and jen’s saga of learning continues…

the one thing i have learned in my ~30 years on this planet is that we never stop learning. the minute you think you know everything, that’s when you know you’ve f**ked something up. seriously. keep an open mind, be humble, and know that you simply don’t know what you don’t know.

and so here i am at an interesting point in my running life, yet again. learning more, again. kinda funny.

I have posted many a time about nutrition. 3 guesses as to what this post is about, and the first 2 do not count. yep, nutrition. i have been seriously neglecting my holistic nutrition, and am now feeling the consequences.

while i was marathon training (especially in the 20k+ long run phase from about September to December), I was mostly concerned about carbs & hydration. this made sense, and it really worked for me. i probably ate an 80/10/10 split of carbs:protein:fat. i felt great, mostly. i am sure i also ate 2500-3000 calories/day, and i still leaned out – and i wasn’t running nearly as much as someone like Kara Goucher, but my body was working its ass offย just to survive. so, voila – i ate a lot.

as soon as i finished marathon training, it all became a blur. it was a combination of burnout from training & fundraising, and winter, and who knows what else. but i became slack. i have no clue how much i have been eating, and no clue what i have been eating. the one thing i do know is that i have a preference to eat less meat than others might. some of you also saw me post on FB about trying the vegetarian thing. Which I think is was the icing on the cake – silver lining though, it immediately showed me my consequences: when i walk, my legs are tight. when i go up the stairs, i feel my quads. when i run, my legs are just exhausted. on my trail runs as I try to ascend hills, my calves & hamstrings are twitching on the verge of a spasm. not good. overall, i have significantly decreased my volume because i am just done.

so, i am running less. my rmt says my muscles aren’t tight. what’s left? nutrition. i’ve done a little reading, reached out to my past nutritionist for some suggestions, and now doing a lot more reading. Cue: time to get more protein, iron, and sodium. we’ll see how this goes over the next couple weeks. failing any improvement, i will be going to a sports nutritionist. wish me luck, because this kinda sucks right now. and sorry for not photos. low protein and iron deficiency symptoms include lethargy.

f**k, i’m lethargic. what a yucky feeling!


today is wednesday – seems like a good enough day for a post

somehow i managed to find (a) the time and (b) the mental capacity to write a post. no idea how this happened.

i haven’t posted much about this topic, but i have been running. a lot. i started sometime last spring, and have become increasingly addicted every single day. i just friggin love it. i have signed up for a 1/2 marathon training program with the running room. i am scared, but also very excited! i am really tempted to blog about every single aspect of my training, but i will bore everyone to death and lose 100% of my 2 readers ๐Ÿ˜‰

i’m also registering for indoor soccer which is another super exciting thing!

and i love fall! and halloween! and christmas baking! YEAH!

what a good saturday

with all my carb counting and meal planning this week, today made it all worthwhile! we had tibetan cuisine for lunch (dumplings and chickpea curry), a fancy homemade dinner of spicy italian meatsauce with raviolio, and then to top it all off – an enormous dessert from cheesecake cafe. i think i am going to go into a coma now. i regret those last two bites of dessert, but the rest was tasty. tomorrow is a new day; tomorrow is a no carb day.

3rd day results!

well, day 3 of low carbs was tougher than i expected… mainly it was due to unexpected things happening. i was supposed to meet a friend for lunch, i ended up having to get a “grab and go” dinner, and we decided to have sushi tonight. shows how important planning is – i went wayyy over in carbs today :S tomorrow is another day, and i will attempt a no carb day; even no carbs @ breakfast……… we’ll see how that goes over!

overall, i think i did “ok” for my very first attempt over these 3 days. at the least, i learned a lot.

here is my food log from today:

meal 1: 1 orange, 1 bowl of vector with skim milk, and a 3 egg white omelette with low fat ricotta cheese

possible improvement: swap cereal for oatmeal, and take out the ricotta cheese

meal 2: 3/4 cup cottage cheese with 1 tbsp peanuts and cinnamon; and zucchini sticks

possible improvement: take out the peanuts

meal 3: 1 banana, 1 whey isolate protein shake, 1 6″ sub

possible improvement: i dont have subway often – i had plans to go for lunch with a friend

meal 4: 1/2 can tuna with udo oil, 1 tomato, 1/2 yellow pepper, carrots

possible improvement: none, i am totally good with this

meal 5: 1/2 6″ sub

possible improvement: ixnay the sub, replace with 1/2 protein shake and 1/2 serving of oatmeal

meal 6: salmon sashimi and 1 spicy tuna roll

possible improvement: ixnay on the roll with the rice

carb cycle day 2: NO carbs

So – how did day 2 go? Pretty well, I think, although maybe a little under in the calories, about 1400… Here is my food log ๐Ÿ˜€

Meal 1 6:15-6:45am: 2x eggs, 2 bowls of cereal with skim milk (yikes!), 1 small cup of coffee

~440 cal

Meal 2 9:30-10am: 3/4c cottage cheese with 1tbsp peanuts and cinnamon, sliced raw zucchini

~230 cal

Meal 3 1:00pm: grilled chicken, 1tbsp Udo oil, spinach, tomato,ย  sliced cucumbers, carrots

~230 cal

Meal 4 4:00pm:more of the grilled chicken salad; finished the carrots. I was pretty full by this point. I snarfed down 1 tbsp peanuts and 1/2 tbsp peanut butter, too.

