Plant Based

img_6804I’ve always enjoyed eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis. However, this year my Fiance and I are trying a new nutrition regimen!  We have entered into the plant-based world!

Like I said, I’ve always eaten a nutrient dense diet, but I have found it hard to get in enough vegetables. Eating vegetables doesn’t come naturally, although I wish it would!

There are so many benefits to eating plant-based, it is amazing! Plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean vegetarian or vegan, it just means that the majority of your meals come from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, tubers, and whole grains while minimizing the intake of meats and dairy products and eliminating refined sugar, high processed foods, and bleached flour.

The benefits of a more plant-based and whole-food diet are endless! Just to name a few:

  1. Intake of saturated fats are reduced.
  2. Fiber intake is increased! We all know what fiber is good for, plus diets high in fiber help fight against colon cancer. Whoohoo!
  3. Eating plant-based will naturally aid in a larger consumption of vitamins and nutrients such as potassium, folate, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and antioxidants. Potassium  aids in better muscle function,  lowers your risk of heart problems,  maintains fluid balance, and helps reduce stress levels. Folate helps with cell repair, generating red and white blood cells. Just a few benefits from some of the great vitamins and nutrients that will be consumed by eating plant based.
  4. A common misconception that people have about eating a plant-based or vegetarian diet is lacking an adequate amount of protein. However, most American’s get their protein from unhealthy sources, such as red meat. Beans, soy products, nuts, seeds, and lentils are a great source of protein!
  5. Disease prevention is a huge plus! Eating a healthy plant-based diet has been shown to prevent a number of diseases including colon cancer, breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and more!
  6. You will find your energy to be much higher! Along with that, you will find that vitamins, such as A and E, that are being consumed from nuts and vegetables will aid in good skin health!

Sparty loves the idea of all of these benefits!

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I have loved this life-style switch and I found that I have more energy and feel better about myself in all aspects!I have found so many yummy recipes that I have enjoyed making and eating!

We’ve only got one body, let’s treat it with respect!

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XOXO,

Shan 🙂

A Different Light

IMG_7423Most people who know me know that I LOVE exercising. It’s part of my life! I don’t eat to diet, I eat to fuel my body (ice cream is the best fuel;)

But my exercise and eating habits have changed drastically over the last few years. Just a few years ago I would only go to the gym because I felt that if I didn’t go I would reverse all of my progress. I could imagine the pounds plopping themselves on my body, which is just ridiculous. I worked out 7 days a week and ate 1200-1300 calories a day, which were meticulously logged. Going out to dinner put me into a cold sweat, and the thought of going on vacation and not having access to a gym caused extreme anxiety. People would compliment me on my weight and I would smile, but inside I truly thought that it wasn’t enough. No matter what I did I was never happy with what I weighed or how I looked.

I honestly did not see any problem with how I was treating myself back then. The only thing I could think about was being “skinny”. Important people in my life would constantly tell me that I wasn’t “fat” and that I was beautiful but their words would go in one ear and out the other. A link was sent to me once about body dysmorphia and I read through it scoffing, not wanting to believe that it sounded like a description of myself.

Fast forward to today and I am the happiest that I have ever been with my health, fitness, and body. I look in the mirror and a true smile appears on my face. I spent years consistently logging my meals and calculating what and how much I was eating. The last year I have taught myself a lot about nutrition and I see food in a completely different light. I don’t do hours of cardio a day, instead I workout for about an hour a day and don’t cry if I miss a workout. I lift weights, do HIIT, add in shorter increments of cardio and I now see myself as strong. I have gained muscle, along with confidence. A weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and energy that was spent agonizing over my body is now being spent on the relationships in my life, things that truly make me happy. I still have moments and days that are rough, but it is night and day compared to where I once was.

I am 15 pounds heavier than I was at my lowest, but I feel my lightest. IMG_7373IMG_7392

(PC: http://www.xothelittleladybug.com/)

Oh Well…And an Introduction!

Obviously I never follow through on my blog posting plans, so I will never make a promise about the frequency of my posts again!! Hah! I will just go with the flow…suits me better… 🙂

Some exciting news has been happening over here, though! I will just start by introducing the new love of my life (sorry, Code), my best friend, new running buddy…Sparticus! (Sparty for short)

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I have been wanting to adopt a dog for YEARS! And we finally did it! We went to the pound a few days before my birthday back in June and we fell in love with this little guy. We had actually picked up his papers as well as another dogs (don’t tell Sparty) but were told the alternative dog probably wouldn’t be the best for first time dog owners.

