What Goes Around Comes Around

Everyone loves a comeback story.

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What a difference a year makes.  Imagine all the possibilities and all the experiences that can occur within 365 days.  I guess even more considering we just had a leap day.  This past year was a personal challenge for me, and while we all face challenges on a daily (sometimes even hourly) basis, it was a year that really tested my values and my passions.  I spent much of this past calendar year working two positions at work, and although I am not in a position to complain about financial stability, the gift of employment, and colleagues who helped keep me sane, it was a real struggle.  I am a perfectionist, sometimes to a fault, so not being able to give 100% to either job upset my equilibrium, and ultimately forced me to realize that I had to prioritize.  Unfortunately that meant giving up something I love – writing.  My blogosphere wasn’t the only thing to be left by the wayside, but at that time it wasn’t adding to my life.  Rather, it became a burden, an additional obligation, and that’s never what this platform was meant to be for me.  I knew it wouldn’t be a permanent change, yet I had to reach a point where I had the time to dedicate and the satisfaction of writing and sharing my thoughts and experiences.  Long story short, I think I am back.

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The gorgeous estate at Robert Mondavi. My favorites, however, were Quintessa and Schramsberg!

Many things have changed over the last eight months since my abrupt absence.  I am no longer working two jobs (HOORAY!!!), the hubs and I travelled to Napa, Maui, Las Vegas, Vail, and Naples, Florida, we kept on running (my love of running returned full-force this past summer), I completed 16 races in 2015, and this past weekend I completed my 10th half marathon with That Dam Run Half Marathon (and had my best official time of 2:09:18!!).  I am finally sub 10-minute miles on a regular basis, and running has never felt so good.  The summer was a whirlwind of visitors, yoga, sunshine and celebrating engagements and weddings.  Fall settled in

There's nothing better than a Maui sunset. Absolutely nothing.
There’s nothing better than a Maui sunset. Absolutely nothing.

nicely, and the winter so far has been beautiful and mild.  I’ve been baking like crazy (shocker), and have taken up photography (still a lot to learn but I am loving it so far).  The biggest news, I think, is that I officially signed up for my first ever MARATHON! There, I said it, the “M” word.

It’s been three years since I began my running journey, and I don’t know if I ever thought to myself when I started, “Hey there self, let’s start running so we can eventually run a marathon.”  But what motivated runner doesn’t at least once consider the possibility?  After two of my running inspirations (including my best friend Ms. BakeNBurn) ran the Marine Corps Marathon this past October, I knew it was only a matter of time before I succumbed.  During the month of December I simply couldn’t stop thinking about it, and finally, by mid-January, I committed.  I will be running the Colfax Marathon, Denver’s (currently) only marathon, on May 15th!

Get ready Colfax! This year I am coming for you with full force!
Get ready Colfax! This year I am coming for you with full force!

 

So now comes the fun part, the training plan.  My initial plan was a bit, well, ambitious.  After consulting my experienced friends and reading as much as I could find, I am settled halfway into my 18 week training plan.  My typical week consists of three runs during the week (usually between 3 and 4 miles), three yoga sculpt classes for cross training and leg work, one Zumba class for funsies, and a long weekend run.  I have incorporated a number of races throughout this time to keep me on track and in race day mode.  At this point I have run 15 miles, with 16 planned for this upcoming weekend.  Below are my weekly totals for the first eight weeks of my training plan:

Date (Monday) Week Total Miles
1/11/2016 1 22.23
1/18/2016 2 22.61
1/25/2016 3 23.53
2/1/2016 4 19.19
2/8/2016 5 13.27
2/15/2016 6 36.32
2/22/2016 7 24.27
2/29/2016 8 27.91
Two of the amazing women and runners I met through Instagram - also both signed up for Colfax!
Two of the amazing women and runners I met through Instagram – also both signed up for Colfax!

