The Year of You

learning to live without limits

The Island — June 23, 2017

The Island

It feels like forever since I’ve written anything. It has been a busy few weeks and the busyness of this summer  has just begun. Last week we spent the week on Anna Maria Island.  It is one of our favorite places to travel, and every time we visit we talk about retiring there. This year was our third trip to the island…the first one being ten years ago when Jason proposed. We love this place. The sunsets and sunrises are amazing, the island has an awesome laid back vibe (nothing overly developed or commercial), the water is clear and the beaches are perfection. If we didn’t have a family rule of not traveling to the same place every year, we would definitely vacation on AMI every single year.

The day after we got back from AMI, we headed up north for one of the many weddings we have this year.  2017 is the year of weddings for Jason and I with five of our close friends getting hitched before the end of the year. This past weekend we danced our butts off at the absolutely beautiful wedding of Jill and Rich. Jill and I met in college and immediately became friends and ultimately ended up living together for the next three years. I love this girl and probably wouldn’t have survived college without her.  I couldn’t be happier for her and the beautiful life she is starting with Rich.

In two short weeks we head back north for the wedding of Justin and April.  Jason is in this wedding and has known both Justin and April since he started college. There is no doubt in my mind that this wedding will also be a ridiculously good time. Hopefully my dance pants are wrinkle free and ready to go.

Until next time…


Beach, Please! — June 6, 2017

Beach, Please!

Next week we leave for Florida and I have been busy doing everything that goes along with traveling with children which mostly means creating endless lists and packing my entire house only to unpack it all in one week’s time. Aside from the packing, I am so looking forward to this. I’m sure most people can relate, but there is just something about being close to the ocean that just feels right plus the quality time with my family is so needed.  While on vacation, I make sure to keep-up with my exercise and nutrition just as I would if I were home. I am looking forward to beach and poolside workouts like the one below. I plan to give this one a try next week, and you should too. Head outside, get some Vitamin D and get your heart rate up. Win Win.

Beach/Outdoor Workout

Start by marking your “Down and Back”. The original workout says to mark the start and end of 30 large steps, but you can increase or decrease the steps based on your preference.

Circuit 1 Circuit 2 Circuit 3 (repeat of Circuit 1 but halved)
Each exercise below (with the exception of the burpees) is 2 down and backs  Complete Circuit 2 twice. Down and back exercises are noted everything else is stationary. Each exercise below (with the exception of the burpees) is 1 down and back
Jog 10 Push-ups Jog
High Knees 30 sec plank hold High Knees
Butt Kickers 20 Plyo Squats Butt Kickers
Sprint Walking Lunges (2x Down and Back) Sprint
10 Burpees Bear Crawl (2x Down and Back) 10 Burpees
Lateral Shuffle 30 sec plank hold Lateral Shuffle
Sprint 50 Jumping Jacks Sprint
10 Burpees Crab Walk (2x Down and Balk) 10 Burpees
High Knees 20 Plyo Squats High Knees
Butt Kickers 30 Mountain Climbers Butt Kickers
Jog 10 Push-ups Jog
Sprint 50 Jumping Jacks Sprint
Move to Circuit 2 Repeat Circuit 2. Once completed twice, move to Circuit 3 Finished!

So what am I obsessing over this week?

Kombucha: When I cleaned-up my diet last year, I developed new food intolerances. I started experiencing extreme burning in my gut and was bloated nearly every evening. I thought this was just what it was like to eat healthy. After a visit to my doctor, blood work and a CT scan (things got pretty serious for a minute) they found nothing, but I was advised to stop eating brussel sprouts. Weird, right? The doctor didnt really tell me why, but the more research I did and through trial and error with my nutrition, I found that my gut works best on a low FODMAP diet. Essentially there are certain foods that just don’t absorb right in my gut leading to the bloating and burning pain that I would experience. These foods include brussel sprouts, broccoli, onions, beans, apples, and dairy (plus many more foods). This is why I have had to cut back on foods that are typically viewed as healthy…they just don’t work for me. An onion can take me down for several hours.

I was talking with a co-worker about my low FODMAP diet, and we got on the topic of Kombucha (Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that is on the list of things to try if you have a low FODMAP diet.). I’ve wanted to try it, but it is so darn expensive to buy…$3 for a regular sized bottle that you would drink in one sitting, no thank you. During this conversation, she mentioned that she brews her own Kombucha. I looked at her like she was crazy, but after talking to her and doing a little research, it is really super easy and inexpensive to brew your own Kombucha. The only thing that makes this brew process a bit strange and maybe even “gag worthy” is that you need a living organism called a SCOBY to brew Kombucha. A scoby looks like a flat mushroom head that is slimy and just gross looking. I almost called the whole thing off when I saw it. Oddly enough you can buy one on Amazon, further validating the fact that you can literally buy anything on Amazon. The SCOBY arrived over the weekend, and I started my first batch on Sunday. Once you get past the disgusting aspect of the SCOBY, the brew process is super simple. I recommend checking out the website Cultures For Health to get more information and directions. I’ll let you know how it goes in about 2 weeks.

