Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Moment of Rest is NOT a Moment of Weakness

Hey there! Happy October! We are well on our way now. Although, when I changed my calendar today at work, this month’s photo is a beautiful beach scene. Go figure, it’s like someone is teasing me!

I do enjoy the warm months of summer; however, fall is always so refreshing to me. I am always reminded of new beginnings and fresh starts with this season and I see it as a perfect time to set new goals and aspirations.

My first goal is going to be finding peace with rest.

I admit, I have a difficult time slowing down and I almost see it as a weakness rather than a necessity in a healthy lifestyle. When I was training for my ½ marathon, I was constantly putting my body in a state of exertion and energy by running for more than 30 miles a week. Although this time was extremely gratifying and beneficial in developing my body to a state of incredible physical ability, I was also putting a great level of stress on it as well. Now that my accomplishment has been met, it is time to give my body the rest that is deserves. Truth be told, this was hard for me to face for the first few weeks after the race. I was so programmed to put in the miles and hard work, that backing down just seemed like I would loose everything I had gained. I will not lie, I pushed myself when I shouldn’t have and as a result, my body gave up. Instead of thanking it with rest for allowing me to complete the considerable task I set out for, I only put more stress on myself, and as a result, my body retaliated. I am entirely convinced that the reason behind my illness is a result of poor recovery.

Sometimes, we become so conditioned to believe that we are capable of doing more than we really should. I love running, but I am beginning to realize that overtraining is not good for my body or well being. If I want to continue to run for years to come, I need to learn how to practice balance in this area of my life. I admit, I definitely have that “All or Nothing” mentality with so many facets of my life, so needless to say, running would be no different.

Being sick this past week has really shown me that resting your body is just as important as working it in the big picture of a healthy lifestyle. I have also noticed that I have been experiencing some pain in my knees, which is something I had never experienced while training. This should be a HUGE caution sign for me to take it easy if I want to avoid any serious injuries. I still love running and I believe I always will.

I still plan on running but I need to understand that I don’t need to be running remarkable distances during all times of my life. I also love other forms of fitness, like hiking, biking, Tae-bo, Pilates, Yoga and strength training. Now, I can focus on incorporating other interests rather than just relying on pounding pavement.

So this is my goal; giving thanks to my body with rest. I still plan on running, but I am going to focus on running for enjoyment rather than pushing myself to its limits. This means, lighter, slower paced runs and less miles. I also want to incorporate more cross-training actives and set goals within these new forms. I’m also planning on doing some light racing, with a couple 5k’s and maybe a 10k. I do want to run another ½ or possibly even a marathon again; however, I will never get there if I don’t embrace a period of respite. Most importantly, I need to remember, admitting this does not weaken me; it only makes me realize the ultimate reasons why I choose to live a healthy life- for the emotional and nourishing fulfillment of overall wellness and happiness.

Okay, now that I have that off my chest, time to share some of attractive dishes of the day…

I love thinking of new fruit and yogurt combinations and truth be told, I often make these decisions based on how beautiful I think it will look all together. (Yes, I full believe that it tastes so much better if it looks pretty)

Diced Plum, Kiwi and Blackberries with Vanilla Chobani, Kashi Heart to Heart and Natures Path Granola (also contained flax and chia seeds for optimum nutritional benefits)

Wraps are also quite attractive. This one contained spinach, hummus, veggie burger, green pepper and tomato with some Dijon.

And now, for the grand finale...

Toly has been working late all week, and although I miss him terribily, it has been a nice excuse to get my creative juices really flowing in the kitchen.

I love when I can "create" an entire recipe just by placing ideas of falvors in my head and seeing how well they combine. My favorite kind of cooking is just simply throwing so many different ingredients and flavors into one and coming out with a sensational product.

And this one really did turn out sensational!

