Starting over: The return to a healthier life

I had set some health goals up for this year which you can read about here. Thus far, it’s been pretty hard to keep up with them because I’ve learned old habits die hard when it’s winter. I am excited to say that I am FINALLY getting back on the wagon by running and eating healthy. If you want to know how, just keep reading J

Marathon training

As stated in my last Health and Wellness post, due to my wonky ankles and the lack of training during the winter months, I will not be running the Rock n’ Roll Marathon next week (sad face). I feel bad because a friend of mine signed up for the half for moral support. I may see how fit I can get and what I can actually run (this is for you Molly!).

Last week I finally found the inspiration to start running again, and have bought the right kind of brace for my ankle (yay no more pain). I did a 5 mile hike on Thursday, and did my first 4 mile run in over a month on Friday. It’s not easy, but I ran twice this week, and am slowly but surely getting back to it. The awesome thing is that DC weather has been cooperating and it’s been absolutely GORGEOUS. Since I’m not running the full marathon, I’m putting all my efforts on getting ready for the trail Ragnar in Richmond in April (I even bought new trail and road shoes)!

Healthy eating

I still don’t like to cook, and it’s been and up and down adventure. My mom and I have decided to try and do a No Processed Sugar March (this includes bread… ugh). Today is March 1st and all I want is a sandwich filled with a cupcake and three cookies and topped with salted caramel gelato (never had this combination before, but I just want sugar). I know I can do this… I know I can do this! We have prepared overnight oats for breakfast, eating a lot of fruits and putting greens in my smoothies, and I’m going to attempt to cook something (I need to meal prep… I really do). I’ll let you know how I feel, but for now it’s pretty optimistic!

Essential oils

Now this has been going GREAT. I’ve incorporated essential oils in most of my beauty routine. I use Vetiver in my black castor oil to help bring back my edges, and it’s working. I also use Frankincense and Lavender in a lot of my homemade face products, and my acne scars are fading. This is huge! My acne scars are my biggest insecurity and I’m finally seeing them fade.

One of my favorite aspects of the oils is diffusing them in my room. I have a bedtime mix of Vetiver, Marjoram, and Lavender that knocks me all the way out. It usually takes me a bit of time to get comfortable and fall asleep, but this mixture knocks me out within a half hour. Another mix I love to use when I need a bit of a kick in the pants to get stuff done is Vetiver, Peppermint, and Lemon. When this mix is diffusing in my room, I feel like I can get anything done!

A mini testimony about essential oils comes from my mom. She has restless leg syndrome and has the hardest time falling asleep due to it. For the past couple nights she has been drinking one drop of Marjoram in a bottle of water and rubbing it on her legs before going to sleep. She told me she has not had any issues with restless leg, and she falls asleep immediately (this is AMAZING). So in case you’re wondering, the oils are making me a believer! I’m currently not a distributor, but if you have any questions or suggestions about essential oils, please let me know.

I see brighter days coming down the horizon (now that winter is coming to an end). Let me know how your health and wellness goals are going this year; it’s never too late to jump back on the wagon!

With love,

Tifa

AND… Nope!

In case you haven’t had the chance, there is still time to enter the GIVEAWAY from last week, the deadline to enter is February 20th.

In my first Health and Wellness post I said there are three categories I’m working on this year. I wanted to give you an update on where I am in my marathon training (or lack thereof), healthy eating, and using essential oils.

Marathon training

This year one of my goals was to train for the Rock n Roll Marathon in March. Due to ankle issues, I had decided to train for the half. Well, this has officially changed. Due to traveling, pure laziness and the fact that I hate winter training (aka the wind), I have decided not to run at all (funny thing is the weather has been quite nice in the DC area this week). I did feel really guilty about not running a race that I paid for, but after talking to a fellow running friend, I realized it’s okay to back down. This wasn’t an easy decision, because I don’t like giving up, but hey, sometimes it’s nope!

On another note, I’m still registered to run the trail Ragnar in April; so this means I still have to train for something (I have to slap on my lip balm and go out into the elements). I need words of encouragement, cause it is not happening.

Healthy eating

On the whole healthy eating adventure, let’s just say I traveled a lot in January (just recently returned from California). I did eat a couple salads while in California, which is more than usual when I’m traveling. Also my CSA application is now open for this coming up year, so there are vegetables in my future. More or less I will get on the ball one day, but that day is not today (I currently see pizza in my near future)! I am excited to report that I am taking my vitamins daily, and I see my nails growing like crazy (constantly cutting them).

If you have links to delicious, healthy, fast recipes, please share. I still can’t stand cooking, but I need to motivate myself somehow!