Over the past few years I have connected with some amazing people through the blog, Instagram, Facebook, etc. and have been lucky enough to not only meet them, but also train with them.  I am constantly amazed with the connections you can make and how those connections are made.  Thankfully there are so many people with a world of experiences, suggestions, and incredible stories to help me along this journey.  My biggest supporter, however, has been my husband. He didn’t even hesitate when I told him I wanted to sign up. He simply looked at me and said, “Well then, sign me up too.”

This guy keeps me going. I am so blessed to have the best hubby and training partner!
This guy keeps me going. I am so blessed to have the best hubby and training partner! (The handsome one, not the beaver!)

So here’s my hope, for myself and for this blog: to keep writing, to chronicle these experiences, to take whatever inspiration I can find, and to keep this party going.  Who’s with me?

The Land of Sunshine and Gold: Weekend in Vail

Is summer really over?  It doesn’t feel like it here in Denver.  Supposedly yesterday was the first day of autumn, and although I hung my autumn wreaths on my front doors, and switched out my summer scented candles for those of cinnamon and spice, it still doesn’t quite feel like fall.  To get more in the spirit of the season, however, the hubby and I spent the weekend in Vail with our dear friends Peter and Ade, at Peter’s parents’ home.  Nestled in the valley, East Vail is truly picturesque mountain living.  Surrounded by towering mountain sides covered in now-golden aspens and evergreens, it is a perfect escape from the hustle of Denver.

We left around 4pm on Friday afternoon and battled a little traffic to get to the home of Betsy and Arlen, Peter’s folks, around 6pm.  We beat our friends, but had a great time catching up with their family (they are very much our home away from home), drinking wine, and smelling the delicious home cooking wafting from the kitchen.  Peter and Ade arrived about an hour later, and we all sat down for a great dinner, chatted about everything going on, and planned the next day’s activities.  Ade and I planned on doing a substantial hike, while the gents were going to play golf at Red Sky Ranch and Golf Club (one of the most stunning courses imaginable).  Betsy had done a hike a few days prior on the Bighorn trail, about 10 miles total from where we were staying, and this would be prime time for the changing aspens.  With that decided, we finished the night with delicious chocolate mousse, and hit the hay.

The next morning we got started around 8am with a hearty breakfast and we ready to go for the hike around 9:30am.  It was in every way the perfect day for this hike: the sun was shining, barely a cloud in the sky, high of 72 degrees… all around ideal.  The trek up to the “top” of the trail (you could make this hike longer by connecting to the Gore Creek trail for about a 6-8 hours round-trip hike), was steep in a few sections, but I could feel it more given I am hiking at an even higher elevation than normal.  The five miles up from the house felt like they took forever, and for Ade and I, both recovering from a cold, seemed fairly slow in spots, but that allowed us opportunities for amazing pictures and taking in the view.

Perfect day for a hike.
Perfect day for a hike.
The aspens were amazing. I'd never seen them like this!
The aspens were amazing. I’d never seen them like this!
This trail followed a stream throughout, and boy was that some clear water!
This trail followed a stream throughout, and boy was that some clear water!
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We were going up for quite a while…
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Hello beautiful golden aspens!
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Straight up snow melt: cold, clear and refreshing.

By the time we reached the cabin, which everyone on the trail was using as a landmark, we reached 10,788 feet in elevation and hiked a little over 4 miles from the trail head.  The infamous cabin was very old and on the verge of collapse, but as the Forest Service website said, it could be used for hikers as shelter during inclement weather.  Thankfully, no such weather occurred during our hike.  Ade and I walked around it and crossed the stream to sit at the base of the peaks to the right of the cabin.  We brought grapes and nuts to snack on while we chatted and basked in the gloriousness of this perfect day.

Some of the rock fields on this hike were intense.
Some of the rock fields on this hike were intense.
"The hills are alive" anyone?
“The hills are alive” anyone?

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So beautiful it looks fake.
So beautiful it looks fake.

