Category: Thursday

A whole lotta ughs …

The past couple weeks have been tough. Heck, this past month has been tough on me. I’m not using it as an excuse. But, I’d sure like a break or two once in a while.

I’ve been trying to get myself into a groove with my running and fitness and it just hasn’t materialized the way I envisioned it. Granted, I did meet my sub-three time goal a couple weekends ago during the Emigration Canyon Half Marathon. But, that’s about the only success I feel like I’ve truly met.

I’ve been dealing with bad backs, sprained ankles and this past week — a root canal. An expected root canal. My tooth started hurting during my race last weekend and then by Monday morning it was throbbing in pain.

I couldn’t go to my regular dentist, because this was the same tooth that they couldn’t get numb. So they referred me to an endodontist so they could knock me out to do it. And, that wasn’t cheap. But, that’s a whole other story for another day.

I finally got my root canal yesterday — and it really just killed my week.

But, despite all the road blocks, I’ve been trying to keep on track, even if my runs are short and my workouts shorter. And, for the most part — it’s working. I’ve lost about 10lbs. this past month. A lot of that has to do with my diet. So, that’s progress.

I thought of mixing up my diet and routine again, but I think I am going to stick with what I planned this past month. One, because I wasn’t able to get into a good groove or it and, two, I think I can see bigger improvements with a better focus. I’d really like to lose about 30lbs. and I feel like this is a good road. Especially for my thyroid.

I’m going to get a good run in tonight before my race this weekend out in Magna. I’m hoping for a sub-three. But, I’m not sure if I want to push it TOO hard since I’ve got my 50K coming up in the next couple of weeks. But, honestly, I think I’ll be fine. I think the variables that will determine my result really will be my ankle and back.

The focus right now is all on my 50K on the 28th of this month. I am a bit worried about it with my current mileage the past couple of weeks. But, honestly, I know I’ll be fine. The race director knows I’ll be a bit slower — 10 hours or so. It’ll be fun and that’s my only goal (besides finishing).

Plus, the 50K will be good training for my upcoming marathons in Ogden and Utah Valley. Along with my Bear Lake Trifecta races. I’m going to have a crazy spring and early summer schedule, so kick starting it with a 50K is an usual and — I think — good way to launch my schedule.

I won’t lie — I do worry about my back and ankle a bit. But, honestly, I think I’ve cared and rested both well enough that they shouldn’t be a factor. But, it’ll be on my mind for sure — I just don’t want to downgrade from the 26.2 to 13.1 if I can avoid it. But, that’s my last resort and something I don’t really want to entertain right now.

Anyways — I’m focusing on Saltair right now and focusing on getting my groove and consistency back. I just want to pull some big weight-loss numbers in the next month so I can go into marathon season lighter on my feet.

At least I know I’m on the right track.

A change of plans …

As I have said many, many, many times — my race schedule is ALWAYS subject to change. And, this week’s race plan wasn’t immune to a change in plans. I’m more bummed about the reasons why I had to make the change than the actual change.

The original plan was to run the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K. I love running the island, especially the races that Jim Skaggs puts on. I ran the 25K two years ago with Jill and have done his 50K the past couple of years as well. So I was looking forward to the adventure this weekend.

Due to some unforeseen family obligations I had to back out of the race, pretty much last minute (read: this morning). Part of the reason is that with the race starting at 9am, it would take me a good 4-5 hours or so to do the 25K — and with the obligations I couldn’t be gone pretty much all day.

But, I also didn’t want to give up a race weekend either. I’d have to rework my race schedule AGAIN — and I didn’t want that. So, I signed up for On Hill Events’ Lucky 13 Half Marathon at Gardner Village in West Jordan. Not only is it closer to home, but I’ll be done much sooner than the 25K so I can attended to my obligations.

Sure, I am sad giving up a trail race, but I’ve always prioritized family before running. And, being able to still race and attend to family is a win-win in my book. As much as I am going to miss the Buffalo Stew on Antelope Island, Joe Coles and On Hill Events do a really good job with their races and I am excited to run the course. This is a race I haven’t done yet.

