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How To: Recover from a Weekend of Overindulging

If you’ve been here before, you know the core purpose of my fitness journey is to encourage balance and living your best life. And if you’re like most people I know, even once you’ve found that “balance”, it can fall out of whack from time to time.

For me, it happened this weekend. I was on my first-ever trip to Boston and I wanted the full experience (aka some craft beers and hot pretzels at Harpoon – seriously if you haven’t done this you need to). I don’t regret it, but I did know I wanted to get back to my veggie-filled lifestyle come Monday morning.

Summer is full of celebrations like this. Traveling, bridal showers, weddings, bachelor(ette) parties, graduation parties.. the list goes on. These weekend experiences are key to enjoying life (who wants to say no to a party?) but going overboard can set you up for feelings of guilt and demotivation. We’ve all been there. But the good news is, one weekend of binge eating (and drinking) doesn’t have to be a complete setback. Read on for my tips to start the next day fresh, followed by little tricks to keep yourself balanced on those weekends where you’re afraid you’ll spiral out of control.

How To- Recover from a Weekend of Overindulging

  1. Stop beating yourself up. That’s not helping. You can’t set the clock back 24 hours and knock that piece of cake out of your hands, so stop thinking about it. Also, one or two days of overeating won’t ruin your life. What matters is what you do now to set yourself up for success moving forward.
  2. Break a sweat (or two). Push yourself a little harder than you usually do in your next workout. Picture all those extra calories fueling you through one more mile or helping you hit that new lifting PR. If you usually run, add some strength or interval training to your workout in addition to that run, or vice versa. You’ll get your metabolism and motivation fired up!
  3. Hit 10,000 steps. In general, moving more than usual will help you get back on track. It doesn’t have to be high intensity. Bonus if you get outside and go for a walk – the fresh air will help you feel better.
  4. Fuel up on fresh fruits and veggies. Take a break from the processed foods that are probably sitting like a rock in your stomach. Replacing those with only nutritious foods for an entire day will help you get your glow back and increase your energy!
  5. Fill up on clear fluids. Drink water and tea to help get things moving in your system. This helps even more if drinking played a part in your binge.

And as for preventing those feelings of guilt down the road, try these tips on your next weekend of expected debauchery:

  1. Set small limits for yourself. If you love dessert, don’t go for the apps. If dip is your thang, stay away from the dessert. Make a rule that your plate has to be half full of veggies and you have to eat them before moving on to anything else. Little things like this will allow you to indulge and enjoy without feeling like you’re back at square 1.
  2. Still break a sweat. No matter what you have going on that day or where you’re traveling to, set aside 20 minutes to sweat. You’ll thank yourself later. Also, if you’re traveling, it’s fun to check out a workout class that isn’t offered where you live.
  3. Limit your calorie-laden booze. Craft beer and specialty cocktails make a great first drink, but once you’re buzzed a vodka soda or light beer will do the trick.
  4. BYOB. That second “B” being “breakfast”, if you’re traveling. Packing your own breakfast (preportioned bags of oatmeal, bananas, protein bars, etc.) can cut calories (and costs) when traveling.

How do you reset after a marathon weekend? What keeps you on track while celebrating?

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April Goals Update + May Goals

In April, I set some pretty light/attainable goals:

  1. Go Streaking: run outside every day in April (1 mile minimum)
  2. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 550 followers.
  3. Self Care Sundays: Reading, running for enjoyment, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, yoga, relaxing with a cup of herbal tea are all examples

So, how did they turn out? Streaking and Self Care Sundays were easy. Were there days I didn’t feel like running? Sure, but one mile is a small enough distance that no matter how sore I was or how hard it was raining, I knew I could do it. I loved it, but I’ll be incorporating rest days again in May. I like to be able to listen to my legs and take breaks when necessary (which would’ve been nice the day before and after my half).

As for growing my Instagram: I didn’t put as much work into this as I should’ve. I grew my account, but not by as much as I wanted to. Ultimately, the purposes of my @healthydoseoflife Instagram are to inspire people on their health journey, get people to check out the blog, and connect with other health/fitness enthusiasts. I need to prioritize the “connecting with others” aspect moving forward to achieve my goals!