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This is where we sat and had our snacks.  Doesn't suck.
This is where we sat and had our snacks. Doesn’t suck.
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She could totally be an outdoors sports model.
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I could swear I’ve seen this in a magazine…
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Aspens as far as the eye can see!
I was tempted to never leave.
I was tempted to never leave.

We ventured back down, taking significantly less time to get back, and started chatting with a local who lives at the base of the trail and has hiked all of the 14-ers in Colorado at least once, if not twice.  I was wowed, not having hiked a single one… yet!  My goal for next summer, needless to say.  After returning home, and following a most delightful shower, we made a quick salad lunch and went for an early evening yoga class at the East Vail Racquet Club.  We got home, and shortly afterwards our men arrived, and we ended the evening with steaks, grilled veggies, and oven roasted potatoes.

The next day was cloudy and rainy, so rather than a short morning hike, we decided to hit the road around noon and stop by the outlets in Silverthorne on our way back to Denver and Boulder.  I will never say no to outlet shopping, and we

What's a post without a picture of my pup?
What’s a post without a picture of my pup?

even got great items for the hubs (he was so excited about the deals we got, I may have converted him to the dark side…).  Before reaching home, we picked up our pup from my hubby’s parents and then got back, made a great dinner, watched the Bronco’s game (alas…) and called it a day!

Thankfully this week I am finally back into the routine of work and workouts.  This week kicked off the LacyFit Fall Fitness Challenge (of which I am SO excited, more on this later), and I finally feel like I have regained my sense of normalcy post-vacation.  Maybe every vacation should end with another vacation!  This weekend should be a fun one for spending it all at home, given we have dinner plans on Friday and Saturday!  Friday the hubs and I are getting dinner with his folks at a steakhouse I haven’t yet tried in Denver, Grace and Guard.  Saturday we will meet up with our foodie friends Scott and Danielle (our typical Foodie Friday couple, but on Saturday, oh my!) for dinner at Lower48 Kitchen.  We’ll definitely fit in some long runs, given that our first half marathon of the season is only 25 days away (eek!).  But for now, let’s just get past Wednesday!

What are your favorite signs of autumn?  Where do you go for an easy weekend getaway?  What are your weekend plans (it’s never to early to think about the weekend)?

Post Vacation… Vacation? UK Trip Part I

You know that feeling you get after an incredible, phenomenal, epic vacation?  It’s like a punch in the gut type of sensation when you return to reality (especially as an adult… with responsibilities).  Well I am trying my hardest to avoid that feeling by following up my adventures through the British Isles (and Scotland is still part of the UK!) with a mini mountain retreat.  This afternoon the hubby and I will be making the drive up to Vail to stay with our friends and their folks (thank you, Betsy!) for a relaxing little getaway weekend.  I adore Colorado in the “fall,” which is really like a two week whirlwind of beauty in this state, so I finally really get to take advantage of it!

I do feel that I should finally comment about the amazing holiday the hubs and I were able to take in England and Scotland.  About six years ago I had the wonderful opportunity to study abroad with ten other students in the United Kingdom.  We lived in London, but traveled to numerous other parts of the country over a month long excursion.  My husband has not really left the country, except to go to Canada and Turks and Caicos (for Mrs. BakeNBurn’s wedding!), so for years we have been planning this trip to the UK, knowing it’d be a great gateway to European travel.  Being the anglophile I am, I could not wait.

We left on Saturday, August 30th to begin our 14 hour journey to London.  We flew from Denver to Dulles, outside of Washington DC, and then took a red-eye to Heathrow.  We arrived in London around 10am local time (after both of our flights arrived EARLY – when does that happen??), after maybe 2 hours of sleep… but we gathered ourselves, made our way to our charming hotel north of Hyde Park, cleaned up and hit the London streets.  We walked first through Hyde Park southeast toward Buckingham Palace.  Of course we took some obligatory photos of the palace and the guards.  We then followed the Princess Diana Memorial path towards Westminster Abbey and the Westminster Palace (the Parliament building).  We crossed the Thames and meandered along the bank for some time through a festival taking place, then crossed back over into Charring Cross, worked our way to Trafalgar Square, and stopped for a quick bite at one of my favorite chains, Pret a Manger (yum!).  We had walked this whole way, got our bearings, and appreciated the absolute gorgeousness of the day.

