Nibble Breaks

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Nibble breaks, do you know what these are? Not nipple breaks, I mean, let’s just be clear here. This isn’t about feeling any sort of person up. Although, I will admit, when people here the name of this blog, their minds sometimes go elsewhere. But “Put That In My Face” is not a sexual thing, as most (I think) of you know. It’s about indulging in life’s specialties, when one sees fit. A nibble break is a quiet moment in my life when I can just sit with an espresso, a plate of Italian cookies and talk with my husband. This doesn’t seem to happen too much with friends. In the summer, it means setting up a table in front of the garden, cutting up some good cheese, salami, grabbing some olives and pouring some wine so that we can just, eat & drink. Enjoy the outdoors. Enjoy one another. Whatever.

Running has without a doubt, cut into my nibble breaks. But is it just running? Have I piled my plate a little bit too full? I barely take phone calls from people, not because I don’t like them or don’t want to talk to them but because if I have a moment of solace, I kind of don’t want to disrupt that. (I realize this sounds terrible). I used to do a great many things and I was profoundly good at all of them. As of late, I seem to be under performing in multiple areas due to being stretched too thin. If I were to designate percentage of effort in a lovely pie chart, it might look a bit off-putting. This was evidently clear a couple of weeks ago, when in crafting batch #1 of Parisian macarons, I cracked all of them. That, never, happens.

I had resolved to not make any resolutions for the New Year but I suppose, that dream is shot. I mean, yes, we are already seven days in, this could be considered cheating but it has to be done. I am a deadline queen. If there aren’t immediate tasks at hand, clearly defined, I won’t do anything. So here they are, my resolutions for 2014.

1) Reserve more time for nibble breaks. They are grand and wonderful and it’s a tradition that shouldn’t be broken. Make time to just sit and enjoy life as it’s happening. Talk to Josh. Laugh at the kids. Don’t fret about the calories in that cookie, just eat it for goodness sake.

2) Use less curse words. Yes, you heard it first. I am making a genuine effort to stop using the “f” word so much. I’m 30 now, it’s probably time to cut the shit. (DAMN IT, ugh, this may be harder than I imagined.)

3) Find a way to be patient. With people. With my kids. With Josh. Sometimes my brain moves so fast I really and truly can’t understand why those around me do not keep up, here’s to slowing it down to normal people speed.

4) Quiet the judgement. Not everyone has to be like me.

5) Love myself. I need to realize that I have worked hard for the body I have and the life that I’ve been given. Stop picking out all the flaws all the time.

6) Drop 10 more lbs. But like, effortlessly. No dieting. Just revising.

7) Follow the marathon training schedule. No making excuses like: “Well, Dominos Pizza really only has this deal once a week, it’s two-for-one. Way better than going for a run.”

8) Run the Boston Marathon uninjured, mentally spirited and genuinely happy.

9) Love my husband better, he is after all, the guy I nabbed as my soul mate. Sure, he doesn’t believe in cleaning bathrooms but really, what guy does?

10) Be grateful. For each day. As truly, it may be my last. One never know when it stops.

I hope that you all consider making a checklist of items that are both small and large. Remember, of course, to include nibble breaks.

Not nipple breaks. 😉

xoxo, Jenny

Food: hello & goodbye.

Food: hello & goodbye.

People everywhere, nutritionists and doctors, have always said that your skin is the canvas to showcase what’s going on inside your body. For years people, myself included, have scoured the earth and dropped boat loads of money on miracle products to eliminate this shit on our face. Here’s the thing though, it never works. And if it does, its temporary. Right now, my skin seems to be imploding and it might just be my body telling me: listen lady, you better get your ducks in a row. It’s true, I better, I have four weeks until my first race in the Medley and I’m not doing my due diligence. My diet needs to change if I am going to be successful. When I say diet, I don’t mean, put myself on a diet. As talked about in my “Body Image” post yesterday, I’m not doing that to myself anymore, but embracing a little more health and a little less filth is never a bad thing. It’s time to cleanse. Not with juice. I mean, truly, I have yet to fully recover from that, I see a beet and I want to throw up. Steve Nash of the Laker’s consumes ZERO sugar. Nothing. Nadda. Zilch. It’s believed that his amazing exterior is due to this choice. Sugar is terrible for us and is way too wildly available. But that’s not the only thing to go.

FOODS I’M SAYING GOODBYE TO:

1. Bread: all bread, anything that looks bread like, even my lovely whole wheat english muffins, peace out ladies.

2. Pasta: I’m tearing up right now. Yup, hit the road.

3. Cheese: love you but we are through.

4. Sugar: no cookies, none in my coffee, no cupcakes, if it’s not naturally occurring, I won’t be eating it.

FOODS I’M EMBRACING MORE:

1. Chia seeds: they’re fantastic little dudes that pack a wild nutritional punch. Runners in the most desolate corners of the earth have been utilizing these little seeds for years and years.