All win-wins!

This is one thing that I really, really love about Utah. We have so many quality race companies, canyons, trails and races. Our calendars are chalk full of them. And, to be able to pull audible like this on such short notice is nice.

I guess you could say we should feel lucky.

Because we are.

And, that was a terrible pun. Please accept my apologies. Seriously. I disappoint myself.

Happy Running! Wherever you are running this weekend — Antelope Island, Jordan Parkway Trail, one of the several local canyons or your neighborhood — enjoy it! Spring is here!

Living with Hashimoto’s: The Next Phase

It’s hard to believe that we’re in March already. I’m thankful for that. I hate January. And, I’m not too fond of February either. The whole thing February has going for it is that it lingers around for only 28 days or so.

I just hate the winter months. I hate the winter blues. I hate the snow. So much hate. You’d almost think I’m one extra winter month away from joining the Dark Side. Thankfully not. December manages to warm my soul with Christmas.

Anyways, I’m plugging a long with my Hashimoto’s Disease.

Just a short recap of this journey — I was diagnosed back in late November, lived in denial of the diagnosis in December, came to terms with it in January by going gluten and dairy free and then went somewhat militant in February with the diet.

I did an elimination diet and hyper focused my food to a list of 33 things. For the most part I did really well with it. I won’t lie — I didn’t stick to it 100% during February. When I was in Las Vegas I ate foods that weren’t on my list — but, I was 90% gluten-free and dairy-free during the trip (there were a couple times when I ordered food that I forgot to be UBER specific about no dairy or gluten … luckily, I didn’t get too sick, though I felt it).

Anyways — I feel good about the progress I made this past month. It was tough eliminating many of the foods I love and enjoy — namely eggs and bananas. But, I stocked up on plenty of steak and sweet potatoes which I will always love.

Oh, and avocados.

Basically, there was still plenty of food to love and enjoy.

Now that my 33 days are over I have been reassessing my diet. I plan on adding back bananas and eggs slowly and less frequently. But, also being deliberate of when I eat them. Basically, I plan on focusing on eating bananas and most fruits around my workouts and runs to help give me a natural boost so I am not as dependent on caffeine or energy boosters (ie-5 Hour Energy, Preworkout, etc).

As you can see below I have made another list of 33 foods. I like this idea of 33 foods and focusing on them for the next 33 days. Because I know if I stick to those foods I’ll feel good, have the needed energy and stamina for my workouts and runs.

That’s the beauty of this list. If I defer from it — I feel it. That’s both a motivation and fear. A good fear though. Because, I want to feel 100%. I want to lose weight. I want to feel “normal” again.

And, I have felt a difference the past month. I had more energy during a lot of my long runs and races, especially during my ultra. I feel faster. I feel slimmer. And, I feel the difference in my clothes too. I love the feeling.

But, with the progress I’ve made, I have made a few changes I felt during my last month. Stuff, I am either eliminating or adding — because I want to see how my body reacts or acts with it back or in my diet.

For instance, I am swapping out the rice for brown rice. If I am going to eat rice I might as well get some more nutritional benefit from it, right? I am also adding Daiya — or vegan cheese — well, dairy-free cheese on the list. I need that on the list. Sure, it’s processed and I want to keep the food as non-processed as possible, But, I need some semblance to cheese.

Anyways — check out the list below.

In addition to the food list, I am also being more specific on my eating schedule. I’ve been reading a lot lately on intermittent fasting and I am adding that into my diet. No, it’s not an everyday thing, but it’s something I am planning on doing three times a week — Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Basically, I won’t eat or drink calories until 2pm those days. Water, yes. But, no food. This was something I tried doing last fall, but after my diagnosis I just kinda stopped doing it. But, I really like the idea and science behind — especially with how it is suppose to help rev up the metabolism.