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Gates to Buckingham Palace.
Necessary photo op in a red telephone booth!
Necessary photo op in a red telephone booth!
Big Ben and the Queen's Clock Tower.
Big Ben and the Queen’s Clock Tower.
Beautiful day wandering around the Parliament building.
Beautiful day wandering around the Parliament building.
The ever-beautiful Westminster Abbey!
The ever-beautiful Westminster Abbey!

We ended the day by taking the Tube back to Paddington, one of the two conveniently located Tube stops, and had a filling pub dinner at the Pride of Paddington.  Of course I ordered fish and chips and my first Bulmers of the trip.  Let me tell you, the ciders of America will never compare, even the imported Magners and Strongbow are bottled in the US, and the essence of true cider is lost.  I will step off my soap box, but just know, if you go to the UK and want a great cider, Bulmers is a true delight.

Really, try a Bulmers.  SO GOOD.
Really, try a Bulmers. SO GOOD.

The next day we arose, after a lengthy night’s sleep, to our only rainy day of the entire trip.  We decided it was the perfect morning to spend at the British Museum.  We took the Tube to Tottenham Court Road and wandered towards the

Who doesn't love a rainy day at the British Museum?
Who doesn’t love a rainy day at the British Museum?

beautiful wrought iron gates of the museum entrance.  We made our way through ancient Greece and Rome, ancient Egypt and Cleopatra, and ancient China, with a good long look at the Rosetta Stone and the Pantheon freezes.  Occupying much of the morning, we found a quaint little eatery, Salt and Pepper, to grab a sandwich and cup of tea.  I realized the Brits love sandwiches and toast.  I haven’t had that much bread in a long time.

 

Glass ceiling surrounding the round reading room.
Glass ceiling surrounding the round reading room.
Freeze from the Pantheon in Greece.
Freeze from the Pantheon in Greece.
The incredible Rosetta Stone.
The incredible Rosetta Stone.
Moai!!
Moai!!

That evening we had dinner at a restaurant recommended by the friends we are visiting this weekend: The Gay Hussar.  It’s a tiny, obscure, and nondescript Hungarian restaurant on Greek Street full of history, political drama, and some of the best caricatures I have ever seen!  After an incredibly delicious dinner, we strolled down the street to the Queen’s Theatre for a show of Les Miserables.  Overall, it was a fantastic start to our trip.

The hubby's first live performance of Les Mis!
The hubby’s first live performance of Les Mis!

On that note, I must ready myself for the weekend ahead.  I anticipate a lot of R&R mixed with hiking, running, and enjoyment of this beautiful state in which I live.  Cheers!

 

Let the Journey Begin!

I’m sitting in the Denver International airport counting down the minutes until we board the plane for the first leg of our journey to England and Scotland. First the hubs and I fly to Dulles, our old airport stomping grounds from our DC days, and await our flight to Heathrow. It’ll be a long day of traveling, but I am just too thrilled to care!

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We will arrive in London around 10:15am on Sunday, August 31st, and after dropping off our items at the hotel, plan to spend the day wandering the city, exploring some of my favorite places, and reacquainting ourselves with our new temporary home. Pictures and adventures to follow. But for now, Bon voyage!!!

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Making the Most of It: Pre-Trip Festivities!

