Three Things Thursday

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I feel like this week has flown by! I’m not complaining. Another Friday is on the horizon and I’m excited. I have a few things planned for this weekend: I’m spending time with a friend on Friday evening, participating in a Chili cook off on Saturday (showmanship, not actual cooking – that’s being left to the men), and I’m having a taco get together with my family on Sunday.

Here are three things I’m loving right now:

Ray-Bans

1. Sunglasses

Despite living in Florida for much of my life, I’ve never really owned a good pair of sunglasses. With summer just around the corner, I decided it was time to treat myself to a good pair. I went with Ray-Ban for their classic look and versatility. I figured if I bought something too trendy, they wouldn’t last. So far, I love them! I actually look forward to the drive home because I get to wear them (hello, 60 minute commute).

Willy Wonka Candy

2. Willy Wonka

I mentioned the Chili Cook Off above and that I’m entering the showmanship competition. [Read more…]

The Power of Mindfulness

The Power of Mindfulness 

Did you take part in prAna’s #taketheleap challenge? If you said yes, I wouldn’t be surprised. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 21 million people now practice yoga, double the number from a decade ago, and 18 million practice meditation. As a healthcare provider, these number make me really happy.

Mindfulness refers to an awareness of the present moment and it can be applied to multiple settings: eating, exercising, even spending time with others. Research has already shown us that mindfulness during eating can be a beneficial addition to a weight loss program. A study recently published in The Journal of Health Psychology found that mindfulness during exercise lead to a greater sense of satisfaction with exercise, which then lead to a greater likelihood of engaging in regular exercise. 

#taketheleap with prAna

#taketheleap with prAna

The CEO of Aetna whole heartedly believes in the power of mindfulness and meditation. So much so, that Aetna offers employees the option to participate in yoga and meditation classes at work. Of the company’s 50,000 employees, more than one-quarter have participated in at least one class. The ones who took the leap? [Read more…]

The Truth About Sugar

 

The Truth About Sugar

Sugar and sugar substitutes are a hot topic. There are so many options out there! Which raises the questions: What is the best alternative to table sugar? Is plain old white sugar really that bad for me? Is it safe to consume _____ in place of table sugar?

The truth? All sweet stuff is not created equal. As much as Americans try to limit the sugar filled foods, we’re hopelessly addicted. And that means spending lots of money on sweeteners that aren’t table sugar but are just as bad for us.

The Truth About Sugar

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a start. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know about the most popular sweeteners on the market:

 1. Table Sugar (also known as Sucrose)

Table sugar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose, it’s made of beet sugar or sugar cane. Let’s get a little science heavy and talk about the biochemistry of glucose vs. fructose. This is really important to help you understand the metabolism of sweeteners:

Glucose can be used in three ways: as fuel for your brain and red blood cells, stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles (to be used later) or it can be converted to fatty acids that are stored in fat. When you’re in a situation where you chronically have too much sugar, muscle and fat cells become resistant to the effects of insulin and take up less glucose. This is when your pancreas stops being able to meet your need for insulin and type 2 diabetes develops.

Fructose is processed differently. The liver removes fructose after being absorbed in the gut and then it is used to produce glucose, fatty acids or lactate. In contrast to glucose, fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin secretion. This is an issue because leptin, the hormone that controls satiety and feelings of hunger, is regulated by insulin that is released after a meal. The takeaway? Consuming fructose reduces circulating levels of leptin and insulin, which plays a role in weight gain and its associated metabolic sequelae. 

Turbinado Sugar

2. Turbinado Sugar (also known as Sugar in the Raw)

I know a lot of people look at raw turbinado sugar as the safer alternative to her sister, white table sugar. That is a false assumption. Turbinado is pure sugar cane extract which makes it 50% fructose and 50% glucose, just like table sugar. It has the same effects on blood sugar mentioned above.  [Read more…]

Best Damn Race Recap

Best Damn Race Recap

The Best Damn Dog with her medal.

The Best Damn Dog with her medal.

The Best Damn Race happened in Orlando on Saturday. Only it didn’t feel like Orlando. It felt like Seattle. Gray + Rainy. It rained. It drizzled. It misted. Honestly, the weather was just plain weird. But the race went on and it was still lots of fun, despite the crappy, un-Florida like weather.

I woke up at 6:00am to get ready for the race. Actually, I woke up at 4:00am in a panic because I thought I missed the race. I’m glad that happened because I realized that my cell phone/alarm didn’t plug into the charger properly and was dead. I credit my 4:00am freak out with me actually making it to the race on time.

Early morning selfie! So much excitement.

Early morning selfie! So much excitement.

Ready to go in the City Beautiful!

Ready to go in the City Beautiful!

We left the house at 6:30am and we were downtown and parked by 6:50am. We made our way to the start line and immediately I noticed that it wasn’t as crazy or as crowded as I expected. I think that’s because my last race was a Disney race and there aren’t quite words to describe how crowded those races are. [Read more…]

Pre Race Jitters and the Best Damn Race

Friday

It’s Friday! We’ve made it to the conclusion of yet another week. It’s also the day before my first half marathon in over a year. Needless, to say I’m feeling a little bit of those pre-race jitters.

Tomorrow I’m running the Best Damn Race Orlando. I realize I haven’t talked much about it here – oops. The jist of it is that the Best Damn Race series is created by runners for runners. Which means enough water, an awesome swag bag and a better than average after party. My sister introduced me to the race but then she went on a year long work trip and so she isn’t here to run it with me. My sister is my default race buddy. We do lots of ridiculous things together…

Superhero Scramble Mud Run: 

Superhero Scramble

Disney Glass Slipper Challenge:

Princess Half

And multiple other things that are better left for another day…

I picked up my race packet last night and I was super excited to see a Kind Bar in my swag bag. I usually get something I probably won’t end up eating so this was a nice surprise. I’m also happy with the tech tee that I got. It will serve me well for future workouts (I might even wear it tomorrow). I’m bummed that the weather isn’t going to be the best. Why do I live in Florida if I can’t have perfect weather all the time?! It’s definitely a concern for me because I’m not a fan of running in the rain. [Read more…]