I did it! Thankful Thursday: runner’s edition

This past Sunday I ran my 3rd half-marathon in Pittsburgh and set a new PR of 1:58:15, which was a full 12.5 some minutes better than last year’s run (wooohooo)! I’ve run the race 4 years in a row now (3 halves and one full marathon) and each year I’ve been so honored to run for charity and with family and friends!

Me pghmarathon4

So, this #thankfulThursday I’m thankful for the ability to run and run for a reason! I’m thankful for the legs that carried me across the finish line (#heygirl inspired T-shirt and all)…

finish

Every time I go out on a run I think…there are people who literally cannot run! Whether it’s because of an ailment, amputation or lack of health. And remembering that pushes me to keep going, just like during the race so many people chose to #runforBoston

runforBoston

HUGE thank you and virtual hugs to everyone who donated, ran with me, cheered me on, and gave me props for finishing. And all I can say is… I was NEVER a runner! I started off running a 13-14min mile gasping for breath every step, but I kept on running, kept on pushing myself and now I truly believe in mind over matter ūüôā

What keeps you motivated to run, swim, bike, hike, whatever you do!?

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A confession…

I have a confession to make about an obsession that’s been creeping into my everyday life… I love smoothies! And as a part of my FebruHABITS ¬†goals of incorporating more¬†#Plantpower into my diet, smoothies are amazing!

I have to admit that I used to think they were a far cry from being healthy (some of the recipes out there use ice cream or frozen yogurt, tons of fruit and loads of added sugars) and I always thought who wants to drink their calories anyway?!? Not this girl!

Or so I thought! But then I saw the light (after all, all healthy things have their evil twins) and I’ve been converted by the good, plant-loving people at¬†Thrive Forward¬†to try to incorporate one plant-based smoothie into my diet each day…usually at breakfast. And guess what!?!

I LOVE THEM! I’ve found that if I drink it in the morning it gives me so much more energy than my usual cup of coffee (something I’m trying to cut back on). And, BONUS, you can incorporate loads of fruits and veggies into your day in just one meal….did I say meal? Yes, yes I did. That’s the catch…altho a positive one at that! You have to balance your smoothie ¬†to make sure it has carbs, proteins, fiber, and healthy fats so it’s filling! I usually opt to drink half a recipe and make a meal out of that by eating one of my morning oat protein bars, or a buckwheat/oat waffle with some almond butter on top.

Here’s my go-to morning smoothie recipe:

Green Smoothie 101

  • 1 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4C aloe vera juice (this is totally optional, but I always drink some in the morning)
  • 1 C frozen strawberries (if they’re whole I usually add about 5-6)
  • 1 C fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 1/4 tsp stevia
  • 1/2 scoop NOW Sports vegan pea protein powder (optional: and you can choose any other variety of powder)
  • 1 scoop Chlorella powder (again totally optional)
  • PLUS a little water if it’s too thick

smoothie

Add it all to the blend. Whir, whir, whir. ENJOY!

I actually had one this morning that consisted of beets, strawberries, cocoa powder, stevia, & some protein powder…YUM! Red deliciousness in a glass!

Do you have any killer smoothie recipes? Want more recipes? (I have lots of faves)

So incorporating more veggies into my diet has actually been really great! And, I’ve been getting in at least a gallon of water a day! yay! And, I’ve been reading a Proverb each day as well as learning how Pip has some Great Expectations ahead of him. Woot woot for progress!

How are things going with your FebruHABITS?

FebruHABITS

It’s almost February! AH! How did that happen?! February…hmmm…Will Phil see his shadow? Is it a leap year? And, what sort of sadist decided to lump all the holidays together where being single seems to equate you with a leper? But at least it means there’s only 6 more months until the Canfield Fair with my boo Deanna!

Canfield Fair

Ok, but seriously…February also seems to be a month where people start falling off the wagon in terms of their 2013 goals. It gets bitterly cold and dank out (altho this nice warm spell in DC is GREAT!) and I know I would rather sit on the couch in my comfy sweatpants than think about being social, working out, or trying a new recipe!

