Category Archives: Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Our Move + Maintenance

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I have barely blogged all month, despite my best intentions. People move. People travel. Some people do both in combination. Our family is in that group of ridiculous people. We spent close to two weeks traveling, in addition to one week in an unfurnished house. Throw in a toddler and I pretty much wanted to throw the towel in after two days. Did I keep up with my fitness? Nutrition? Did I break my back over it? What did I even DO?

First, of course I kept up with my fitness and nutrition, or overall health. I did not break my neck over it or make special requests for where we went to eat or stayed. I simply worked with my surroundings. I looked for nutritious food most of the time and focused on maintaining fitness over increasing fitness. That means, I was not looking to burn fat or get stronger. I was simply aiming to be able to lift roughly the same weight, and run close to as fast, when I returned to my regular environment. This means working out when I can, but not getting crazy about finding perfect equipment or messing up a whole day with the family because I have to go log hours of cardio. I am not training for anything in particular right now, so I am simply not willing to do that at this point.

The same goes for my nutrition. I was not willing to make us go to only certain types of restaurants. I made the most energizing choices I could, most of the time. We ate a lot of Chipotle because it is easy, quick, we both love it, and it is simple. We also went to my favorite restaurant in New York City: S’Mac. I have said this before, but to me balance is making nutritious choices most of the time. It is honoring my body and helping it to operate as well as possible without limiting myself to grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, and salads with no dressing. It also means not eating until I am ready to explode because I am on vacation.

unnamedHere was our sequence of events. First, we spent 5 days driving to and searching for a house in Colorado. We saw six houses in two days and found our new place. We spent some time with family over the weekend then stayed in a hotel for two nights. Since we were in a hotel, I was able to get my Fitness With Kristen workouts in, as well as a short run. I have lived at sea level my whole life so trying to run at 6000 feet elevation was an adjustment. I have done it two other times and I know I need to manage my expectations for it.

From there we headed back to California for a week, where we lived in our house with just an air mattress and a pack and play. We lived out of a suitcase and ate out most nights. We also said a lot of “see you later” so gallons of coffee was involved. We had no weights during this time, so I did body weight workouts, and easy running during this time. I was exhausted already so I made sure to get in some energizing workouts without draining what little energy I had. I also did a lot of leisurely walking with my little guy. We both enjoyed the fresh air and activity.

Next, we took off for St. Louis. Pat had friends to visit, and I stayed with his sister and family. They were also just moving into their house, so it was a pretty exciting and chaotic time for everyone. Her strollers are infinitely better than mine, so I got to go for a decent stroller run (in 1000% humidity, so it was about 4 minutes). Their weights were not unpacked yet so I used lighter weights than normal, but I still got to do my workouts while I was there. Normally my sister and I run while we are together, but my son miraculously slept until 7:15 or so on the morning we would have run, so we did not get to run together this time! She was as desperate as I was for home cooked meals, so they made some delicious homemade chicken nuggets, vitamin packed loaf, and ribs. We also made the most disgusting hashbrowns of my life, which the kids apparently loved. It was so nice to eat homemade, nutritious meals for a few days!

unnamed-4After that we made our way to New York City for two nights. I lived there for six months and loved it, but three days there with a toddler and I was dying to get to some open fields. We ate out for every meal, and I actually was feeling a bit sick from it, probably because my digestive system was working harder than normal to process some of the food I was eating. I do not have a gluten allergy, but I don’t eat gluten often. I was eating it at every meal and I think my body was simply overrun with figuring out how to digest that much gluten again. I was told by a nutritionist years ago that I had a gluten sensitivity. I am not sure if that is the reason, or if it is because I don’t eat much gluten. Either way, I spent a lot of time not feeling great in NYC. I did some body weight workouts, and as to be expected in the city, TONS of walking.

Our final stop was Alexandria for a wedding. We had the added bonus of my Mom coming down to hang out (mostly with her grandson – let’s be real). I got to lift and run indoors (as it was a real feel of 110, no thanks). We had a Harris Teeter across the street from us, and a breakfast buffet in the lobby. This made eating pretty accessible, but of course we still went out for sushi one last time while we were near a coast. It is also of note that we spent four days being completely obsessed with the Olympics during this time. We would turn them on the minute we woke up and they would play in our room the entire day.

