Good evening everyone!
This will be a brief packed post because it’s nearing bed time for an early day (last few) at work tomorrow. I didn’t post yesterday because the previous post needed to just sink in for a bit with me before moving on. I was also a little under the weather yesterday; I think these fall allergies are hitting me hard and this is a first for me. After taking so R&R yesterday, I headed to my first grad class of the semester: Psychology of Illness and Wellness. This is going to be by far one of my favorite courses during my program (I know…premature). The topic is one of the most intriguing to me in the world of psychology: how does our mental health affect our physical health. As many of you reading this are probably aware, the way we treat our minds and bodies has a huge impact on how our bodies treat us in return. A great aspect of this course is that it requires us to actively engage in the theories and practices which we are studying. We are to keep a daily log of a stress-reducing activity which elicits the relaxation response for a minimum of 15 minutes per day. My goal is to keep accountable for that by letting you know what I have been up to each post.
Today began far earlier than I would have liked. I woke up around 6:30 and was tossing and turning for about 45 minutes before finally giving in. Sometimes I think my body is just so conditioned to my constant work schedule that it starts up even when I could definitely use some more sleep. I got up and sat around a bit, having a light snack of Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls and drinking some water. I knew I was going to go on a run this morning but “when?” was the big question. I finally decided at 8:30 that it was now or never. I got into my running gear and did not turn back.
Today was quite possibly one of the best runs of my life. I mean that very honestly. I have been working hard this spring and fall to become an outdoor runner but have hit a few bumps in the road. Between busy schedules, insane heat, and a few minor aches and injuries, I haven’t been consistant with my running. A few weeks ago I decided to begin a training plan I found to run a 10k. I do not have a 10k race yet in my future (although I am considering this one) but what I really needed was some motivation and a game plan to prove that I can pass the 3 mile rut that I have been stuck in. Although I have been logging 3+ miles on my runs lately, none of them have been running the full distance. Today I finally ran the whole 3.4 miles, and hard! I was beyond proud of myself, I felt strong and wonderful the whole way, big smile and all. It was the first day that, the entire run, I felt like running was something that I could actually do. Before this year outdoor running and I had had our moments; a few runs for high school sports, the sporadic slow run, nothing huge. I have always considered myself a sprinter, as I was in high school, and would run sprint intervals on the tread mill at the gym to get in shape (which are a great workout, but not every day). Today was the day where I began to feel like a real tried-and-true runner. Just in time for my 5k this summer (third one in the last year). After I got home I decided it was the perfect time for my relaxation response time through some meditative stretching. I took the time to really give my body a good breath, focusing on my breathing and each muscle that I was stretching.
Ok, on to the rest of my day. After a big bowl of Purple Steel-Cut Oats, I got myself together and headed out to get a few things done. After a brief shopping excursion at T.J. Maxx, I headed over to Trader Joe’s to get a little shopping done for my Cook.Vegan.Lover Vegan Carepackage Swap. I will show the loot tomorrow, but it’s a pretty good carepack, I’m not going to lie 🙂
After my shopping excursion I came home with a recipe on the brain, Allie’s Banana Bread Oat Bites on the brain. I read the recipe last night and immediately printed it and planned on making them today. Here goes:
I followed Allie’s recipe almost exactly, the only changes that I made here subbing 2 teaspoons of flax for chia seeds and only using 1 tablespoon of canola oil. I also made the bites a little smaller for a total of 24. So far, I’m hearing really great reviews! Definitely a recipe to consider if you are a banana lover and have a few brown ones lying around 🙂
Another change I am making in my life is making an attempt to become vegetarian. I have been considering giving up meat for a while and after reading Skinny Bitch last week, it became more clear to me that putting meat in my body was doing much more harm than good. I am still in the beginning stages of my transition so I do not know what will come of it. I am already dairy free due to lactose-intolerance, so I know that that will not change for me. I have not yet decided if I am going to lean more towards pescetarianism. I do enjoy eating fish and, although Skinny Bitch gave many good arguments against that, I am less turned off by fish than I am by meat. Because of this decision I am definitely feeling changes in my body and digestion. I am feeling a lot lighter and less weighed down by my meals. Although I do eat many filling foods, the plant and grain based proteins are doing well by me. I also enjoy the creativity that comes with making a lunch or dinner that is not centered around meat. I have begun experimenting with tofu and have also become more interested in different whole grains. Tomorrows lunch was a little creation based on some produce and grains we had at the house:
Ok so don’t be alarmed, it looks like a hott mess, I know. The base of the dish is actually a quick tabbouleh consisting of bulgur wheat, grape tomatoes, fresh parsley from our garden, and lemon juice. I topped it off with 1 zucchini, 1 summer squash, a few mushrooms, and 1/2 cup shelled edamame. I do have to say, not bad for a 20 minute creation.
Question of the night: Have you ever made some changes to your health, diet, or exercise regime to improve both your physical and mental health? If so, what was the change and how has it affected you overall?
Have a great night everyone and hopefully a wonderful Friday tomorrow!