2. My lovely Tera’s Whey: basically nadda in the ingredient category, it’s a very natural way to give your body something good.

3. Goji Berries: they come in all forms these days, yogurt covered, plain, chocolate covered, I’ll be sticking with plain.

4. Kale: Yea, kale, yay. (I’m almost bitter about this one)

5. Flax seeds: yummy when ground up in shakes, just a little something extra to give the bod.

6. Barley, farro, unprocessed bran: tools from the earth to sustain.

7. Blueprint juices: now sold at Whole Foods, how exciting!!!

Is it going to be easy? No. Someone might have to pry a chicken nugget or a cupcake from my cold dead hands but that’s what I have a husband for, right? This isn’t about deprivation either, to be completely clear. It’s about making better choices. Right now, I’m asking a lot of my body. I’m asking it to get up at 4:45 a.m. two days a week to spin and then run four days a week. I’m asking it to be alright with just one rest day to repair and recover. So I better do my part. Most of you reading this may not be making some of these choices and you may be saying: this doesn’t apply to me. But it does. Even eliminating one of these foods on the list would be a welcome change in your bodies world. Shit food is too easy to come by these days and our bodies are calling out for better. Help your body feel good. I’m telling you one thing, feeding my body right, always helps with the body image. When my soul feels good, my perception of myself is better. Give it a try. Remember: “Eating wisely is not missing out.” (From the Blueprint folks)

Body image: we’ve all got one.

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I’m a woman and it seems as though all, or most, women have the same type of body insecurities that I do. I’m sure there are men that participate in this behavior. I have yet to meet one. My husband walks around freely, completely embracing what nature gave him, if he feels bad about one body part, I would never know. It’s a characteristic I envy and one I wish I could embrace but it seems no matter how hard most of us work, we still find the flaws. Why is that?

Let’s rewind like 10 years and you will find me as a blissful 19-year-old. I was 178 lbs. My entire life, I have been somewhere in that area. I’m 5’9″ and have always had an “athletic” build. I thought I looked amazing. At the time, fashion was somewhat important to me. I would drop my extra money on clothing whenever possible, favoring J.Crew, Guess, or any shop on Newbury Street that would take my money. I was still modest. I couldn’t take my clothing off at the beach. Bikini? Nope. One piece suit? Barely. I have always been the shy type. But in general, I was completely happy with the way that I looked underneath all my layers. I ran a lot. I raced minimally. At the time, running was just running to me. I ran when and how far I wanted, whenever I felt like it. There was no way to track it, no GPS watches, no IPOD Touch with a Nike+ option. I ran with my body. I listened to the cues it gave me. I was one with my breathing. And it was a superior way to move. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, however I wanted. If I felt things getting a little tight, I skipped a bagel in the morning and the weight would just come off. Now, this does not mean I was hitting up the golden arches everyday, I was always healthful but I splurged when I wanted and staunchly refused to ever count a calorie.

Few years later I have little Emma. My weight skyrockets from 178 to 275. I basically ate pecan pies instead of a snack, yes the whole thing. Bags of Cheetos went down the hatch like no one’s business. Starbucks donuts, yup, I’ll take six of those and then wash it down with an 800 calorie beverage. Were you going to eat that croissant? No, well, I’ll take it. Someone get me a fucking pizza right NOW or I will punch your face. I mean, yes, that was the situation. Oh, and I had my baby, that weight doesn’t just leave? Damn it. Running, I hate that shit. Moving, don’t wanna do that either. I mean, maternity pants for days.

Finally I had a reality check. Rediscovered running. Lost all my weight with a little extra, down to 165. I tried really hard to be something that I wasn’t. That weight for me, just was not sustainable. So I went back to my level place of 178.

When I had Miles, I tried to be a lot smarter in my choices. And I was. At birth I weighed in at around 237. Six weeks after having him I was down to 215. After that, the struggle began. He’s almost three years old now and it has been a long road. For some reason that weight was hard to deal with. I stayed around 205 until last June, refusing to accept that I needed to do anything else. I kept telling myself, maybe this is just the way you are now, I mean, I had two children right? Doesn’t that mean that I will always be just a little bit large? There were countless conversations with my inner self. The dialogue was so continuous. But I finally had to see the cold truth: my shit didn’t fit. I looked sloppy. And my one pair of jeans had a whole in them. So, was I going to go pantsless? Probably not. I turned to running once again, vowing to rediscover what I once loved about it and give it the power to change me. It didn’t happen over night and I had to modify a lot of my lifestyle but I am now down to 182 lbs. 4 pounds shy of when I was nineteen years old. I still make mistakes, the other night I ate Domino’s Pizza, I just ate a cookie, I mean, it’s just the way I am. Nothing can reconfigure that. But I have worked really hard on the road, mostly by myself, to get here. So why, oh why, at my almost teenage weight am I still beating myself down?

