Archives for September 2014

First Post Injury 5k…

I have been putting this off FOREVER! I never realized how difficult it would be to return to the “running community,” when you’re starting from ground zero. I mean, it’s one thing to have never run a 5k before, but to have once had the ability to run them every day and then not be able to at all…that’s a different story. Or is it?

No, not really. It really isn’t. What I found out was that all of this was really just in my head. I mean, I train people everyday how to restart or return from injury, yet, when it comes to myself, I was beating myself up. Like, really Felicia? So, finally I had to tell myself, #byeFelicia, and I had to do what I had to do.

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That included registering for a race and just doing it! Who knew that just by doing that alone, that a fire would “SPARKLE!” I’ve rekindled my joy in running, well, jogging for now, but I’ve found my joy again and I am so happy that I got over myself! I’m looking forward to building up my mileage again (this time much slower), and hopefully I’ll be able to complete a few more races along the way.

In the meantime, I’d like to share with you some video footage from last week and I’d love to know if you run or have returned to running from an injury in the comment section. Chat with you soon!

Paleo it is…

Finding the right foods that actually agree with my body has NOT been an easy task. It just hasn’t. I have tried basically everything from low fat, to vegetarian, to gluten free, to…Paleo!

It wasn’t until a few short months ago that I was introduced to the Paleo Diet and I immediately noticed many benefits from it. Personally, I am one that tends to carry a lot of water weight. My face and upper body constantly appear “puffy,” to me from day to day.

That was the first benefit that I noticed; the inflammation decreased significantly! I was shocked! Another issue that I have is that my GI (gastrointestinal) system is very sensitive and my stomach would swell immediately after meals and remain that way for hours, even when I consumed healthy meals of whole-wheat grains! Again, I do not have this problem when I’m on Paleo.

How do I know for sure that these observations are from the Paleo Diet? Well, when I travel, I don’t follow my diet and currently, I also slack off on the weekends. Well, guess what happens during those times?  Yep, my symptoms return.

One would think that that would be enough to force me into Paleo fulltime, and I’m sure that I will at some point, but for now, I still enjoy having a slice of pizza during my daughters sleepovers, a few bites of pasta here and there, and oh, quinoa, I love quinoa and it is not Paleo approved. For now, my goal is to remain 75% Paleo. I’m determined to make this a way of life,  and not just some diet that comes and goes. Paleo is simple. It’s easy to shop for and the food prep is just as easy.

I have other videos on my YouTube Channel regarding it, but here’s the latest one, where I prep 3 days worth of food under 40 mins! I would love to hear any healthy tips that you may have or even the struggle or success that you’ve found along the way with choosing the foods that your body agrees with. Please “Speak Your Mind,” in the comments section at the top.

 

Labor Day Weekend…

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my daughter and I had the ability to escape over Labor Day Weekend. Many times, people often ask me how I am able to afford getaways as much as I do and I will be the first to say that I travel on a budget!

I may spend the same amount of money for frequent getaways that many would potentially spend on one. I’m a lover of new experiences and I will haunt a deal down in order to have just that.

In any event, I thought I would share with you, a look at what I was able to nail for $159.20 for the entire 4days and 3 nights.  This was a Groupon deal that appears to have expired but this resort is still a nice little hidden gem. Enjoy!

Palm Beach Resort and Beach Club

My INNER ArTiST…

If I were to pop the question, “What is an artist?” I’m sure that I would receive many rather difficult, opaque definitions. I would probably even receive a few names of many well known artists to support those rather chunky definitions, like Leonardo Da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Pablo Picasso…. just to name a few.

Well, guess who else is an artist? Me. Yep, and so are YOU! My definition would be someone that creates art? Well, what is art? For me, it’s anything that allows me to creatively express my imagination and often times, also my feelings. Personally, my favorite forms of art are writing (duh), dancing, various forms of music, (including the lyrics that I randomly create in the shower and belch out in my fake Beyoncé voice), and scrapbooking/documenting life.

Painting? Not so much. I would say that that is more of my daughter’s thing. I just don’t have the patience for it. I’m horrible at it and quite truthfully, I just don’t understand it. Well, those were my feelings before last night. Last night I went to an “Art Uncorked Class,” at the Visual Arts Center. I would love to say that this was my first time taking one of these classes, but it was my second. Looking back at the first, I was not able to “get into it,” at all. Earlier that day, I had had a run in with the IRS and well…need I say more.