We submitted our application and were told that one other couple had applied for Sparty as well and we would get a call the following morning about whether or not we got him. We tried not to get too excited…but then we got the call! Whoohoo!

We went to go meet him and fell in love all over again. However, he had some stomach problems and had to remain in the pound’s care for a couple more days to get checked out by the vet. He had been transported up from Texas the night before we met him because we was going to be put down. They believed that all of these events and stress caused the problems with Spart’s tummy.

 

And then the best day of my life (exaggerating a little…but not by much), on my favourite day of the year (my BIRTHDAY), we went to go pick him up to bring him to his forever home!

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He is seriously the best dog and we sure lucked out! He loves EVERYBODY and EVERY DOG! It is the best. He is becoming a very good running partner and he knows how to sit very well 😉 Really though, he is the best and I didn’t know that a dog could steal my heart like Sparty has ❤

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We even take naps together…

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He obviously likes to sleep! He gets bursts of energy and whenever we take him to the dog park or for a run he has a blast, but then as soon as we get home he is knocked out! It is the cutest!

He sure has made himself at home…

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So that is one thing that is going on around here! I figured since he will be making multiple appearances on here I would come back from my blogging leave by introducing him all to you! I have so many more things that I want to share and a list of topics that I want to talk about but will share them on a later date!

Hope everybody has a great day!

 

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

Keep on Climbing

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Today while I was hiking, I really just kept thinking about my bed. I mean seriously. This hike kicked my butt. I was sweating within the first 10 minutes and was panting like a dog.

Halfway up, I was still thinking about being at the bottom of the mountain and eating froyo, but the closer I got to the top the better I felt. The hike was still a tough one, but I was feeling better about it with each mile.

Not to be cheesy (but I guess yeah, I’m being cheesy) this hike reminded me that life is hard. There are moments in life where you just feel defeated and you want to throw in that metaphorical towel but you can’t. While I was hiking I continued to remind myself that I was going to feel like a badass at the top, that I was thankful to be hiking with my best friend by my side, and how lucky I am to be living in such a beautiful place. While I was sweating and sounding like I was having an asthma attack, I continued to remind myself these things and when I got to the top, I was so grateful. The view was beautiful and my favourite hiking partner was right by my side.

I love hiking and always feel that the greatest views are achieved from the more strenuous hikes. I keep going back for more because I love the feeling of reaching the top and taking in everything around me.

I was reminded to appreciate the climb even when it’s hard, because once you reach the top there’s really nothing like it. Sometimes it feels like the climb will never come to an end, and that’s when you’ve really got to live in the present, take it all in, and try your best.

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Drop the Plans

Oh boy, how long has it been? I definitely took a hiatus but I am back! I am back to posting once a week and am done taking 4 month long (yes FOUR month long) breaks!

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Something that has been on my mind as of late is how often plans change. I spend so much of my time planning; planning my week out, planning my weekend, planning what my wedding will be like, planning what my life will be like when both my man and I are in our careers. And I love thinking of the future, but I don’t want to spend all of my time in my head day dreaming and planning for things that are far away. Cody and I had made plans to live in Seattle once he graduated from UW because we had planned on him getting a job here! Alas, he did not and will be flying away to Arizona in August to work with an amazing company while I stay here and finish school. Now that is a plan that definitely did not work out. But I am okay with that! When plans don’t work out, we are challenged and that’s when our dreams are really put to the test.

So lately, something that I have been doing is living in the moment. Appreciating the time that I get to spend with Cody in the next few months before we live apart, my last few quarters in school and how much I am learning, where I am at in my health and fitness journey, and much, much more. I don’t want to fast forward through my life trying to get to the future.

 

Live in the moment, appreciate what’s around you, and love yourself at every stage.

 

xoxo,

 

Shan

Heavy Heart and Running

The last several weeks my family has been dealing with a sickness in the family. I have never, fortunately, had to personally deal with death or serious illness before, and it sure has left my heart heavy. My uncle is one of the kindest and most loving people that I know and it breaks my heart to see him fighting this battle with brain cancer. He has miraculously pulled through some tough patches over the past couple of months and I have high hopes that he will be that 2% that is a miracle.

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My dad and I took a trip up to Canada to visit my family and it was heart wrenching, but good for my dad, and good for me too. On the way up there my dad stopped at all of the old places we used to stop at while taking trips up there, all the while with my Uncle Bill in our hearts. It warmed my heart to see all of these places with my loving father.

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I think about my uncle everyday and am hoping with all of my might that this cancer takes a turn for the better.