Another amazing Colorado weekend in the books.  With my trip to the United Kingdom a matter of FOUR days away, I am trying to make the most of my last week in Colorado before we leave.  Over the weekend, other than prepping for our impending travels, the hubs and I were busy hosting the in-laws for a delectable home cooked meal, getting in some miles in preparation for our fall races, and I met up with some local sorority sisters for a hike and an unexpected adventure.

Saturday started off with a nice five mile run with the hubs, followed by necessary errands to prepare for our trip.  With all of the changes we have made in our diet and regular exercise routine, my hubby has lost quite a bit of weight.  It was definitely time, possibly overdue, to get him some new duds to show off his svelte figure.  Obviously we want to look our best abroad, and London is a classy city, so it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of updating his wardrobe.  Besides, I love shopping for him… there’s something so enjoyable about dressing men!

That evening we hosted my in-laws for a home cooked meal as a thank you for taking care of our adorable pup, Rocco, while we’re away.  We’ve

I cannot begin to express how much I am going to miss my puppy boy!
I cannot begin to express how much I am going to miss my puppy boy!

had our puppy for just over a year and have never left him for more than 4 days.  This is going to be a big switch for us, and I can already tell I am going to have separation anxiety.  Luckily my in-laws also have a Chihuahua who is our pup’s best friend in the whole world.  Something tells me this will be a vacation for Rocco too.  On the menu for the evening was a delicious cheese plate with Manchego and Pecorino cheeses, rosemary olive oil crisps and crostini from Whole Foods, and black seedless grapes.  With this in mind, the hubs and I decided to go Italian.

We prepared homemade pork meatballs, which we seasoned ourselves, freshly made creamy polenta (my first time making it!), and topped with homemade San Marzano tomato sauce, Parmigiano-Reggiano and arugula.  I am a bad blogger and didn’t take a picture of the awesomeness.  The recipe was based off of a dish I used to order at my favorite little Italian restaurant in Boulder, Radda Trattoria.  The hubs and I were so spoiled because this restaurant was just across the street from our townhome, so it became a restaurant staple.  The meal is called Polpette e Polenta, and is too delicious for words.  Without fail, this was always what I ordered.  It’s also this restaurant where I first had a Martini Basilico, which my hubby has beautifully been able to recreate at home (YAY!).  We finished the meal with my mother-in-law’s homemade peach bourbon upside down cake.  Overall, it was a phenomenal meal.

Another perfect day for a hike!
Another perfect day for a hike!

The next morning I met up with two local sorority sister for a Sunday morning hike.  We drove west towards Morrison, the same place I had hike the weekend before, but this time we went to a trail on the opposite side of Red Rocks amphitheater.  The trailhead, Mt. Falcon, takes two paths.  One, the Castle Trail, is mountain biker friendly, so a number of adventurists passed us on the trail, impressively navigating the terrain on bike.  At the first summit, you can see beautiful vistas of the valley below and the Denver skyline in the distance.  Although we decided not to go to the top of Mt. Falcon, for timing reasons, we took the Turkey Trot trail around the back side of the foothill, which allowed for amazing views and a gorgeous woodsy atmosphere.

My hiking buddies, Kaitlin and Christie!
My hiking buddies, Kaitlin and Christie!
The Turkey Trot trail took us through some beautiful woodsy paths.
The Turkey Trot trail took us through some beautiful woodsy paths.
Love these views!
Love these views!
We found Red Rocks!
We found Red Rocks!

After hiking, we drove to downtown Golden for lunch.  We sat on the back patio of the Buffalo Rose bar and grill, and quickly realized we were in the middle of the USA Pro Challenge cycling race.  The main street of Golden was lined with spectators trying to catch a glimpse.  I’d never seen a cycling race in person, so when the hordes of cyclists passed a dizzying speeds, followed closely by pace cars, I was pretty excited.