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For May, I’ve set a few more goals and am hoping to challenge myself with a few of them:

  1. Do 3 hours of yoga per week. I feel so great when I do yoga, but I’m quick to cut it out when my schedule gets packed. 3 hours/week feels very attainable to reap the benefits without making it a “chore”. I’d love to do more classes, but to keep my wedding budget on track I’ll be youtubing from home. I love Sarah Beth Yoga and Yoga With Adrienne – let me know if there are others I should check out!
  2. Do ab/core work every day. I usually rely on crossfit and lifting to target my core, butI’m going to spend some time outside of class working on bodyweight movements.
  3. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. I loved how this goal turned out in March, so I’m excited to revisit it! I’ll probably read “Start Where You Are” but would love to see your recommendations in the comments.
  4. Follow 3 health/fitness publications. I don’t read a lot of news or articles, but I’d like to change that. Starting with a subject I’m passionate about should help this become a habit down the road.

What goals are you chasing this month?

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10 Instagram Accounts You Need To Follow

Instagram is my favorite social media platform. Beautiful visuals, short form content, (generally) a positive message. Opening my @healthydoseoflife account first thing in the morning and seeing people’s posts can be a great motivator and help me start my day off on the right foot. I also love to use Instagram when I’m looking for new healthy recipes. Here are my fave accounts you should follow if healthy recipes/motivation/wellness are your thang, too.

  1. @ambitiouskitchen 

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2. @fitfoodiefinds

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3. @carrotsncake

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4. @addictedtodates

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5. @fitmittenkitchen

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6. @fitfoodiemama

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7. @paleomg

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8. @thefitfork

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9. @leefromamerica

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10. @hungryhobbyrd

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What are your favorite accounts? Any others I should follow? Leave them in the comments!

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Race Recap: Eart Day Half Marathon

As the weather here in ‘cuse is getting more enjoyable, I’ve picked up my mileage and made running a priority again. I started running when I was 11, and since then it’s never something that’s fully out of my life (the longest I’ve gone without it was one month due to injury). I do fluctuate on how much I prioritize it though, and it’s been taking a backseat to crossfit since I did the marathon in October. Marathon training takes a lot out of my body (and tends to make me love running less) so I needed a little break from high mileage training runs. Six-ish months later, I’m back at it and lacing up more often!

For the month of April, I’m actually doing a run streak: getting outside for at least one mile a day (most days range from 2-4). On day 23 of the streak, I headed out to Baldwinsville for my first half marathon since September.

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Since I’ve never really “stopped” running, I’m not very concerned about training for races. Aggressive training is what can make running feel like a chore instead of my mental break. Because of this, I don’t enter many races with the goal of winning or breaking my PR (of course there are exceptions to this). But today, I went in with the goal of enjoying the ride. For me, this means getting outside for a longer distance than usual and pushing slightly faster than my comfortable pace.

I also chose to run this race because I love the Earth Day Half Marathon and 5k. This event is in its 3rd year, and I’ve been there for all 3. Year 1 as a 5k participant, Year 2 as an event promoter, and Year 3 as a half marathon participant. Every year they’ve upped the bar, and this was the best year yet. A nice challenging course (country roads with a few hills) followed by BBQ, brews, and the best chia pudding in town.

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And as far as the actual running, I ran with one of my fellow Urban Lifers, and it made for a really fun race! My music wasn’t working, but having a fellow athlete to chat with and push me was great. We conquered every hill and picked up our pace for the last 5k, finishing at 1:44:52 (8:01 pace). I took third place for my age group and he took first for his, so we each won a six-pack of Southern Tier beer! Now I know I JUST said I don’t enter with the goal of breaking a PR or winning, but both happened today and I have to say, it did make the experience even sweeter. They say things happen when you least expect it, and this was a perfect example! Guess we’ll see where my next race takes me.

What’s the best race experience you’ve had? What races are you running this year?

 

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March Goals Update + April Goals

Last month I set some ambitious goals (read about them here) and now it’s time to check in on that progress while outlining my April goals.