The bottom line is, we are all too focused on the number and not focused enough on how we feel. We are all so busy comparing ourselves with other women that we forget just to take a good, long look at ourselves. When we have sex, we focus on what’s jiggling, instead of the man (or whomever, random stranger you met) we are doing it with. Every morning, when I get dressed, I list the things I wish I could change. It’s silly. And pointless. And stupid. What I think women need to learn is that everyone has something great and something not so good. God (or the big eye in the sky) gave us flaws to keep us centered, in check, humble if you will. Those size zero models have no tits and probably a broken vagina, since there is obviously no room for a penis. I have bad skin but I have great hair. My ass is starting to end up in places an ass isn’t supposed to be, but I have pretty killer legs right now. We, as women, as men, as children even, need to embrace the positive instead of creating an everyday roadmap of things we hate. I’m making an effort from this point forward to give myself a break. Come May, I will be running my first half marathon in years, when all my heart doctors said I wouldn’t be able to, when everyone said I would be dead, when I had two kids and didn’t think I ever could, when I was too large, I over came it all. I’m going to have my moment in the sun. Why don’t you?

Weekly Round-Up: Move your ass

March is coming and it is coming fast. Next thing you know it’s April. Then it’s summer and I’m in my bedroom, trying on one of the twelve bathing suits I purchased while sweating bullets and crying in front of the mirror. Does this sound like your life? I think it’s the life of most people with a vagina. Even when we look better than we did, women across the globe are finding the con’s and highlighting them. Lately, I have found myself to be a bit of a whiner. I’m down to my pre-children weight, yet, I’m still like: OMG Josh, I feel yucky. If I were him, I would want to slap me. A million times. So this week I am focusing on finding better ways to feel good. Never mind the number on the scale, just mind over matter, straight up, feeling inner, deep, good. And I’m sharing with you the best ways to get your body looking nice as well as tame the beast, you know that little voice in your head that drives you crazy. Let’s get rid of that.

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I recently discovered this website: The Healthy Chef. It’s an Australian based chef, Teresa Cutter, sharing her healthful recipes and tips on the house. Her recipe list is long and chock full of tasty meals that will not break the calorie bank. I’m talking scones, desserts, yummy entrees, the whole bit. I find that eating healthy can get dull. I mean you can only have so many salads before you want to punch someone straight in the face. So, finding ways to keep it sexy is really quite helpful. For me, dinner is key. I need to have a filling, flavorful, different every night dinner in order to feel like I’m not being deprived. I like that I can go here, explore and some light bulbs will go off in my head.

www.thehealthychef.com

spinning_room

Spin classes, yes, the ever alluring, wonderful, spin class. The idea of attending a spin class is horrifying to some folks. Why? I have no idea. Do you think they bring you into a dark room, bend you over a bike and beat the crap out of you? Well, they don’t. I have always loved spinning an a cross training resource, especially when training for races. Your legs naturally need a little break from high impact exercises like running. But even if you’re not a runner, spinning is amazing for your cardiovascular health. It can be as easy or as difficult as you want to be and not a single person is judging you for your performance in the room. How can they, no one can focus on anything but the amount that they’re sweating. Most classes are 60 minutes, although there are some that are 90 minutes. I would say, save that for when you are really in top-notch shape, don’t try to be Lance. Although as of right now I’m not sure anyone is trying to be him. Anyways, classes are available at World’s Gym in Portland. No membership required. It’s $7 per class and they have a great schedule. If you live in the Boston area, hell, you have so many options it’s not even funny. Just Google spinning and you will be amazed. Spinning studios are huge in the Newton area alone. In Boston, they will run you about $10 a class.

www.worldgymportland.com

Try eating raw. Not like cold cucumber soup. Not, I only eat raw exclusively and it makes you so jittery you want to jump off a bridge. I’m talking about introducing more raw foods into your diet, a little at a time. For me, I focus on raw during breakfast and lunch as well as snacks. For dinner, I don’t want anything cold, except in the summer. Try having a large, full to the brim fruit salad in the morning. If that doesn’t do it for you in the filling department, add some egg whites on the side, making yourself an egg white omelette with some veggies. The point is that at least 50% of your meal is raw, which is better than no percent. For lunch, if you eat a sandwich, get rid of that. Replace it with a filling salad, throw everything you can think of in there: lettuce, carrots, radishes, celery, broccoli, some form of nut, dried fruit, tomatoes, I mean really, the possibilities are endless. Salads can really be anything you want them to be, you just have to get a little creative with it. For snacks, have a handful of almonds, a banana, perhaps an apple with some sort of healthy topping. Raw food is a term that sounds quite scary, but it’s not. Healthfulness is taking small steps.