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While we were up there my dad took me to an old trail that he let me run on to let me stretch out my legs…and my emotions. Running is probably the last thing that a lot of people think about when dealing with stressful or emotional situations, but it always has a way of making me feel better. It relaxes me and lets me sort out my emotions with each step. It lets me let go of certain pent up feelings and come to terms with things that are dragging me down. The run on this beautiful trail was just the thing I needed.

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And then on the ferry ride back, my dad and I got to see a grey whale jumping out of the water, which is both of our favourite thing on this planet. It sounds small, but it was the perfect thing to see after this heavy trip.

I hope that everybody has a great weekend. If you have anything heavy on your heart, take some time to yourself and pound out your emotions on the pavement. It will help, I promise.

Hugs,

Shan 🙂

One Day at a Time and Lots of Pumpkin!

I have always known that I get stressed very easily, and this past year, that fact has become more evident. If there is something that is out of my control, if there is something that I need to get done but haven’t yet, money, tests, scheduling my days, or as Cody likes to say “things that you know, and things that you don’t know stress you out.” So pretty much everything. But something really important that I have learned about myself is that if I just take one day at a time, and not look too far ahead, then my levels of stress drastically decrease.

Often times I find myself becoming stressed about the unknown, or my ability to handle future situations that aren’t even in my line of sight.

This really relates to my running because sometimes during longer runs (or just when I am on the treadmill 🙂 I can only think about how much further I have to go and it makes me anxious. But if I just focus on completing each quarter mile and my times for each, then my run is more relaxing and enjoyable. When I am running in the present mile, I am running in the moment. And this is the same in life! When I live in the moment and don’t focus on everything that could stress me out, I enjoy my days just a little more!

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(photo by my cute friend http://www.xothelittleladybug.com/index.html)

And on a different note, whoohoo! I sure do love the weekend “a latte” (see what I did there?;)

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Yesterday I went running with a friend and she took me to this really awesome trail. It kind of kicked my butt because there were so many hills over a short distance…my legs were on fire!

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And Cody and I painted our pumpkins this weekend! His is still in progress, but mine is complete! I painted some bears because they are my favourite. And then we hit up Trader Joe’s and I went pumpkin crazy. You could say it was a pumpkin filled weekend!

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And right now the Codester and I are watching the Seahawks game and then we are heading out to go play a little football ourselves with a HIIT workout added in there!

Also I posted my workout from this morning below! I did shoulders and glutes because they are my favourite 🙂

4×15 weighted cable kickbacks

4×10 barbell thrusts

4×10 db side raise above head

3×10 side lateral raises

3×10 barbell shoulder press

3×20 weighed step ups

Have a great day everybody!

Wow and A Little Rest

Wow guys! I think that maybe I should get an award for most inconsistent blogger of life. It’s been almost ONE MONTH since I last posted. That is too long.

From now on I want to write once a week and publish my posts on Saturdays. I still might do random posts throughout the week but you can count on there being at least one post every Saturday! Try and contain your excitement, please…

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Okay, I wanted to talk a little bit about rest. I know that rest is important. I’ve read countless articles about it, I tell people how important taking rest days is, and I tell myself I need it. However, since I started consistently working out in 2012, the longest that I have gone without working out was 2 days in a row…I am kind of ashamed to even write that. And that lack of rest caught up to me and bit me in booty. Seriously. It is so important to give your body long periods of rest (longer than 2 days) every once in a while.

So, my point of sharing this is that last week I was running on empty. On Wednesday, I drove to the gym and was going to work out before class…and I fell asleep in the parking lot. I jolted awake, came to my senses, and drove home to lay on the couch until it was time to head out to class. I realized that night after talking to a friend that I don’t need to constantly push myself, I can take a break! Which is exactly what I did. I took the following 5 days off from exercising and it felt amazing. I realized that my workouts were becoming chores, not something that I genuinely looked forward to doing. I have so many things in my life right now that are requirements, chores, tasks, burdens, and I do not want running/lifting/exercising to turn into that.

Over my few days of relaxation (which was amazing) I remembered that working out is part of my life because I choose it. It is not forced upon me by anyone. I love running and lifting and I do those things because they make me feel good.

I have decided to push my half marathon off for a couple of months so that I can run care-free. I want to love running and not run purely because I feel like I have to, which is what the race was making me feel like. I am still going to continue running several days a week, because I love it and keep you all updated, so don’t you worry! I really want to work on getting fast! I am going to get tickets because I am so speedy! Bad joke?

Another thing that lack of rest was causing me to do was not eat consistently the way that I like to and usually do and this made me feel sluggish and uncomfortable.

I am ready to be back to my normal self, eating clean foods and loving exercising!! I wrote out a list of goals for myself to help me feel my best! I am also tracking my food because I know that when I eat my best, I feel my best (plus I have goals!)!

