Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is having a wonderful day and is able to enjoy it with family and friends.

I have so many things to be thankful for this year…mostly this amazing family that I have!

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Today is also the official start of my marathon training plan – although I added Monday and Tuesday runs this week to kick things off. I’m thankful to be healthy, able and motivated to run and train.

As my act of giving back for the holiday season, I donated more than 10 inches of hair yesterday to help children with medically-related hair loss. This is something I have done 3-4 times over the last seven years or so. It’s a pretty easy thing to do on my part, but helps out a kid in need.

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Now it’s time for turkey! (Well after a 6-mile run that is!)

Have a great one!

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21 Days to Create a Habit with Revolve DC

I’ve decided to take Revolve DC (my favorite spin studio) up on their Facebook invite to create a healthy, positive habit in 2014. They are encouraging everyone to ditch the idea of resolutions and make a true healthy stride forward by creating a new habit. It takes 21 days to create a habit and as they suggest, “Think “DO”, not deprivation.”

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So, I’m doing just that! Last year I had a New Year’s resolution to drink less soda that I struggled with all year. Well, this year I’m going to make a new habit by drinking a glass of water everyday with lunch instead of grabbing a soda like I usually do.

I got a jump-start on things and started Monday, so today is day three for me. I encourage you to start today though and join me in creating a new, healthy habit this year!

My Mom saw my Facebook post on Revolve’s page and decided to join me in drinking more water. She’s holding off on getting her first cup of tea at work until she finishes a bottle of water. After the first two days we’re off to a good start. I’ll let you know how we’re feeling by day 21!

Let’s hear it…what new habit are you going to create over the next 21 days?

YMCA With A Side of SweetGreen

Thanks to the folks at sweetgreen I had the opportunity to tour Washington DC’s newest YMCA and then enjoy sweetgreen’s newly-released seasonal salad earlier this week.

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The YMCA Anthony Bowen returns to the U Street neighborhood after nearly seven years of redesign and redevelopment. Allison Jones, the VP of Strategic Partnerships for the Y, gave us a tour of the facilities and detailed the history of the branch. I was so impressed by the history behind it and how seriously they are taking their commitment to the U Street neighborhood. Anthony Bowen was a slave in Prince George’s County who bought his freedom and started the first Y for African Americans. His influence can be seen through the artwork throughout and the strong focus on the local community.

The Y is already up and operating so I couldn’t take any photographs, but highly recommend you get down there and check it out for yourself. It’s a beautiful facility. There is a 6-lane pool that made me want to sign up for a membership right away despite living in Arlington. The cardio equipment is fantastic. There are multiple group exercise studios, community rooms and even a rock-climbing wall. It was amazing! The membership prices are very reasonable compared to gyms in this area. That community is really lucky to have this Y!

I did snag one picture on the rooftop patio before heading out – what a view!

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After the tour our group made our way next door to sweetgreen. If we’d waited just a few days we wouldn’t even have to go outside as they are (or maybe already have) knocked the wall down between sweetgreen and the front lobby of they Y.

As I’ve talked about before on my blog, I’m not the biggest salad eater, but am really working on trying new and healthy foods this year, so I was excited for the chance to try out their new seasonal salad. Before the salads came out we were treated to watermelon lemonade and some tasty gazpacho while learning about how sweetgreen got its start and its emphasis on local ingredients.

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The September salad contained True Blue Maryland crab. I really liked that it had a couple ingredients I enjoy including corn and avocado. Shredded kale, green and red peppers and spicy sunflower seeds (yum) rounded out the salad that was topped with a carrot chili vinaigrette.

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I also got to meet Lizzie, a marketing manager for Honest Tea, who brought Honest Teas for us all to try!

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Thanks to the Y and sweetgreen for a great evening!

 

 

Healthy Through The Holidays

The Thanksgiving to New Year’s period is one of the toughest to stay healthy and stay on track with your workouts. There are parties to attend, beers to drink, cookies and other treats to eat, colder weather and less daylight hours to get a workout in. It can be really easy to just let yourself off the hook and say you’ll start up again in the new year. I’ve put together a few tips I use this time of year to try and make it easier for you to stay on track and give yourself a head start on those New Year’s resolutions to get fit and eat healthy.

Log It
Keep a food log. No one else ever has to see it, but having to log everything you eat has a way of holding you accountable. Studies show its a key technique for losing or maintaining weight. (Check out this study from the National Institutes of Health.) I hear people say they just can’t do this, but I think it’s more of a won’t then a can’t. There are so many easy ways to do this now with apps and websites that there really is no excuse. My favorite is LoseIt.com, which also has a smartphone app that syncs automatically with your web account.

I don’t use it all the time, but I think it’s a great tool to check in on occasion and get a clear picture of your eating and exercising habits. It lets you track calories in and out incredibly easily. You can choose from a database of food or enter custom foods in as well, so after a couple weeks you have most of the foods you eat just a click away. It also lets you log exercise as well so you can get a better look at the full picture.

If you do keep a food log, I think it’s really important to be honest, but also not be too hard on yourself. You’re going to have bad days and sometimes it’s OK to treat yourself. The thing a food log can help with is seeing if you’re doing this too much.

Make a Committment
Don’t wait until the New Year to start an exercise plan. It’s too easy to keep saying I’ll start tomorrow or next week, but then there will always be an excuse to keep putting it off. I love the idea of the Runner’s World Holiday Streak. It challenges people to run every day from Thanksgiving through New Years – even if it’s just a mile, just get out and run. If running isn’t your thing, try a similar streak with workouts at the gym.

Get It In Early
This is the hardest one on the list for me. I hate mornings…really hate them. This time of year more than ever though, things pop up and get in the way of plans to work out later. Despite my hatred for mornings, I always feel great when I have my workout done and out of the way for the day. It’s one less things for me to stress out about during the day.

I see these tips over and over again so I’m sure you’ve heard most of this before, but I hope it’s a helpful reminder. Good luck staying healthy and happy through the holiday season!