March Goals:

  1. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 450 followers. Check! I’ve been hovering just over the 450 mark. A more consistent posting schedule, following and commenting on other profiles, and some professional photos were a big help.
  2. Break my record for “most viewed post” on the blog. No dice. I fell out of rhythm with posting. I’m still trying to strike a better balance among my priorities, so this goal will likely pop up again later on when I have a better plan in place.
  3. Run 75 miles. This goal I actually decided to ditch about two weeks into the month because I realized it was a bad goal. I usually set mileage goals when I’m training for a race or looking to get outside more. Since I hadn’t registered for any races and the weather was not great, neither of these applied. I also found it counterintuitive to my larger priority of performing well in the open. This is another goal that I will likely mix into another month (maybe one where the sun shines?).
  4. Perform a muscle up. Check! This was without a doubt one of the most exciting moments of my life so far (below getting engaged, above completing a marathon). Now I work on them a few days a week after class so I can get more consistent. Once I’m more comfortable with the movement, I’ll try my hand at ring muscle ups.
  5. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. Check! I absolutely loved The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I’ve taken a lot of her advice to heart and intend on starting my own happiness project! As far as books go, I’m back to reading for pleasure for now, but will be dabbling in reading for purpose more often.

April Goals

April Goals:

  1. Go Streaking: A run streak, that is! I’m going to run outside every day in April (minimum 1 mile) since the open is over and the weather’s getting warmer. I’m also doing a half marathon later this month. It’s nice to mix it up and prioritize running every once in awhile!
  2. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 550 followers. Same plan as before, just need to keep it up!
  3. Self Care Sundays. This one is more of a resolution than a goal. I intend on making self-care Sundays a regular habit (right now I’m a bit sporadic with them). Reading, running for enjoyment, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, yoga, and relaxing with a cup of herbal tea are all going to be part of my Sundays. I push my body and mind pretty hard throughout the week and should give myself more time to recharge.

I’m keeping it pretty light this month since it’s my birthday month and a lot of my focus will be on fun + enjoyment, but I’m excited for new challenges and habits!

What goals are you working toward?

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Friday Faves #2

Happy Friday! Here are some of my favorite things from this week:FridayFaves (1)

  1. Quote: “This has the meaning I have given it”. This sounds like it would make a great mantra when you’re feeling dragged down.
  2. Moment: Accomplishing my first ever muscle-up! A week and a half too late for 17.2, but right in line with my March goals. Checking this off as complete!
  3. Recipe: These protein pancakes. Here’s what they looked like pre-cooked.

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What are your highlights this week?

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Crossfit Open: 17.3 Recap + Tips

So this post is a little later than usual, meaning the tips won’t really help anyone trying that’s in the open this year. BUT if your gym is like mine, you’ll have this workout thrown into your programming at some point anyway! Might as well know what to expect, right?

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I like to watch the live announcements for the open workouts. I’m the type of person who needs to know ASAP what to expect. So as I sat with my glass of wine watching Dave Castro put the dumbbell down and say the workout would be using barbells, I felt some immediate relief. THANK GOD, A BREAK FROM THE DUMBBELLS (which are such an irregular part of our programming!). Then he announced “snatch ladder” and I knew I was in for a rough one. Make that a SQUAT snatch ladder. Paired with chest-to-bar pull-ups? Absolutely savage. Brutal. Bring it on.

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Let’s start by taking a look at those jumps in weight! My power snatch max is right around 100 lbs. Squat snatches are a whole other ball game, so I knew 95 would be a struggle. Taking a look at the standards, I also saw there were “no free rides”- aka, you can’t power snatch, adjust your feet, and ride the bar down into an overhead squat. You either had to catch the bar below parallel or ride it down smoothly (no pause). Hellooooo, no reps!

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Let’s also note that chest-to-bar pull-ups increase in reps per round. So as you’re getting more and more tired and your muscles are feeling more and more taxed, you need to do more reps. Good thing I won’t be making it too far into this workout, right?

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Taking these movements into account, I went in with a few strategies.