So, along with some other challenges that are floating (#Plantpower with Powercakes and the 2013 Challenge) a few friends and I have decided to band together to keep one another accountable and encouraged as we work on building new habits!

You may have heard that it takes 21-30 days to build a habit… I thought that was a cold hard fact! But, recent research from the University College of London¬†suggests¬†that the 21-30 day habit building ideal is actually a myth, saying that evidence for the 21-day cycle is purely anecdotal. WHAT?!? Then how do you build new habits effectively, and how long does it take? Welp, it depends on YOU! Everyone is differently, beautifully, and wonderfully made, so any kind of cookie cutter diet/fad/plan/etc will either leave you feeling like…

  • A: a CHAMP… you are already on step 9 of 12 and it’s only day 2
  • B: a WIMP… you don’t even know where to start and figure you’ll fail anyway
  • C: like CRAP… you started off great but it’s been 2 weeks and you’ve seen 0 changes

Sound familiar? For a long time I always ended up in category C… I start off with great intentions and then life happened, someone brought birthday cake to the office and I would feel like IT’S ALL OVER…today is shot, might as well throw in the towel and have a cheeseburger or Chic Fil-A (mmm Chic Fil-A waffle fries are made of 100% magic) right?

WRONG! Building a habit, a new lifestyle, a new diet (and I mean diet as in the way you eat NOT some unattainable fad you adopt for a month and then crash because you can’t live on cabbage), isn’t about beating yourself up. It’s about taking small steps FORWARD!

I started to see results in my own life (health and fitness wise as well as discipline wise) after really taking a look at what I was eating through My Fitness Pal, chatting with my friend Tracy about nutrition and exercise, and generally keeping myself honest with… well… MYSELF!

So what’s FebruHABITS all about?

It’s NOT just about HEALTH GOALS…although those are great and would be a good addition. It IS about setting small, attainable goals that you’re comfortable sharing with others, getting accountability to KEEP MOVING FORWARD in your pursuit of those goals, and CELEBRATING your achievements at the end of the month!

How does it work?

#1 you need to a pick a reward… that’s the fun part! Maybe you’ll get that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, dinner at your fave restaurant, or a new piece of cooking equipment…whatever you choose, but make it something out of the ordinary.

#2 choose at least one simple daily goal!¬†You can choose more than one (I broke mine down into categories, two small goals for each, 6 in total) but keep them S.M.A.R.T. & don’t go overboard! ¬†It could be health and fitness related (do 25 push-ups everyday), spiritual (read a new Bible verse each day), or even interpersonal (talk to one stranger everyday!) They shouldn’t be… lose 5lbs, eat more veggies…that’s not specific nor¬†measurable¬†enough! (shoot me a comment if you need help developing your goals)

My goals…

  • HEALTH: Drink 1 gallon of water every day (that seems like a lot but I’ve been working up to 1gal for awhile now, so I know it’s attainable)
  • HEALTH: Make my daily food intake from #Plantpower with Powercakes except on Mondays
  • SPIRITUAL: Read a Proverb every day & Journal on Monday nights
  • PERSONAL: Read at least one chapter of¬†Great Expectations a night¬†(I have been trying to finish this book for FOREVER)
  • PERSONAL: Keep in touch with all of YOU by posting for FebruHABITS each week!

#3 Download the¬†FebruHabits Calendar, put your goals at the bottom, print it off and hang it somewhere you see everyday… I’m guessing that for most of us that’s the¬†refrigerator! AND post your goals below so we all know what you’re up to ūüôā

calendaronfridge

#4 check off each day when you’ve completed your goals and start doing a happy dance as we sail through February! Miss a day? NO PROBLEM! Tomorrow is a new day! And you get 3 cheat days (that’s 90% success rate)…although no cheating is the preference ūüėČ

#5 Be sure to check in each week to see what’s new, get some encouragement, and let me know how you’re doing! You can also follow me on instagram @spoonfulofsara and post your #FebruHABITS pics (maybe extra accountability? ūüėČ

So…what are your FebruHABITs goals? Are you nervous, excited, both?¬†