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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Grocery Shopping Re-Learned

When is the last time you spent over $130 dollars at the grocery store? For me, it was 2 nights ago. I was swimming with a client today and I told her that I went shopping at Trader Joe's with my coach and she was like, "you needed to go with your coach? You know enough about food don't you? Why did you need him with you?". I answered her that I can always learn more, and honestly, I feel like I don't practice enough of what I preach.

Since I have trained with my coach, he has been strict with me as far as preparation of my foods, as well as the type of foods to get- fresh and ORGANIC. I had my own thoughts about organic- like it was all talk and too new agey for me. Oh, and not worth the money- being that the difference between regular and organic was not big enough for me to make a change. But, after my coach MADE me a few dinners and hammered the ORGANIC choices into me (and I started to feel a difference in my performance and see a difference in my body) I actually started to believe him. Because, after all, it is really easy to know the information, but sometimes you need that extra push in order to follow it.

At Trader Joe's, there are some distinct differences that I am adopting in order to eat-live-and feel better. Besides eating organic, these differences include:

1. Eating a bigger, better breakfast. I now have 2 choices for healthy breakfasts, which both include coffee (of my choice of course- my coach doesn't drink coffee, so he wouldn't know :) I eat either gluten-free Gorilla Munch or a cereal by the same brand with some Non-Fat Vanilla Almond milkn and a piece of fruit- 2nd choice is eggs and chicken sausage (which I just had for dinner) and some polenta. Both are balanced meals and will get my body prepared for the workouts it has ahead of it.

2. Getting nuts/peanut butter again is not bad. Im not gonna lie- before when I would get trail mix and/or PB at the store, it was too easy to take spoonfuls of it and/or handfulls and eat too many calories, for no reason except for to snack. My coach has laid out a plan for me for when to eat these snacks. For example, the almond butter is measured out and put on a rice cake with low sugar strawberry preserves. That is a perfect snack before a ride for me to eat. I add the single serving trail mix to my salads or eat a bag quickly before I go for my noontime run. I have found some discipline and portion control with this technique.

3. Limiting my alcohol and sweets. I did not buy any at the store- of either wine or chocolate. However, my coach said that it would be OK if I did decide to get some chocolate (some 85% cocoa/dark chocolate) which is lowest in sugar and tastes very good. I don't drink a lot anyway, but I did have a habit of once a week going out with my girlfriends and having a few beers each Friday night at the local brewery. However, I have stopped that- as my coach reminds me.."being an athlete can be lonely sometimes." Doesn't mean I dont go to the brewery- I just drink water now :)

These are just a few of the big changes I have adopted into my training life and I have noticed a huge difference in my performance. They are not super hard to do, I just needed some strict guidance and some solid reasoning behind the choices. I am positive that you can follow these tips as well and see a difference in your game.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

One Day At a Time

Above is a photo of my friend, Jason Smith, and I at a 6:30 am track session for our McDonald's crew. We work them out 2 x's a week at the Santa Barbara City College Track as part of a Corporate Fitness group that their managers encouraged close to a year ago this month. It has grown, and as a group of about 10-12 members, they have seen over 200 pounds total lost in that year and many lives changed.

I once was talking to a friend of mine who is a fireman and we were talking about another mutual friend who is a doctor. I mentioned to him that the doctor had an amazing life- young, successful, and worked to save lives each day. He reminded me that I get to do the same thing- in a better setting. I never really thought of what I do for a living as a way to "save lives," but in reality, I guess that is true to some extent. I often feel like I am in the need of a little saving, and my coach(es) have always been there to help me out of my funk and, sometimes, save me from dying... :)

Life can throw some gnarly things your way, and sometimes in my job, I am not always ready to hear what might come out of one of my client's mouths that day. In the last month, I have had a client's husband die, another client's husband be diagnosed with a fatal illness, and another client who is going in for a very serious surgery. I also have clients that are away in the Galapagos islands, a cruise in the Carribean, and a trip to Fiji. It is always a roller coaster of emotions and the hours can change from one emotion to the next, several times over the course of one day. I guess that is what makes my job so unique and, also, fast paced. However, at the end of the day- very exhausting.

So, as I am driving home tonight after working all day since 5:30am (granted, I took a break in the middle of my day to run 8 miles and swim 2 miles)...and as I sit here at my computer at 11pm this same night...I reflect on the day. I have talked to some amazing people- have met some new friends, and have grown again as an athlete, putting in some great time in the water and on a pretty hilly run course. I am fortunate to have my health and to be alive. I am happy to smile and talk to the people around me- for, as you may not know, everyone is fighting their own battle- some harder than others. Enjoy each breath and open your eyes to the things you may not have ever seen before, for you might be a hero to someone around you.

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!