Pick a race and use it as your dangling carrot. Let’s be honest, we can’t always motivate ourselves, sometimes we all need a little push. Signing up for a million races this year is my way of holding myself accountable. Especially when I know there will be people there I am friends with because seriously, I’m not about looking like an asshole. I talk a lot of shit so when it comes time, I know I better have the ability to back it up. If you are looking for some sort of inspiration, find a 5K and start training towards it. You don’t have to run it tomorrow, it could be months away, but once you commit and put your money on the table, you’ll be a lot more likely to get off that couch. 5K’s are a great beginners tool because most 5K’s are meant for first timers and it’s a comfortable setting that everyone can enjoy. I really loved the Fit at 5K last June. I thought it was the best at bringing in first time runners and making them feel like champs. So go and get your carrot. Hang it up and run after it. You will be glad you did. Trust me.

Seriously, little things add up to big things. You have to start somewhere. And it’s perfectly alright if you fall down. But summer is a painful truth that is approaching and this year, I won’t be one of those folks freaking out. I’m gonna be prepared. Who knows, maybe I’ll be so prepared that I will just show up everywhere naked. Just kidding. Wink Wink.

 

 

Sorry but you’re like these pants: you no longer fit.

I’ve been doing a lot of “self-discovery” lately. Running miles alone on the road with no one to talk to, I drift away into a place of solitude, where my mind is free to wander into new corners I usually don’t venture. There has been much change in my world as of lately. I have really peeled the layers off privately to reveal what I think, is the truth. I have always been the type of person to hold on to only a few good friends. Like 7. Why so few? Because I never used to put up with anyone who made me feel like I should be ashamed of the person I am. Whenever anyone shadowed my presence with that sort of judgement, I let them go and quickly. Once you are gone, you are gone. Because why should I be tripping over my personality? Why should I second guess the spirit that so many people have fallen in deep deep love with? I let go of that for a little while. Desperate to find a filler for the void that entered me in Maine. But recently I have discovered that a phone call and time well spent with those far away, gives me just as much as I need. So I have returned my friends. I am ready to own it like I once did. This personality, helped me to find the friendships I treasure right now, more than anything else. And these girls (and boy, Mr. Joseph) are my soul mates.

Let’s be honest. I’m loud. I’m strong. I’m hostile to those I don’t care for. I don’t like laziness. I don’t like people who treat my sport (running) like a here and there boyfriend. I don’t tolerate disrespect. If you are not loyal, I don’t want you. I am opinionated. Easily aggravated. I don’t tolerate people who aren’t intelligent. And if you can’t formulate a good sentence I will probably make fun of you. Behind your back, to your face and to anyone I feel agrees with me. I’m a little too much. Sometimes I’m not enough. And when I need a break from people, I just stop answering their phone calls. I give too much, too soon, too often. I am self-less when I should be selfish. And I’m sure the list of my faults could go on forever, but how about yours? I’m not afraid to admit to who I am and maybe that’s the issue people have with me. Do I make you feel uncomfortable? Do I make you feel like a failure because you won’t risk it and I will? Does that mean I deserve to be pulled apart, removed, torn down under a microscope? I should hope not. And that’s the barren, nasty, cold-hearted, truth. You either enjoy me or you don’t. And if you don’t, peace out my friend, I’ve got lots of people who do.

This is one of life’s great struggles. Outgrowing people. Like I said above, I have 7 friends that I have known between 4-15 years a piece. Some of them know each other. A couple have never met. Some of them straight up don’t like one another and have voiced it to me pretty openly. What’s my response? Tough. I mean, I’ll listen to what you have to say. But it’s my job to juggle all the personalities I choose to surround myself with and make sure they work in harmony all the time. That’s my job. Because these people accept me as I am and I won’t let any one of them go and I won’t let any one of them step out of line. If you want it all, you have to do the work. Every person I give myself to has nursed me through the very worst things that have happened in my life. They have seen me fall and picked me back up. They’ve listened to me cry. And rant. And they’ve put up with my times of much-needed quiet, waiting patiently for me to come back around again. Some of them I divorced for a while, we needed it, but we both knew, we’d get back together again.

This isn’t meant to influence anyone. I’m not trying to make anyone mad. I’m just a grown ass woman admitting grown ass things. Life is filled with difficult decisions. And this is just one of the many. People are like flowers, they come, they go, some die, some you dry out and preserve, some you want to keep beautiful forever. I’m finally at the point where I’m ready to admit that it’s over. And commit to those who make me laugh, lift me up, bring me to my knees in sheer delight and accept this ridiculous person just as I am.

I urge you all to think about life’s great questions, struggles, acceptances on this snowy, breathtaking day. We’re all in transition. And life is short. So do what you want when you want. And don’t do what you don’t want to do. Period.