There are a number of differing intermittent dieting methods and the one I will be doing is based off the Bulletproof Diet. But, unlike the diet, I am not doing it everyday. I am doing this for a couple of reasons — I hate jumping straight into a strict diet (because I hate the ‘all or nothing’ mentality) and I am planning on exercising in the mornings that I do eat before 2pm. I fear not giving myself enough calories on those days.

In 33 days if I feel better on my fast days — then maybe — MAYBE — I will look into doing more fast days during the week? But, we’ll see after I assess everything next month.

Oh, you will notice I do have one ‘FREE CHOICE’ on the 33 list. That’s basically one dairy and gluten-free food of my choice that I can have — regardless of whether it is on my list or not.

BUT

And, it’s a big but. It’s not something I can freely choose each day. It’s a once a week choice. So, this could be dairy-free sherbet, a Slurpee, a slice of gluten-free banana or whatever tickles my fancy. But, it’s one serving and once a week, that I will consume around my weekend races and long runs.

You might be throwing some shade at that choice and I get that. But, I need some variance. And, I do much better on diet and food plans when there is some kind of variance. Plus, I made up this diet regime — so I am kinda making the rules as we go here.

So, if you are going to judge me, please judge me more on my inability to properly match my shirts and pants. Because that is probably the biggest problem I have with my life at this very moment.

Anyways, here is the food list and my workout routine for the next 33 days …

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Anyways — if you have questions or suggestions — I am always open to them. This journey is still very much brand new to me and while there is a guideline on what works for people in my same shoes — everyone doesn’t fit in my shoes.

So a lot of this is trail and error, success and failure and everything in between.

Fun stuff.

The Runcast™ Playlist: Disney

For those that know me well — know how BIG of a Disneynerd I am. Whether it’s Disneyland, Disney World, Walt Disney or the countless movies, music and trivia — I love it all. I’ve read numerous biographies about Walt Disney on top of a number of books on the history of his animation studios, creation of Disneyland and everything in between. I love and respect Walt’s creative work ethic. It shows in everything he did.

Anyways — this post isn’t about all of that.

This past week I was a guest on PodBash’s The Park Hoppers once again. I challenged host Andy — DisneylAndy — to a Disney Music Duel! It was probably one of my favorite episodes. We answered trivia, challenged each other to complete songs and we even did a little singing. Scary I know.

You’ll have to check the episode out …

Listen to “Disney Music Special!” on Spreaker.

One thing I mentioned at the tail end of the episode was that I wanted to share some of my favorite Disney running music. There are a number of Disney songs that pepper my running playlist. But, I wanted to share a playlist — with nothing but Disney songs.

So, I made a list of my Top 25 Disney Running Songs. I hope you enjoy it. If I am missing one you think should be on there — let me know!

Happy Running!

The Runcast™ Playlist: Motivation

This is a series of bi-weekly playlists I am going to share consisting of themed running music. I am starting first off with a “Motivational” running playlist, but I’ll be sharing playlists consisting of pop, rock, 80’s, oldies (I refuse to classify the 80’s as oldies) and whatever tickles my fancy. It should be fun.

Some of these playlists will also be a part of future episodes of The Runcast. Some of these songs could be a part of future episodes. But, the point of these playlists and podcast episodes are to give YOU the runner something to download and run with during your short or long runs.

I am using Spotify to share these playlists, because it’s one of the most popular music apps and programs. Plus, I subscribe to it which makes it easier. But, I have to admit that I love the app because if you are a subscriber you can download a playlist to use while offline — ideal for long runs.

Anyways — I hope you enjoy this first playlist of motivational running songs … some of my favorites!

What are some of your favorite motivational running songs? What would you include on this list? What would you take off of this list?

The Hashimoto’s 33 Diet

The Hashimoto’s 33 Diet is a diet based a number of Hashimoto’s and autoimmune diets research online (you can find some here, here, here and here). From these diet plans I carefully constructed a list of 33 foods that would benefit my condition, promote weight-loss and increase my energy levels.

