5 Things You Can Do Today to 'Clean Up' Your Life

A good friend of mine reached out last week and asked for tips on "cleaning up" her eating. Oh fun! Where should I start, I thought!

With so many clean eating options, vegan, intermittent fasting, vegetarian, paleo, whole-30, plant-paradox, keto, etc etc it can be daunting to find your grove. What will work for you, like... NOW?

Below are 5 things you can start doing as soon as right now to help relieve the sluggishness, the bloat and the over all blah that we sometimes get from not paying enough attention to what we put into our bodies.

1. When you MAKE dinner tonight, double the recipe.

Eating out for every meal is great when your low on time and FUN to treat yourself, but let it be just that, a treat. Restaurant food is filled with butter, salt and who knows what else. You also have no idea where your products were sourced from, organic? Probably not. So, do yourself a favor and when you make dinner tonight double the recipe so you'll have left overs to bring for lunch or eat for dinner again in a few days. If you are like me and get sick of eating the same thing over and over again several times in a week, freeze a portion and eat it again in a few weeks.

2. Nix Alcohol.

I know, I know - it's summer and beer and white wine (or rose, duh) is so refreshing! But reach for a La Croix instead. One of the biggest reasons we eat like shit and don't make time for exercise is that we are too busy. So, how do you have time for alcohol? Or a HANG OVER!? Ya don't! I'm not strict on this, I love a cool glass of wine or a refreshing beer occasionally but I'm much more productive and way less of a total snatch when I don't have a hangover... so go ahead order that double soda water and be proud of it. (Oh, and watch that extra cash stack on in your bank account... that doesn't suck either).

3. Listen, observe (and more likely than not, smell) your body after you eat.

People do elimination diets and get testing for allergies, but we don't always have the patience or resources for those options. I've found that paying attention to the ingredients I just ate and how my body reacts to them can tell you a lot. EXAMPLE: Just ate a spinach salad, lots of raw veggies and a simple salad dressing (no dairy). About 15 minutes later, I get some stomach cramps and about 30 minutes later I start to pass some interesting gas. OBSERVATION: I've learned that my body doesn't love raw vegetables. WHAT? Vegetables are suppose to be good for you! With the current state of many of our microbiomes, raw vegetables can be rough to digest (no roughage pun intended). I try to cook them as often as I can and if I can't (or don't want to) I'll pop a digestive enzyme or activated charcoal to help with the stomach cramps.

4. Follow some new foodies on social media.

We all do it, scroll scroll scroll. Add a few new inspirations to your followers list and get some fun new recipe ideas. Some of my favorites are:

5. Buyout the spice aisle.

SO many really simple (and healthy) quick meals are asian or indian foods that require anywhere from 3-15 different spices. FILL up your spice drawer so you are ALWAYS prepared to rough together a quick stir-fry or curry. It's always quick, easy and super delicious. Below is a list of spices I recommend keeping stocked at all times.

  • cumin
  • paprika
  • chile pepper
  • cayenne
  • red pepper flake
  • coriander
  • tumeric
  • garam masala
  • cardamom
  • lemongrass stalks (I buy a bunch and freeze them)
  • kaffir lime leaves (I freeze them)


Bring on Those April Showers!

I am very conscious to always call these items intentions in an attempt to stray from them being an end all, be all. Life is life and we can't always accomplish all we set out to do because, after all, they told us to dream big! So, these are intentions, things I am mindful of, hopeful to accomplish, but will never feel down on myself for not quite getting there.

Q1 just like that - poooooof, gone!

A quarter of the year has already come and gone and I feel like I am mentally still doing "New Year planning," for what my intentions are for 2018. It's amazing how fast the time can go.

The beginning of April marks a few things,

  1.  We've basically made it through winter and spring is (hopefully) right around the corner.
  2. The end of the first quarter of the year and
  3. A great moment to stop and assesses this year thus far.

My list is always long and daunting when it comes to personal items I want to focus on, goals and intentions but so far so steady. Re-reading my yearly goals regularly has helped. 

2018 Intentions:

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-Spent 10 minutes a day decluttering. As simple as making the bed in the morning, putting away the clean dishes in the morning and making sure clothes get tidied into their spot at the end of the day.

-Meditate often. I haven't stayed up with this and need to jump back on the wagon. Subscribing to the calm app now.

-Less Drinking & More Hydrating. Crushing this! I have hardly been drinking alcohol and being much more aware of my water consumption.

-Sleep More. A to-bed before 10pm rule has allowed me to maintain consistent 8 hours of sleep a night with several puppy potty breaks as mild interruptions.

-Business & Personal Development. If you know me you know that I'm an idea person and have always wanted to have my own business. I'm working on it... and lots of personal development (EI training, managerial training) along the way!

-Daily Time Outside. Even if it's walking to the post office from my office or a dog walk, fresh airs solves so many problems!

In addition to setting yearly intentions I am mindly every month, and even every week, to set intentions and have tasks I would like to focus on.

April always has brought me a feeling of relief. I can rest easy knowing that the cold, dark months are behind us and we have warmth coming our way.

April Intentions:

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-Rejuvenate the Morning Routine. This is time to appreciate yourself, care for yourself and start your day off positive. Take time to drink a glass of water, wash your face with warm welcoming water, mediate and stretch.

-Write More. So many thoughts, put them on paper!

-Take a Breath. Eager to please and a progress tracker. Breathe, remember what's important to you and move forward calm and collected.

-Spend less time concerned with the world. And more time focusing on your intentions! This means stop scrolling and comparing, stop wishing you were them and be who you want to be!