Essential oils

This is the one thing I am incorporating into my daily routine (besides flossing daily) and seeing results. The biggest difference is how my skin is doing; I’m not breaking out as much and I’m finally seeing my acne scars starting to fade away. I will include that I do get by-monthly facials from Faye which is also helping. I also have not been sick this year (except a bout of food poisoning) which is HUGE. I’m someone who gets sick every year and so far I am good. This is incredible because I am hanging around more kids (I love kids, but they are incubators of disease and germs), and have been guarded from EVERYTHING!!!! So yeah, I will continue to use them, and keep you in the loop on how it’s going.

If you have oils you love or diffuser combinations I should try, please let me know.

With love,

Tifa

Cool Running & 1st GIVEAWAY!!!!!

I guess the title should actually be freezing cold windy running, but I really like the movie, so I’ll keep “Cool Running.” As you know, one of my goals is to blog about my fitness, especially training for a run during the winter. I haven’t EVER trained for a race during the winter, so this is very new to me. There are so many things you need to think about in the winter compared to training during the summer. Also, I would like to emphasize that I am still a newbie runner, so I’m learning as I go.

In the summer I knew I had to run early in the morning before the heat and humidity hit an unbearable temperature. If I ran in the evening, the temperature would be down, but the humidity from the day would still be hanging around, and you can more or less get away with running in anything. NOW, the winter is a whole different ball game. It is cold ALL THE TIME, running in sunlight is a luxury, and the wind will make you forget any memory of warmth (The wind is what kills me).

Here are some lessons I have learned about running during the colder months:

  1. Layer, layer, layer! Layering is your best friend and your worst enemy. On the positive, when you start running it reminds you that at one point you were toasty warm in the house. On the negative, your body goes through hot flashes whole you’re running; one moment you are overheating, and the next you’re hit with a wintry blast of wind and are freezing again. I find myself zipping and unzipping my jacket as I run and I can’t keep a decent temperature. I hear I should buy quick dry clothes to help with heat insulation, but not sure what to buy. If you have any advice, I would LOVE to hear it! Also, if you know of any great winter socks to run in, please let me know.
  2. Hydrate! As in the summer, hydration is key. If my runs are ten miles or less, I’ll drink water with mint and lemon essential oils before I head out for my run, anything over ten miles, I need to bring something (I’m still trying to figure out if I want to bring: should I get a camelback, a fanny pack, a handheld water holder thingy… I don’t know).
  3. Proper nutrition. I’m learning that I burn more calories running in the cold than I did in the summer, because my body is expending a lot of energy keeping my body warm. I’m learning I have to change my eating habits to accommodate this. A banana before a run just doesn’t cut it anymore, now I’m eating toast and a banana, and this will probably change over time.
  4. When that winter wind hits you, and your skin feels like dried mangoes from Trader Joe’s, you would have wished you had moisturized properly. For my skin, I am a firm believer in organic coconut oil. This stuff is amazing! I dry out in the winter and have always have problems in the past keeping my skin moisturized, but since I’ve started using coconut oil (and yes, I put it on my face too), I haven’t had one dry patch. For my lips, I have made a switch. I have been a try and true Burt’s Bees Pomegranate lip balm girl. This has been my jam for the past five to six years. My only qualm with it recently is it doesn’t keep my lips moisturized during my runs, and I get that gross white tacky grossness (and y’all, this is not attractive, who knows what hot guy I will bump into during my run… I can’t look like that!). WELL, recently a friend of mine gifted me an essential oil lip balm by doTERRA. Since I was such a Burt’s girl, I just added it to my backup stock in case I couldn’t find Burt. It didn’t take long for me to misplace dear Burt… So I found my herbal lip balm, slapped it on, and went for a ten mile run in brutal cold and windy weather (I think it was in the low 30’s this day). FRIENDS… This stuff is AMAZING. I came back MISERABLE and FREEZING from this run, but my lips stayed moist with no white gunky grossness. I’m super sad to be breaking up with Burt, but I found a new love! AND because I love you all so much, my friend Bethany is giving away TWO sets of lip balms (GIVEAWAY INSTRUCTIONS BELOW).
  5. A hat… duh: I currently wear a baseball hat (GO RED SOX) to keep the sun out of my eyes. But I know I’m going to have to switch to a winter hat soon (I don’t wanna). I’m not looking forward to switching my head gear! How do you keep the sun out of your eyes without wearing a baseball hat? Also, I don’t want to wear runner sunglasses, I just don’t want anything on my face. So, if you know of a really good hat or sun shield method, PLEASE let me know!

There is a lot more to learn, and each day is a lesson in winter running. As I said throughout this post, please let me know of anything I should be cautious of as I continue to cry through winter training (crying and running is never a good idea during winter… cause it’s cold).

With Love,

Tifa

GIVEAWAY INSTRUCTIONS: This giveaway is only open to readers in the USA (I’ll try and expand this in the future as I figure out shipping costs abroad). To enter in you must LIKE Bethany’s FaceBook page, FOLLOW to this blog (to subscribe click “Tea Time” button), and COMMENT below on how you survive working out in the winter. We will be choosing TWO winners on February 20, 2017 and will notify you on February 23, 2017 for shipping details. GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!