Definitely an unexpected surprise for our day!
Definitely an unexpected surprise for our day!  Source

Shortly afterwards we tried to leave Golden, and realized the city was shut down for the race.  We managed to cross into the entrance to the Coors factory, and the guard at the gate allowed us to drive through their property

Fort Keg, it's a pretty formidable structure.
Fort Keg, it’s a pretty formidable structure.

to get back to the highway.  Having done the Coors factory tour four times now, I had absolutely no idea how HUGE the factory is.  We drove for quite some time through service roads connecting the facility together, interspersed with Coors’ own railway system.  It was impressive.  Then we saw the castle of kegs, and that was incredible.  I doubt they were full (that would not live up to the Coors cold-brewed standard), but it definitely made me wonder how much beer could fill all of them…  It was in every way a memorable day!

Yeah, not sure we really should have been allowed back here... oh well!
Yeah, not sure we really should have been allowed back here… oh well!
The sunsets along my run are always so beautiful!
The sunsets along my run are always so beautiful!

This week, interspersed with packing, I have jam-packed in fun events and last-minute get-togethers.  Yesterday I fit in a 5K run in preparation for the Esprit de She 10K this Thursday.  The sunset was stunning, and the weather perfection (finally).  Hello 65º!  I hope Thursday night has similar weather.  Tonight, after Zumba, I am stopping by the Esprit de She Packet Pickup Party at the Athleta shop in Denver’s Cherry Creek area.  Not only can I get my bib, but as a participant we also get 20% off in store, snacks, giveaways and more.  Yes please!  Tomorrow evening I will be going to the Squeaky Bean with my friend Danielle for pre-trip cocktails.  The Squeaky Bean boasts one of the best professional mixologists in Denver, so the drinks are fabulous.  Finally, Thursday I will be running the Esprit de She with my friend Christie, and cannot wait for the post-race festivities.

Have a great week everyone – make every day an adventure!

How did you make the most of your last summer weekend?  Do you know how much beer could fill all of those kegs?  What are you looking forward to this week?

Cleansing Does Not Mean Deprivation

When I first heard the concept of cleansing, I couldn’t help but picture a face wash commercial with women splashing water in their faces in slow motion.  I quickly learned it is much more than that, nor does it necessarily have anything to do with facial cleaning.  I attended a product party in April for the company Arbonne, initially a Swiss company that moved to the US in 1980 and promotes Vegan-based products for skincare, hair, sun protection, cosmetics, fragrances, and nutrition.  I have been using some of their makeup products for a little over a month and I am quite pleased.  However I wasn’t sure about the cleanse process.  A dear friend of mine had completed the month-long cleanse, and knowing she was not trying to sell me the products, honestly said she felt a noticeable difference afterwards.  So why not give it a go, and see how I feel?  It’s only a month after all.

Why do they look so happy?  This isn't exactly effective...
Why do they look so happy? This isn’t exactly effective… Source

So why cleanse?  This process helps to reduce certain food groups to, in essence, help cleanse and clean your digestive system.  It alleviates the stresses certain food items have on our body.  There are many food items that

Lunch on the cleanse: homemade fajitas, avacado, corn tortillas, and watermelon!
Lunch on the cleanse: homemade fajitas, avacado, corn tortillas, and watermelon!

humans were never meant to eat, dairy being one of them (sadly… who doesn’t love a delicious bowl of ice cream?), so this process helps to give your body a break and regain balance.  The food groups that are eliminated during this cleanse include the following: gluten/wheat products, dairy, coffee/caffeine, yeast, refined sugar, alcohol, vinegar, soy, artificial sweeteners, food coloring/dye, non-organic corn and artificial/processed foods.  It sounds like a lot, but still leaves an amazing amount of options.  Thankfully the hubs and I really like, nay, LOVE, fresh food and consume a vast amount of organic fruits and veggies throughout the week, don’t consume much sugar or caffeine, and only have cocktails and wine on the weekends.  It’s been more of lifestyle shift rather than a food withdrawal.

Who wouldn't love to start their day with a delicious smoothie?
Who wouldn’t love to start their day with a delicious smoothie?