This is a minimalist approach to my diet. And, the idea comes from a conversation I had with a friend a few weeks ago. We were talking about the Project 333 minimalist fashion challenge and wondered if that same concept could be adapted to our diet.

This is the byproduct of that conversation.

There’s no scientific claim that these 33 foods alone will fix or cure my Hashimoto’s Disease. The diet works with a mentality that works best for me. If the food is not on the list – I don’t eat it. I’ve found in the past that work well with absolutes when it comes to constructing diet plans. I like a black and white approach.

Besides being a clear cut approach, this list hopefully promotes creativity in my cooking and use of the foods on my list. I chose foods that could pair well with other foods — or be eaten by itself (for the most part). I want to be able to cook something nutritious with little to no effort — with the ability to also make dishes that are elaborate and with much effort.

About 95% or so of the items on this list are all gluten-free, diary-free and non-processed foods with a strong preference toward organic items. These attributes are recommended in most autoimmune and Hashimoto’s protocol diets.

Of these exceptions — two are processed. They include my Isagenix IsaLean Shakes. A non-gluten, non-dairy shake I usually start my morning off with that has helped a lot with my energy levels, etc. — and Larabar Bites.

Also it should be noted that I kept rice on this list though it’s not entirely recommended on all Hashimoto’s lists. Yes, it is a grain, but it is also gluten-free — and with all the running I am doing from now until April I wanted to keep this on my list as a pre-race food, because I do better with some good carbs in me before a race. I just don’t anticipate eating it that much — and who knows … I might not use it at all? But, it’s on the list.

Anyways — like the Project 333, I plan on keeping this list for a minimum of three months. Then in April I’ll make another list of 33 foods. Whether it’s similar or different depends on how my body reacts to this diet protocol.

This might seem like an odd approach. Which I agree — it kinda is. But, for me — it works. I don’t see it as any different to the many autoimmune and Hashimoto’s Diet plans out there. I like this approach because it minimizes on the shopping and calls for fairly simple foods — sure the coconut oil and milk is a but out there. And, then of course the Kombucha.

But, it’s fairly budget friendly.

I am excited to see how this effects me. I am excited to see how it effects my energy levels, stamina and running. By keeping the foods simple and mostly unprocessed — I know I’ll see improvements.

Anyways — here is my list of 33 …

Meat, Poultry & Fish

Beef (1)

Chicken (2)

Pork (3)

Leafy Green Vegetables

Lettuce (4)

Spinach (5)

Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli (6)

Cabbage (7)

Root Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes (8)

Yams (9)

Squash (10)

Carrots (11)

Fruit

Grapefruit (12)

Oranges (13)

Lemons (14)

Peaches (15)

Apples (16)

Berries

Grapes (17)

Strawberries (18)

Blueberries (19)

Olives & High-Fat Fruits

Avocados (20)

Green Olives (21)

Fermented Foods

Sauerkraut (22)

Kimchi (23)

Rice & Grains

White Rice (24)

Herbs & Spices

Salt (25)

Pepper (26)

Fats & Oils

Coconut Oil (27)

Olive Oil (28)

Liquids & Drinks

Coconut Milk (29)

Kombucha (30)

Water (31)

Processed Foods

Isagenix IsaLean Shakes (32)

Larabar Bites (33)

Medications, Vitamins & Supplements

I am not counting my medications and supplements on my list of 33, but I feel like it’s important to share with you to help understand the whole picture.

90mg, Armour Thyroid
Zhou Thyroid Support
Vitamin D

Again, the goal for this diet is three-fold —

  1. Help temper my Hashimoto’s Disease and promote a healthy thyroid.
  2. Promote Weight-Loss and overall health.
  3. Promote creativity and ingenuity in my cooking.

I might tweak it a bit before Monday, But, I will periodically chime in throughout the process. Most likely weekly. I will be starting this officially on Monday, January 29th and go until Saturday, April 29th — which is three months. I will then assess the outcome, make a new list of 33 foods and go from there for another three months

Simple enough, right?

