Practical Gardening

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My front flower bed the first week of June 2018

These days who has time for gardening!  I don’t, but some how I managed to end up with this enjoyable garden.  The important thing is to make gardening practical.  No one expects you to spend your entire weekend gardening.  I try to spend as little time as possible working on my garden and below I tell you how I did it. Continue reading “Practical Gardening”

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Time for a new book to read…Proteinaholic

I bought this book awhile back, and have been wanting to dive in, but I never seem to make enough time to sit and read, more often I will check out an audiobook from the library and listen to it while multitasking.  I like to listen and run or cook.  I also listen while driving to and from work.  An audiobook is also great while doing chores or working in the garden.  Last time I read a book it was on vacation this summer and I read Finding Ultra.  I have heard lots of good things about Proteinaholic from podcasts I listen to.  I will provide a review after I finish reading it.  If you can’t wait for my review, feel free to check it out yourself.

Proteinaholic

To meditate or not to meditate

I just finished my 15th guided meditation with the Headspace app.  It was a quick ten to fifteen minutes with a guy with a sexy accent.  I first heard about the app from a No Meat Athlete podcast.  It has been difficult for me to make meditation a daily habit, but I finally made it past two weeks in a row, so now its a habit, right?  I hope so.  Things in my life seem to be rolling along pretty smoothly over the last two weeks.  Just ask my family and I am sure they will tell you somethings different.  At the bottom I have included a promo code for a free month of Headspace, why not try it out for yourself?

Andy started the company Headspace.  He was a monk, it is an interesting story.  It is an app for guided meditation and mindfulness techniques.  From the description of the app:  Meditation made simple.  Guided meditation is suitable for all levels from Headspace.  Meditation can help improve your focus, exercise mindful awareness, relieve anxiety and reduce stress.

The app touts the following benefits of meditation:

  • Increased self-awareness and greater sense of perspective
  • Reduce stress and worry
  • Smile more
  • Enjoy better relationships with your family/partner/spouse
  • Love, eat, sleep and train better
  • Be more present and become a better listener
  • Experience peace of mind and greater mind-body connection
  • Improved focus at work or while studying
  • Research shows that regular meditation can have a physical effect on the brain, causing those areas associated with learning to grow and the parts which generate stress responses to shrink.
  • Mindfulness practice leads to increase in regional brain gray matter density.

There is a buddy system with the app so you can motivate each other to meditate.  If any of you want to try the app and be my buddy, I would love to have others to help motivate me, and I motivate you to keep up the beneficial practice.  My email address is karenkkj@yahoo.com.

Below are some screen shots of the app.

One FREE Month of Headspace promo code:  REW15-SD4A42

**I am not an affiliate nor do I have any association with Headspace

Weight Plateau Breached

On May 26th I created a post titled Burn more fat.  Today is exactly one month and I am ready to report my results so far.  I am ecstatic to report that I lost 5.2 lbs using the “slow down” method of running with MAF heart rate training.  One of the reasons I am so ecstatic is that I had hit a plateau in my weight loss until changing to this MAF training with my Polar heart rate monitor.  I started noticing a difference in my face first, a coworker asked me one day if I had lost more weight, that my face looked thinner, and I was excited to say yes and tell her my MAF experience.  Then I went on vacation for two weeks and didn’t exercise as much and didn’t eat as well as usual, and I still lost weight.  I was very active on vacation though, my sister likes to be active too, which helps.  I drove to her house in UT ( an 11 hour drive) and stayed for a couple of weeks.  During my stay we ran a few times, hiked once, camped 4 nights, and went paddle boarding 2 days.  I usually run 3 to 4 days a week.

With all of this in mind I should see better results in another month.  It is really hot here in AZ though, so my training is suffering (especially since I am not a morning person).  The coolest it has been lately is 85 degrees and that is at 6am, by 8am it is 91 degrees.  Today I started my run at 9:45am and it was 94 degrees and overcast.  I ran for an hour.  By 10:45am it was 96 degrees.

As far as eating, I have been trying to avoid processed sugar and junk food.  I have been eating more higher fat plant foods like nuts, seeds, and avocados.  After reading Finding Ultra I decided my body would be ok with the higher fat foods since it is switching to burning more fat.  Rich Roll talked about eating avocado sandwiches, and I have been enjoying a few since then.  I eat more fruits and VeggEase and less pastas, grains and beans.

Review of Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

While I was on vacation, I set a couple of goals I wanted to accomplish:  first I wanted to try Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP)…done.  Love it!  Second:  I wanted to finish reading a book.  I happened to check out Finding Ultra after getting interested in improving my aerobic fat burning, so that became my goal book.  I had my trusty iPad with me and was able to read the book for free by using my library card and checking out the digital version with my Overdrive app and reading on my free Kindle app.  (I usually “read” more audio books because I listen to them while running, but this one was not available in audio form, so I actually read it).  I accomplished my second goal too, and I am glad I did because I learned a lot about being a plant-based endurance athlete.

finding ultra
Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

Before reading this book I thought of ultra endurance as unhealthy!  How can running 100 miles be good for you?  I learned how amazing our bodies are and just how much they are capable of.  I once thought marathons were not healthy either.  I now am seriously planning to run my first marathon some day soon.  I ran my first half marathon this year (April 2016) and felt really good, I didn’t even hit any dreaded wall or have any bears jump on my back.  Rich Roll is about five years older than me, so I feel confident that I can complete a marathon safely in my old age.

Rich shared some very personal moments in his book about overcoming addiction and fatigue.  His stories inspired me to be a better me.  Like Rich, I too was an athlete at a young age.  His sport was swimming, mine was running.  He learned a love of swimming partially because he was good at it, just like me with running.  We both competed in college, he in swimming and I in running.  Our stories differ in my ways too, I was lucky to never have felt the grasp of addiction (well besides chocolate, does that count?). Another similarity I have to Rich is being reunited with my love of running after finding a plant-based lifestyle.  Once he started eating plants he found new energy and a desire to exercise.  I found this to be true for myself as well.

I loved hearing about how he is a family man and how he tried to balance his ultra training, work, and family time.  It can be a struggle trying to reach an important goal and not let other priorities slide.  His passion was apparent to his family and they supported him and encouraged him.  They helped encourage him when he thought he might be focusing too much on his ultra goal and letting work or family priorities slide.

This book may not be for everyone, but if you have any desire to be plant-based or to get in shape I highly recommend it.  You will experience some of his lowest lows and highest highes in the pages and hopefully it will awaken in you a desire to live life a little fuller, like it has done for me.