-GO OUTSIDE AND RUN! After all I am training for a 50k!

Training Doesn't Always Go to Plan, Here's to Trying!

What this week's training intention was:

Day 1: REST | Strength/Core

Day 2: 45 minute run [zone 1/2]

Day 3: 60 minute run [60 minutes to include: 1:30 zone 3/4, 1:00 zone 1/2 x10]

Day 4: 45 minute run [zone 1/2]

Day 5: REST | Strenth/Core

Day 6: 2 hour run [zone 1/2]

Day 7: 75 minute FLAT run [to include: 4x 3:00 zone 4, 3:00 recovery]

The view from my Day 2, 45 minute run, overlooking Victor, Idaho.

The view from my Day 2, 45 minute run, overlooking Victor, Idaho.

What really happened:

Day 1: Hip/Glute Activation Circuit [I found this one and am loving it] Side Note: last year I sprained both my ankled due to a lack of... I'm not sure. But my PT associated it with my glute weakness, so this is killer!

Day 2: 45 minutes, averaging 10:52/mi [Average HR of 150bpm, suppose to be below 140 bpm]

Day 3: Got to the bike path in town where I planned to run and realized I had everything except a sports bra. Got dressed and ran for 25 minutes anyway. Let those boobies fly! #nobranoproblem


The rest of the week was a total wash! My parents came to town, we went skiing, to the hot springs, did the elk refuge slay ride and then I got the norovirus!

It would be easy to beat myself up that I couldn't even follow my training plan for a week, but that doesn't sound productive or like good karma for the 10 remaining weeks, so instead I'm okay with having been a little light this week (and honestly probably most weeks). Afterall, I'll just be glad I'm not doing this completely off the couch!

10 Weeks to Go!

Ramp & Tramp Camp

As I rinse the chlorine from my bathing suit and launder and fold my base layers from a week in the big city (i.e. Park City) I can't help but feel so grateful.

Mountain Athlete sent me and 8 of my fellow freeski teammates to The Olympic Training Center for Aerials, in Park City, UT, this past week to participate in three days of trampolining and ramping our way to air confidence, inverted confidence and the occasional side ways confidence.

Here is what our days looked like:

9:30  Bundled in down coats, layers, hats and socks we started on the trampolines, perfecting our front flips, back flips, 360's, misty's and flat spins. (Fun fact: jumping for 5 minutes is equivalent to running a mile!)

11:00 Time to "suit up."  Layering wet suit on top of bathing suits we relived our ski racing days of ski boots and tight clothing  (wet suits, 1960 ski boots and élan race skis, and the least amount of steeze possible).  With the wind whipping and nipping at us on top of the ramp we all threw ourselves into the pool slapping our backs, heads and sides in attempts to perfect our skills. By the end of the morning pool sessions we all felt like we'd been standing at the top of Rendezvous Bowl on the windiest of days in our underwear, frozen to the core and ready for fuel.

1:30-3:30 The afternoon was more of the same, starting back on the tramps and then on to the ramps to practice our perfected tramp skills.

Coming from a gymnastics background, I figured, given the right situation, inverting on my skis should be no problem.  Ask me to do a back tuck in any situation, I will, without hesitation, do it.  Unfortunately, I was wrong. While it probably should have been quite easy, I made it difficult by mentally lacking confidence.  As much as I told myself, "piece of cake," somewhere in my head a voice said, "I don't know about this."

I stood at the top of the ramp, pointed my skis down, jumped and whipped my head back.. "DIVE," was the call I heard yelled from my coach, Tony, time after time.  Perhaps it was the weight of the water sodden boots on my feet that I couldn't kick and rotate over, but that seems like an excuse.   Frustration started to invade me, I whipped harder, I tried to simulate what I did on the trampolines, but I wasn't making progress.

I ended up having success on one jump, why I couldn't do it again, I believe it really was all mental.  These 3 days of training taught me a lot about air awareness, confidence in airing and overall body awareness, but mostly it taught me the need for more mental control.  Confidence, I need to know I'm capable and just do it, instead of thinking of the 'what ifs.'  Rob has molded me into a capable, strong athlete and I need to put my durability to the test instead of being cautious, scared and a mental head case.

These lessons, more than anything, I hope will help me this season.

Here is a little video recap courtesy of Tickle Productionz (Tess Wood), clearly we didn't have any fun at all!


When Enough is Tough

The words 'I quit,' 'I give up,' or 'I can't' aren't in my vocabulary unless we are talking about math problems, but pushing your limits doesn't always work out in your favor. With a strong following in Cross Fit, Olympic lifting and other similar exercise regimens, there's alot of talk of over use injuries, injuries from improper technique and over lifting. I find myself nervous of injury in my weekly exercise routine, as an injury can be accidental, a freak occasion or over aggression. I personally think it's good to make it hurt a little.  Sure, I mean mentally hurt, grueling pain where you'd rather just lay down, but never pain where your limping out of the gym (unless you have an immediate build up of lactic acid and you instantly get muscle soreness).   Mentally tough athletes need to step back when something starts to hurt, change your movement, modify your movement and if you're still in pain it's time to give your injury a rest.

It takes alot for me to say, I really can't do this because I'm hurting my body.  I don't want to 'give up' and not finish a work out, I don't want to rest, I want to push through the pain!  But do I want to be sitting inside this winter while the snow build up?  Not a chance in hell.  It's very mental to separate quitting from knowing when enough is enough, and honestly saying enough is really tough, but sometimes necessary.