Finally, by Sunday we made it to Denver and had dinner with our welcoming committee. Monday I took the day completely off because I don’t need to grind everyday. All of our stuff was moved in and unpacked Monday and it was just an absolutely insane day. My husband even hit up Costco to stock up on some food and supplies. We still ate out on Monday and Tuesday because we were so wiped out from moving, but it was only for dinner. We had some oatmeal and rotisserie chicken in the house for breakfast and lunch. I was so desperate for a run by Tuesday, it felt so amazing to get out and move my legs! It is my favorite way to explore a new area. I have been a cooking machine the last few days, whipping up some of our favorite staples to have in the house (banana muffins, roasted brussel sprouts, egg casserole, etc). I have had the opportunity to get back into my routine and start eating some whole food again with my favorite recipes at home.

unnamedSummer is a very common time for moving or simply traveling. Years ago this kind of ridiculous trip would definitely have sent me into an all or nothing mentality. I would have felt the need to be fairly meticulous about where we ate or getting in my workouts, or I would have thrown all caution to the wind. Now I simply focus on maintaining where I am and working with what I have. I cannot give my nutrition OR fitness everything I have with that kind of chaos. It is not a realistic expectation. I also do not have to completely give up my fitness or nourishing my body. I simply have to work with what I have. Eat whole foods where possible, stop eating when I am no longer hungry, and let go of stressing over these things. Moving and/or traveling is chaotic. That does not mean you have to be at one end of the spectrum or the other. You cannot control everything, and unless you are in the middle of a training cycle, there is no reason not to loosen up control on your workouts and nutrition. Loosening your control does NOT mean eating past comfort, or sitting on your butt and doing nothing the whole time. Move, stay active, just let go of doing it exactly the way you do at home.

3 Tips For Detoxing After The Holidays

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Now that the holidays are over, even the most disciplined of us are probably feeling a bit bloated and sluggish. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean never enjoying treats, it simply means enjoying them in moderation, and in line with your goals. If you are feeling bogged down from all of the holiday eating, follow these three easy steps to regain your energy, and get back on track with your goals.

  • Drink Water – As soon as you wake up each morning, drink a glass of water. This will help get everything in your digestive system moving, which is helpful in clearing out some of those extras from the holidays. Be sure to continue drinking water, and caffeine free tea throughout the day. Staying hydrated will help you fight off those post-holiday sugar cravings, as well as keep you from feeling hunger before you are actually hungry.
  • Eat More Veggies – Instead of focusing on food you “can’t have” now that the holidays are over and you want to get back on track, add in healthy food that you love. Fill your plate with veggies then add in healthy fats and protein to feel full and rejuvenated. With veggies you get more bang for your buck. They add volume & nutrients to your meal, helping you feel full without adding all the sugar and indigestible calories that convert straight to fat. They will also keep things moving in your digestive system, also helping to clear out some of the leftovers from the holidays. Protein & fats helps keep you feeling satisfied so you are not grabbing for those sweets after your meals. They also help you feel energized, which is a welcome change from the sluggishness of holiday sugar (or alcohol) hangovers.IMG_6043
  • Get Moving – You don’t have to go out and do some crazy intense workout! Get out for a walk if you are new to exercise. Hit one of your favorite classes at the gym, or get out for an invigorating walk. Get back to your old routine as soon as possible. The quicker you get back to it, the better you will feel. If you are ready for more structure, head over to Fitness With Kristen and join us in revolutionizing your nutrition and workouts with guidance and accountability.

There is no need to wait until the new year, or until Monday to take control of your circumstances. Start regaining your energy now!

Getting Back Into The Swing of Things

Upside Down ZiplineAfter being gone for ten days on our honeymoon, we are finally back, which means getting back to healthy habits. While on vacation, we stayed active, and I even hit the gym two or three times. I also made sure not to overindulge EVERY day. Though indulging once in a while is certainly human, gorging on buffet food all day and getting wasted every night is still going to be tough on a body that is not used to being treated so harshly.

To get back on track I have made sure to get back to basics. The first thing I did (which has become more necessary as the years roll on), is when possible, allow myself to sleep in the day after I return from travel. This is challenging depending on your work situation. If possible, try to take the day after you return off from work so that your body can recuperate from all of the travel. Even though I slept between eight and twelve hours every night of vacation, my body needed to recover from the different food, alcohol, and travel back. It seems silly, but these things exhaust the body.

The next thing I did was get myself into the gym. I did not enter with some crazy intense workout like usual. I gave myself permission to slowly ease back into working out. I went down slightly in my weights, and took longer breaks than I was before leaving. Beginning tomorrow I am all set up with a written out circuit, as well as a running partner.

Finally, as always, I did my food preparation. I made my usual banana muffins, as well as boiled up a bunch of eggs and cooked up some bacon. That way breakfast is always ready, and tomorrow I can make enough dinner to roll over into lunch on Tuesday. I always ordered more Quest Bars so I would be stocked up for the next several weeks.

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Food prep and having a workout in hand when heading to the gym are the simplest ways to meet goals. When you plan ahead, there is less thinking involved when you are tired and want to throw in the towel. It is easier for my to talk myself through a workout that is written down, than one that is jumbled in my head. I also find it easier to talk myself into making healthy choices when they are prepared and ready to take on the go, instead of deciding what to eat and preparing it when I am hungry. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”