~300 cal

Workout 6:00pm

Meal 5 7:00pm: whey isolate protein shake (immediately post workout); followed by scrambled egg & egg whites and boiled cauliflower. I was stuffed, and could only eatthe equivalent of 1 scrambled egg and 1/2 cup of cauliflower.

~200 cal

day 2 of a new way of eating

alright, so i haven’t posted in many many months. well, now i am coming out of the woodwork again. i have been reading tons and tons and tons of articles about getting lean & mean. that’s right – not losing weight, but decreasing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass. this has been a very confusing topic for me; well, maybe not so much confusing as “unsure who to trust”. here is the summary of what I’ve discovered:

  • i should be eating around 1700 calories a day; this is a lot, and i don’t really need to count because of this giant allowance. if i eat when i am hungry, and stop when I’m satisfied, i will easily be in range
  • i should be eating 100-160g lean protein (this range is self-prescribed, a lot of sources online say 1g protein for every pound of body weight, but i think that’s too much. if i don’t get the results I’m looking for, then i will stick closer to the 160g a day)
  • i should be eating 160g carbs
  • i should be ingesting some fattier protein, along with a fat supplement (Udo’s oil FTW!)
  • i can eat as many vegetables as i want; i also want the world to know i would be a super happy Jen if i could have 3 red peppers a day! hah! but, i still think too much of even something THAT healthy would somehow end badly

anyway, during my research venture, i looked inside myself, too. i like to eat. i like to eat when i am bored, when I’m lonely, when i am happy, when i crave something, when i watch TV, when I’m with friends, when I’m at Starbucks etc etc – i think you get the picture. for me, i do not see food as “fuel necessary to run my body”, but more-so as a huge enjoyment in life. i spend a lot of time researching or inventing recipes, i enjoy cooking for myself and others, and LOVE to bake. with this in mind, i discovered something i think is going to help me psychologically to “eat right” while still satisfying my enjoyment of eating. it is called carb cycling. no, it is not a low carb or no carb diet… it’s is the daily control of carbs to allow extra carbs one day per cycle! Day 1 is HIGH carbs, day 2 is NO carbs, and day 3 is LOW carbs… the entire point of this is to mentally tell myself that every 3 days, i can have almost unlimited carbs! Sounds good, right?

today is day 2. i started off yesterday with high carbs. quite frankly, my experiences in the past of trying go cold turkey into a new eating plan have resulted in MEGA cravings and therefore BINGES! Bad Jen! Bad Jen! So, this time, I am starting with the fun part ๐Ÿ™‚

today is also supposed to be NO carbs. But again, cold turkey does not work for me. I had eggs with cereal for breakfast. Now, the rest of the day is supposed to be extremely limited carbs. I have a super protein and veggie packed day! it looks yummy, but the true test will be tonight between 5pm and 10pm – will Jen reach for the pasta, bread, or cereal? Or will i remember that i only have to wait until tomorrow to have 3 meals with carbs, and then UNLIMITED CARBS ON FRIDAY! Sounds doable – place your bets!

the cycle will start again Friday…

  1. Friday: HIGH carbs
  2. Saturday: NO (or very limited) carbs
  3. Sunday: LOW carbs

i’m jen rambo

i want to tell you a story. as of saturday morning, i had never seen rambo. in fact, i didn’t really know what it was all about. i made some assumptions that it was sylvester stallone, sweaty, hardcore, and a lot of violence. jamie suggested we go see the new rambo.

guess what?

the movie was sylvester stallone, sweaty, hardcore, and a lot of violence. turns out i wasn’t missing much. the special effects were kinda cool.

for the record, i am still keeping up with my scheduled workouts! i haven’t given up! i have no inkling to give up! however, i am not quite eating right yet. i’m still having peanut butter, salad dressing (regular kind), and lots of starches everyday. i lost the most weight when i cut all that crap out of the diet.

oh oh! i went to the dr today to report dizziness. unbeknownst to me, i have apparently had low blood pressure my entire life. i’m not sure if the dr told me and i didn’t clue in, or if she simply didn’t tell me, but i figure that would have been an important thing to know. oh well, i’m still alive. anyway, recently i have been super dizzy and have had poor balance and can barely stand after a workout or when i get up in the morning. turns out that, due to cutting back my sodium intake, my blood pressure is even lower. dr’s recommendation: have more salt!ย  go figure! how many people are actually told they need more salt?!?