  • I knew shoulder mobility would be important, so I spent a  lot of time rolling out/stretching and opening up my shoulders prior to the workout.
  • I knew grip would be taxed quickly – the rig + snatches are the special sauce for popeye arms.
  • Being in the rig and on the barbell means your hands are likely to rip. Especially because the kip required to successfully execute a chest-to-bar pull-up means your hands are really moving on the bar. I made sure to chalk up and break up my sets of chest-to-bar to avoid this.
  • Knowing that the weight was going to get too heavy too quick, I made it a point to fly through the reps at 65 lbs so I would have plenty of time to try to get as many 95 lb snatches as possible (and get the best possible tiebreak time at 65 lbs).

So how did it go? I made it successfully through the 65 lb round with few no-reps (squat snatching is awkward. I got better as I went along.) The chest-to-bar pull-ups presented no issues for me.

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Then I got to the 95 lb snatches. There were a lot of deadlifts, high pulls, and no-reps among my 4 successful reps. I power snatched the bar and got stuck/paused on the way down too many times which was wasted time and wasted effort. The last 4 minutes of this 8-minute workout were a bit frustrating and slow for me, but again, I know something I need to work on moving forward: squat snatches!

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I also learned just how big of a difference lifting shoes make. I borrowed a pair from a friend for this workout and they were a game-changer for stability. I went home and immediately ordered a pair!

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All in all, I left this workout with a sense of purpose. I know my goals moving forward. Is a 135 lb squat snatch one of them? Absolutely not. But I’d like to get to a point where 95 lbs is easy. Stay tuned!

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Crossfit Open: 17.2 Recap + Tips

It’s week two of the crossfit open (you can read about week one here). On Thursday, I anxiously watched the live announcement of the workout. I started off feeling pretty good about the movements. Weighted lunges? Hell yeah! Toes to bar? GREAT, I’ve become really efficient at those! Dumbbell power cleans? Not sure what’s with all the dumbbells this year, but yeah, those are fine. Then Castro announced the move I’ve been dreading since I decided to sign up for the open: bar muscle ups.

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I was pretty discouraged to hear it even though I knew it was coming. In my years of crossfit, I’ve probably spent a collected total of three hours working on muscle ups (i.e. not much time at all). So it’s no surprise that I’ve never successfully performed one, and I’m very unprepared for the 16+ that this workout is calling for.

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When you can’t perform a movement, you have two options: scale it or fail out. In crossfit workouts, you actually score better for getting through the workout up until the muscle up portion than you would for scaling the workout and smoking everyone else competing. Also, there’s always hope that with the competitive atmosphere, you’ll be able to do things you’ve never been able to before. I knew I was strong enough to do a muscle up and just needed to get my form down, so this was the hope I went with.

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I also went into the workout planning for the worst. If I wasn’t going to get any muscle ups, I better get a great time for the movements leading up to them.

The workout started off great: I finished my third round of lunges right around the 5 minute mark. This left me with 7 minutes to attempt a bar muscle up. I knew I would need a solid break before I made my first attempt. Those movements crushed my forearms and had me breathing pretty heavily – no need to waste any energy trying a muscle up when I knew I was too tired and would fail.

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So after about a minute passed, I made my first muscle up attempt. Fail. Breathe. Second attempt. Fail. Breathe.

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I filled the last 7 minutes of the workout with failed muscle up attempts and rest. I was stringing together chest to bar pull ups like a boss, and I had a couple of pulls where I was close to getting over – but I fell short every. single. time. Even with the cheers and the coaching, I just wasn’t ready. At least I know what I need to work on moving forward! And who knows.. maybe I’ll try again before I submit my score on Monday 😉

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As for my 17.2 tips:

  1. Be efficient with how you hold your dumbbells on the lunges. This workout taxes your grip – don’t make it worse by relying heavily on your forearms during the lunge portion. Make sure the dumbbells are at least somewhat resting on your shoulders to help take the load off your arms.
  2. Only touch the front head of each dumbbell to the ground between cleans.
  3. If you’re going to rest on your cleans, rest around rep 6 or 7. DO NOT drop the dumbbells after your 8th rep. Move right into your lunges to avoid having to add in an extra clean to get the dumbbells into the front rack position.
  4. Try not to break at all during the lunges. You’ll get tired re-cleaning the dumbbells and you have to start again from behind the last line you passed. These are heavy lunges, use your momentum to keep you going.