Last night was different. I was meeting one of my best friends (yes, I’m the person with lots of best friends) there. I had also had short/long week of work, and I was really just ready to unwind. The painting of choice looked like something that I would be capable of and even if I screwed it up, it was still one of my favorite scriptures (Philippians 4:13), and I knew that I would hang it somewhere regardless.

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Wow! What an experience. I allowed myself to let my hair down (literally, as I always wear it back or up). I laughed at my mistakes, shared silly comments with other women in the room, and snacked away on some yummy snacks (no calorie counting). There was also wine available, but I was having such a great time without it that I didn’t bother. In the end, I had a very joyful time. I’m certain that everyone did and I can rest assure you that NONE of us would have made your top ten list of artists. I’m very proud of the piece that I created. Yes, we were “guided,” but for the most part, those are MY strokes, MY brush angles, MY contrasts and color options, and also MY feelings/emotions plastered on a canvas.

I challenge you to give ART a try. Here in highlands County, you may start by visiting the Highlands Art League’s website and I also included a few pictures of upcoming paintings with dates in case you are interested. So, from one artist to another, ENJOY!

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Back to Youtube…

As I mentioned before, I began a fitness journey earlier this year. Needless to say, a lot has happen since then. As I was rounding my 33rd birthday, I began to realize that although I was working out and eating well, my body still did not feel completely normal. I have occasionally though that there may be something going on with my thyroid, but most physicians would simply say that I was “normal,’ or “borderline.” In other words, my condition did not warrant treatment.

Finally, I decided to meet with a hormone specialists and we discovered, well, she, discovered that my blood chemistry was all over the place!

Here are the basic results (in the video and here below):

Watch on YouTube: by clicking on the video link above.

Cortisol levels were too high when they’re supposed to be, too low when they should be low, and then again HIGH at night when they should be low.

Thyroid. My thyroid produces too much TSH and T3 is not being converted to T4. T4 is where your energy/metabolism comes from. Also, T3 relies on Ferritin (iron, which was LOW) and B vitamins to convert.

Cholesterol was perfect. Like better than perfect.

Vit D– normal range is 30-100. My practitioner prefers 50-70. I was at 24! Vit D is crucial for immune support, supports bone/muscle, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

My DHEA was also too low. This is another metabolism based hormone.
I also was not producing enough melatonin, which may have been why I was not sleeping well at night.

In the upcoming weeks, I will be breaking down each of these topics and discussing them more in depth. Talk to you soon!

Laughter is OH, Sooo Good for the Soul!

Life has a way of knocking us all on our butts from time to time. Sometimes it may be something that seems so small and meniscal such as the sky opening and a huge downpour of rain occurs as you’re leaving the salon, to things that are much more massive like losing your job or a experiencing a death in the family. Regardless of the situation, it is important to remember that although we cannot control many of the things that happen around us, we CAN control the way in which we respond or react to them.
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As for me, I’ve realized that retreating to the beach and/or a good laugh often aids in resetting my “happy.” So, that’s what I spent the weekend doing and boy am I so “happy,” that I did. Not only did I visually take in lots of beautiful sites, but also, I laughed so HARD, and in such abundance. You know, that type of laughter that is so deep that it hurts, and trying to stop laughing only makes you laugh harder? Yasssssss! That’s it.

(please note, these pics are not from this weekend, but are a collection of happy moments with friends)
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I’m telling you, laughter with your family/friends and sometimes even alone at yourself has many amazing health/psychological benefits. Here are a few:

1. It decreases stress.
2. It aids in coping skills.
3. It boosts your immune system.
4. Talk about a workout, laughter burns calories and releases endorphins as well.
5. It impacts blood sugar.
6. Laughter also impacts your blood sugar.
7. It manages pain.
8. It’s universal, and aids in boosting your social skills.

So in celebration of healthy laughs everywhere, I would like to giveaway 2 tickets for an upcoming Comedy Show that will be held on Wednesday, September 17th, 6pm, at the Chateau Élan-Hotel and Conference Center in Sebring, FL. This show will feature the following Comedians: Bob Lauver & Grandma Lee (as seen on America’s Got Talent). One lucky winner will win both tickets, because, let’s face it; we LOVE having someone to laugh with, right? I would love to hear from you in the comments section! Do you love a good laugh? Has laughter helped you through a difficult time? Are you capable of laughing at yourself? Speak your mind…
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