This cleanse has been a switch in my day-to-day norm.  The products I have incorporated are from Arbonne’s Essentials collection.  Rather than oatmeal or cereal with fruit for breakfast, I wake up a bit earlier and make a smoothie with tons of fruit and spinach, as well as a touch of almond milk, two scoops of Arbonne’s Vanilla Protein Powder (using pea, cranberry and rice protein), and one scoop of Arbonne’s Fiber Powder.  I’d never been one for protein shakes, but these turn out delicious with enough fruit.  I also notice I stay full through much of the morning thanks to the fiber, and then have cherries or a peach as a snack until lunch.  As a sweet treat, Arbonne has Vegan Lemon Fit Chews and Energy Fizz Sticks in Citrus and Pomegranate to mix into water (or Starbucks’ Passion Iced Tea – yum!).  The cleanse also includes a 7 day colon cleanse which I have not yet started.  All in all, I am already pleased – I feel lighter, more energetic, and have lost a few pounds in the process.  Plus it gives me an excuse to make more smoothies, and boy do I love smoothies.

What I like about this cleanse is that it can be easily done with or without the products, and is easy to incorporate into everyday life.  There comes a moment in the month-long process that you find yourself saying, “I don’t want that,” rather than “I can’t have that.”  Although I allow for flexibility on Saturday and Sunday – I do love a good glass of wine, and being married to a novice mixologist is a huge plus – I don’t feel the need to indulge quite as much.  The biggest lesson I have learned, both through this process and in talking to others, is that this cannot be the only means of health.  It’s not a quick fix.  If you want overall health, you need to balance diet with exercise.  I am not one to crash diet and rely solely on food for weight loss.  True health requires both!

I obviously have a Whole Foods organic produce section problem...
I obviously have a Whole Foods organic produce section problem… All cleanse friendly!

If you’d like to learn more about the process, the products, or both, please feel free to contact me.  Below I have listed the reason why we eliminate certain food groups during the cleanse, courtesy of Louisa Nickel!

What exactly am I cleansing/detoxing? If I already feel great; do I need this program? Everything is affected in our body by what we eat. You are cleansing and detoxifying everything on this program. Your body will naturally clean out what needs to be cleaned first and then go down the list of what takes priority. Your body knows that and will naturally do that itself. We all need an opportunity to refocus on our health, and making changes to your diet over 30 days will show you in the end what it really did for you: increased energy, weight loss, mental clarity, improved digestion, etc.

Why not vinegar? Vinegar has a pH that affects our gut. During the 30 days you want to make your gut as healthy as possible. Vinegar is fuel for the critters in our body that are not good and want to multiply while we are trying to kill them during those 30 days: bacteria, etc. The exception is Apple Cider vinegar. A healthy gut absorbs nutrients best, and absorbing nutrients increases our metabolism which helps us lose weight.

Why not coffee? Coffee is an inflammatory substance on the gut and bowel. It is also a laxative. If you have coffee every morning your body has learned to rely on that to help you have a BM. With eating right your body will learn to relieve itself.

Why not soy? Soy products are not ideal for nutrition. Processed soy affects you hormonally, it doesn’t matter if you are a male or female. It is an allergen and we omit it during this program. Also, more than 90% of soy is genetically modified (GM) in the US, so if it’s not certified organic soy, it’s GM.

Why not corn/non-organic corn? As with soy, more than 90% of corn is GM in the US. If you already have a bent towards yeast, breads, and pasta, do not do corn. For people who want to get their sugar and carb cravings under control, you should not do corn. If you do, purchase certified organic corn.

What if you don’t want to eliminate certain items like coffee or alcohol? Eliminating foods is about goals and results. The more restrictive and closer to the guidelines of the program, the better your results. ANY improvement in overall nutrition will yield results, so you can choose your level of commitment. You choose the route that will lead you toward permanent change. Some people need to do one or two small changes at a time, which is still progress. You’re still reducing the toxic load on your body. All or nothing is NOT the purpose of the program.