I’ll be posting more about this diet and outline soon. Stay tuned.

Keeping it all in the family …

I’ve been slowly getting a hang of this Hashimoto’s “thing” as of late. Transitioning into the new diet has been a work in progress. My doctor gave me a list of foods I should avoid and eat after my diagnosis. A good chunk of that list was avoiding gluten and dairy products.

And, I won’t lie — that’s been the hardest part. Actually, not so much gluten — because there are some pretty good gluten-free options these days. But, dairy free? Tough, tough, tough. It actually amazes me how many things do contain dairy in them — milk, cheese, butter, etc.

I can live without milk. Butter? Sure, if I have to. But, cheese? Um, yeaaaaah … I swear I’m comprised of like at least a quarter cheese. Living in a family full of Greeks, I grew up with a constant supply of Feta in our fridge. Then there’s my love of nachos and pizza — which consists of cheese. I feel like at times I could give Liz Lemon a run for her money on night cheese.

Needless to say, I love cheese.

I love it.

So when I went hunting for pizza last weekend, I found a gluten-free option WITH vegan cheese. I’d like to say it was good. But, yeah, not a fan. Which totally breaks my heart. Because pizza is my soulmate — and I feel like we’re losing that loving feeling.

But, that’s what I have been trying to focus on the past couple of weeks — just trying out foods that work for my diet and hopefully finding something I like. I was tempted to jump right back into a Whole30 or autoimmune diet, but if I’ve learned anything about dieting in the past — you’ve got to ease yourself into it.

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past month.

But, this past week my sister and mom were officially diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease as well. They’re going to a specialist that they’re paying a pretty penny for, who’s giving them a specialized diet to follow. It starts with a month long autoimmune reset diet that slowly adds back certain foods. The idea is to reset and then listen to your body and what helps or damages it.

Though I was planning on transitioning into my own autoimmune diet plan I found online — but, out of curiosity and intrigue I am planning on following their diet plan. Granted it’s not specific to me, but it’s pretty basic and easy to follow across the board.

The best way to describe the diet is a mixture of Whole30 — but a bit more strict. It cuts out your gluten, dairy, sugar, grains, a good portion of your high glycemic foods, eggs, nuts and pretty much every processed food you’d be tempted to eat. And, the focus in on whole unprocessed foods — veggies, low glycemic fruit — and even coconut products like coconut butter, yogurt and milk.

It’s legit.

After four weeks of this diet you then slowly add back in foods like eggs, certain fruits, grains and some nuts — basically going into an autoimmune diet plan (one that resembles what I was planning on originally doing). The idea is to figure out what the body is reacting to negatively and to also help correct a leaky gut — something that is apparently correlated with Hashimoto’s?

I’m not a doctor so don’t ask me what that correlation is. When my mom was explaining this, I just smiled and nodded my head like I understood.

Anyways, I could go straight into the autoimmune diet, but I want to try this “reset diet” for a couple reasons. One, it wouldn’t hurt. And, two, I’d like to help support my mom and sister in doing it within them. There’s strength in numbers, right?

I am excited for my sister to be doing this. She’s had difficult struggles with her thyroid over the years — through weight and pregnancies. It’s taken a toll on her and I can see that excitement of hope on her face that there is a solution to these problems she’s had. Something I can totally relate to.

I will blog a bit more about the diet next week. I might post the list of approved and unapproved foods. But, I will also be posting the autoimmune diet plan I am using once I go through these next four weeks.

Just cutting out what I have so far has made a difference to my energy levels as of late. My energy is not all over the place. I don’t have crashes as much as I used to. And, it’s been easier waking up in the morning for me.

But, what excites me about that — is that it will get better in time. Especially as I really zone in on the diet and specific foods. I can’t be any more optimistic about the future and what this year will hold in regards to my health, running and overall self.