The Chalene Show Podcast Episodes 239 and 240: I know I discussed podcasts last week, but during my long run on Saturday I listened to episodes 239 and 240 of the Chalene Show as she interviewed Dr. Zach Bush. This nearly two hour interview was amazing and touched on a wide variety of health and wellness topics that all stem from gut health and what we put in our bodies as well as the environments we live in. I highly recommend checking these out. It talks about the connection between the gut and disease, autism, food intolerances, anxiety and the list goes on and on. These are two episodes that I plan to listen to again on my next long run…they were that good.

Experia Running Socks: Jason and I have been increasing our mileage the last few months, and we quickly realized that we needed to upgrade our footwear. We are still waiting (and researching) to buy better running shoes, but we did purchase Experia running socks based on a recommendation from a close friend who also runs. These socks have removed the toe tingling I was experiencing and actually made me realize that it wasn’t my shoes that were bothering my feet; it was my crappy regular socks. I didn’t believe the hype about having specialized running socks, but now I do. These have made a huge difference.



Jump Into The Weekend — June 2, 2017

Jump Into The Weekend

I’ve been working on a post on routines and habits this week but it isn’t ready. It’s tricky to find the right balance of helpful and preachy, and I haven’t found that balance yet.  The question of what would be interesting to someone else versus what is me just writing about myself is constantly running through my mind. You would be amazed at how many drafts I go through. So instead, I’ve included an awesome workout that was shared with me recently. I plan to do this one today. I’ve also included my weekly obsessions below. I ask that you get outside this weekend and enjoy what is in front of you and all around you. It is absolutely beautiful out. Make the most of the weekend and find time to do something that you would really enjoy. It’s summer (unofficially)!

Jump Rope Workout:

What you need: Jump rope, set of heavy (what you would consider your heavy) dumbbells, access to an assisted pull-up machine or pull-up bar…and a smiling face 🙂

Work through each round before moving to the next.

[Update– while completing this workout I made the following adjustments and would recommend these to make it a little harder. First, do a minimum of 50 jump ropes but don’t stop until you fail (i.e. Trip yourself with the rope). Second, do 12 reps of each exercise instead of the gradual reduction per set. Finally, do four sets per round instead of three. While the workout was fun (I forgot how much i love to jump rope), I think it needed a little more.]

Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes
12 Weighted Squats 12 Pull Ups 12 Dead Lifts 12 Plyo Lunges/leg
12 Push-ups 12 Plank Rows/arm 12 Shoulder Press 12 Hanging Knee Raises
12 Bicep Curls
50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes
10 Weighted Squats 10 Pull Ups 10 Dead Lifts 10 Plyo Lunges/leg
10 Push-ups 10 Plank Rows/arm 10 Shoulder Press 10 Hanging Knee Raises
10 Bicep Curls
50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes 50 Jump Ropes
8 Weighted Squats 8 Pull Ups 8 Dead Lifts 8 Plyo Lunges/leg
8 Push-ups 8 Plank Rows/arm 8 Shoulder Press 8 Hanging Knee Raises
8 Bicep Curls

So what am I obsessing over this week?

Podcasts: I was late to the Podcast scene.  I started listening to podcasts about a year ago and have been hooked ever since. I find listening to podcasts during my morning commute really gets my brain going. I’ve also started listening to podcasts when I run on the weekends to distract my mind from what my body is doing. A few good podcasts will get you through eight to ten miles. Here are a few of my favorite podcasts:

For one time enjoyment:

Missing Richard Simmons: I know what you are thinking and I thought the same, but I was hooked after the first episode. This really is an interesting story.

For continual enjoyment:

Planet Money and How I Built This: These are my top two NPR podcasts. NPR podcasts are my staples.

The Chalene Show: I love Chalene. She is focused on health and wellness and all things to better yourself and your life.

More Perfect: This is my all-time favorite podcast, but there were only a few episodes that aired last summer. It is focused on the Supreme Court, and just really well done. I stay subscribed hoping that one day a new episode will appear. Fingers crossed that this happens.

Others that I subscribe to include The Tim Ferriss Show, The Ultimate Health Podcast (but I really can’t stand the guy’s voice), Grammar Girl, and Where Should We Begin with Esther Perel (which isn’t out until October, but I am obsessed with this woman, her life and her work. I find her fascinating. Maybe she will make next week’s obsession list).

Setting Monthly Goals: Last year I set out to complete a competitive 5k each month. This year I aimed for balance but have secretly been pursuing monthly goals…maybe not so secretly. I believe in having something to work towards…something to keep me motivated. Breaking it down into more manageable pieces (such as months) helps to keep me focused. Goals that are too large can be daunting and seem impossible. This month my goal is to run a consecutive 10 miles. It looks like tomorrow might be the day it happens. [Update June 6, 2017: I completed the 10 mile goal on Saturday. It was the warmest day so far and the last two miles were questionable if I would make it, but I did. I was determined.]

Popsocket: I am obsessed with this thing. If you have no idea what I am talking about check out the link below from Amazon. I used to drop my phone all of the time, but this thing has helped me plus my snapchat selfie game has improved. Added benefit, you can use the popsocket as a kickstand for your phone. I love it, and don’t know how I lived so long without it.

Link to Popsocket on Amazon

Have an awesome weekend!