Stir Fried Chicken Sausage, Brussle Sprouts and Broccoli in a Spicy Buffalo sauce over Roasted Mashed Butternut Squash

Aside from being a mouthfull, this was actually so simple. All I did was roast some butternut squash with salt, pepper and smoked paprika for about 30 min. While that was roasting, I stir fried the veggies and chicken sausage until seared and tender and then added the sauce and fresh spinach. The buffalo sauce was a mixture of hot sauce and honey mustard with just a tad of chicken broth.
Once the squash was done, I mashed it with some almond milk and layered my spicy veggies on top. Lastly, a crumbe of goat cheese and this turned into pure magic.

I promise you, this was one of the best combos I have come up with yet! Trust me, and if you don't beleive me, try it yourself!

Finishing touches to this magnificant meal were a little greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey mustard. With the last slice of pumpkin cornbread (oh how I will miss you pumpkin cornbread) and blackberry jam.

And by the way, if I haven't said this before, adding a little pumpkin to your corn bread mix will change your life! It's unbeleiveable I tell you!
Just to prove that leftovers make the very best lunches the next day....
Here is a shot of my leftover salad for tomorrow's lunch, which has just a little of everything leftover from most of my dinners this week.

Roasted veggies, BBQ tofu, Pumpkin Cornbread croutons and most of the remains of the raw veggies in my frige.
I love these Clean the Fridge Salads at the end of the week. Perfect way to prep for a grocery trip on the weekend.
I am so happy that tomorrow is Friday. Toly and I are going to try one last time to go on our romantic dinner date at Devons. We really need a night out because it has been a rather rough week for the both of us.
Now, it's time to catch up on your lives and get ready for Greys.
Hope your weeks are winding down nicely.


  1. oh my gosh- your dinner looks incredible! I want to try that so bad.

    I hear ya on the rest thing- I do find it very difficult to STOP. The changes I discussed in the end of my post tonight relate to me making some major schedule changes so I'm not so go go go all the time. I'm getting exhausted!

  2. Howdy friend. So sorry I missed your earlier posts this week. I hope you are getting healthy! I am recovering from a cold too. It's THAT time of year. Boo.

    Thought you'd like to know I had an interview in Hburg Tuesday. ;)

  3. Amen for Tomorrow being Friday! Enjoy your weekend!

  4. I feel you on rest and living up to "shoulds" and always feeling like we should be doing something, doing more. Sometimes I've wondered if I've struggled with a job search/ finding a career for so long because God's trying to get me to actually chill and stop placing all these "shoulds" on myself.

  5. Nor is it a moment of laziness! This is something I struggle with too a great deal Lauren! So I know exactly how you feel and what you're going through. :)

    Love the meals especially that stir fry! YUM!

  6. Once you're in a mindset of go, go, go, it's hard to take a moment to catch your breath. Taking time to relax can be tricky but it's definitly worth it. Good luck with balancing it all out!

    I am in love with that roasted veggie, tofu, pumpkin cornbread meal - YUM! I'll take any leftovers that you don't eat ;)

  7. This was a great post! I can totally relate to what you said about pushing your body until it pushes back. Once I've reached a peak with my goals, it is so hard to scale back! My hubby is going out of town next week, and I sad (boo!), but also excited to make "just for me" dinners, and I think I'll try to put this one on the list. Hope you get that romantic dinner and a lovely weekend, too. xoxo

  8. I learned the hard way that cross training is so important for running and overall fitness. I used to get about 3-5 hours of sleep a night EVERY night in high school--doing way too many activities and schoolwork. I didn't realize just how important sleep was until I started getting 8 hours everyday. It's especially important when working out!

    I agree with you, it seems like with society being so fast paced these days, we cut too many corners (a biggie=rest) and eventually our bodies NEED a break. Sickness is never a good thing but I"m glad something good came of it for you!

  9. I hear ya! It's so hard to find balance in every area of life ... and then the guilty feeling when I'm not doing something I thought I should do, etc. And you are very right ... we need rest and we should not feel a bit guilty about it!

  10. That dinner is amazing..Do you have leftovers?? ;p