Did you do 17.2? How did you do? What are your tips?

 

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March Goals

You know what they say about March weather: coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb? Well, in addition to the weather portion, March has come in like a lion for my personal life – stomach bug, wedding planning meetings, open prep. So I’m a little late with this post! But I’m excited about everything on this list and will be using this blog (in addition to my fiance and the goals outline hanging on my wall) to hold me accountable.

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So without further adieu, here are my March goals:

  1. Grow my @healthydoseoflife Instagram to 450 followers. My action plan is to post at least twice a day, follow 100 people per week, and take the time to comment on other peoples posts and connect with them rather than just liking their pictures and moving on. I really enjoy Instagram as a platform to connect with other like-minded people, so this is where I’ll focus a lot of my energy this month.
  2. Break my record for “most viewed post” on the blog. So far, my most popular post has been my 17.1 recap. This post even ranked in search engines for some terms about crossfit open tips which brought people to my site – a first for my blog. I think I’ll need to recap all of my open workouts to break this record!
  3. Run 75 miles. This is always a tough one to complete on top of crossfit. My runs outside aren’t very long (especially when the temp drops below 30) and the treadmill doesn’t keep me occupied for more than 30 minutes. I’ll also count the few elliptical miles I accumulate each month when the only way I feel like going to the gym is if I can read during my workout. So far I’m only 5 miles in and need to pick it up!
  4. Perform a muscle up. This goal has eluded me since I started crossfit. I tried for 7 minutes to get my first bar muscle up last night during 17.2 and failed, but got really close. I know I’m strong enough but my form needs work and I need to believe it will happen. The time is now!
  5. Read 1 book for purpose rather than pleasure. I love to read fantasy. My fiance loves to read sports biographies and motivational books. The more I see him take notes and learn from the books he reads, the more it makes me want to try it myself. So this month I took out a library loan for “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. It is SO good, I can’t put it down. I can’t wait to start my own happiness project after reading it – not because I am unhappy, but because I could be happier and more appreciative of what I have right in front of me. This goal is as good as achieved already.

What goals are you focused on? How do you keep yourself accountable?

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10 things you’ll find in my fridge

Inspired by Lauren Conrad’s “10 things you can always find in my fridge” post, I took a peek at what I always have on hand.

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  1. eggs – I could eat eggs for every meal. I love them as a savory, filling snack. I also use them when making protein pancakes and have them on my bagel sandwich every Saturday and Sunday.
  2. kale – I keep kale on hand to saute up as a snack or add nutrients to any meal.
  3. unsweetened vanilla almond milk – Smoothies + banana nice cream are staples for me, so I always keep almond milk on hand. Vanilla flavor > added sugar any day!
  4. hot sauce – My fiance and I love spicy food, so we always have at least 2 kinds of hot sauce in the fridge at all times. Right now, it’s sriracha and franks. I’d love to hear any other brands/flavors I need to try in the comments!
  5. avocados – I put avocados on everything from salads to bagel sandwiches. And who doesn’t love a little guac?
  6. iced coffee – I start my mornings with hot coffee, but move on to cold brew or iced throughout the day. Especially now that it’s getting warmer, iced coffee makes a nice afternoon treat!
  7. seltzer – Flavored polar is my standard mixer, so I always keep some on hand. Right now it’s cans of cranberry lime – my favorite!
  8. fresh pico – If you’ve never had Wegmans fresh pico, you need to run out and buy it right away. It’s pricey but SO good. I use it as salad dressing almost every day, and it makes a great snack with tortillas!
  9. mich ultra – Because to me, life is about balance. Work hard, play hard!
  10. baby carrots – These make a great snack in a pinch – fresh and sweet! I usually keep them with me at work, too.

What’s in your fridge?