 

Have you ever tried a cleanse – was it through a company or on your own?  Was it effective – how did you feel afterwards?  How do you find digestive balance – are there any items you’ve removed from your diet, either permanently or temporarily?

Return to Grace

Isn’t it just amazing how quickly life catches up with you?  June was one of my favorite months this year, maybe even of the past few years.  I was able to travel, spend time with the hubby and my pup, celebrate my birthday and anniversary, hone in on my health, and take advantage of parts of Colorado I love.  Then came July… It has proven to be a crazy tornado of a month, primarily due to work.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job.  I am one of those rare folks who actually loves going to work: I really enjoy my coworkers, appreciate the institution for which I work, and adore my boss.  I am truly lucky, and I know it.  However, about eight months ago I was tasked with coordinating the move of our office, which at the time seemed so easily manageable, but I have learned so much in that timeframe.  The move took place last week, and the weeks working up to our scheduled move date are in every way a blur.  Being the planner, Type-A, mild control-freak, OCD person I am, this was quite the endeavor.  During this same time, my dear friend Ms. BakeNBurn was moving to her new home (which is fabulous), so we were able to commiserate on the crazy, thankfully!

However, throughout this process I learned one important distinction between moving homes versus moving an office: you are not in control.  There are some elements during a home move you can’t control, of course,

Moving an office is a messy business.
Moving an office is a messy business.

that’s inevitable.  But with an office move, you have absolutely no control.  There is a move team managing the actual movers, how many boxes you get, the day you move, when your space is reviewed and repaired.  There is a planning team that picks your furniture, layout, and overall style.  There is an architect, lead contractor, and building team who all seem to work on their own timeline, whether you’re scheduled to move in or not.  It’s a control-freak’s worst nightmare.  Imagine my utter dismay.  Despite all of this, we did it.  We are in our new space, moved in, and thankfully I was given the time to organize our storage (I became extremely close with our office label maker…) and get things set up before the rest of my coworkers got here – my one moment of control!  Hooray!  With all that being said, blogosphere, I apologize for my incredible absence, and I am so glad to be back.

Going from an office to a cubicle... not ideal.
Going from an office to a cubicle… not ideal.
The Liberty Run 4 Miler was a blast, as was the loot!
The Liberty Run 4 Miler was a blast, as was the loot!

Besides the move, a lot of other fun things have happened in the past few weeks.  I ran the Liberty Run 4 Miler with the hubby on the 4th of July, and must admit that it may have had some of the best swag for a small race – I got an awesome beer glass (which I feel more proud of having earned by doing exercise) among other fun things.  I attended a performance by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, in which they presented a number of pieces from each of the eight Harry Potter movies (if you don’t know, I am a HUGE Harry Potter geek… I started reading them in middle school and never stopped loving them) with some awesome friends.  One of my closest friends from high school just moved back to the US from teaching English abroad in Turkey for the past two years, and decided to move to Denver (I AM SO EXCITED)!!  I rediscovered an awesome running trail that I can access from my front door, and have been loving my weekday evening and weekend morning runs there (the hubs and I are in training mode for two half marathons this fall, so it’s the perfect option).  I made my first batch of gluten free red velvet cupcakes which were a HUGE success (recipe to come, of course).  I started a cleanse this week, and have been feeling pretty positive about it so far – more on this later!  So overall, it’s been a great, busy, whirlwind of a month, and I am so glad to be back on the normal side of things.

Don't worry, I will share this recipe - they were amazing!
Don’t worry, I will share this recipe – they were amazing!
Getting adjusted to our new space - thankfully!
Getting adjusted to our new space – thankfully!

Have you just had a month where everything seemed to get away from you?  Ever been in charge of moving an office?  Was July kind of a crumby month for anyone else?