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And one more picture that I hope makes your day a little better. This is my cat Whiskers and he very much resembles grumpy cat in this picture. Hahahah! Makes me laugh every time I look at it.

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Have a good day everybody!

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Do any of you do yoga?

What was the best part of your day today?

The Washington Coast and The First Run

Hey everybody!

I hope that you have had a good day! 🙂 Today marked the first day of my half marathon training cycle! This is the 3rd half marathon that i will be running and I am so excited. I am going to run the Historic Half up in Vancouver B.C. and cannot be more excited. I have two friends that will be running it with me! Whoohoo! The one thing better than running is running with friends 🙂

I ran 3 miles at a 9:00 minute average pace and it felt so good! My goal is to finish the half marathon in under 2 hours and I can’t wait to attain it!

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PS I am proud of my baby bicep…

Also, who has had these protein cookies?

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They are so good and whenever they are in my cupboard I want to eat all of them in one sitting. Same with the buffbake and the quest bars…It’s kind of a problem.

On another note, my fella and I went on a mini tip this weekend to the Washington Coast! It was so fun! We rediscovered our love for teatherball (I don’t know how to spell that). See in the above picture the bruise on my wrist? That’s from going hard and winning 2 games (out of 7 lol;)

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And taken it back to last weekend, I hung out with Cody’s family all day in Seattle while he was at work and it was so fun!

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That is his cute mom 🙂

And this is random, but does anybody out there grind their teeth at night? I do and I’ve recently invested in a mouth guard to help out my situation. It is AMAZING. I used to wake up with a headache and throbbing teeth and now most mornings both of those nuances are gone! So here is a flattering picture to show off my newest fashion statement.

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All in all it was a good time and tomorrow I’ve got another 3 miles callin my name! Have a great night/day!

xoxo,

Shan 🙂

A Little About Me!

Hey everybody! I thought that I would take my friend, Amanda’s, over at www.xothelittleladybug.com, idea and write a fun little post about myself! “21 Things About The 21-Year-Old!” I generally write slightly random things about training or my days (which are probably snore-worthy), so here are 21 facts about me!

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  1. I am from a really small town on the Canadian border and lived there until I was 18. There is just something about small towns that you can never find in the city.
  2. I’ve only been on a plane two times…I guess I need to travel more.
  3. I love golfing! Besides running and other forms of exercise in and outside of the gym I would love to spend all of my time golfing if it wasn’t as expensive. I played in high school and made it to state!
  4. I love fruit. You may think this is a weird fact…but if there is a bowl of fruit in front of me I will eat all of it.

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5. I have a cat named Whiskers who resides at my parents house who I love dearly. We’ve had him for 15 years and he is the fluffiest cat in the world. Hahah!2014-01-20 10.34.5411130719_951458784885998_600091188_n

6. I have an amazing boyfriend who I have been with for almost five years. We have been together since junior year in high school! He goes to school for aerospace engineering…We’ve got a rocket scientist in the house!!!

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7. I pretty much only wear workout clothes…it’s kind of a problem.

8. I’m currently going to school and studying special education and elementary education. When I graduate I want to teach within the inner schools in Seattle.

9. For now I work as a barista to make my way through school! It’s a good thing I love coffee!

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10. I love Canada.

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11. I love playing board games!

12. When I was younger I was sick for FIVE Christmas’s in a row. Like throwing up, ear infections, and the flu…For a long time it was a curse and I feared Christmas! Thankfully I have passed that stage in my life.

13. I am a clutz. I drop things, spill things, trip over things (or nothing), walk into walls or doors ALL OF THE TIME.

14. I am 5’11”, so I can reach the glasses in the tall cabinets. 😉

15. I have 5 alarms set for the morning every day…I have anxiety that I won’t wake up on time, but I also have a really hard time getting out of bed…hahah.

16. I’ve been working since I was 15. $$$

17. I love food. I am thinking about dinner while I am eating breakfast. It’s always been like that hahahah.

18. I love running so much, but if I run when it’s hot outside I feel like my life is coming to an end. Hence the lack of running posts this summer. That’s why my next half-marathon is in November.

19. I love reading during my free time and before bed. I love a wide genre of books, but Harry Potter will always be my favourite…

20. I have one older brother who works for Americorps and he is amazing.

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21. I can twist my arm all the way around. The only cool thing I can do!

Well there ya go! Props to you if you read all of those things! Now I am off to go lift some heavy things and then spend some time on the stairmaster! Have a fit day, everybody!!

xoxo,

Shan