#NewYearNewMe

I’ve seen the hashtag above trending quite a bit this year, and it had me thinking. I actually really like who I am, so I don’t want a new me, but maybe just an upgrade, like Tifa 2.0! As you may have read here, I am on a health and wellness journey. I am a few days into the New Year and so far and it is definitely a journey full of delays, cancellations, and layovers.

I will be honest, I finally ran on Monday for the first time in 2017 in Nashville. The main reason is it’s just too stinken cold and I hate the winter (and of course I’m lazy). Run on a treadmill you suggest? Well, that bores the living daylights out of me (but I think I’m going to have to do it eventually, I have a race around the corner). I did talk to one of my bestfriend’s step-dad a few days ago, and he gave me the motivation I need to get back at it after the snow melts (I’m in Nashville for a few days, and it snowed… so nope on the running). One thing I do need to take up is weight training which I will start when I get back to the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia).

For eating healthy, it’s a process. I’m currently on vacation, and Nashville has really tasty food; IT’S HARD! PLUS, you can’t say no to Chick-fil-a on a road trip… you just can’t! I think my approach will be working on gradually eliminating foods I know that are bad for me (ex. corn, wheat, refined sugar and cow dairy). So for the rest of January, I will try not to do dairy (I’m lactose intolerant, I shouldn’t be eating cheese… it doesn’t love me like I love it). I find that eliminating foods one at a time is easier than going cold turkey. With this being said, I need to cook more; I don’t like cooking, and if I do it’s for survival reasons only.

I am enjoying using the essential oils. I am currently incorporating them into my beauty routine and loving the results (I’m starting to see my acne scars fade). My other favorite is diffusing them in my room at night (mainly a blend of Frankincense, lavender, and Breathe by DoTerra). I’m still learning about them, so the jury is still out, and I’ll keep you posted!

I will say this, being healthy and listening to your body is not easy! If you are on a health journey, let me know how it is going (as I’m typing this, all I want is sugar)!

With love,

Tifa

End of year fitness blues!

If you’ve been reading my Weekly Revelations or follow me on Instagram, you know that I am training for a marathon. I’m using the Higdon Marathon training plan (Novice 1) to help keep me on track. I was super motivated until I hit December and it got super cold, windy, rainy, and gross. As of now I am two whole weeks behind on my training  (As in I haven’t moved). I blame it on cold weather, Christmas cookies, jalapeño chips, and Gossip Girl on Netflix. There is just something about the holiday season that tends to put my workouts in a slump (please let me know if you agree). One thing I have learned during this slump is browsing fitness pins and healthy recipes on Pinterest does not equate to healthy living.

Last Thursday, December 22nd I finally mustered up the courage and went out running. In my naïve mind I thought I could bust out a quick six miles after two weeks of inactivity; well I was wrong! I huffed and puffed my way through three miles (THREE MILES PEOPLE… two weeks prior I was running ten). I can’t believe I did this to myself, and I will try my best to remain active because this was no fun. My legs felt like lead (probably from the cookie pounds I have gained) and my butt found its jiggle back (I worked so hard to get some resemblance of firmness). It’s crazy how it takes so long to get to a certain level of fitness, but then take TWO WEEKS OFF and your body goes into negative fitness (rolling my eyes). But do not despair, January 1st is around the corner!

With this all being said, I would like you all to come with my on a lifestyle change adventure (I feel diets are temporary). For the Health and Wellness posts, I will be writing about:

  1. My marathon training (or the lack there of): I’ll let you know what’s working and what’s not working for me as I train throughout the winter with a wonky ankle (I hate winter).
  2. Attempts to healthy eating (good thing the white fudge Oreos are a seasonal treat, and even though I ate five boxes, I’m still craving them): For those who know me well, I don’t like cooking. This part will take every ounce of courage because I can’t stand being in the kitchen (unless I’m eating).
  3. Implementing essential oils into my routine (I used to work at LUSH, which introduced me to natual body products, and want to move towards more natural products and DIYs): I’ve heard of people who swear by essential oils as a remedies, and I’m not a huge fan of pharmaceuticals and chemical filled beauty products (except NyQuil, Zyrtec and Benedryl, these are also great for long international flights… goodnight), and I’m trying to be more cautious about what I put on and in my body. My goal is to be able to make what I use (I can’t wait to make my own deodorant). As a disclaimer, if you are sick, or need open heart surgery, please see a doctor; I wouldn’t advise rubbing lavender on your heart and feeling better.

So if you’re suffering from the end of year fitness blues as I am, don’t worry, I do not think you are alone (cause I’m suffering too). Any messages of encouragement, tips, and/or tricks are highly appreciated. Let the fund of a new year begin (le sigh).

With love,

Tifa