as I could hardly taste them! The next day I definitely preferred the cheesecake.

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I’ve received some incredible packages this week! First came this combo from Larabar & Food Should Taste Good.

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Those chocolate chips lasted one day. It was the same day I ran morning and night and I may have used the ‘carb loading’ excuse to eat the whole bag. No shame. I absolutely adore both of these brands and can’t wait to try out some new larabar flavors! (Which is your favorite?)

As if that wasn’t enough, I then received this box from Kind! I’ve been a Kind fan for years. I even stole one from Dad and busted it out in the middle of Josh’s graduation.

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This weekend I’ll be busy.busy.busy moving into my new place Saturday but I’m hoping to have it all set up by the night so I can relax the rest of the weekend. Ambitious goal? Perhaps. I’m going to go for one last long run in my neighborhood that morning (and I’m thinking  8 miles is my new LR, my how things have changes!) then I’ll activate beast mode and get it done. I’m off until Thursday and have no idea what I’ll do. I have two simple goals: not work & spend lots of time with people I like.

Things are transitioning in my life right now (aren’t they always?) so after the Holiday’s I’ll be cutting way back on my hours at the hospital and will be teaching two new classes this Spring.

I’m so damn excited about life right now. Like, my present life. Not some abstract fantasy life I’m working toward. I’m happy now.

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What are you up to this weekend?

Any last minute moving tips? 

With news headlines coming out every week touting proof for which new fad diet is best I don’t think I’m the only one who can get overwhelmed with figuring out which health advice I should follow. Earlier this year I wrote an article for Blisstree that highlighted some of the worst health & fitness tips from the last century. Things that are so obviously ludicrous that it’s shocking to believe people actually fell for it – like eating tapeworms or nothing but cabbage soup.

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Unfortunately, it’s usually not so easy to decide which health advice is legitimate and based on legitimate scientific research. Even when an article comes out saying something like “multivitamins don’t hold any health benefits” (like many did this week) as someone with a masters focusing on research design & analysis I immediately start questioning the validity of the study. Did they ask the right questions? Such as, finding out if those people taking a multivitamin subconsciously ate less healthy than those who don’t since they feel they can ‘get away with it’ as long as their popping their vitamins? Also, the claim that multi’s don’t hold any health benefits is poorly worded, since the specific endpoint of the study was that vitamins “do not prevent chronic disease or death.” Well, duh. I don’t take a vitamin thinking it will prolong my life or prevent me from getting cancer, I take it to fill in the gaps of my somewhat limited, vegetarian diet.

Add in the constantly evolving string of diets (Paleo, Atkins, Mediterranean, Flexitarian, ….) and fitness trends (Crossfit, TRX, tabata, …) and I can see how some people start to feel so overwhelmed with health information that they feel exhausted just trying to sort it all out. Should I stay away from carbs, protein or fat? Do I need to eat before my workout, or is it better to workout on an empty stomach? Should I do short, high intensity runs that keep my heart rate elevated, or train my body to run more efficiently at a lower heart rate?

Evolution of the Food Pyramid

So, where do you start? Andrea, a 4th year medical student, wrote a post on this same topic a few days ago (thanks for the inspiration!) She analyzed a few of the most recent diet trends and found there were a few common themes: eat tons of veggies, eat real food, healthy fats in moderation, and drink tons of water.

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I know with the New Year quickly approaching many people will be on the hunt for the ‘best’ diet to follow to lose weight fast. Don’t you think if a miracle food/diet/supplement had been found already that we’d all be taking it or following that diet? When I first lost my 50+ pounds and people would ask me how I did it they were always disappointed with my answer; I moved more and ate less. Perhaps I over-simplified it, or maybe our society is over-complicating it.

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What else do you think is a genuine universal health tip? 

How do you decide which health advice to follow?

Do Epic Shit

December 17th, 2013 | Posted by Erica House in Life - (12 Comments)

Warning: random existential rant ahead.

So, I watched Braveheart on Sunday. I’d only seen it once before, many moons ago, and all I remembered was the infamous end to William Wallace. If that wasn’t inspiring enough we followed it up by watching The Count of Monte Cristo. Two badass movies that exemplify people living lives worth telling future generations about.

Naturally, I’ve spun myself into a mini existential quandary wondering – am I living my life to its fullest potential?

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I’ve always been averse to the ‘live life to the fullest’ mentality. That takes a lot of energy, and it’s not very realistic on a day-to-day basis. The idea that you need to live each day like it may be your last doesn’t bode well with crummy 9 to 5 jobs that most people need to do silly things like eat regularly and keep the lights on. However, I do think most people (myself included) can often get into the routine of going through life without looking for ways to make the most of it.

What will my legacy be? Will I raise children who grow into awesome adults who may positively impact those around them? Will I inspire students to pursue careers in Psychology, potentially helping thousands of people along the way? Or, maybe my destiny holds nothing more than smiling at a stranger who is having a bad day.

I just want to make sure I’m living up to my potential, because we all have greatness within us.

What will you do epic today?